Subject: RE: Kernel device driver
To: 'Paul Mather' <>
From: David Woyciesjes <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 09/12/2000 16:56:23
Paul ---
	Sounds like you need the services of Wasabi Systems, Inc. 
>>> <<<
They're a new commercial-grade NetBSD service and support company... I just
found out about it myself today...

I just sounded like a commercial, didn't I? Eeek...

---   David A Woyciesjes
---   C & IS Support Specialist
---   Yale University Press
---   (203) 432-0953
---   ICQ # - 905818

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Paul Mather []
> Sent:	Tuesday, September 12, 2000 4:34 PM
> To:
> Subject:	Kernel device driver
> I apologise in advance that this is probably not the best place to post
> this, but I know there are a number of kernel hackers on port-alpha,
> and, at the very least, they can tell me a better place to seek a
> solution.
> I need to develop a kernel device driver---something akin to the vnd
> pseudo device, but that works over a TCP/IP socket, instead of with a
> local file.  The remote end of the socket is some custom API (over which
> I have no control) acting as a front-end for some custom storage bricks 
> (again, over which I have no control).  The object of the driver is to
> provide a block-device abstraction on which filesystems may be created
> (a la vnd, raid).
> My dilemma is this: what is the best platform under which to develop
> such a device driver?  I have a personal fondness for NetBSD (I run
> NetBSD/{alpha,pmax} at home, so you know where my biases lie), but I
> notice there appears to be a dearth of information about kernel
> developing for NetBSD.  Well, a dearth compared to Linux, at any
> rate.  Looking for information, I found lots of tutorials and
> information for Linux kernel development, and there seem to be lots of
> file systems out there in the field, including a "network block
> device," which appears similar to what I need (just have to retool the
> other end).
> My boss naturally gravitated towards Linux from the get-go (being the
> higher profile OS in the public eye), but the ultimate decision is mine.  
> However, I need to be able to justify it.  Although I prefer NetBSD, my
> gut feeling is that I would have an easier time developing under Linux
> because of the greater availability of support material.  (For BSD, I
> have the red BSD4.4 book, and that's about it.)  Also, there are some
> folks locally with kernel filesystem development experience under Linux,
> so they'd be a handy local resource.
> I have no prior hands-on kernel developing experience, so I'm looking
> for something with the easiest learning curve, but which ultimately
> yields a good end result.  (The multi-platform aspect of NetBSD is a big
> plus in its favour, IMHO!)
> So, can I get some honest advice, here?  E-mail me privately, if you
> prefer.  I don't want this to become an OS advocacy flame-fest.  Like I
> said, my heart belongs to NetBSD... :-)
> (Also, if anyone knows of NetBSD kernel development resources, let me
> know of those, too!)
> Cheers,
> Paul.
> e-mail:
> "Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production
>  deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid."
>         --- Frank Vincent Zappa