The Linux Kernel, Modules, and Drivers

Anyone who has added a driver to another operating system (such as one that runs Windows) will undoubtedly appreciate the virtues of modular kernels. Although hardware is not "hot-swappable" with Linux (yet), drivers are, and the capability to remove, recompile, and reload drivers in Linux systems without completely restarting the system is one of Linux's strongest features.

This is especially useful when running in a multiuser environment. Restarting a multiuser system to load a new driver results in all the users being kicked off; however, the capability to unload and reload modules on-the-fly without restarting the system enables users to stay logged on. Also, when debugging problems with hardware drivers, ...

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