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

Mutex locking – an example driver

We have created a simple device driver code example in Chapter 1Writing a Simple misc Character Device Driver; that is, ch1/miscdrv_rdwr. There, we wrote a simple misc class character device driver and used a user space utility program (ch12/miscdrv_rdwr/rdwr_drv_secret.c) to read and write a (so-called) secret from and to the device driver's memory.

However, what we glaringly (egregiously is the right word here!) failed to do in that code is protect shared (global) writeable data! This will cost us dearly in the real world. I urge you to take some time to think about this: it isn't viable that two (or three or more) user mode processes open the device file of this driver, and then concurrently issue various I/O reads and writes. Here, the global shared writable data (in this particular case, two global integers and the driver context data structure) could easily get corrupted.

So, let's learn from...