Linux 5.19 To Help With Reporting A Connected Device's Physical Location

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 1 May 2022 at 08:06 AM EDT. 7 Comments
Being added to the Linux kernel's driver core code is sysfs support for reporting a physical location of a device on the connected system/server. In particular for large systems and servers with many connected devices and where there may be multiple devices of the same type/model, this physical relative location reporting to user-space should make it easier to distinguish.

Google engineer Won Chung contributed the sysfs support for physical location reporting of a given device. This code is queued up as part of the driver-core's "-next" branch ahead of the Linux 5.19 kernel. The physical location information is exposed under /sys/devices/.../physical_location for supported devices. Within the physical_location folder is then attributes such as which panel surface if relevant that the device is connected to, its vertical position, its horizontal position, whether connected to a dock, and if found on a lid of a laptop.

This physical location information with the pending Linux patches is populated based on ACPI _PLD data. The ACPI "_PLD" objects contain physical location description data. Various devices already support ACPI _PLD and this driver core patch is about in turn easily exposing it now under Linux to user-space via sysfs. ACPI PLD can expose more information while for this initial patch series it was kept to "minimal generic fields" allowing it to more easily support non-ACPI devices in the future.

See more details with this patch in driver-core-next ahead of Linux 5.19. This may be of great use for servers, systems with many devices attached, test farms having many devices connected for regression testing and other purposes, etc for more easily confirming/finding the physical location of a connected device.
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