There are several user space tools for handling modules. They are all part of modutils, the current version is in ftp://ftp.**.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/kernel/modutils/v2.3/
Calculates the dependencies between modules and the kernel and between one module and another. For example, module nfsd needs modules lockd and sunrpc to be loaded first. All three modules need certain symbols to be exported by the kernel before they will load.
depmod is typically run once at boot time. You can also run it before booting a new kernel for the first time or before storing a kernel on read only media.
The high level module loader. It will automatically extract and apply any module options you specified. It also automatically loads any required modules, for example when loading nfsd, modprobe will load lockd and sunrpc first.
modprobe also has a mode where it automatically removes modules, again following the dependency chain.
The low level module loader. It does exactly what you tell it to do, no more and no less. If you want any options you must specify them on the command line. You have to load any required modules first, insmod only loads one module at a time.
Removes a module. Modules can only be unloaded if they are not in use. In use could be caused by a file being open on a file system, a network interface being up on a driver or a module can be marked as in use because another module depends on it.
Lists modules that are loaded and their status, including dependencies.
Actually part of the kernel. This is an optional feature which, when compiled into the kernel, will automatically load modules "as required". An earlier version of kmod was called kerneld but that has long since died.
The default directory containing modules for kernel xxx. Modules can be loaded from anywhere but the default is /lib/modules/`uname -r`/.
Build by depmod, it contains the inter module dependencies.
Configuration file for modprobe. It contains options for individual modules, aliases to map generic names to specific drivers, additional inter-module dependencies etc. man modules.conf for details.
alias sound sb options -k sb io=0x220 irq=5 dma=1 dma16=5 mpu_io=0x300 alias midi opl3 options -k opl3 io=0x388 options i82365 pc_debug=6 options ds pc_debug=6 options cb_enabler pc_debug=6
Note: This file used to be called conf.modules which was inconsistent with the names of other configuration files. modprobe will use modules.conf in preference to conf.modules, but it will still use conf.modules if that is the only file. Use of conf.modules is depreciated.
©Keith Owens O. C. Software P/L 2000