Assignment #2 Character Driver


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ECE 373 – Assignment #2
Character Driver
It’s time to start playing with the device driver interface in the kernel. This assignment will use
information from the previous lectures, and combine that with this week’s character device lecture.
Roll all that into one, and we can start sending data into and retrieving data from the kernel.
1. Setting up the char device:
The first part of this assignment deals with getting the character device framework built. Create a
kernel module that creates and registers a single character device (struct cdev). Make sure this
device dynamically allocates a dev_t major number; statically allocating a device will result in loss
of points.
Make sure to also document how to create the device file in /dev to operate on. This will need to be
in the list of things to turn in with the assignment.
2. Hooking up file operations
By now you should have a shiny kernel module that loads and does nothing useful. Let’s make it
Add an integer variable called “syscall_val” to your char device struct. Initialize this
value to 42 to begin with.
Write a read() callback function that will read the variable “syscall_val” and return it to
userspace (remember copy_to_user?). Make sure to have a printk() to print that you’re
in the read() system call.
Write a write() callback function that will write a new value to “syscall_val”. You do
not need to do data verification at this point, but you’re more than welcome to (remember
copy_from_user?). Make sure to have a printk() to print that you’re in the write() system
3. Testing, testing…
Now your driver is hooked up and ready to accept inputs. Write a tiny C program in userspace that
opens the character device you created (it’s ok to hard-code your /dev filename here), reads the
current value of the “syscall_val” variable, and displays it. Then have your C program write a
new value to change “syscall_val”. After writing the value, read the value back out and display
Make sure your module unloads successfully, and properly cleans up ALL resources you allocated
in the driver (chardev, dev_t, etc.).
4. Changes
Suppose you want to let your users specify their favorite initial value – instead of ’42’, maybe they
want to start with ’97’. Modify your program to use a module parameter to set the starting value.
Reload the module, setting the module parameter value on the command line. Use your test
program to read and print and change the initial value. Lastly, using the ‘cat’ shell command, read
the current value of the module parameter from the sysfs entry.
Debugging Hint:
Be sure to check return values in your userspace test program to catch errors and print any resulting
error values. See the man pages for open(), read(), write(), errno.h, and possibly even perror() for
more information.
What to turn in:
1. Source code to your kernel module, plus your kernel module Makefile.
2. Your userspace program. This does not require a Makefile, just the source code.
3. A typescript of loading the driver and running your userspace program both before and after
adding the module parameter.
4. A typescript of /proc/devices showing your module loaded
Check all of these materials into your Github Classroom repo before 11pm, Pacifc time,
Wednesday, 21-April-2021

Assignment #2 Character Driver
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