Appendix A. General Parameters and Modules

This appendix is provided to illustrate some of the possible parameters that may be needed by certain drivers[1] for particular hardware devices. In most cases, these additional parameters are unnecessary, since the kernel may already be able to use the device without them. You should only use the settings provided in this appendix if you are having trouble getting Red Hat Linux to use a particular device or you need to override the system's default parameters for the device.

During the installation of Red Hat Linux, some limits are placed on file systems and particular device drivers supported by the kernel. After installation, however, support exists for all file systems available under Linux. At the time of installation, the modularized kernel has support for (E)IDE devices (including ATAPI CD-ROM drives), SCSI adapters, and network cards.


Because Red Hat Linux supports installation on many different types of hardware, some drivers (including those for SCSI adapters, network cards, and many CD-ROMs) are not built into the Linux kernel used by the installation program. Rather, they are available as modules and are loaded as you need them during the installation process. If necessary, you will have the chance to specify options for these modules when they are loaded from the driver disk.

To specify module parameters when a driver is loaded, type linux expert at the boot: prompt and insert the driver disk when prompted to do so by the installation program. After reading the driver disk, the installation program will ask you to select the type of device you are configuring. On that screen, you can elect to specify a module parameter. Then, the installation program will display a screen where you can type the correct parameters based on the particular type of device you are configuring.

After the installation is complete, you may want to rebuild a kernel that includes support for your specific hardware configuration. Note that in most cases, a custom-built kernel is not necessary. See the Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide for more information about rebuilding your kernel.

Specifying Module Parameters

If you are providing parameters upon loading a module, you can usually specify them using one of two different methods:


Only use one method, and not both, when loading a module with particular parameters.


When a parameter has commas, make sure you do not put a space after a comma.



A driver is software enabling your system to use a particular hardware device. Without the driver, the kernel may not know how to correctly utilize the device.