|author||Johannes Berg <email@example.com>||2009-06-15 15:36:38 +0200|
|committer||John W. Linville <firstname.lastname@example.org>||2009-06-15 15:05:58 -0400|
rfkill: improve docs
Now that the dust has settled a bit, improve the docs on rfkill and include more information about /dev/rfkill. Signed-off-by: Johannes Berg <email@example.com> Signed-off-by: John W. Linville <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1 files changed, 69 insertions, 68 deletions
diff --git a/Documentation/rfkill.txt b/Documentation/rfkill.txt
index 1b74b5f30af..c8acd8659e9 100644
@@ -3,9 +3,8 @@ rfkill - RF kill switch support
2. Implementation details
-3. Kernel driver guidelines
-4. Kernel API
-5. Userspace support
+3. Kernel API
+4. Userspace support
@@ -19,82 +18,62 @@ disable all transmitters of a certain type (or all). This is intended for
situations where transmitters need to be turned off, for example on
+The rfkill subsystem has a concept of "hard" and "soft" block, which
+differ little in their meaning (block == transmitters off) but rather in
+whether they can be changed or not:
+ - hard block: read-only radio block that cannot be overriden by software
+ - soft block: writable radio block (need not be readable) that is set by
+ the system software.
2. Implementation details
-The rfkill subsystem is composed of various components: the rfkill class, the
-rfkill-input module (an input layer handler), and some specific input layer
-The rfkill class is provided for kernel drivers to register their radio
-transmitter with the kernel, provide methods for turning it on and off and,
-optionally, letting the system know about hardware-disabled states that may
-be implemented on the device. This code is enabled with the CONFIG_RFKILL
-Kconfig option, which drivers can "select".
-The rfkill class code also notifies userspace of state changes, this is
-achieved via uevents. It also provides some sysfs files for userspace to
-check the status of radio transmitters. See the "Userspace support" section
+The rfkill subsystem is composed of three main components:
+ * the rfkill core,
+ * the deprecated rfkill-input module (an input layer handler, being
+ replaced by userspace policy code) and
+ * the rfkill drivers.
+The rfkill core provides API for kernel drivers to register their radio
+transmitter with the kernel, methods for turning it on and off and, letting
+the system know about hardware-disabled states that may be implemented on
-The rfkill-input code implements a basic response to rfkill buttons -- it
-implements turning on/off all devices of a certain class (or all).
+The rfkill core code also notifies userspace of state changes, and provides
+ways for userspace to query the current states. See the "Userspace support"
When the device is hard-blocked (either by a call to rfkill_set_hw_state()
-or from query_hw_block) set_block() will be invoked but drivers can well
-ignore the method call since they can use the return value of the function
-rfkill_set_hw_state() to sync the software state instead of keeping track
-of calls to set_block().
-The entire functionality is spread over more than one subsystem:
- * The kernel input layer generates KEY_WWAN, KEY_WLAN etc. and
- SW_RFKILL_ALL -- when the user presses a button. Drivers for radio
- transmitters generally do not register to the input layer, unless the
- device really provides an input device (i.e. a button that has no
- effect other than generating a button press event)
- * The rfkill-input code hooks up to these events and switches the soft-block
- of the various radio transmitters, depending on the button type.
- * The rfkill drivers turn off/on their transmitters as requested.
- * The rfkill class will generate userspace notifications (uevents) to tell
- userspace what the current state is.
+or from query_hw_block) set_block() will be invoked for additional software
+block, but drivers can ignore the method call since they can use the return
+value of the function rfkill_set_hw_state() to sync the software state
+instead of keeping track of calls to set_block(). In fact, drivers should
+use the return value of rfkill_set_hw_state() unless the hardware actually
+keeps track of soft and hard block separately.
+3. Kernel API
-3. Kernel driver guidelines
-Drivers for radio transmitters normally implement only the rfkill class.
-These drivers may not unblock the transmitter based on own decisions, they
-should act on information provided by the rfkill class only.
+Drivers for radio transmitters normally implement an rfkill driver.
Platform drivers might implement input devices if the rfkill button is just
that, a button. If that button influences the hardware then you need to
-implement an rfkill class instead. This also applies if the platform provides
+implement an rfkill driver instead. This also applies if the platform provides
a way to turn on/off the transmitter(s).
-During suspend/hibernation, transmitters should only be left enabled when
-wake-on wlan or similar functionality requires it and the device wasn't
-blocked before suspend/hibernate. Note that it may be necessary to update
-the rfkill subsystem's idea of what the current state is at resume time if
-the state may have changed over suspend.
+For some platforms, it is possible that the hardware state changes during
+suspend/hibernation, in which case it will be necessary to update the rfkill
+core with the current state is at resume time.
+To create an rfkill driver, driver's Kconfig needs to have
-4. Kernel API
+ depends on RFKILL || !RFKILL
-To build a driver with rfkill subsystem support, the driver should depend on
-(or select) the Kconfig symbol RFKILL.
-The hardware the driver talks to may be write-only (where the current state
-of the hardware is unknown), or read-write (where the hardware can be queried
-about its current state).
+to ensure the driver cannot be built-in when rfkill is modular. The !RFKILL
+case allows the driver to be built when rfkill is not configured, which which
+case all rfkill API can still be used but will be provided by static inlines
+which compile to almost nothing.
Calling rfkill_set_hw_state() when a state change happens is required from
rfkill drivers that control devices that can be hard-blocked unless they also
@@ -105,10 +84,33 @@ device). Don't do this unless you cannot get the event in any other way.
5. Userspace support
-The following sysfs entries exist for every rfkill device:
+The recommended userspace interface to use is /dev/rfkill, which is a misc
+character device that allows userspace to obtain and set the state of rfkill
+devices and sets of devices. It also notifies userspace about device addition
+and removal. The API is a simple read/write API that is defined in
+linux/rfkill.h, with one ioctl that allows turning off the deprecated input
+handler in the kernel for the transition period.
+Except for the one ioctl, communication with the kernel is done via read()
+and write() of instances of 'struct rfkill_event'. In this structure, the
+soft and hard block are properly separated (unlike sysfs, see below) and
+userspace is able to get a consistent snapshot of all rfkill devices in the
+system. Also, it is possible to switch all rfkill drivers (or all drivers of
+a specified type) into a state which also updates the default state for
+After an application opens /dev/rfkill, it can read the current state of
+all devices, and afterwards can poll the descriptor for hotplug or state
+Applications must ignore operations (the "op" field) they do not handle,
+this allows the API to be extended in the future.
+Additionally, each rfkill device is registered in sysfs and there has the
name: Name assigned by driver to this key (interface or driver name).
- type: Name of the key type ("wlan", "bluetooth", etc).
+ type: Driver type string ("wlan", "bluetooth", etc).
state: Current state of the transmitter
transmitter is turned off by software
@@ -117,7 +119,12 @@ The following sysfs entries exist for every rfkill device:
transmitter is forced off by something outside of
the driver's control.
- claim: 0: Kernel handles events (currently always reads that value)
+ This file is deprecated because it can only properly show
+ three of the four possible states, soft-and-hard-blocked is
+ claim: 0: Kernel handles events
+ This file is deprecated because there no longer is a way to
+ claim just control over a single rfkill instance.
rfkill devices also issue uevents (with an action of "change"), with the
following environment variables set:
@@ -128,9 +135,3 @@ RFKILL_TYPE
The contents of these variables corresponds to the "name", "state" and
"type" sysfs files explained above.
-An alternative userspace interface exists as a misc device /dev/rfkill,
-which allows userspace to obtain and set the state of rfkill devices and
-sets of devices. It also notifies userspace about device addition and
-removal. The API is a simple read/write API that is defined in