A device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

32
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the kernel have a main() function? [closed]

I am learning device drivers and Kernel programming. According to Jonathan Corbet's book, there is no main() function in device drivers. So I two questions: Why don't we need a main() function in ...
32
votes
4answers
17k views

Moving linux install to a new computer

I know that it can, in some circumstances, be difficult to move a Windows installation from one computer to another (physically move the hard drive), but how does that work on linux? Aren't most of ...
20
votes
4answers
453 views

How to find the driver (module) associated with a device on Linux?

On Linux, given: a device, for example /dev/sda, and its major and minor numbers, for example 8, 0, how can I know which module / driver is "driving" it? Can I dig into /sys or /proc to ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

What is the difference between kernel drivers and kernel modules?

When I do a lspci -k on my Kubuntu with a 3.2.0-29-generic kernel I can see something like this: 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation G86 [Quadro NVS 290] (rev a1) Subsystem: ...
20
votes
1answer
454 views

How to get started writing drivers?

I have a throw-away cheap laptop I'd like to twiddle around, a Thinkpad SL 500. What bothers me are two leds, the one for wireless connectivity, and the one for hibernation, which don't light up at ...
17
votes
1answer
9k views

How to assign USB driver to device

This question is two-fold: First, how do you manually detach a driver from a USB device and attach a different one? For example, I have a device that when connected automatically uses the ...
15
votes
1answer
499 views

How is new hardware support added to the linux kernel?

Imagine there's a company A that releases a new graphics adapter. Who manages the process that results in this new graphics adapter being supported by the Linux kernel in the future? How does that ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

What is difference between User space and Kernel space?

Is Kernel space used when Kernel is executing on the behalf of the user program i.e. System Call? Or is it the address space for all the Kernel threads (for example scheduler)? If it is the first ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't you need to update drivers? (Or do you?)

In my life I've not once updated drivers on any of my Linux systems, though they have all been desktops. A friend was asking me why one does not need to update Linux drivers and I found myself unable ...
13
votes
2answers
24k views

What is the difference between ioctl(), unlocked_ioctl() and compat_ioctl()?

Going through the linux 2.6.36 source code at lxr.linux.no, I could not find the ioctl() method in file_operations. Instead I found two new calls: unlocked_ioctl() and compat_ioctl(). What is the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Using many monitors (4+) in linux

I want to be able to run more than 4 monitors (maybe 6) and it's extremely confusing what's compatible now with the Displayport cards coming out. Right now I have an ATI card that only has 2 HDMI ...
12
votes
1answer
11k views

How to use Linux kernel driver bind/unbind interface for USB-HID devices?

First background. I am developing a driver for Logitech game-panel devices. It's a keyboard with a screen on it. The driver is working nicely but by default the device is handled by HID. In order to ...
10
votes
2answers
659 views

Driver is sometimes loaded, sometimes not

I was assigned an Ubuntu desktop with some stuff already on it. I did not reformat it, but attached a mini-PCI wireless card over a PCI to mini-PCI adapter. I manually built the madwifi driver and ...
9
votes
1answer
474 views

Why need drivers for both x server and the linux kernel?

Can someone explain why two sets of drivers are needed, one in the Linux kernel and one in X? I understand that the device drivers are in the kernel, but what is the role of those in the xserver? ...
9
votes
1answer
655 views

What driver is behind a certain device file?

Given a device file, say /dev/sdb, is it possible to determine what driver is behind it? Specifically, I want to determine what driver my storage devices are using. fdisk -l lists 2 devices: /dev/sda ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

wireless is disabled by hardware switch even when not

I have a spartan computer. It has a built-in wireless module that up until recently I've had no issues with. The current problem is this. Everytime I shutdown the computer and it boots back up, I am ...
8
votes
2answers
342 views

Connect alauda driver to an mtd device

I have a USB card reader, an Olympus MAUSB-10. It provides direct flash access to SmartMedia or xD cards, using the Linux alauda driver. This is different from a typical card reader which just ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

mptscsih: ioc0: task abort: SUCCESS (rv=2002) causes 30 seconds freezing

I/O to my software RAID6 often freezes for around 30 seconds after which everything is back to normal. After the freeze is over this is put into syslog: Mar 14 18:43:57 server kernel: [35649.816060] ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

How to debug the input from an input-device (/dev/input/event*)

I have a IR reciver that is using the imon-driver and i would like to get it working with the kernel. Right now half of the keys on the remote (image) works, but an all important think like the ...
7
votes
1answer
545 views

Attaching USB-Serial device with custom PID to ttyUSB0 on embedded

I'm attempting to get an FTDI USB-Serial device with a custom PID to automatically (or even manually) attach to ttyUSB%n, without much success. The device's normal VID/PID is 0403/6001. When ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

Installing USR 5422 on Ubuntu 12.04

I am a newbie to Linux. I was trying to set up the USR5422 USB adapter. It worked fine for the first time, but since then it freezes the computer most of the time. What commands can I fire to see ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

Should I restart after a pacman upgrade?

after running sudo pacman -Syyu or sudo pacman -S [something to install] should I restart just to be safe?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Implications of Linux support for AMD Fusion APUs?

As I understand it, the Linux kernel has had good support for Intel and AMD CPUs (pretty obvious since your OS installs and runs fine!). But now that AMD is releasing their new Fusion APUs, is it ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How to find out which X11 driver system is using?

How to find out which X11 driver system is using? For my chip openchrome is the best driver but I suspect that system is not using it. I just need at least 2D acceleration. How can I check? Here is ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Prevent a USB external hard drive from sleeping

Does anyone know if there is an elegant way to tell an external usb drive not to spin down after a period of inactivity? I've seen cron based solutions that write a file every minute, but nothing ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Webcam on Angström

I am running Angström on my BeagleBoard-xm. I want to use a webcam (I have Microsoft LifeCam Cinema and Logitech C310). I installed v4l-utils, libv4l-dev and kernel-module-uvcvideo with opkg. But the ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Getting Ubuntu working with eSATA (Intel H57 chipset)

Does anyone know if there's kernel support for the eSATA controller in the Intel H57 chipset, or if there's a driver for it somewhere? (Full disclosure: Asked over on SuperUser.com, no luck, but as ...
6
votes
2answers
782 views

Console port problems on Fedora 15

I've looked under every search term on google I can think of and can't seem to find anything that works. I just switched from Windows 7 to Fedora 15 on my PC. I need use of the console port to ...
6
votes
2answers
734 views

Loading 3rd-Party Drivers before Fedora 14 Installation

My server is equipped with a megaraid controller that cannot be identified by most linux installer. I have to load it's driver before installation can proceed. I know how to do it with CentOS that ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Support for usb 3.0?

I could not seem to find the question here but I was wondering what experience if any users have had with USB 3.0? My asus p5x58d has usb 3 on it but I have yet to try it out and also do not know ...
6
votes
1answer
371 views

Would someone please explain lspci -vv output?

I have the following output from running lspci -vv -s 00:00 on my single board computer running Linux. 07:05.0 RAID bus controller: Adaptec AAC-RAID (Rocket) (rev 03) Subsystem: Adaptec ASR-2230S + ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How to find the best monitor resolution and put it to work? Fedora

In this question I'm asking how to install a compatible driver to a Fedora machine, but, the main problem is a bad resolution. So, how can I find the best resolution to my monitor and put it to work? ...
6
votes
2answers
16k views

Xvideo extension not active with the radeon driver

On my computer running Debian squeeze with the radeon driver, the XVideo extension doesn't work (the extension itself is there but the hardware is not supported). xvinfo shows X-Video Extension ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Enabling 1366x768 resolution in Debian Wheezy on Atom D525 Board

For some reason, when I try to update to a modern version of Linux from Debian 6.0.7 or Ubuntu 10.0.4, I lose most of the resolutions that were available, including the native resolution of the panel ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Best way to get into Kernel programming?

Not so much asking what books (although if you know of any guides/tutorials that'd be helpful) but what is the best way to start doing kernel programming and is there a particular distro that would be ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Which device uses which driver under Linux?

How can I find out or list that what drivers the devices in my pc use?
5
votes
2answers
790 views

What’s the difference between a “raw” and a “cooked” device driver?

Does this concept only apply to terminal drivers (which is what most sites cover) or to any driver in general?
5
votes
2answers
10k views

How to find out which Wi-Fi driver is installed?

I know about lsmod, but how do I figure out which driver does what?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Microphone - static background noise suppression on Linux

My soundcard is Realtek ALC 892. On Windows 7 I use official Realtek drivers, on Linux I use PulseAudio (on Ubuntu 13.10). On both Windows and Linux, when I enable microphone boost +30db (required ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

What software or drivers do I need to shut off to use `flashrom`?

I have backed myself into a corner with a new system I'm building. The current BIOS is completely broken (it locks up after drawing half the screen if you enter settings during POST, locks up if any ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the next step in troubleshooting this wireless connection failure?

I just installed Ubuntu 10.04.3 to dual-boot with Windows. I can connect to the Internet using a wired connection, but not through wireless. The first time I booted, the wireless notification bar ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do Linux drivers work and where do I find them? (esp. NIC driver)

I am wondering how a driver functions under Linux. Are drivers a single file that can be edited? Is there a list of current drivers in use or is there a different place to find them for each device? ...
5
votes
2answers
957 views

ZONE_NORMAL and it's association with Kernel/User-pages?

Above is presented a case where I have only 512 MB of physical memory. What I have read up so far, is that ZONE_NORMAL is mapped to the kernel virtual address space as shown. Essentially I have a ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

USB 2.0 device is not working in USB 3.0 ports

I have a Ubuntu 12.04 system. On that system I have one USB 3.0 port. In this port I am trying use my USB 2.0 device, but every time when I plug in that USB 2.0 device into the USB 3.0 port, the ...
5
votes
1answer
325 views

Blacklisting Drivers

What does it mean to blacklist a driver in Linux/Unix? How do you go about doing it?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

USB 3.0 ports not working

I have a Sager NP8130 notebook with two USB 3.0 ports which I cannot get to work in any linux distros I've tried. The distros I've tried so far are the latest 64-bit (where available) versions of the ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of inb, inl, inw to access kernel space from user space

What are some user space examples of using inb, inl, and inw to access kernel space in Linux?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tell if my wifi dongle has access-point capabilities?

I have a Realtek 8191SU USB wifi dongle for use on my Raspberry Pi. I'm trying to set up a wifi access point using this tutorial. However, I'm running into a few errors, and I suspect it might be ...
5
votes
1answer
454 views

Explain to a Linux user how do BSD/OSX drivers work

Linux drivers come in a form of kernel modules (*.ko files), which can be given parameters when loaded into the kernel and usually live in /lib/modules/<kernel version>. What's the similar ...
5
votes
2answers
746 views

What is the state of open-source Poulsbo/GMA 500 drivers?

Currently, a causal browse through a number of Linux distros show spotty Poulsbo drivers at best. Has any headway been made recently towards either convincing Intel to coax the driver source out of ...