[PARPORT] BETA test, new ppSCSI drivers

Sun, 13 Jun 1999 13:31:40 -0400 (EDT)

At last !!!

I'm happy to announce the first public BETA-test of the ppSCSI suite
of drivers for parallel port SCSI adapters. This test does not
yet include all the adapters on which I have been working, but it does
contain the two for which most people have been clammering.

What's in this ? At ftp://ftp.torque.net/pub/ppSCSI-0.90.patch you will
find a patch against the 2.2.9 kernel source tree that adds 4 modules to
the kernel. (The drivers must be built as modules at this time.) The
patches should apply to any 2.2 kernel, although you may have to apply
the patch to proc_fs.h by hand.

The modules included are:

        ppscsi -- a library module that provides all the core
                    functionality of the ppSCSI suite

        t348 -- a protocol module for the Adaptec/Trantor
                    mini-SCSI plus adapter (T348 / APA-348).

        epst -- a protocol module for the Shuttle EPST adapter
                    (also known as the Adaptec APA-1350). This is the
                    adapter used in various HP and SyQuest devices.

        onscsi -- a protocol module for the OnSpec 90c26 in its
                    SCSI mode. This adapter is marketed under several
                    labels including "Rancho" and "Part II", and is
                    included in several parallel port scanners.

I have tested these modules with a variety of devices on 2.2.9 systems
in both UP and SMP configurations. (There may still be some issues on
SMP systems.) The devices have included tapes, CD-ROMs, disks, and
scanners. In particular, the HP-5200C parallel port scanner and the
Microtek ScanMaker v310 have been tested with the epst and onscsi modules,
respectively, using the SANE tools.

To try this stuff out, you'll need to get the patch and apply it to
your 2.2.9 source tree, rerun 'make config' (or 'make oldconfig') and
build the modules. ppSCSI will work with or without parport support.
Once the modules are built, make sure you have scsi_mod loaded, and
whichever high-level drivers you need. Load ppscsi and finally one of
the protocol modules. Assuming you have an appropriate adapter connected
to one of your parallel ports, and that your SCSI bus is powering the
adapter, you should see the standard SCSI messages within a few seconds.

I'm going to assume that you are familiar with the Linux SCSI system and
have a rough idea of how to proceed past this point.

If you just want to try out the HP scanner support, the steps would be
something like:

        insmod scsi_mod
        insmod sg
        insmod ppscsi
        insmod epst

        scanimage -d hp:/dev/sg0 --mode Color > hpscan

NB: If you do this under X don't be surprised if your system freezes for
the duration of the scan. That's the downside of parallel port devices.

While these devices will all work in SPP mode, I _strongly_ advise you
not to try to scan in anything other than EPP mode.

The protocol modules accept several parameters. They are documented in the
comments at the beginning of ppscsi.c. The most important one is the
"verbose" option. Specifying verbose=N will allow various messages to be
logged to your console and/or kernel log. verbose=1 will enable progress
reporting as the driver probes for adapters. verbose=2 enables tracing of
the SCSI commands, 3 enables basic debugging and 4 gives full debugging
messages. Be warned, verbose=4 can produce enormous logs.

The "verbose" level, and several other parameters, can be changed by
writing to files in the /proc/scsi tree. For instance, if you have
a single epst adapter, it can be controlled through /proc/scsi/epst/0 .

        echo verbose=2 > /proc/scsi/epst/0

will enable basic debugging, for instance. The /proc/scsi files can also
be read to display parameters and statistics. (The level of detail displayed
depends on the verbose level.)

Other protocol modules are in different stages of development. Included are
the Adaptec/Trantor APA-358/T358, the Belkin F5B001, the Shining/LinkSys
SparSCSI/paraSCSI plus and the Shuttle EPSA-2.

Finally, please remember that testing any device driver has the potential
to do serious damage to your file system. Make sure you take the necessary
precautions before trying out the new drivers. Don't use one of these
drivers to access the SCSI disk with the only copy of your thesis !

Grant R. Guenther grant@torque.net

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