Linux Device Drivers
By Alessandro Rubini
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 1998
Pages: 439

This book is for anyone who wants to support computer peripherals under the Linux operating system or who wants to develop new hardware and run it under Linux. Linux is the fastest-growing segment of the UNIX market and is winning over enthusiastic adherents in many application areas. This book reveals information that heretofore has been passed by word-of-mouth or in cryptic source code comments, showing how to write a driver for a wide range of devices.You don't have to be a kernel hacker to understand and enjoy this book; all you need is an understanding of C and some background in UNIX system calls. Drivers for character devices, block devices, and network interfaces are all described in step-by-step form and are illustrated with full-featured examples that show driver design issues, which can be executed without special hardware.For those who are curious about how an operating system does its job, this book provides insights into address spaces, asynchronous events, and I/O.Portability is a major concern in the text. The book is centered on version 2.0, but also covers 1.2.13 and experimental versions up to 2.1.43. You are also told how to maximize portability among hardware platforms.Contents include:

  • Building a driver and loading modules
  • Complete character, block, and network drivers
  • Debugging a driver
  • Timing
  • Memory management and DMA
  • Interrupts
  • Portability issues
  • Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)
  • A tour of kernel internals
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oreillyLinux Device Drivers
 
3.2

(based on 9 reviews)

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(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Han Kim

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

I liked the book and it presented a useful model of the Linux Kernel

well.

As many others have pointed out, there have been many changes to the

Kernel versions after 2.1 and the book's source code examples are

mostly for version 2.0.

If you are using this book with a 2.2 or later kernel (Redhat's

version 7 binary is version 2.2 and the source is 2.4), be sure to

read "Chapter 17 Recent Development's" BEFORE you try the code

examples in Chapter 2. It will save you alot of time trying to

find the 2.0 kernel features such as the symtab_begin.h and symtab_end.h

header files.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By ashutosh trivedi

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

The book is really a piece of great work by a great mind.It takes u off from ground level and after reading the whole book u feel like a real life kernel hacker.Hats off to the author.........

Really a brilliant work..........

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Stephen Forster

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

When I complained that the content was outdated several months ago, I was informed that the 2nd edition was due out this month (May 2001). When it is available, I will probably buy it.

Whatever you do, don't buy this one.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By mike b

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

Shame on you for selling such an outdated book!

Being new to Linux kernel programming, I didn't realize how useless it really was until I got it home. Also, the continuity between the examples and the text are not up to the typical O'Reilly standards. May have been a good book a long time ago.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Phil

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

Nice book, very usefull for a lot of info but I still miss info on usefull toolkits like Jungo's WinDriver.(jungo.com)

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By stephen forster

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

A superb book back in 1998 and worthy of a 'Definitive' back then, though two kernel versions later, it really does need replacing. Now that the 2.4 kernel has arrived, I would wait for the second edition to come out before parting with my money.

It isn't fair on the customer selling this book ( however good it was in its day ) when the second edition is about to make its debut. That's why I can only give this book an average rating.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Matt Benjamin

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

I just finished my second, more careful reading of Linux Device Drivers. (I read it originally in 1998, shortly after it appeared.)

I found the book even more rewarding the second time through, and although I think it is time for an updated edition covering 2.2 and 2.4 kernels,I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in kernel development, not merely in hardware device drivers.

Again, I'd like to see a 2nd edition. Thanks, in this regard, for publishing examples updated for Linux 2.4.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Mikkel Holm Olsen

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

An excellent book on the internals of the Linux kernel, and very nice for looking up stuff while writing a driver.

Unfortunantly the coverage of 2.2 kernels only scratches the surface (first edition only covers up to 2.1.43).

But grepping the kernel sources provide a lot of nice

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Linux Device Drivers Review

By Franz Korntner

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Linux Device Drivers:

Personally, one of the problems with Linux is the absence of proper documentation. I guess that this is partly caused by the fact that developers consider the source to be the ultimate documentation. Although there is nothing wrong with that point of view, it does complicate the learning curve and development time.

As the Linux kernel source is huge, writing modules and drivers is a long and tedious job, especially if it is your first. Eventually you will pull the old 'copy-modify-and-paste

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