Asynchronous Device/Driver Probing For The Linux Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 January 2015 at 06:00 AM EST. 22 Comments
While Google's Chrome OS supports asynchronous device/driver probing, the mainline Linux kernel does not. However, patches are working toward this feat in order to speed up the kernel's boot process for hardware/drivers that are slow at probing.

Dmitry Torokhov and other developers are working toward making the driver probe() method asynchronous since the kernel boot process can be stalled by drivers that are slow at probing.

Dmitry put out eight patches on Friday based on the work done by Chrome OS in this area along by another developer who published some patches a few months ago. Dmitry also has an experimental patch for a fully-asynchronous boot process, but it will likely cause problems for most systems although he got a Rockchip-based system booted to user-space in the fully asynchronous manner.

Those wanting more details on this work can see the patch series. Hopefully these patches or other async probing work will make it to the mainline Linux kernel in the near term.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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