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Linux Device Drivers (Nutshell Handbook) [Paperback]

Alessandro Rubini
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Linux Device Drivers Linux Device Drivers 4.0 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

11 Feb 1998 Nutshell Handbook

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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Product details

  • Paperback: 439 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 Feb 1998)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1565922921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565922921
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 18.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,612,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Alessandro installed Linux 0.99.14 soon after getting his degree as electronic engineer. He then received a Ph.D in computer science at the University of Pavia despite his aversion toward modern technology. Alas, he still enjoys digging in technology and discovering the intelligence of people who created it: that's why he now works in his apartment with three PCs, an Alpha, a SPARC, and an Apple2 -- the last without Linux. But you might find him roaming around in the north of Italy on his bike, which doesn't carry an electronic cyclometer.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but dated 31 Aug 2000
If you want to learn how to write a Linux driver then you MUST buy this book! It gives a very good background into the workings of the Linux device module system. The text is very readable and usually puts (some very complex) ideas across in a manner that doesn't scare the reader off - the multitude of code fragments also help a lot! However, there is one caveat. The book was written at a time when the Linux Module system was in a state of flux. The text is written focusing on version 2.0.x of the kernel but there were some major changes to the structure and some system calls between then and version 2.2.x . There is an attempt, at the back of the book, to outline the new changes (as at version 2.1.43), but these are a bit vague and not many examples are given. Maybe it's not such a bad thing though...The current version of the linux module system as at Version 2.2.x is, I believe, going to be used in the next release. Please, Mr. Rubini, update the text to be more current! If you do I'll buy a copy of the book and recommend it to anyone!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I've not been happy with some of the O'Reilly books I've gotten lately, but this book is an exception. While there were a few problems that should have been caught in the review, it's a truely useful book. It even looks like the index is functional.
The one thing I wished it had was coverage of the VFS. However, if you need to write a character or block device driver, this book will enable you to do it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Very well written, everything clearly explained. I needed to write a driver for a flash memory device in an embedded PC, and this book really helped to do the task, along with the kernel sources.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must have" book on Linux Device Drivers 12 April 1998
By A Customer
If you are going to write device drivers for Linux, you must have a copy of this book on your desk. Another _winner_ title from O'Reilly.
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12 of 33 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Like many people I have been waiting for the second addition to arrive and if you look on O'Reillys web site, you will see it is out now and that the first edition ( which is the one listed here ) is out of print.
The 'Book Description' is about the 2nd edition, but the book, contents and price listed at the head of the page are for the first edition.
... Make sure you order the second edition...
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