Asking for help

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Tue Dec 10 12:20:51 PST 2002

On Tue, 10 Dec 2002, chay hext wrote:

> Dear sir/madam, I am a student currently studying an AVCE In ICT in
> the United Kingdom and have been asked to research network drivers or
> any other drivers I was wondering if you could send any network drivers
> as an attachment as this is necessary for my course and have not had
> much luck so far and this would be very much appriaciated

The entire linux kernel, as well as the entire e.g. freebsd kernel, is
chock full of network (and other) device drivers in open source form and
are openly and freely available at (e.g.),, and in all the linux distributions.  There is also at
least one book that I've familiar with on writing (linux) kernel drivers
(Linux Device Drivers, by A. Rubini, O'Reilly and Assoc.) which may be
updated at this point and have accumulated more authors, don't remember,
and finally (and Don Becker, who lives there) has whole
network driver pages as he wrote a large chunk of the network drivers in
use in linux today.  Finally, there are numerous mailing lists devoted
to network drivers for specific devices.

It is a bit difficult to completely detach a study of "network drivers"
from the kernel and hardware architecture they are intended to function
in, since they have to do things like deal with asynchronous interrupts,
possible MP and multitasking, buffering, DMA, parallel threads of
operation and more, so you're probably going to want to study the entire
kernel and not just "network drivers" anyway.  

Even if your assignment is really up a couple of ISO/OSI levels and
intended to study e.g. the TCP stack this is still true -- you can learn
a lot about TCP and IP from RFC's and books and online documents on the
subject, but to understand "drivers" it helps to go into the kernel
where the drivers function, AFTER reading the aforementioned
documentation and learning how TCP/IP packets are formulated, routed,
and so forth.

Hope this helps.


(Finally out from under yet another five day power outage, this time
from an unreal ice storm.  I've been "Franned".  This time we like to
froze our butts off as indoor temperatures dropped into the 40's... I
like calling North Carolina home...:-)

> yours sincerly
> Chay Hext
> -- 
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Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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