Book Image

Linux Kernel Programming Part 2 - Char Device Drivers and Kernel Synchronization

By : Kaiwan N Billimoria
Book Image

Linux Kernel Programming Part 2 - Char Device Drivers and Kernel Synchronization

By: Kaiwan N Billimoria

Overview of this book

Linux Kernel Programming Part 2 - Char Device Drivers and Kernel Synchronization is an ideal companion guide to the Linux Kernel Programming book. This book provides a comprehensive introduction for those new to Linux device driver development and will have you up and running with writing misc class character device driver code (on the 5.4 LTS Linux kernel) in next to no time. You'll begin by learning how to write a simple and complete misc class character driver before interfacing your driver with user-mode processes via procfs, sysfs, debugfs, netlink sockets, and ioctl. You'll then find out how to work with hardware I/O memory. The book covers working with hardware interrupts in depth and helps you understand interrupt request (IRQ) allocation, threaded IRQ handlers, tasklets, and softirqs. You'll also explore the practical usage of useful kernel mechanisms, setting up delays, timers, kernel threads, and workqueues. Finally, you'll discover how to deal with the complexity of kernel synchronization with locking technologies (mutexes, spinlocks, and atomic/refcount operators), including more advanced topics such as cache effects, a primer on lock-free techniques, deadlock avoidance (with lockdep), and kernel lock debugging techniques. By the end of this Linux kernel book, you'll have learned the fundamentals of writing Linux character device driver code for real-world projects and products.
Table of Contents (11 chapters)
Section 1: Character Device Driver Basics
User-Kernel Communication Pathways
Handling Hardware Interrupts
Working with Kernel Timers, Threads, and Workqueues
Section 2: Delving Deeper

Creating and working with kernel threads

A thread is an execution path; it's purely concerned with executing a given function. That function is its life and scope; once it returns from that function, it's dead. In user space, a thread is an execution path within a process; processes can be single or multi-threaded. Kernel threads are very similar to user mode threads in many respects. In kernel space, a thread is also an execution path, except that it runs within the kernel VAS, with kernel privilege. This means that kernels are also multi-threaded. A quick look at the output of ps(1) (run with the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) style aux option switches) shows us the kernel threads – they're the ones whose names are enclosed in square brackets:

$ ps aux
root 1 0.0 0.5 167464 11548 ? Ss 06:20 0:00 /sbin/init splash 3
root 2 0.0 0.0 0...