path: root/Documentation/acpi
diff options
authorMarkus Gaugusch <>2008-02-05 00:04:06 +0100
committerLen Brown <>2008-02-06 22:07:41 -0500
commit71fc47a9adf8ee89e5c96a47222915c5485ac437 (patch)
treea2eaefbb703dde933a9726eae7e6399761d40136 /Documentation/acpi
parent488b5ec871191359b9b79262a3d48456dae7ea5f (diff)
ACPI: basic initramfs DSDT override support
The basics of DSDT from initramfs. In case this option is selected, populate_rootfs() is called a bit earlier to have the initramfs content available during ACPI initialization. This is a very similar path to the one available at but with some update in the documentation, default set to No and the change of populate_rootfs() the "Jeff Mahony way" (which avoids reading the initramfs twice). Signed-off-by: Thomas Renninger <> Signed-off-by: Eric Piel <> Signed-off-by: Len Brown <>
Diffstat (limited to 'Documentation/acpi')
1 files changed, 99 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/acpi/dsdt-initrd.txt b/Documentation/acpi/dsdt-initrd.txt
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..736043359dfb
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+++ b/Documentation/acpi/dsdt-initrd.txt
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+ACPI Custom DSDT read from initramfs
+2003 by Markus Gaugusch < dsdt at gaugusch dot at >
+Special thanks go to Thomas Renninger from SuSE, who updated the patch for
+2.6.0 and later modified it to read inside initramfs
+2004 - 2008 maintained by Eric Piel < eric dot piel at tremplin-utc dot net >
+This option is intended for people who would like to hack their DSDT and don't
+want to recompile their kernel after every change. It can also be useful to
+distros which offers pre-compiled kernels and want to allow their users to use
+a modified DSDT. In the Kernel config, enable the initial RAM filesystem
+support (in General Setup) and enable ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT_INITRD at the ACPI
+options (General Setup|ACPI Support|Read Custom DSDT from initramfs).
+A custom DSDT (Differentiated System Description Table) is useful when your
+computer uses ACPI but problems occur due to broken implementation. Typically,
+your computer works but there are some troubles with the hardware detection or
+the power management. You can check that troubles come from errors in the DSDT by
+activating the ACPI debug option and reading the logs. This table is provided
+by the BIOS, therefore it might be a good idea to check for BIOS update on your
+vendor website before going any further. Errors are often caused by vendors
+testing their hardware only with Windows or because there is code which is
+executed only on a specific OS with a specific version and Linux hasn't been
+considered during the development.
+Before you run away from customising your DSDT, you should note that already
+corrected tables are available for a fair amount of computers on this web-page:
+ . Be careful though, to work correctly a DSDT has to
+match closely the hardware, including the amount of RAM, the frequency of the
+processor and the PCI cards present! If you are part of the unluckies who
+cannot find their hardware in this database, you can modify your DSDT by
+yourself. This process is less painful than it sounds. Download the Intel ASL
+compiler/decompiler at .
+As root, you then have to dump your DSDT and decompile it. By using the
+compiler messages as well as the kernel ACPI debug messages and the reference
+book (available at the Intel website and also at, it is
+quite easy to obtain a fully working table.
+Once your new DSDT is ready you'll have to add it to an initramfs so that the
+kernel can read the table at the very beginning of the boot. As the file has to
+be accessed very early during the boot process the initramfs has to be an
+initramfs. The file is contained into the initramfs under the name /DSDT.aml .
+To obtain such an initramfs, you might have to modify your initramfs script or
+you can add it later to the initramfs with the script appended to this
+document. The command will look like:
+initramfs-add-dsdt initramfs.img my-dsdt.aml
+In case you don't use any initramfs, the possibilities you have are to either
+start using one (try mkinitrd or yaird), or use the "Include Custom DSDT"
+configure option to directly include your DSDT inside the kernel.
+The message "Looking for DSDT in initramfs..." will tell you if the DSDT was
+found or not. If you need to update your DSDT, generate a new initramfs and
+perform the steps above. Don't forget that with Lilo, you'll have to re-run it.
+====================== Here starts initramfs-add-dsdt ==========================
+# Adds a DSDT file to the initrd (if it's an initramfs)
+# first argument is the name of archive
+# second argument is the name of the file to add
+# The file will be copied as /DSDT.aml
+# 20060126: fix "Premature end of file" with some old cpio (Roland Robic)
+# 20060205: this time it should really work
+# check the arguments
+if [ $# -ne 2 ]; then
+ program_name=$(basename $0)
+ echo "\
+$program_name: too few arguments
+Usage: $program_name initrd-name.img DSDT-to-add.aml
+Adds a DSDT file to an initrd (in initramfs format)
+ initrd-name.img: filename of the initrd in initramfs format
+ DSDT-to-add.aml: filename of the DSDT file to add
+ " 1>&2
+ exit 1
+# we should check it's an initramfs
+tempcpio=$(mktemp -d)
+# cleanup on exit, hangup, interrupt, quit, termination
+trap 'rm -rf $tempcpio' 0 1 2 3 15
+# extract the archive
+gunzip -c "$1" > "$tempcpio"/initramfs.cpio || exit 1
+# copy the DSDT file at the root of the directory so that we can call it "/DSDT.aml"
+cp -f "$2" "$tempcpio"/DSDT.aml
+# add the file
+cd "$tempcpio"
+(echo DSDT.aml | cpio --quiet -H newc -o -A -O "$tempcpio"/initramfs.cpio) || exit 1
+cd "$OLDPWD"
+# re-compress the archive
+gzip -c "$tempcpio"/initramfs.cpio > "$1"