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Writing Device Drivers     Oracle Solaris 11.1 Information Library
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Part I Designing Device Drivers for the Oracle Solaris Platform

1.  Overview of Oracle Solaris Device Drivers

2.  Oracle Solaris Kernel and Device Tree

3.  Multithreading

4.  Properties

5.  Managing Events and Queueing Tasks

6.  Driver Autoconfiguration

7.  Device Access: Programmed I/O

8.  Interrupt Handlers

9.  Direct Memory Access (DMA)

10.  Mapping Device and Kernel Memory

11.  Device Context Management

12.  Power Management

13.  Hardening Oracle Solaris Drivers

14.  Layered Driver Interface (LDI)

Part II Designing Specific Kinds of Device Drivers

15.  Drivers for Character Devices

16.  Drivers for Block Devices

17.  SCSI Target Drivers

18.  SCSI Host Bus Adapter Drivers

19.  Drivers for Network Devices

20.  USB Drivers

21.  SR-IOV Drivers

Part III Building a Device Driver

22.  Compiling, Loading, Packaging, and Testing Drivers

23.  Debugging, Testing, and Tuning Device Drivers

24.  Recommended Coding Practices

Debugging Preparation Techniques

Use a Unique Prefix to Avoid Kernel Symbol Collisions

Use cmn_err() to Log Driver Activity

Use ASSERT() to Catch Invalid Assumptions

Use mutex_owned() to Validate and Document Locking Requirements

Use Conditional Compilation to Toggle Costly Debugging Features

Declaring a Variable Volatile


Periodic Health Checks

Part IV Appendixes

A.  Hardware Overview

B.  Summary of Oracle Solaris DDI/DKI Services

C.  Making a Device Driver 64-Bit Ready

D.  Console Frame Buffer Drivers

E.  pci.conf File



To ensure serviceability, the driver must be enabled to take the following actions:

Periodic Health Checks

A latent fault is one that does not show itself until some other action occurs. For example, a hardware failure occurring in a device that is a cold standby could remain undetected until a fault occurs on the master device. At this point, the system now contains two defective devices and might be unable to continue operation.

Latent faults that remain undetected typically cause system failure eventually. Without latent fault checking, the overall availability of a redundant system is jeopardized. To avoid this situation, a device driver must detect latent faults and report them in the same way as other faults.

You should provide the driver with a mechanism for making periodic health checks on the device. In a fault-tolerant situation where the device can be the secondary or failover device, early detection of a failed secondary device is essential to ensure that the secondary device can be repaired or replaced before any failure in the primary device occurs.

Periodic health checks can be used to perform the following activities: