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Re: Mach Drivers

From: Neal H Walfield
Subject: Re: Mach Drivers
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 11:25:29 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Tue, Jan 02, 2001 at 10:17:24AM -0600, Jonathan Bartlett wrote:
> This is not meant as a flame - I'm just curious.  I thought that since
> Mach was a Microkernel, the device drivers would be implemented as
> external processes, like HURD's other drivers.  However, it seems that
> they are compiled in.  

I would not say that this is a reqirement of a microkernel.

> 1) Is it possible to write low-level hardware drivers that load _after_
> Mach?

Yes, in a similar way to Linux Kernel modules.  The OSKit already has
some very basic support for this (via annotations).  It mostly will
take someone with some desire and knowledge to implement it.

> 2) If not, is it possible for Mach to have loadable driver support?
> 3) How are these issues affected if the HURD goes to L4?

L4 is a different microkernel and has different requirements (e.g.
kernel structures etc).  Thus, it would likely have to be mostly


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