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FreeBSD apmd Package Release Notes (19990711 version)

1. What is "apmd"?

The apmd package provides a means of handling various APM events from
userland code.  Using apmd.conf, the apmd(8) configuration file, you
can select the APM events to be handled from userland and specify the
commands for a given event, allowing APM behaviour to be configured

2. How to install the apmd package

2.1 Making the apmd control device file

apmd(8) uses the new special device file /dev/apmctl.  This should be
created as follows:

# cd /dev
# mknod apmctl c 39 8

2.2 Applying the kernel patch and building a new kernel

The next step is to apply the patch against the sys source tree.
Go to the source directory (eg. /usr/src/ or /usr/PAO3/src/) and run
the patch command as follows:

# gzip -cd [somewhere]/apmd-sys-R320.diff | patch

For PAO3 users, the patch file name would be apmd-sys-PAO3.diff
instead of apmd-sys-R320.diff.  After this step has completed
successfully, build and install a new kernel and reboot your system.

2.3 Making the apmd program

Go to src/usr.sbin/ and extract the apmd tarball as follows:

# tar xzpvf [somewhere]/apmd-usr.sbin.tar.gz 

Before doing a make all, you need to copy apm_bios.h in the sys source
tree to /usr/include/machine/ first:

# cp /sys/i386/include/apm_bios.h /usr/include/machine/

Then do the build and install steps in the apmd directory:

# cd src/usr.sbin/apmd
# make depend all install

2.4 Setting up the configuration file and userland script

In src/usr.sbin/apm/etc/ there are example configuration and userland
script files which are invoked automatically when the APM BIOS informs
apmd of an event, such as suspend request.  Copy these files to
/etc/ as follows:

# cp src/usr.sbin/apm/etc/* /etc/

3. Running the apmd daemon program

To run apmd(8) in background mode, simply type ``apmd''.

# apmd

To make a running apmd reload /etc/apmd.conf, send a SIGHUP signal to
the apmd(8) process.

# kill -HUP [apmd pid]
# killall -HUP apmd

apmd has some command line options.  For the details, please 
refer to the manpage of apmd.

4. Configuration file

The structure of the apmd configuration file is quite simple.  For

apm_event SUSPENDREQ {
	exec "sync && sync && sync";
	exec "sleep 1";
	exec "zzz";

Will cause apmd to recieve the APM event SUSPENDREQ (which may be
posted by an LCD close), run the sync command 3 times and wait for a
while, then execute zzz (apm -z) to put the system in the suspend

4.1 The apm_event keyword
`apm_event' is the keyword which indicates the start of configuration for
each events.

4.2 APM events

If you wish to execute the same commands for different events, the
event names should be delimited by a comma.  The following are valid
event names:

o Events ignored by the kernel if apmd is running:


o Events passed to apmd after kernel handling:


Other events will not be sent to apmd.

4.3 command line syntax

In the example above, the three lines begining with `exec' are commands 
for the event.  Each line should be terminated with a semicolon.  The
command list for the event should be enclosed by `{' and `}'. apmd(8)
uses /bin/sh for double-quotation enclosed command execution, just as
with system(3).  Each command is executed in order until the end of
the list is reached or a command finishes with a non-zero status code. 
apmd(8) will report any failed command's status code via syslog(3)
and will then reject the request event posted by APM BIOS.

4.4 Built-in functions

You can also specify apmd built-in functions instead of command lines.
A built-in function name should be terminated with a semicolon, just as
with a command line.
The following built-in functions are currently supported:

o reject;

  Reject last request posted by the APM BIOS.  This can be used to reject a
  SUSPEND request when the LCD is closed and put the system in a STANDBY
  state instead.


Sample configuration commands include:

apm_event SUSPENDREQ {
	exec "/etc/rc.suspend";

	exec "sync && sync && sync";
	exec "sleep 1";
	exec "apm -z";

	exec "/etc/rc.resume";

# resume event configuration for serial mouse users by
# reinitializing a moused(8) connected to a serial port.
#apm_event NORMRESUME {
#	exec "kill -HUP `cat /var/run/`";

# suspend request event configuration for ATA HDD users:
# execute standby instead of suspend.
#apm_event SUSPENDREQ {
#	reject;
#	exec "sync && sync && sync";
#	exec "sleep 1";
#	exec "apm -Z";

6. Call for developers

The initial version of apmd(8) was implemented primarily to test the
kernel support code and was ALPHA quality.  Based on that code, the
current version was developed by KOIE Hidetaka <>. 
However, we're still looking around for interesting new features and
ideas, so if you have any thoughts, please let us know. 
Documentation is also sparse, and the manpage have just written.  
If you wish to collaborate on this work, please e-mail me:

June 1, 1999
Created by:
Edited by:

$FreeBSD: src/usr.sbin/apmd/README,v 1.2 1999/08/28 01:15:24 peter Exp $
$DragonFly: src/usr.sbin/apmd/README,v 1.2 2003/06/17 04:29:52 dillon Exp $
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