10.10. xxx_isa_detach

If this function is present in the driver and the driver is compiled as a loadable module then the driver gets the ability to be unloaded. This is an important feature if the hardware supports hot plug. But the ISA bus does not support hot plug, so this feature is not particularly important for the ISA devices. The ability to unload a driver may be useful when debugging it, but in many cases installation of the new version of the driver would be required only after the old version somehow wedges the system and a reboot will be needed anyway, so the efforts spent on writing the detach routine may not be worth it. Another argument that unloading would allow upgrading the drivers on a production machine seems to be mostly theoretical. Installing a new version of a driver is a dangerous operation which should never be performed on a production machine (and which is not permitted when the system is running in secure mode). Still, the detach routine may be provided for the sake of completeness.

The detach routine returns 0 if the driver was successfully detached or the error code otherwise.

The logic of detach is a mirror of the attach. The first thing to do is to detach the driver from its kernel subsystem. If the device is currently open then the driver has two choices: refuse to be detached or forcibly close and proceed with detach. The choice used depends on the ability of the particular kernel subsystem to do a forced close and on the preferences of the driver's author. Generally the forced close seems to be the preferred alternative.

          struct xxx_softc *sc = device_get_softc(dev);
          int error;

          error = xxx_detach_subsystem(sc);
          if(error)
              return error;

Next the driver may want to reset the hardware to some consistent state. That includes stopping any ongoing transfers, disabling the DMA channels and interrupts to avoid memory corruption by the device. For most of the drivers this is exactly what the shutdown routine does, so if it is included in the driver we can just call it.

xxx_isa_shutdown(dev);

And finally release all the resources and return success.

          xxx_free_resources(sc);
          return 0;

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