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I found a file /sys/class/firmware/timeout, and this file contains just one word 60. Is this timeout related to bootloader like GRUB timeout? What is the practical use of it?

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    I believe the timeout tag is focused on the timeout command; I added some other relevant tags.
    – Jeff Schaller
    May 5, 2018 at 16:31

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It is not related to any bootloader at all.

When a driver uses the kernel's common firmware loading infrastructure to load a firmware file, the kernel can either load the file directly from the standard /lib/firmware directory tree, or it can optionally start an user-space process to handle the firmware load.

This user-space process used to be part of the hotplug subsystem, then a part of udev, but I think it's currently deprecated and the in-kernel version is the primary means of loading firmware for any drivers.

If the entire firmware load operation takes more than the number of seconds specified in /sys/class/firmware/timeout, the operation will be considered failed. As a result, the driver that requested the firmware will most likely fail too.

More details can be found in the Documentation/firmware_class directory of the Linux kernel source code package.

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