As with other SunOS 5 drivers, STREAMS drivers are dynamically linked and loaded when referred to for the first time. For example, when the system is initially booted, the STREAMS pseudo-tty slave pseudo-driver (pts(7D)) is loaded automatically into the kernel when it is first opened.
In STREAMS, the header declarations differ between drivers and modules. The word “module” is used in two different ways when talking about drivers. There are STREAMS modules, which are pushable nondriver entities, and there are kernel-loadable modules, which are components of the kernel. See the appropriate chapters in Writing Device Drivers.
The kernel configuration mechanism must distinguish between STREAMS devices and traditional character devices because system calls to STREAMS drivers are processed by STREAMS routines, not by the system driver routines. The streamtab pointer in the cb_ops(9S) structure provides this distinction. If it is NULL, there are no STREAMS routines to execute; otherwise, STREAMS drivers initialize streamtab with a pointer to a streamtab(9S) structure containing the driver's STREAMS queue processing entry points.