Linux supports several types of watchdog hardware.
Is there a way to detect the available hardware watchdogs and load the appropriate kernel module (and "softdog" as fallback solution)?
I guess, just trying all available kernel modules is not an optimal solution.
I am surprised that modern systems do not have some kind of watchdog timer built into the CPU (at least no module is loaded for an AMD Athlon II). Are hardware watchdogs rare on consumer/prosumer systems?