What is a Linux Kernel Driver?

Like most fields of expertise, Information Technology has its own set of terms and principals, which most technicians become accustomed to as their expertise grows.  The terminology is akin to a different language. If you are already familiar with some basic IT terms, larger unfamiliar terms can be broken down into smaller sections in order to be understood. However, keep in mind, some words may have different meanings within the world of IT.  A good example of this is with the word “client”. In the IT world, “client” is a computer that connects and extracts information from a server. Therefore the term “client-server technology” means a connection between networked computers.

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In order to understand what is a Linux kernel driver is you first need to understand what each term means.  Once you do that, you will be able to see how these terms come together to create a specific item of its own.


Linux is a popular operating system.  Though it’s often known as an operating system, Linux kernel is accurately described as a kernel, which is part of the Linux operating system.  Linux kernel directs the hardware of your system and aids the connections between the processes.


A kernel is the core part of an operating system.  Kernels have different types, as well as different numbers of functions it can perform.  A kernel does not only have to be on a Linux system. It can be found on any number of systems.


A driver is a program that allows a particular piece of hardware to work with the operating system.

Therefore, taking these terms together, it’s possible to reach an understanding of what a Linux kernel driver is.  A Linux kernel driver is a type of program that directs hardware. This creates a cohesive system possible and allows for the hardware and software to work together in order to accomplish specific tasks.

What Does a Linux Kernel Driver Do?

In website development, it’s not uncommon to divide up the workload into specific tasks, and then assign those tasks to developers.  If the system being used is Linux, which is a very commonly used system, the developers in charge may have the task of implementing drivers in order to direct the hardware to work with the system in order to execute certain functions.  Which, in reality, is actually what a Linux kernel driver does. Developers often work on the embedded Linux kernel and driver development in order to produce crucial results.  These drivers are often considered critical pieces in the core functionality of the system.


So What is Linux Kernel Driver? A Linux kernel driver is a specific type of program that allows hardware and software to work together to accomplish a task.  Though Linux is often known as an operating system, a Linux kernel is a component of the Linux system. This Linux kernel operates to manage the system’s processes as efficiently as possible.  The Linux kernel is open-source, and very popular when developing a variety of systems.

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