Writing a Simple Character Device driver in Linux

A Character device driver needs a major number and a minor number. The devices are registered in the Kernel and it lies either in the /dev/ or in the /proc folder.

The following example uses a char device driver with major number 222 and a minor number 0. The name of the device driver namely “new_device

It uses the following things

  • Open or register a device

  • close or unregister the device

  • Reading from the device (Kernel to the userspace)

  • Writing to the device (userlevel to the kernel space)

There are three files, Copy the following or download all the three files here

/* new_dev.c*/

#include "new_dev.h"

MODULE_DESCRIPTION("A simple char device");

static int r_init(void);
static void r_cleanup(void);


static int r_init(void)
printk("<1>failed to register");
return 0;
static void r_cleanup(void)
return ;

/*new_dev.h */

* my device header file
#ifndef _NEW_DEVICE_H
#define _NEW_DEVICE_H

#include <linux/fs.h>
#include <linux/sched.h>
#include <linux/errno.h>
#include <asm/current.h>
#include <asm/segment.h>
#include <asm/uaccess.h>

char my_data[80]="hi from kernel"; /* our device */

int my_open(struct inode *inode,struct file *filep);
int my_release(struct inode *inode,struct file *filep);
ssize_t my_read(struct file *filep,char *buff,size_t count,loff_t *offp );
ssize_t my_write(struct file *filep,const char *buff,size_t count,loff_t *offp );
struct file_operations my_fops={
open: my_open,
read: my_read,
write: my_write,

int my_open(struct inode *inode,struct file *filep)
/*MOD_INC_USE_COUNT;*/ /* increments usage count of module */
return 0;

int my_release(struct inode *inode,struct file *filep)
/*MOD_DEC_USE_COUNT;*/ /* decrements usage count of module */
return 0;
ssize_t my_read(struct file *filep,char *buff,size_t count,loff_t *offp )
/* function to copy kernel space buffer to user space*/
if ( copy_to_user(buff,my_data,strlen(my_data)) != 0 )
printk( "Kernel -> userspace copy failed!\n" );
return strlen(my_data);

ssize_t my_write(struct file *filep,const char *buff,size_t count,loff_t *offp )
/* function to copy user space buffer to kernel space*/
if ( copy_from_user(my_data,buff,count) != 0 )
printk( "Userspace -> kernel copy failed!\n" );
return 0;


obj-m += new_dev.o

make -C /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build M=$(PWD) modules

make -C /lib/modules/$(shell uname -r)/build M=$(PWD) clean

How to compile

Put all the three files in the same folder and execute the following commands

  • make (to compile the module)

  • insmod new_dev.ko (To insert the module)

Once the module is inserted, do the following

mknod /dev/new_device c 222 0 (Command to make an entry in the /dev/, once the device is created, go and see the /dev/ folder for the entry new_device)

cat /dev/new_device (The message will be printed which is from the kernel, that is read operation)

echo “This is a write information to the kernel” > /dev/new_device (This command is to perform the write operation)

After checking the read and write operation, just remove the module

rmmod new_dev.ko

(Source: http://linuxgazette.net/125/mishra.html)

Inserting FLV Files (Flash Videos) in Wordpress

For people who host their blog using CMS such as Wordpress, you'll need a plugin and a Flash Media Player, so that people can play videos within the blog post.A Plugin called wordtube is available as a plugin in wordpress
and it is the open source JW FLV Media player.

Step 1: Download the wordtube.zip from the link http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordtube, uncompress the fi les on your computer, and you will receive a folder named ‘wordtube’. Do not rename it. Upload the wordtube folder into the plugins folder (/wp-content/plugins/) of your blog using an FTP program.

Step 2: Download mediaplayer.zip from http://www.longtailvideo.com/players/ jw-fl v-player/, uncompress it, rename the file player.swf to mediaplayer.swf and upload it into to the wordtube folder of your blog.

Step 3: Login to enter the admin area, activate the wordtube plugin from the list, and then go to Settings | Wordtube to configure the plugin. Go to Media | WordTube, and you’ll land on a page that says ‘Manage Media files’.
From here, upload a fl ash video.

Step 4: Now create a post or open an existing one if you want to use the video therein. Before previewing the post and video, enter a tag [ media id= ‘id’] in the content box and at the desired location inside the post. In this tag, replace ‘id’ with the number of the video reflecting in the Media Center. Also, add the playlist tag as listed therein. Finally, hit the ‘preview post’ button to see how the video plays, when published.

Source: December 2009, Chip Magazine