I write a kernel module which has initialize and end function. I want one more function and want to call it from the user space process at any time i want.

Is it applicable ? If so, how ?

I am working on CentOS 5.2 and custom kernel, patched from linux 2.6.18.

EDIT: To make clear, I want to write a function into kernel module and call this function from the regular source.c file.

  • 2
    To call some function in your module you would have to create a custom system call, that is the only way of directly calling into the kernel. What exactly are you trying to do?
    – vonbrand
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:14
  • I try to use WBINVD instruction, and i want to trigger it from the userspace. This instruction is the only one that is need for our benchmark research.
    – ykulah
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:31
  • What does that instruction do? Is it privileged in some way that you need to run it in the kernel? What exactly are you benchmarking, isn't there a much less invasive way of doing that?
    – vonbrand
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:43
  • It writes the dirty cache lines to the memory and invalidate all cpu cache. My aim is to count the cache miss/hits. Yeap, this is a privileged instruction, thats why i am trying to write a piece of kernel code.
    – ykulah
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:48
  • Isn't it enough to run some random stuff before your benchmark, or make it sizeable enough that "leftover cache" effects aren't an issue?
    – vonbrand
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


Doing a kernel module that can use the /proc filesystem sounds like it might work for you. IBM developerWorks has an article on that topic. I worked through the code a few years ago, and it worked back then. The article is dated 2006, and seems to apply to Linux 2.6 kernels.

The problem I can foresee with using "files" in the /proc filesystem to get your module to do its work is that an open/read/close style API probably doesn't match what you want to do. You might have to use an open() on a /proc file to mean "execute WBINVD" or something unobvious like that.

  • I read the article but my patched kernel prompts some warnings about the vmlinux - Section mismatch. what can be the reason ?
    – ykulah
    Mar 19, 2013 at 9:22
  • I do not use /proc file system for the solution because of the timing problem. But I read the article and i am sure that /proc did the job unless you have a timing restriction.
    – ykulah
    Mar 23, 2013 at 22:38

simplest thing to do is to have a character device, and write to that device, then the driver's read gets called and do the processing in the read callback of the character device in kernel.

  • Could you give an example which would help the user asking the question as well as people who have the same problem?
    – nopcorn
    Mar 14, 2013 at 12:00
  • here's one: tldp.org/LDP/lkmpg/2.6/html/x569.html. but can be changed to work on the latest kernels (3.5 e.t.c) Mar 14, 2013 at 16:37

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