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AHCI(4) 	      DragonFly Kernel Interfaces Manual	       AHCI(4)


ahci -- Advanced Host Controller Interface for Serial ATA


To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following line in your kernel configuration file: device ahci Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the following line in loader.conf(5): ahci_load="YES" Note that DragonFly compiles this driver into the kernel by default, so you normally do not have to do anything..


The ahci driver provides support for Serial ATA controllers conforming to the Advanced Host Controller Interface specification. Several AHCI capable controllers also provide a compatibility mode that causes them to appear as a traditional ATA controller supported by nata(4). Although ahci controllers are actual ATA controllers, the driver emulates SCSI via a translation layer. Special Features This driver detects chipsets with the FBS capability, indicating FIS- Based Switching support. This capability allows I/O to be queued to mul- tiple targets behind a port-multiplier and will substantially increase performance when operating on multiple targets at once. Unfortunately, most AHCI controllers do not implement FBS. Without it, concurrent access to multiple targets behind a port-multiplier will serialize and wind up being quite slow. This driver detects and supports chipsets with the SPM capability, indi- cating Port-Multiplier support. This capability allows you to connect a port-multiplier to the SATA port. The driver will then probe and attach all targets loaded into the port-multiplier. A few provisios... most port-multipliers implode if no drives are loaded into them, and most port-multipliers also fail to properly follow the AHCI port-multiplier standards, so YMMV. The driver will do everything it can to attach to a port-multiplier if it sees one.


eSATA PCIe cards - There are many consumer PCIe cards which provide on- board AHCI controllers and internal or external ports. This driver should work with most of them. However, we strongly recommend that you avoid purchasing any AHCI PCIe cards which provide both external eSATA and internal SATA ports and have jumpers to select between the two. The jumper header seriously interferes with delicate SATA communications and can cause instability and I/O errors even at slower 3Gbps speeds. Port-Multipliers - There are many consumer port multipliers. Nearly all of them fail to properly follow the spec. This driver works hard to attach to whatever port-mutilplier it sees. A good rule of thumb to fol- low is to always plug something into the first target slot on the PM. Dual eSATA/USB port-multipliers are very common but tend to have poorly implemented firmwares. Still, you might not have a choice, so YMMV. Issues that can arise: The PM fails to probe, or the driver only sees one drive, or hot-swap detection fails to operate properly. Port-Multipliers require PM-capable AHCI chipsets. Most AHCI chipsets are not PM-capable... Intel is particularly bad (for reasons unknown). Marvell chipsets tend to either be PM-capable or implement virtual PM handling on a (single) normal SATA port. ASMedia chipsets are usually PM-capable, but the PCIe card might be poorly designed and generate lots of I/O errors due to electrical noise. The asynchronous attach described below may cause problems detecting your boot drive quickly enough for the kernel to be able to mount it. If you use the feature, the boot drive should normally be on the first AHCI con- troller and not be behind a port-multiplier. Only use the feature if you have a lot of controllers (like three or more).


The following hints may be set in loader.conf(5) to control the ahci driver's behavior. Note that the hint need only exist, so removing it requires commenting it out. Usually both the nata(4) and the ahci drivers are loaded. The nata(4) driver will pick up any ata-like devices which the ahci driver misses. If the ahci driver is disabled the nata(4) driver will typically pick up the ahci devices, albeit under the ad disk name rather than the da disk name. hint.ahci.disabled=1 The ahci driver can be told to force a lower-speed 1.5Gb link speed if necessary, and can also be told to refrain from attempting to send cer- tain higher-level ATA commands to initialize ATA features which some devices might not properly implement. hint.ahci.force150=1 hint.ahci.nofeatures=1 By default, the driver will use MSI if it is supported. This behavior can be turned off by setting the following tunable: hw.ahci.msi.enable=0 By default, on startup the driver will synchronously wait for all ports to probe and attach them in order before allowing the kernel boot to pro- ceed to the next controller. Even though ports are probed in parallel, this can slow booting down if your system has multiple AHCI controllers. You can force a full asynchronous probe by setting the following tunable. The kernel will still wait for all controllers to finish before proceed- ing to the mountroot, but all ports will probe in parallel so booting will be a lot faster. WARNING! When probing asynchronously /dev/da* assignments for drives can change from boot to boot, so be sure to only access drives by their /dev/serno/* path and not by their /dev/da* drive. # Attach everything asynchronously hw.ahci.synchronous_boot=0


Link power management can be set with the sysctl dev.ahci.%d.%d.link_pwr_mgmt to 0 for `disabled', 1 for `medium', and 2 for `aggressive'. Link power state can be read with the sysctl dev.ahci.%d.%d.link_pwr_state.


intro(4), nata(4), nvme(4), pci(4), scsi(4), sili(4), loader.conf(5)


The ahci driver first appeared in DragonFly 2.3.


The ahci driver was originally written by David Gwynne <dlg@openbsd.org> and Christopher Pascoe <pascoe@openbsd.org> for OpenBSD. It was ported to DragonFly by Matt Dillon <dillon@apollo.backplane.com>, who substantially rewrote the driver (honestly, just about from scratch but having the openbsd code as a reference helped a lot), and added new features such as hot-plug, FIS-based switching, and port multiplier sup- port. DragonFly 4.7 November 28, 2014 DragonFly 4.7

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