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I am pretty new to Linux.

I always see two terms hardware driver and kernel driver.

So what are the differences between the hardware driver and the kernel driver?

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  • @user2468627: Please be more specific!!
    – Maythux
    Nov 25, 2013 at 13:50

2 Answers 2

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Most likely you have come up with the hardware drive that is a kernel module rather than a user-space module. It is not an alternative, but rather an orthogonal classification.

So you can have (these are examples):

                  Kernel                 |  User space
Hardware      | Most harddrive drivers   |  3G Internet modem driver
Non-hardware  | EXT3/4 driver            |  Some non-standard filesystem

If you were building your own kernel, you would actually have to decide whether to include some driver in the kernel space. This makes the driver operate faster and reduces the latency, but if the driver is buggy it can take down entire system with it, and also you can't unload this driver without kernel recompilation later on.

Or, of course, you can be talking about something completely different. q;-)=

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So what are the differences between the hardware driver and the kernel driver?

There is none. Provided context, "driver" is most used in the Windows environment, in Linux/Ubuntu world these are commonly known as "modules".

But, there is a differentiation between drivers that runs in Kernel mode and drivers that runs in User mode.

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