Extending hotplug on Debian, SLES 9, and RHAS 4


Article from Issue 71/2006

Debian hotplug is designed for little more than loading drivers and configuring devices. The collection of scripts discussed in this article helps Linux to respond when a network cable is plugged in or when a cellphone is in the vicinity. Read on for more on how to define custom hotplug events.

On Debian Sage, Suse Enterprise Linux 9, Red Hat Advanced Server 4, and older systems, the hotplug daemon is the central contact point for all device events. However, the daemon does little more than load drivers for new devices – even the simple task of responding when a network cable is plugged or unplugged is too much for the implementation used by these distributions. It is hard to understand why the built-in hotplug configuration is so limited; after all, kernel hotplugging is easily capable of performing a fully automated backup on a USB stick plugged in by a user, or updating the MP3 collection on a cellphone in the vicinity, using a few simple scripts. This article describes some tricks and scripts you can use to extend the hotplug system.

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