I just *HATE* Hardware Abstraction Layer

I'm quite happy user of Arch Linux. BUT

Recent upgrade changed Xorg to new version which requires HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer).

Problem: when HAL is turned on, it totally breaks my keyboard – generates extra “key presses" when using “special" keys – I press windows key, and get letter “F" extra. I also lost ability to self-repeat keys by pressing them longer. Right alt – stopped working. Down arrow – generated also “M" letter. Right shift – doesn't work. All in all one big mess.

Solution was “trivial": remove hal, and add to xorg.conf section to disable hotplugging:

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "AutoAddDevices" "False"

I just have to write it, because I might hit the same problem someplace else as well, so I will now know what to do.

Side note – I happen to use wireless Logitech keyboard, which apparently is a bad thing, because any kind of mention “I have a problem with keyboard and X" prompts questions about my Logitech – even if the same keyboard works flawlessly on console, or in X without this HAL thing.

Maybe I'm getting grumpy, but Linux on desktop actually worked for me much better 2 years ago, than it does now.

10 thoughts on “I just *HATE* Hardware Abstraction Layer”

  1. you have at default keyboard 🙂 you must write your own keyboard fdi file



  2. The same issue hit me while upgrading to the latest SuSE release. The “funny” thing is that HAL decided to unplug my notebook’s keyboard so I could admire the lovely details of new login screen instead of actually work. Nothing that cannot be fixed but VERY annoying when you’re working from remote office without other PC to research the problem.

    I’m not against new features in operating systems but I can’t understand why, especially with growing userbase, those features aren’t thoroughly tested before they are released. On a side note people should notice that MS does this job quite well for Windows (given the install base it’s worth at least some respect).

  3. Would you mind sharing some details of your current desktop configuration? You’ve always had some interesting solutions in this area. Any particular software we should know about? Oh, and is your desktop still black&green? 😉

  4. I hope you’re relieved to know that Xorg HAL support will be deprecated in the next release due Real Soon Now.

    So there will be many new and exciting bugs to be discovered with Xorg’s udev support. 🙂

  5. @kura:
    i’m using xorg + kde 4.3 (and hate it! but kde 3.5 is no longer available, at least in arch, at least easily). mostly konsole and a side of firefox. that’s pretty much it.

  6. Actually, the developers don’t like HAL either, it’s been deprecated, it is being replaced by DeviceKit in newer versions, it will take a version or 2 to get it completely removed, but HAL will be in charge of less and less things before that happends.

  7. ahaha, depesz I has the same problem in my arch, after that my kde slowly, wait for some action what I make was around ~30s and I give up, recompiling kde, xorg, nothing help, leave him on hdd and installed kubuntu, a few months letter, I think, maybe I upgrade the packages it’ll repair by him self, so I download around 1GB packages from upgrade, after that UUIDS has rechenges and this kill me, everytime I upgrade the kernel UUIDS rechenges…

    kde 3.5 it’s in arch, but not in official repo.

  8. I have no problems with Linux Desktop. I use Gentoo (even with overlay hardened-development) ;), it is quick and better now than 2 years ago, when these keyboard, xorg, gnome (or kde), hal problems were often met after emerge. And Gentoo has slots for different versions of postgresql (and patched versions like pgcluster) in the official portage: virtual/postgresql, postgresql-base, postgresql-server. after some modification slots work on liveusb.

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