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FreeBSD Device Drivers: A Guide for the Intrepid [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Kong

Print List Price: £33.50
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Book Description

Device drivers make it possible for your software to communicate with your hardware, and because every operating system has specific requirements, driver writing is nontrivial. When developing for FreeBSD, you've probably had to scour the Internet and dig through the kernel sources to figure out how to write the drivers you need. Thankfully, that stops now. In FreeBSD Device Drivers, Joseph Kong will teach you how to master everything from the basics of building and running loadable kernel modules to more complicated topics like thread synchronization. After a crash course in the different FreeBSD driver frameworks, extensive tutorial sections dissect real-world drivers like the parallel port printer driver.


You'll learn:

  • All about Newbus, the infrastructure used by FreeBSD to manage the hardware devices on your system
  • How to work with ISA, PCI, USB, and other buses
  • The best ways to control and communicate with the hardware devices from user space
  • How to use Direct Memory Access (DMA) for maximum system performance
  • The inner workings of the virtual null modem terminal driver, the USB printer driver, the Intel PCI Gigabit Ethernet adapter driver, and other important drivers
  • How to use Common Access Method (CAM) to manage host bus adapters (HBAs)

Concise descriptions and extensive annotations walk you through the many code examples. Don't waste time searching man pages or digging through the kernel sources to figure out how to make that arcane bit of hardware work with your system. FreeBSD Device Drivers gives you the framework that you need to write any driver you want, now.


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Product Description

About the Author

The author of Designing BSD Rootkits (No Starch Press), Joseph Kong works on information security, operating system theory, reverse code engineering, and vulnerability assessment. Kong is a former system administrator for the City of Toronto.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 705 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (20 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007W8OL0S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,001,497 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended! 16 May 2012
By Juergen Lock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I already have the other book by the same author, Joseph Kong, "Designing BSD Rootkits: An Introduction to Kernel Hacking" and liked it very much, so when I got the chance to get an advance copy of his new book for review, "FreeBSD Device Drivers: A Guide for the Intrepid", I couldn't say no. :)

To make the review more practical, I decided to write a simple driver myself and posted about it and the book on the FreeBSD forums, to find that post follow the WWW: link in the pkg-descr of the comms/uartlirc port (you can also look the port up on freshports.org .)

About the book:

The book introduces you to almost everything you need to know to write many types of drivers, it does this mainly by doing code walkthroughs for several example- and real-world drivers. It obviously cannot cover _everything_ (sound drivers for example are not covered, nor is miibus(4)), but what it covers I'd say should give you enough information to be able to look at manpages and existing drivers for missing details. 100% recommended!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside of the insides 4 May 2012
By George V. Neville-Neil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Most programmers consider device drivers the darkest of the dark computer arts, but to write a good device driver what's needed is a decent template and some good documentation. The FreeBSD Operating Systems has plenty of templates, in the form of already working drivers, and with the publication of Joseph Kong's latest book, _FreeBSD Device Drivers_, now there is good documentation as well.

The book takes the reader from the simplest types of drivers, such as those used to do serial communication, up through disk, usb and network drivers, which are far more complex and require the programmer to have a greater understanding about the operating system in which they're working. The introductory chapters give enough of the required background information for writing a driver, covering areas such as memory allocation, and synchronization primitives, without preventing the reader from, very quickly, getting down to working on real code.

One of the beauties of this book is that it covers running code in a real world operating system, making it far more relevant for both students and working programmers. Many books on programming create neat and easy problems that the authors think will take the reader through the necessary steps to understanding a concept, but this book doesn't shy away from the nitty gritty details of low level code.

The book has an easy to read, narrative style which makes reading it an enjoyable experience, a seeming rarity in technical books.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to truly understand what goes on, under the hood, in an operating system.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for professionals stepping into device drivers 17 May 2012
By John Hilliar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Just before this book was released, I recently started a FreeBSD device driver project. I started out by searching the web for all related documentation and tutorials. I found myself trying to piece together dozens of different sources, most of which were too simplistic, narrowly focused, or outdated. Save yourself the time and frustration; start by buying this book. It is a well organized guide for learning to write device drivers and will get you productive much faster than scouring the web.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference for sysadmins and developers 18 May 2013
By trhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the type of book every Unix developer or systems administrator should own. Don't let the title fool you, while this is definitely a FreeBSD-heavy book, the methodology and examples would be useful to any aspiring kernel developer or systems administrator. Using real world examples, with informative, in depth explanations on what is happening "under the hood," Joseph Kong's book will walk the reader through every aspect of writing a drivers for a variety of hardware. As a systems administrator of FreeBSD, Linux, and Solaris systems, I have found this book to be an asset and am really happy I put it on my technical references shelf and feel confident any system administrator or kernel developer will feel the same way.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book to better explain FreeBSD 6 Jun. 2012
By Philip Ballew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I started this boos a novice FreeBSD user, however after having have read this book I now understand What is going on under the hood of my BSD system, This book has allowed me to understand the technical process taking place in the kernel that you are not always aware of, even when running a BSD system. The book is very well laid out in the way that it conveys the complicated topic at hand. The author truly knows his stuff because he explains it so simply, yet makes you understand on a complected level. In order for an individual to explain a complicated topic simply they must truly understand what is taking place. This book explains everything from Memory access, modules, to network drivers. This book is great for getting people to understand what a driver is to how to make and edit a actual driver itself! I will be handing this book out to every person I know who also uses FreeBSD because I feel it truly helps you understand how to take full control of your computer and make the computer work for you. This book will be by my side every time I work with any FreeBSD drivers.
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