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KLDLOAD(8) FreeBSD System Manager's Manual KLDLOAD(8)

load a file into the kernel

kldload [
] file ...

The kldload utility loads file.ko into the kernel using the kernel linker. Note that if multiple modules are specified then an attempt will be made to load them all, even if some fail. The .ko extension name is not mandatory when loading a given module using kldload. It does not hurt to specify it though.
If a bare filename is requested it will only be loaded if it is found within the module path as defined by the sysctl kern.module_path. To load a module from the current directory it must be specified as a full or relative path. The kldload utility will warn if a module is requested as a bare filename and is present in the current directory.
The following options are available:
Do not try to load module if already loaded.
Be more verbose.
Silence any extraneous warnings.

The kernel security level settings may prevent a module from being loaded or unloaded by giving Operation not permitted.

directory containing loadable modules. Modules must have an extension of .ko.

The kldload utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

To load by module name:
> kldload foo
To load by file name within the module path:
> kldload foo.ko
To load by relative path:
> kldload ./foo.ko
To load by full path:
> kldload /boot/kernel/foo.ko

Some modules (pf, ipfw, ipf, etc.) may be automatically loaded at boot time when the corresponding rc.conf(5) statement is used. Modules may also be auto-loaded through their addition to loader.conf(5).

kldload(2), loader.conf(5), rc.conf(5), security(7), kldconfig(8), kldstat(8), kldunload(8), kldxref(8)

The kldload utility first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0, replacing the lkm interface.

Doug Rabson <>
April 27, 2017 FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

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