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Press Release: April 25, 2012

FreeBSD Device Drivers--New from No Starch Press: A Guide for the Intrepid

FreeBSD Device Drivers
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San Francisco, CA, April 25, 2012—Device drivers allow software to communicate with hardware, and because every operating system has specific requirements, driver writing is nontrivial. When developing for the open source FreeBSD operating system, programmers have had to scour the Internet and dig through the kernel source code to figure out how to write the drivers they need. Until now.

In FreeBSD Device Drivers (No Starch Press, May 2012, 352 pp., $49.95, ISBN 9781593272043), author Joseph Kong teaches readers how to master everything from the basics of building and running loadable kernel modules to more complicated topics like thread synchronization and interrupt handling. After a crash course in the different FreeBSD driver frameworks, thorough tutorial sections dissect real-world drivers like the parallel port printer driver and storage drivers. Throughout the book, extensive annotations walk the reader through the many code examples.

No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock says, "At No Starch Press, we try to publish books that solve readers' problems, and this is an area that has been underserved for years. We're excited to offer this resource to the FreeBSD community."

In FreeBSD Device Drivers, readers will learn:

  • All about Newbus, the infrastructure used by FreeBSD to manage hardware devices
  • How to work with ISA, PCI, USB, and other buses
  • The best ways to control and communicate with the hardware devices from user space
  • How to use Direct Memory Access (DMA) for maximum system performance
  • The inner workings of the virtual null modem terminal driver, the USB printer driver, the Intel PCI Gigabit Ethernet adapter driver, and other important drivers
  • How to use Common Access Method (CAM) to manage host bus adapters (HBAs)

With FreeBSD Device Drivers, FreeBSD driver writers will finally have all of the information they need in one place.

For more information or to request a review copy of FreeBSD Device Drivers, contact Jessica Miller at No Starch Press (, +1.415.863.9900, x110) or visit

About the Author

The author of Designing BSD Rootkits (No Starch Press), Joseph Kong works on information security, operating system theory, reverse code engineering, and vulnerability assessment. He is a former system administrator for the City of Toronto.

Additional Resources
Chapter 7, "Newbus and Resource Allocation" (PDF)
Table of Contents
Detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
Index (PDF)
No Starch Press Catalog Page

FreeBSD Device Drivers FreeBSD Device Drivers
Publisher: No Starch Press
By Joseph Kong
ISBN: 9781593272043, $49.95  
May 2012, 352 pp.

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