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Just a question: what programs (in -current) need hal installed?
As a try, I disabled the service at startup, and found no problems in my system (but I don't have scanners or some strange hw requirements).
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HAL is a piece of software that provides a view of the various hardware attached to a system. HAL keeps detailed metadata for each piece of hardware and provides hooks so that system and desktop software can react to changes in the hardware configuration (such as the insertion of a DVD, or a USB flash memory stick).
It basically, as previously stated, handles 3rd party drivers, utilities, and attached devices. Without it non-kernel device drivers will not function (why you didn't have support for scanners, printers, etc.) and attached devices will not be useable even if the driver is loaded.
It's still useful, and even used, even if it seems at times it has no usage, and isn't even being used by the system.
Yes but as willysr said there are still programs that need it, because
a) they are not backward compatible with HAL
b) developers have rightly become sceptical of switching to the latest shineys out of RedHat and FreeDesktop.org, as inevitably they will be abandoned and not maintained in the long term
c) it's spelled superseded.
Last edited by Eternal_Newbie; 06-06-2012 at 07:09 AM.
DeviceKit hasn't fully replaced HAL, yet. It's not totally ready to be Pastured yet, but it's close. The webpage for DeviceKit even states the replacement is inevitable, but it's still far from being completely able to do so.
Parts of X still use it for hotplugging input devices, USB storage devices still use it, some video devices rely on it for enumeration, and various projects use the developer libraries of it to access the system.
Sending a project to Pasture isn't an easy cut and dry process. Projects have to remove dependencies for it, and all functionality must be effectively replaced. In short, the project's inclusion into the distribution must be 100% stand-alone and optional to all components and projects within the distribution. Even then this must be tested, retested, and analyzed on numerous levels to ensure that NOTHING uses it in anyway, and it's replacement performs 100% of the required functions of the project being replaced.
Sometimes hal seems to crash/stop on my system. When I plug in a mp3 player and if fails to mount properly...when I launch k3b or xfburn and it reports no optical device found...then I (re)start hal and everything works again.