PCMCIA is often used to refer the hardware itself, although it originates from the organization that standardized all possible types of PC cards, the PC Memory Card International Association. In the beginning, PCMCIA only included PC cards (using a 16-bit bus like ISA cards), but later on CardBus cards (using a 32-bit bus) were included. A wide range of PCMCIA hardware is supported in Linux. Linux additionally includes tools for managing PCMCIA.
PCMCIA cards are mainly used in mobile computing for different purposes. Examples include:
Ethernet and wireless LAN adapters
Memory cards (Flash, SRAM, and others)
Memory card adapters (SD, MMC, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, MemoryStick)
Most of the card management is silently handled by udev and hotplug. When user interaction is required, you use pccardctl command. For PCMCIA background information, refer to Section 31.2, “PCMCIA in Detail”. For details on pccardctl, refer to Section 31.1, “Controlling PCMCIA Cards Using pccardctl”.
Card management is normally handled by udev and hotplug without requiring any user interaction at all. pccardctl offers manual control of the card in case the automated process does not work flawlessly.
The following is a list of the most important pccardctl commands. All commands must be executed as root:
If the card has not been detected automatically, notify the client drivers that the card has just been inserted.
Eject the card manually and notify the client drivers that it will be ejected. Cut power to the socket. This option is especially useful if you noticed problems with suspend and resume as described in Section 31.3.2, “General Suspend Issues with PCMCIA”.
Shut down and disable power for a socket, but do not eject the card (unbind the appropriate modules).
After a pccardctl resume, bring up power
for the socket and restore the configuration from before the
For further information, refer to the manual page of pccardctl.