1.1. What Is A Kernel Module?
So, you want to write a kernel module. You know C, you've written a few normal programs to run as processes, and now
you want to get to where the real action is, to where a single wild pointer can wipe out your file system and a core dump
means a reboot.
What exactly is a kernel module? Modules are pieces of code that can be loaded and unloaded into the kernel upon
demand. They extend the functionality of the kernel without the need to reboot the system. For example, one type of module
is the device driver, which allows the kernel to access hardware connected to the system. Without modules, we would have to
build monolithic kernels and add new functionality directly into the kernel image. Besides having larger kernels, this has
the disadvantage of requiring us to rebuild and reboot the kernel every time we want new functionality.