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This is interesting, Robby. You're correct that I probably removed it because it says that it's deprecated and all module information should be placed in /etc/modprobe.d/.
I re-installed module-init-tools*.tgz and it put that short version of /etc/modprobe.conf back, along with a working link in /etc/modprobe.d/. I am sure that now the warning will not appear when I next reboot the notebook.
However, why is a non-functional /etc/modprobe.conf included if it has been deprecated with the 2.6.x kernels and no longer used?
Rather than retype it, I'm going to post a message that I wrote in response to a similar question on a mailing list:
> Havinge recently upgraded to slackware 12, I notice there is no
> modules.conf file, please forgive me if this has been discussed before,
> but I'm curous as to why? I realise that it was empty on a stock
> slackware install but it was a good place to edit some of the kernel
> options such as disabling net protocols with entries such as:
> alias net-pf-4 off # IPX
> is this still acceptable practice and if not what is the correct
> procedure? Thanks in advance.
/etc/modules.conf was the file to place module load parameters when
using the old modutils (for 2.4.x kernels). For 2.6.x kernels,
module loading is handled by the module-init-tools package, which
looks at the contents of /etc/modprobe.conf and then each file in
the /etc/modprobe.d/ directory.
*HOWEVER* -- *READ* *THIS* :-)
The usage of /etc/modprobe.conf is indeed deprecated and will be
phased out at some point in the future - I personally have confirmed
this with Jon Masters, the module-init-tools maintainer. As such,
Slackware's module-init-tools package includes a two line patch to
modprobe.c which reverses the checking order to look at the contents
of /etc/modprobe.d/ before /etc/modprobe.conf - this is to help ease
everyone into the transition. To further ease the process, you'll
notice that /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf is a symlink to the actual
/etc/modprobe.conf file, so anyone still using the "old" location will
not notice any problems :-)
With all that said, you can put module load options into a custom file
(or files) in /etc/modprobe.d/ -- there are very few restrictions on
the filenames that are looked at, and I don't happen to recall them
at the moment, but you might look at how -current is doing it right
now: there's 'blacklist' for blacklisting modules (preventing them
from being automatically loaded) , there's 'isapnp' to define some
common isapnp aliases, there's 'psmouse' to make the psmouse module
load with the imps protocol by default, and so on. You could follow
this convention and use a file called 'aliases' or 'net-pf' or pretty
much whatever you want.
 There were quite a few problems with 12.0 during its development
with the pcspkr module being loaded even though it was commented
out in rc.modules and blacklisted in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist -
it turns out that it was due to the isapnp alias for it; the
blacklist was being ignored for module aliases. This was one of
many fixes that went into the new module-init-tools 3.4 that's in
By the way, if you don't want the /etc/modprobe.conf file there (as it's not needed), that's okay -- you just have to remove the (now-broken) symlink to it in /etc/modprobe.d/
Otherwise, module-init-tools will look at the symlink, but the file it points to doesn't exist, so you get that warning message.