Introduction to the Linux Kernel

Introduction to the Linux Kernel - Introduction to the...

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Introduction to the Linux Kernel
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Kernel Modules A Kernel Module is a piece of code that can be loaded and unloaded on demand. Kernel modules extend the functionality of the kernel without the need of recompilation Without a kernel module you would have a big monolithic kernel. Also, without Loadable Kernel Modules, you would need to recompile the whole kernel to add new functionality. Also to send a patch of the kernel, you would need to patch the whole kernel and it would be more complicated.
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Kernel Modules A Kernel Loadable module is like a “shared library” that can be added into the kernel. Kernel modules have the extension “.ko” (Kernel Object) The Kernel runs a “kernel dynamic linker” to resolve all unresolved symbols of the kernel module. You can load the modules explicitly. Also Linux can load the modules automatically when it needs some functionality not in the Kernel using the deamon “kmod”. Kmod runs the command “modprobe” to find out what module to load. Kmod takes as argument a string with the specifications of the functionality to load.
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Listing kernel modules grr@ubuntu:~$ lsmod Module Size Used by vmhgfs 57297 0 vsock 47098 0 bnep 17923 2 rfcomm 38408 0 bluetooth 148839 10 bnep,rfcomm snd_ens1371 24820 2 gameport
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