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Old 12-08-2018, 05:06 PM   #1
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Learning Device Driver on Virtual Machine

A casual Linux user here. I know a little bit on how to use CLI and have basic understanding in shell scripts, c programming etc..

I would like to learn more about Linux System-level and Device Drivers development, so I started reading a book on Linux Device Drivers. Right now I don't have money to buy a system I can use to run some of examples. I do have a laptop with VirtualBox installed that I use to run Ubuntu. However, It looks like the book I'm reading utilizes serial port as an example, so it looks like without an actual hardware my learning experience won't be optimal.

I just want to check to see if anyone has ever learned Linux system level/device drivers programming using VirtualBox.

I have an old laptop with 4GB RAM that is currently running Windows 10. I'm thinking to install Ubuntu on it, but for learning device driver, maybe a desktop is better? If yes, any recommendation on system setup/configuration you guys can share that would be great!

Thanks a lot!
Old 12-09-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
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While this isn't exactly your question, it might inform you about making Linux drivers.

Personally, I'd say a driver is a driver regardless of whether it's a laptop or desktop machine you're talking about.

Virtualbox just simulates a real machine, so for all intensive purposes, the OS still works in the same way - it's just not running on a "real" machine.
Old 12-09-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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I agree with what jsbjsb001 posted.

It depends on what the example driver is trying to illustrate i.e. is it trying to access the hardware pins or just send characters. If just sending characters you probably can get by with configure the VB guest serial port for a tcp connection and then connect it to PuTTy raw connection on the host or pipe it to a file.

Otherwise you probably need a real hardware serial port. These days real serial port hardware is not common on desktops or laptops anymore so I might consider skipping and moving to the next one. I would of thought a Hello World driver would be the first example...


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