Driver Development Books?

Sergey Babkin babkin at
Wed Oct 12 05:03:41 PDT 2005

>From: Pete <TheManifestShadow at>
>Date: Tue Oct 11 11:47:28 CDT 2005
>To: freebsd-hackers at
>Subject: Driver Development Books?

>    I have what may seem to be a silly question, but I cannot find any 
>other decent resources on the web. >.< The problem that I am having 
>right now is
>that I have a fairly nice graphics card which, for the moment is only 
>supported on Windows Operating systems, and old 2.4 Linux kernels. So 
>far there has
>not been much positive outlook in porting the drivers to *BSD or any of 
>the 2.6 kernels that I know of, let alone 64-bit drivers for non-Win OSes.

The video cards usually have nothing to do
with the kernel itself. Their drivers are in the
X Window system. Probably the easiest fix is
to just install an older version (3.x probably)
of XFree86 on your machine.

>So I guess that makes my question fairly simple then; I know that driver 
>code is written in C (which I am learning currently) but thats about all 

Well, you usually need a bit more expertise
than "learning currently" to write drivers.

>I know. I'm probably
>not far off when I say that I need more to go on. Yet, from looking at 
> I have not been able to find any books on writing driver 
>code, which is really

Searching for "device driver" turns up
a lot of books on Amazon. For the system-specific
details look in the online FreeBSD Device Driver
Writer's guide (part of the Handbook if I
remember correctly).

Anyway, for the graphical cards it's not what 
you need. The graphical drivers are running
in user space as a part of X server. Writing
them is a completely different story and I
don't think there are any manuals. Just look
at the code of the other drivers and do the


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