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DOs and DON'Ts for designing and writing Devicetree bindings
This is a list of common review feedback items focused on binding design. With
every rule, there are exceptions and bindings have many gray areas.
For guidelines related to patches, see
Overall design
- DO attempt to make bindings complete even if a driver doesn't support some
features. For example, if a device has an interrupt, then include the
'interrupts' property even if the driver is only polled mode.
- DON'T refer to Linux or "device driver" in bindings. Bindings should be
based on what the hardware has, not what an OS and driver currently support.
- DO use node names matching the class of the device. Many standard names are
defined in the DT Spec. If there isn't one, consider adding it.
- DO check that the example matches the documentation especially after making
review changes.
- DON'T create nodes just for the sake of instantiating drivers. Multi-function
devices only need child nodes when the child nodes have their own DT
resources. A single node can be multiple providers (e.g. clocks and resets).
- DON'T use 'syscon' alone without a specific compatible string. A 'syscon'
hardware block should have a compatible string unique enough to infer the
register layout of the entire block (at a minimum).
- DO make 'compatible' properties specific. DON'T use wildcards in compatible
strings. DO use fallback compatibles when devices are the same as or a subset
of prior implementations. DO add new compatibles in case there are new
features or bugs.
- DO use a vendor prefix on device-specific property names. Consider if
properties could be common among devices of the same class. Check other
existing bindings for similar devices.
- DON'T redefine common properties. Just reference the definition and define
constraints specific to the device.
- DO use common property unit suffixes for properties with scientific units.
Recommended suffixes are listed at
- DO define properties in terms of constraints. How many entries? What are
possible values? What is the order?
Board/SoC .dts Files
- DO put all MMIO devices under a bus node and not at the top-level.
- DO use non-empty 'ranges' to limit the size of child buses/devices. 64-bit
platforms don't need all devices to have 64-bit address and size.