To understand what a device driver programme is, think of all the devices you insert on your computer; USB Flash disks, diskettes, printers, CD ROM readers, etc; for the computer to read all these, it has to have a device driver. Usually, most of the device drivers come with the Operating system that you are using. But along the way, to may buy a new device that needs a device driver which wasn’t anticipated by the OS. The drive thus converts all the input and output instructions to the OS, into a language that the devices will understand.
- Most Windows programs have what is known as Virtual device drivers. The programs will interface with Windows Virtual Machine Manager.
- Each main hardware has a virtual device driver; these include the drive controller, hard disk, serial ports, keyboard, etc.
- The operating system gets constant interrupts from both the software and hardware; the work and role of the virtual device drivers is to handle interrupts caused by software.
- Device drivers are oft categorized into the below;
- Block device drivers
- Character device drivers
- Pseudo device drivers
- Network device drivers
Rather than buying a new driver, there are times an existing device driver may be configured. The configuration is usually done to make the device compatible with the system management. Configuration entails writing the device driver and creating a single binary module. This module is then tested on a running system to ascertain its viability and effectiveness.
The configuration of device driver is categorized into either static configuration, or dynamic configuration. In static configuration, the tasks and tools necessary to make the device compatible with the Kernel at a given time, are configured; in dynamic configuration, the same tasks ad tools are configured, but in a way that makes them compatible with the kernel at any given time.
Having the above basic information about device driver programs is very crucial.