Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2005
Pages: 640

Device drivers literally drive everything you're interested in--disks, monitors, keyboards, modems--everything outside the computer chip and memory. And writing device drivers is one of the few areas of programming for the Linux operating system that calls for unique, Linux-specific knowledge. For years now, programmers have relied on the classic Linux Device Drivers from O'Reilly to master this critical subject. Now in its third edition, this bestselling guide provides all the information you'll need to write drivers for a wide range of devices.Over the years the book has helped countless programmers learn:

  • how to support computer peripherals under the Linux operating system
  • how to develop and write software for new hardware under Linux
  • the basics of Linux operation even if they are not expecting to write a driver
The new edition of Linux Device Drivers is better than ever. The book covers all the significant changes to Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, which simplifies many activities, and contains subtle new features that can make a driver both more efficient and more flexible. Readers will find new chapters on important types of drivers not covered previously, such as consoles, USB drivers, and more.Best of all, you don't have to be a kernel hacker to understand and enjoy this book. All you need is an understanding of the C programming language and some background in Unix system calls. And for maximum ease-of-use, the book uses full-featured examples that you can compile and run without special hardware.Today Linux holds fast as the most rapidly growing segment of the computer market and continues to win over enthusiastic adherents in many application areas. With this increasing support, Linux is now absolutely mainstream, and viewed as a solid platform for embedded systems. If you're writing device drivers, you'll want this book. In fact, you'll wonder how drivers are ever written without it.
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oreillyLinux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition
 
3.5

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

50%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well-written (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Concise (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Developer (5), Designer (3)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      5.0

      Very Helpful in Real Life Application

      By MDoyle

      from Morristown, NJ

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

        I'm an experienced software engineer moving embedded firmware in an existing product to Linux. I've read a number of Linux books and this is one of the most helpful to me to get my job done. No single source has all the answers, but with this book and Google, I'm completing my project and keeping my bosses happy. Highly recommended if you're actually writing drivers.

         
        5.0

        Absolutely Great and Essential

        By Mike

        from Dallas TX

        About Me Designer, Developer, Rf And Software Engineer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

            I use this book for drivers in Radars , Sat Com and other embedded systems. His examples are very good applicable for many driver applications. It is not a cookbook, it makes you think about what you are doing. You must know the hardware and software involved in the project to get it "right".

            The guys that "trash" the book have two things in common:
            1) Not enough knowledge of the hardware.
            2) Don't have a full grasp of the facts.

            Thanks,
            Michael

            (10 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            This book is only a starting point

            By Vish

            from Dallas, TX

            About Me Designer, Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Concise
            • Well-written

            Cons

            • Not comprehensive enough
            • Too basic

            Best Uses

            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

            I love Oreilly books in general. But I feel this book does not delve enough into practical examples. I feel it is too much theory and worse it does not cover enough concepts in the kernel. For example, it does not cover how input devices work, how frame buffer drivers work, how audio drivers work etc.

            I think "Essential Linux Device Drivers by Sreekrishnan Venkateswaran, Prentice Hall" is a much better book for kernel developers.

            I hope the next version of this book takes giving practical examples seriously and also include input/audio/framebuffer/graphics drivers as well.

            (9 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            this sample code is not practical.

            By chiajui

            from Taipei, Taiwan

            About Me Developer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Not comprehensive enough

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                the sample code of this book is not very practical.
                Lack of serial port driver sample. only has a very poor tty driver sample.

                (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                was great, but now out of date

                By ee

                from Irvine, CA

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    It used to be that the Linux kernel kept major changes for major number revisions (2.4, 2.6 etc). No longer. Texts like this have no hope at all keeping up. It was a great text however for the early 2.6 kernels, and I mourn it's passage into obsolescence. I dearly wish it could be updated quarterly.

                    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Short and general comments

                    By Logicman112

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    Disk and storage stack is not dealt with. It is better to draw a picture of the kernel subsystems, logical and physical drivers first...

                    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    High-water mark for LDD development books

                    By Janaka

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    Introduction

                    I picked this book up as an experience embedded software engineer who wanted to explore and learn about Linux device drivers. With a background in real-time embedded software development(with some RTOS experience) and years of Linux/nix user/developer experience this book nicely matched my learning path.

                    Layout of the book:

                    The chapters are layed out in a logical and incremental fashion where introductory chapters stick to the big picture stuff while later on chapters delve deep in to the internals.

                    Contents and Examples:

                    Book takes the approach of explaining the subjects in concise manner with examples and interesting incite. However the code examples in many cases are incomplete, and duly so. I say this because the lot of examples, in their entirety, are provided on their web/ftp site.

                    Currentness and compatibility:

                    The book uses x86 as its platform and for its examples. I found some minor differences in API interfaces on other platforms(ppc). Also some of the latest kernels have altered some of the APIs slightly.

                    For who:

                    In my opinion this book is for software engineers/developers who has experience in C and Makefiles. Any embedded development experience will help understand why things are done the way they are and the deeper issues of concurrency and timing.

                    Conclusion:

                    This book is the benchmark for Linux device driver books. It is well set out and a easy read. To get the maximum out of the book you will need to play around with the examples/ideas that are covered in this book.

                    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Spotty Coverage of Mapping Device Memory

                    By Kent

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    I was hoping to use the information in this book to

                    help me write a driver to map some memory on a PCI

                    Express card to user space. While the book has lots

                    of partial examples that discuss how this could be

                    done, there is no complete example of a driver that

                    does this. I found this more than a little disappointing since it appears that there is a relatively complex sequence of events needed to pull this off.

                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Very bad spanish translation

                    By jlz

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    My english is not good, so I will buy spanish version of the book. The book is good but the spanish translation is very, very ,very bad. I hope more for a 44 book.

                    Thanks.

                    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Disappointing but no alternative

                    By Anonymous

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers, 3rd Edition:

                    This book has negative and positive sides:

                    Negative: the 3rd editions contains many wrong references to non-existing paragraphs etc. Very annoying if you want to follow the discussions. Many code snippets are unnecessary complicated which makes the general line of thought sometimes difficult to follow. For people with low knowledge of the kernel this will be a stopper. All listings are incomplete, but the online examples are no help either: it's an unordered set of files, sometimes not working or at least too little explanatory text.

                    There are not many alternative texts on this subject with all these details, so the book is a must-have for anybody who starts to write kernel modules. A very good outline of kernel characteristics wrt writing modules etc. Read it without a bottom-up approach in mind - you will need a lot more information, but this can be easily found on internet.

                    It was nice to see that many of the 2.4 kernel issues have been refreshed for 2.6.

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