evdev changes break phys option

Yan Seiner yan at seiner.com
Wed May 14 06:19:21 PDT 2008

It looks as though major changes were made to evdev that preclude the 
use of selecting a physical device.  In other words, the Option "phys" 
line is not usable.

This setup now throws an error:

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier     "KeyboardNoriko"
    Driver         "evdev"
    Option         "phys" "usb-0000:00:02.1-4.2/input1"
    Option         "CoreKeyboard"

(**) KeyboardNoriko: always reports core events
(EE) KeyboardNoriko: cannot open input pEvdev
(II) UnloadModule: "evdev"
(EE) PreInit returned NULL for "KeyboardNoriko"

I'm running a fairly recent build from Debian Lenny:

X.Org X Server
Release Date: 5 September 2007
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux Debian (xorg-server 2:1.4.1~git20080131-4)
Current Operating System: Linux selene 2.6.24-1-amd64 #1 SMP Fri Apr 18 
23:08:22 UTC 2008 x86_64
Build Date: 29 April 2008  07:24:27PM

I've googled and there are posts indicating this is a bug introduced 
around Sep. 2007 or possibly intended changes for integration with 
hal...  There are also various workarounds that involve mucking about 
with udev to create fixed /dev/input/eventX names so that the Option 
"phys" doesn't have to be used.  Rather than muck around with udev 
(again) I figured I'd ask the experts.

So what's a user to do?  I'm running a 2 seat setup and I have to be 
able to select which keyboard gets used with which head.


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