The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, September 04, 2000

“Oh, so that's what I did wrong … ”

I spent Labor Day with John the paper millionaire of a dotcom. He wanted to work some more on the reverse engineering project we started yesturday.

Today's goal was installing the IPX drivers on his Linux box, which turned into a long and arduous venture.

Normally, I don't run modular Linux kernels—aside from the security issues they bring up—they're not the most elegant thing under Linux (heck, if it wasn't in Unix V6 it's a horrible kludge that doesn't integrate well in Unix, such as threads, file locking, removable media and installable drivers at either boot or runtime but I digress … ) and a bit of a pain to use.

I initially tried:

# cd /lib/modules/2.2.14-0.5smp/misc
# insmod ipx.o

but that didn't work. Too many errors. So we then spent the next few hours trying to recompile the Linux kernel to support IPX and none of the kernels would boot (they all failed trying to mount the root filesystem from the SCSI drive).

By this time Mark arrived and after mucking about for another hour, tried:

# insmod ipx

That worked.

insmod ipx.o didn't, yet insmod ipx did. I've done the insmod module.o and it's worked when I've done it (okay, mostly under a 2.0 kernel) yet apparently there is magic done when you don't specify the .o extension.

And Linux zealots wonder why Windows is so popular …

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