We can manipulate "device hints" and loader/kernel environment
variables in /boot/device.hints by the "set/unset/show" commands in
the boot loader(8).  This corresponds to what we used to do in the
USERCONFIG menu in the kernel. I think it may be a good idea to have
"visual" (or friendly?)  interface to manipulate the device hints (and
other loader variables) in the boot loader, just like the
VISUALUSERCONFIG front-end, for novice users and those who are not
quite familiar with the boot loader commands.

If we are to have this facility in the boot loader, we can get rid of

I wrote an experimental patch to the boot loader. You can find it


It includes:

vuserconfig.diff      patch for /sys/boot/common/Makefile.inc and
vuseconfig.c          put this in /sys/boot/common
hints.diff            patch for /sys/i386/conf/GENERIC.hints (and
                      /boot/device.hints) to add some descriptive
                      strings for device drivers

Rebuild the loader. Type "userconfig" at the loader prompt, then you
will be in this VISUALUSERCONFIG-like front-end. Use TAB, ENTER, and
cursor keys to navigate. Type 'Q' to quit, and you will be put back to
the loader prompt.

Some notes:
- I don't intend to do everything in this front-end. It provides
  just a simple interface to set/reset/edit device hints and other
- This front-end is not an exact "clone" of VISUALUSERCONFIG. But
  the basic idea is the same.
- Maybe I should have written this in Forth, rather than in C.
  But, I have almost nil knowledge of Forth.
- One big drawback: this will bloat the boot loader and will consume
  precious disk space in kern.flp... *sigh*

I welcome any comments, suggestions, and ideas.

Thank you,

In my previous post, I wrote:
>Thank you for your comments.
>The User Config menu is completely disabled and isn't available
>in -CURRENT now.
>I strongly doubt it will ever come back. You see, we can now
>set/unset/edit device resource "hints" from the loader(8) prompt,
>thus, there is little need to have the old User Config menu compiled
>into the kernel.
>Please also have a look at my draft on the man page for device.hints(5).
>The only thing which were available in the User Config, but is not in
>the loader(8) is the "Visual" User Config option.
>But, I expect such visual front-end to edit the device resource hints
>can be added to the loader, in one way or another.

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