Understanding modern device drivers

11 years 5 months ago
Understanding modern device drivers
Device drivers are the single largest contributor to operating-system kernel code with over 5 million lines of code in the Linux kernel, and cause significant complexity, bugs and development costs. Recent years have seen a flurry of research aimed at improving the reliability and simplifying the development of drivers. However, little is known about what constitutes this huge body of code beyond the small set of drivers used for research. In this paper, we study the source code of Linux drivers to understand what drivers actually do, how current research applies to them and what opportunities exist for future research. We determine whether assumptions made by driver research, such as that all drivers belong to a class, are indeed true. We also analyze driver abstractions to determine whether drivers can benefit from code re-organization or hardware trends. We develop a set of staticanalysis tools to analyze driver code across various axes. Broadly, our study looks at three aspects...
Asim Kadav, Michael M. Swift
Added 20 Apr 2012
Updated 20 Apr 2012
Type Journal
Year 2012
Authors Asim Kadav, Michael M. Swift
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