MODPROBE(8)                                                        MODPROBE(8)

NAME
modprobe – program to add and remove modules from the Linux Kernel

SYNOPSIS
modprobe [ -v ] [ -V ] [ -C config-file ] [ -n ] [ -i ] [ -q ] [ -o modulename ] [ modulename ] [ module param-
eters … ]

modprobe [ -r ] [ -v ] [ -n ] [ -i ] [ modulename … ]

modprobe [ -l ] [ -t dirname ] [ wildcard ]

modprobe [ -c ]

DESCRIPTION

modprobe intelligently adds or removes a module from the Linux kernel: note that for convenience, there  is  no
difference between _ and – in module names.  modprobe looks in the module directory /lib/modules/‘uname -r‘ for
all the modules and other files, except for the optional /etc/modprobe.conf configuration  file  and  /etc/mod-
probe.d directory (see modprobe.conf(5)).

Note that this version of modprobe does not do anything to the module itself: the work of resolving symbols and
understanding parameters is done inside the kernel.  So module failure is sometimes  accompanied  by  a  kernel
message: see dmesg(8).

modprobe  expects an up-to-date modules.dep file, as generated by depmod (see depmod(8)).  This file lists what
other modules each module needs (if any), and modprobe uses this to add or remove these dependencies  automati-
cally.  See modules.dep(5)).

If  any  arguments  are  given  after the modulename, they are passed to the kernel (in addition to any options
listed in the configuration file).

OPTIONS
-v –verbose
Print messages about what the program is doing.  Usually modprobe only prints messages if something goes
wrong.

This  option  is  passed  through  install  or  remove  commands  to other modprobe commands in the MOD-
PROBE_OPTIONS environment variable.

-C –config
This option overrides the default configuration file (/etc/modprobe.conf  or  /etc/modprobe.d/  if  that
isn’t found).

This  option  is  passed  through  install  or  remove  commands  to other modprobe commands in the MOD-
PROBE_OPTIONS environment variable.

-c –showconfig
Dump out the configuration file and exit.

-n –dry-run
This option does everything but actually insert or delete the modules (or run the install or remove com-
mands).  Combined with -v, it is useful for debugging problems.

-i –ignore-install –ignore-remove
This  option  causes  modprobe to ignore install and remove commands in the configuration file (if any),
for the module on the command line (any dependent modules are still subject to commands set for them  in
the configuration file).  See modprobe.conf(5).

-q –quiet
Normally  modprobe will report an error if you try to remove or insert a module it can’t find (and isn’t
an alias or install/remove command).  With this flag, modprobe will simply ignore any bogus  names  (the
kernel uses this to opportunistically probe for modules which might exist).

-r –remove
This  option  causes  modprobe to remove, rather than insert a module.  If the modules it depends on are
also unused, modprobe will try to remove them, too.  Unlike insertion, more than one module can be spec-
ified on the command line (it does not make sense to specify module parameters when removing modules).

There  is  usually  no reason to remove modules, but some buggy modules require it.  Your kernel may not
support removal of modules.

-V –version
Show version of program, and exit.  See below for caveats when run on older kernels.

-f –force
Try to strip any versioning information from the module, which might otherwise  stop  it  from  loading:
this  is  the  same  as using both –force-vermagic and –force-modversion.  Naturally, these checks are
there for your protection, so using this option is dangerous.

This applies to any modules inserted: both the module (or alias) on the command line, and any modules it
depends on.

–force-vermagic
Every  module  contains a small string containing important information, such as the kernel and compiler
versions.  If a module fails to load and the kernel complains that the “version  magic”  doesn’t  match,
you can use this option to remove it.  Naturally, this check is there for your protection, so this using
option is dangerous.

This applies to any modules inserted: both the module (or alias) on the command line, and any modules it
depends on.

–force-modversion
When  modules  are  compiled with CONFIG_MODVERSIONS set, a section is created detailing the versions of
every interface used by (or supplied by) the module.  If a module fails to load and the kernel complains
that  the module disagrees about a version of some interface, you can use “–force-modversion” to remove
the version information altogether.  Naturally, this check is there for your protection, so  using  this
option is dangerous.

This  applies  any  modules inserted: both the module (or alias) on the command line, and any modules it
depends on.

-l –list
List all modules matching the given wildcard (or “*” if no wildcard is given).  This option is  provided
for backwards compatibility: see find(1) and basename(1) for a more flexible alternative.

-a –all
Insert all module names on the command line.

-t –type
Restrict -l to modules in directories matching the dirname given.  This option is provided for backwards
compatibility: see find(1) and basename(1) or a more flexible alternative.

-s –syslog
This option causes any error messages to go through the  syslog  mechanism  (as  LOG_DAEMON  with  level
LOG_NOTICE)  rather  than to standard error.  This is also automatically enabled when stderr is unavail-
able.

This option is passed through install or  remove  commands  to  other  modprobe  commands  in  the  MOD-
PROBE_OPTIONS environment variable.

–set-version
Set the kernel version, rather than using uname(2) to decide on the kernel version (which dictates where
to find the modules).  This also disables backwards compatibility checks (so modprobe.old(8) will  never
be run).

–show-depends
List  the  dependencies  of a module (or alias), including the module itself.  This produces a (possibly
empty) set of module filenames, one per line, each starting with “insmod”.  Install commands which apply
are shown prefixed by “install”.  It does not run any of the install commands.  Note that modinfo(8) can
be used to extract dependencies of a module from the module itself, but  knows  nothing  of  aliases  or
install commands.

-o –name
This  option  tries  to rename the module which is being inserted into the kernel.  Some testing modules
can usefully be inserted multiple times, but the kernel refuses to have two modules of  the  same  name.
Normally,  modules should not require multiple insertions, as that would make them useless if there were
no module support.

–first-time
Normally, modprobe will succeed (and do nothing) if told to insert a module which is already present, or
remove a module which isn’t present.  This is backwards compatible with the modutils, and ideal for sim-
ple scripts.  However, more complicated scripts often want to know whether  modprobe  really  did  some-
thing: this option makes modprobe fail for that case.

BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY
This  version  of  modprobe is for kernels 2.5.48 and above.  If it detects a kernel with support for old-style
modules (for which much of the work was done in userspace), it will attempt to run modprobe.old in  its  place,
so it is completely transparent to the user.

ENVIRONMENT
The MODPROBE_OPTIONS environment variable can also be used to pass arguments to modprobe.

COPYRIGHT
This manual page Copyright 2002, Rusty Russell, IBM Corporation.

SEE ALSO
modprobe.conf(5), lsmod(8), modprobe.old(8)

28 October 2005                    MODPROBE(8)

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