Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Help me create more content for You

If you subscribe to my blog or my youtube channel, consider donating to my indiegogo fund.

Contributing any amount you can will go a long way to help me create more content faster.

Thank you for your consideration.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Fix Ubuntu Software Centter Start Up Problem

If you ever run into a problem on Ubuntu where by your system update, software center, or synaptic fail to run properly and you get the following bug report:

E: Encountered a section with no Package: header E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/mx.archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_precise-updates_restricted_binary-i386_Packages E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
You can type the following terminal commands to fix the problem:

sudo rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/*
sudo apt-get update

The problem was caused by previous attempts to update but your internet network failing to retrieve needed files, which results in Ubuntu getting confused.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello everyone.

I am always thankful for all of you who follow my blog and my Youtube channel.

This post is to announce that from here forward, all my tutorial and source code can be found at:


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Okay so I have posted a number of Linux kernel programming videos over at my YouTube channe, however I find that I need a place to post a sample code and the make file to build a module.

So here it is. The Makefile

obj-m := solidusmodule.o

KERNEL_DIR = /lib/modules/3.2.0-25-generic/build
PWD := $(shell pwd)
 $(MAKE) -C $(KERNEL_DIR) SUBDIRS=$(PWD) modules

 rm -rf *.o *.ko *.mod.* *.symvers *.order *~

#include       // file_operations structure- which of course allows use to open/close,read/write to device
#include       //this is a char driver; makes cdev available
#include  //used to access semaphores; sychronizatoin behaviors
#include      //copy_to_user;copy_from_user

//(1) Create a structure for our fake device
struct fake_device {
 char data[100];
 struct semaphore sem;
} virtual_device;

//(2) To later register our device we need a cdev object and some other variables
struct cdev *mcdev; //m stands 'my'
int major_number; //will store our major number- extracted from dev_t using macro - mknod /director/file c major minor
int ret;  //will be used to hold return values of functions; this is because the kernel stack is very small
   //so declaring variables all over the pass in our module functions eats up the stack very fast 
dev_t dev_num;  //will hold major number that kernel gives us
   //name--> appears in /proc/devices
#define DEVICE_NAME "solidusdevice"

//(7)called on device_file open
// inode reference to the file on disk
// and contains information about that file
// struct file is represents an abstract open file
int device_open(struct inode *inode, struct file *filp){
 //only allow one process to open this device by using a semaphore as mutual exclusive lock- mutex
 if(down_interruptible(&virtual_device.sem) != 0){
  printk(KERN_ALERT "soliduscode: could not lock device during open");
  return -1;
 printk(KERN_INFO "soliduscode: opened device");
 return 0;
//(8) called when user wants to get information from the device
ssize_t device_read(struct file* filp, char* bufStoreData, size_t bufCount, loff_t* curOffset){
 //take data from kernel space(device) to user space (processs)
 //copy_to_user (destination, source,sizeToTransfer)
 printk(KERN_INFO "soliduscode: Reading from device");
 ret = copy_to_user(bufStoreData,virtual_device.data,bufCount);
 return ret;
//(9) called when user wants to send information to the device
ssize_t device_write(struct file* filp, const char* bufSourceData,size_t bufCount, loff_t* curOffset){
 //send data from user to kernel
 //copy_from_user (dest, source, count)

 printk(KERN_INFO "soliduscode: writing to device");
 ret = copy_from_user(virtual_device.data, bufSourceData, bufCount);
 return ret;
//(10) called upon user close
int device_close(struct inode *inode, struct file *filp){

 //by calling up , which is opposite of down for semaphore, we release the mutex that we obtained at device open
 //this has the effect of allowing other process to use the device now
 printk(KERN_INFO "soliduscode: closed device");
 return 0;

//(6) Tell the kernel which functions to call when user operates on our device file
struct file_operations fops = {
 .owner = THIS_MODULE,  //prevent unloadind of this module when operations are in use
 .open = device_open,  //points to the method to call when opening the device
 .release = device_close, //points to the method to call when closing the device
 .write = device_write,  //points to the method to call when writing to the device
 .read = device_read  //points to the method to call when reading from the device

static int driver_entry(void){
 //(3) Register our device with the system: a two step process
 //step(1) use dynamic allocation to assign our device
 //    a major number-- alloc_chrdev_region(dev_t*, uint fminor, uint count, char* name)
 ret = alloc_chrdev_region(&dev_num,0,1,DEVICE_NAME);
 if(ret < 0) { //at time kernel functions return negatives, there is an error
  printk(KERN_ALERT "soliduscode: failed to allocate a major number");
  return ret; //propagate error
 major_number = MAJOR(dev_num); //extracts the major number and store in our variable (MACRO)
 printk(KERN_INFO "soliduscode: major number is %d",major_number);
 printk(KERN_INFO "\tuse \"mknod /dev/%s c %d 0\" for device file",DEVICE_NAME,major_number); //dmesg
 mcdev = cdev_alloc(); //create our cdev structure, initialized our cdev
 mcdev->ops = &fops;  //struct file_operations
 mcdev->owner = THIS_MODULE; 
 //now that we created cdev, we have to add it to the kernel 
 //int cdev_add(struct cdev* dev, dev_t num, unsigned int count)
 ret = cdev_add(mcdev, dev_num, 1);
 if(ret < 0) { //always check errors
  printk(KERN_ALERT "soliduscode: unable to add cdev to kernel");
  return ret;
 //(4) Initialize our semaphore
 sema_init(&virtual_device.sem,1); //initial value of one

  return 0; 

static void driver_exit(void){
 //(5) unregister everyting in reverse order

 unregister_chrdev_region(dev_num, 1);
 printk(KERN_ALERT "soliduscode: unloaded module");

//Inform the kernel where to start and stop with our module/driver