hotswap(1) register and unregister hotswappable IDE hardware


hotswap [ -c | --ide-controller N] [-h | --help] [-n | --nocheck] [-v | --verbose] [-V | --version] [ACTION]


hotswap allows you to register and unregister hotswappable IDE devices, for example notebook computer modules, with the Linux kernel.

It has been developed on and for a Dell Latitude C600, but does not rely on any specific properties of that machine.

By default, the command line utility guides you through the hotswapping process interactively. It is also possible to specify an ACTION, for example unregistering the current device, rescanning the IDE bus, &c. This feature is primarily intended for use with scripts and GUI frontends such as xhotswap(1).

By using an XML configuration file, system administrators can specify arbitrary shell scripts to be run before and after registering and unregistering devices. This is particularly helpful for automatic configuration of CD-RW drives, which require SCSI emulation and bypass normal access via the IDE subsystem. By default, the configuration file is located at /etc/hotswaprc; its syntax is described in hotswaprc(5).


The program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`-').
-c, --ide-controller N
Use IDE controller N.
-h, --help
Print a brief help text and exit successfully.
-n, --nocheck
Do not perform sanity checks before attempting an action. Use with care, as this option may cause some steps to fail silently.
-v, --verbose
Print more information.
-V ,--version
Print version information and exit successfully.


Besides the above options, the program allows you to specify one of the following actions on the command line:
Detect the currently configured IDE device.
Detect whether a file system on the currently configured IDE device is mounted.
Unregister the currently configured IDE device.
Scan the IDE bus for a new device. If a device has been found, register it with the kernel.

If no ACTION is specified, interactive mode is entered. In this mode the program guides you through the hotswapping process as appropriate for the current configuration.


There is generally no need to manage floppy disk devices. The FDC is always present and configured. Floppy disk drives do not connect to the IDE controller, even if they come in the same modules as IDE devices and use the same connector.

The Linux kernel requires hotswappable devices to be the only device connected to their IDE controller.

The mounted-ide action assumes file systems have been mounted as /dev/hdc. If this is not the case (i.e., you've used a symbolic link such as /dev/cdrom) the command will not work.


The default location for the XML configuration file.


Report bugs to [email protected].


Written by Tim Stadelmann.

This manual page is based on an earlier version kindly contributed by Wouter Verhelst.


xhotswap(1), hdparm(8), hotswaprc(5).


Copyright (c) 2002-2003 Wouter Verhelst, Tim Stadelmann.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), Version 2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.