ndiscvt man page on FreeBSD

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NDISCVT(8)		  BSD System Manager's Manual		    NDISCVT(8)

NAME
     ndiscvt — convert Windows® NDIS drivers for use with FreeBSD

SYNOPSIS
     ndiscvt [-O] [-i inffile] -s sysfile [-n devname] [-o outfile]
     ndiscvt [-f firmfile]

DESCRIPTION
     The ndiscvt utility transforms a Windows® NDIS driver into a data file
     which is used to build an ndis(4) compatibility driver module.  Windows®
     drivers consist of two main parts: a .SYS file, which contains the actual
     driver executable code, and an .INF file, which provides the Windows® in‐
     staller with device identifier information and a list of driver-specific
     registry keys.  The ndiscvt utility can convert these files into a header
     file that is compiled into if_ndis.c to create an object code module that
     can be linked into the FreeBSD kernel.

     The .INF file is typically required since only it contains device identi‐
     fication data such as PCI vendor and device IDs or PCMCIA identifier
     strings.  The .INF file may be optionally omitted however, in which case
     the ndiscvt utility will only perform the conversion of the .SYS file.
     This is useful for debugging purposes only.

OPTIONS
     The options are as follows:

     -i inffile
	     Open and parse the specified .INF file when performing conver‐
	     sion.  The ndiscvt utility will parse this file and emit a device
	     identification structure and registry key configuration struc‐
	     tures which will be used by the ndis(4) driver and ndisapi(9)
	     kernel subsystem.	If this is omitted, ndiscvt will emit a dummy
	     configuration structure only.

     -s sysfile
	     Open and parse the specified .SYS file.  This file must contain a
	     Windows® driver image.  The ndiscvt utility will perform some
	     manipulation of the sections within the executable file to make
	     runtime linking within the kernel a little easier and then con‐
	     vert the image into a data array.

     -n devname
	     Specify an alternate name for the network device/interface which
	     will be created when the driver is instantiated.  If you need to
	     load more than one NDIS driver into your system (i.e., if you
	     have two different network cards in your system which require
	     NDIS driver support), each module you create must have a unique
	     name.  Device can not be larger than IFNAMSIZ.  If no name is
	     specified, the driver will use the default a default name
	     (“ndis”).

     -o outfile
	     Specify the output file in which to place the resulting data.
	     This can be any file pathname.  If outfile is a single dash
	     (‘-’), the data will be written to the standard output.  The
	     if_ndis.c module expects to find the driver data in a file called
	     ndis_driver_data.h, so it is recommended that this name be used.

     -O	     Generate both an ndis_driver_data.h file and an
	     ndis_driver.data.o file.  The latter file will contain a copy of
	     the Windows® .SYS driver image encoded as a FreeBSD ELF object
	     file (created with objcopy(1)).  Turning the Windows® driver
	     image directly into an object code file saves disk space and com‐
	     pilation time.

     -f firmfile
	     A few NDIS drivers come with additional files that the core
	     driver module will load during initialization time.  Typically,
	     these files contain firmware which the driver will transfer to
	     the device in order to make it fully operational.	In Windows®,
	     these files are usually just copied into one of the system direc‐
	     tories along with the driver itself.

	     In FreeBSD there are two mechanism for loading these files.  If
	     the driver is built as a loadable kernel module which is loaded
	     after the kernel has finished booting (and after the root file
	     system has been mounted), the extra files can simply be copied to
	     the /compat/ndis directory, and they will be loaded into the ker‐
	     nel on demand when the the driver needs them.

	     If however the driver is required to bootstrap the system (i.e.,
	     if the NDIS-based network interface is to be used for disk‐
	     less/PXE booting), the files need to be pre-loaded by the boot‐
	     strap loader in order to be accessible, since the driver will
	     need them before the root file system has been mounted.  However,
	     the bootstrap loader is only able to load files that are shared
	     FreeBSD binary objects.

	     The -f flag can be used to convert an arbitrary file firmfile
	     into shared object format (the actual conversion is done using
	     the objcopy(1) and ld(1) commands).  The resulting files can then
	     be copied to the /boot/kernel directory, and can be pre-loaded
	     directly from the boot loader prompt, or automatically by editing
	     the loader.conf(5) file.  If desired, the files can also be
	     loaded into memory at runtime using the kldload(8) command.

	     When an NDIS driver tries to open an external file, the
	     ndisapi(9) code will first search for a loaded kernel module that
	     matches the name specified in the open request, and if that
	     fails, it will then try to open the file from the /compat/ndis
	     directory as well.	 Note that during kernel bootstrap, the abil‐
	     ity to open files from /compat/ndis is disabled: only the module
	     search will be performed.

	     When using the -f flag, ndiscvt will generate both a relocatable
	     object file (with a .o extension) and a shared object file (with
	     a .ko extension).	The shared object is the one that should be
	     placed in the /boot/kernel directory.  The relocatable object
	     file is useful if the user wishes to create a completely static
	     kernel image: the object file can be linked into the kernel
	     directly along with the driver itself.  Some editing of the ker‐
	     nel configuration files will be necessary in order to have the
	     extra object included in the build.

SEE ALSO
     ld(1), objcopy(1), ndis(4), kldload(8)

HISTORY
     The ndiscvt utility first appeared in FreeBSD 5.3.

AUTHORS
     The ndiscvt utility was written by Bill Paul ⟨wpaul@windriver.com⟩.  The
     lex(1) and yacc(1) INF file parser was written by Matthew Dodd
     ⟨mdodd@FreeBSD.org⟩.

BSD			       December 10, 2003			   BSD
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