LinuxPlanet: New HOWTO: Plug-and-Play-HOWTOApr 26, 2001, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David S. Lawyer)
"Plug-and-play (PnP) is a system which automatically detects PC devices such as disks, sound cards, ethernet cards, modems, etc. It also does some low-level configuring of them. To be detected by PnP, the device must be designed for PnP. Non-PnP devices (or PnP devices which have been correctly PnP-configured), can often be detected by non-PnP methods."
"While the Linux kernel has no centralized plug-and-play system, it does provide programs which various device drivers can use to do their own plug-and-play. Many drivers take advantage of this and find your PnP devices OK. The BIOS hardware of your PC likely may also do some plug-and-play work. Thus if everything works OK PnP-wise, you can use your computer without needing to know anything about plug-and-play. But if some devices which are supported by Linux don't work (because they not discovered or configured correctly by PnP) then you may need to read some of this HOWTO. You'll learn not only about PnP but also something about how communication takes place inside the computer."
"In this document I mention so many things that can go wrong that one who believes in Murphy's Law (If something can go wrong it will) may become quite alarmed. But for PnP for most people: If something can go wrong it usually doesn't. Remember that sometimes problems which seem to be PnP related are actually due to defective hardware or to hardware that doesn't conform to PnP specs."