Userspace drivers in the new Linux kernel

DRIVER SHIFT

Article from Issue 86/2008
Author(s):

New versions of the Linux kernel will support a special userspace driver
model, but some technical pitfalls might limit the use of this interesting
new feature.

For years, developers had little success convincing Linus Torvalds of the need for a programming interface for userspace drivers. A userspace driver needs to provide application program interfaces for hardware access, like any other driver; however, the userspace driver operates from the application layer, so it runs in non-privi leged mode. Now Linus has finally given up his resistance. The future kernel 2.6.23 will permit userspace drivers, and it will provide a kernel interface for them . The code originated with Greg Kroah-Hart-man and his Industrial IO interface.

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