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

Performing I/O (reads and writes) on per-CPU variables

A key question, of course, is how exactly can you access (read) and update (write) to per-CPU variables? The kernel provides several helper routines to do so; let's take a simple example to understand how. We define a single integer per-CPU variable, and at a later point in time, we want to access and print its current value. You should realize that, being per-CPU, the value retrieved will be auto-calculated based on the CPU core the code is currently running on; in other words, if the following code is running on core 1, then in effect, the pcpa[1] value is fetched (it's not done exactly like this; this is just conceptual):

DEFINE_PER_CPU(int, pcpa);
int val;
[ ... ]
val = get_cpu_var(pcpa);
pr_info("cpu0: pcpa = %+d\n", val);

The pair of {get,put}_cpu_var() macros allows us to safely retrieve or modify the per-CPU value of the given per-CPU variable (its parameter...