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Device drivers literally drive everything you're interested in--disks, monitors, keyboards, modems--everything outside the computer chip and memory. And writing device drivers is one of the few areas of programming for the Linux operating system that calls for unique, Linux-specific knowledge. For years now, programmers have relied on the classic Linux Device Drivers from O'Reilly to master this critical subject. Now in its third edition, this bestselling guide provides all the information you'll need to write drivers for a wide range of devices.
Over the years the book has helped countless programmers learn:
Best of all, you don't have to be a kernel hacker to understand and enjoy this book. All you need is an understanding of the C programming language and some background in Unix system calls. And for maximum ease-of-use, the book uses full-featured examples that you can compile and run without special hardware.
Today Linux holds fast as the most rapidly growing segment of the computer market and continues to win over enthusiastic adherents in many application areas. With this increasing support, Linux is now absolutely mainstream, and viewed as a solid platform for embedded systems. If you're writing device drivers, you'll want this book. In fact, you'll wonder how drivers are ever written without it.
Updated to cover version 2.4.x of the Linux kernel, the second edition of Linux Device Drivers remains the best general-purpose, paper-bound guide for programmers wishing to make hardware devices work under the world's most popular open-source operating system. The authors take care to show how to write drivers that are portable--that is, that compile and run under all popular Linux platforms. That, along with the fact that they're careful to explain and illustrate concepts, makes this book very well suited to any programmer familiar with C but not with the hardware-software interface. It's worth noting that the emphasis in the title is on "device drivers" as much as "Linux." This book will make sense to you if you've never written a driver for any platform before. It helps if you have some Linux or Unix background, but even that is secondary as a prerequisite to C skill.
For a programming text--and one concerned with low-level instructions and data structures, at that--this book is remarkably rich in prose. You'll typically want to read this book straight through, more or less skipping the code samples, before sketching out your plan for the driver you need to write. Then, go back and pay closer attention to the sections on specific details you need to implement, like custom task queues. For coding-time details about specific system calls and programming techniques, count on the index to point you to the right passages. --David Wall
Topics covered: Techniques for writing hardware device drivers that run under Linux kernels 2.0.x through 2.2.x. Sections show how to manage memory, time, interrupts, ports, and other details of the hardware-software interface.
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