Chapter 4. Writing a driver in userspace

Table of Contents

Getting information about your UIO device
mmap() device memory
Waiting for interrupts

Once you have a working kernel module for your hardware, you can write the userspace part of your driver. You don't need any special libraries, your driver can be written in any reasonable language, you can use floating point numbers and so on. In short, you can use all the tools and libraries you'd normally use for writing a userspace application.

Getting information about your UIO device

Information about all UIO devices is available in sysfs. The first thing you should do in your driver is check name and version to make sure your talking to the right device and that its kernel driver has the version you expect.

You should also make sure that the memory mapping you need exists and has the size you expect.

There is a tool called lsuio that lists UIO devices and their attributes. It is available here:

With lsuio you can quickly check if your kernel module is loaded and which attributes it exports. Have a look at the manpage for details.

The source code of lsuio can serve as an example for getting information about an UIO device. The file uio_helper.c contains a lot of functions you could use in your userspace driver code.