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,,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(, 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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

AVR Programming

Hello internet, i just recently posted a video on how to interface an AVR microcontroller with and LCD Screen (HD44780).

Please watch the video and do comment.