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Manual page for INTRO(4)

intro - introduction to device drivers, protocols, and network interfaces


This section describes device drivers, high-speed network interfaces, and protocols available under SunOS. The system provides drivers for a variety of hardware devices, such as disks, magnetic tapes, serial communication lines, mice, and frame buffers, as well as virtual devices such as pseudo-terminals and windows. SunOS provides hardware support and a network interface for the 10-Megabit Ethernet, along with interfaces for the IP protocol family and a STREAMS-based Network Interface Tap (NIT) facility.

In addition to describing device drivers that are supported by the 4.3BSD operating system, this section contains subsections that describe:


The SunOS kernel can be configured to include or omit many of the device drivers described in this section. The CONFIG section of the manual page gives the line(s) to include in the kernel configuration file for each machine architecture on which a device is supported. If no specific architectures are indicated, the configuration syntax applies to all Sun systems.

The GENERIC kernel is the default configuration for SunOS. It contains all of the optional drivers for a given machine architecture. See config.8 for details on configuring a new SunOS kernel.

The manual page for a device driver may also include a DIAGNOSTICS section, listing error messages that the driver might produce. Normally, these messages are logged to the appropriate system log using the kernel's standard message-buffering mechanism (see syslogd.8 they may also appear on the system console.


Various special functions, such as querying or altering the operating characteristics of a device, are performed by supplying appropriate parameters to the ioctl.2 system call. These parameters are often referred to as ``ioctls.'' Ioctls for a specific device are presented in the manual page for that device. Ioctls that pertain to a class of devices are listed in a manual page with a name that suggests the class of device, and ending in `io', such as mtio.4 for magnetic tape devices, or dkio.4s for disk controllers. In addition, some ioctls operate directly on higher-level objects such as files, terminals, sockets, and streams:

Devices Always Present

Device drivers present in every kernel include:

Terminals and Serial Communications Devices

Serial communication lines are normally supported by the terminal driver; see tty.4 This driver manages serial lines provided by communications drivers, such as those described in mti.4s and zs.4s The terminal driver also handles serial lines provided by virtual terminals, such as the Sun console monitor described in console.4s and true pseudo-terminals, described in pty.4

Disk Devices

Drivers for the following disk controllers provide standard block and raw interfaces under SunOS:

Ioctls to query or set a disk's geometry and partitioning are described in dkio.4s

Magnetic Tape Devices

Magnetic tape devices supported by SunOS include those described in ar.4s tm.4s st.4s and xt.4s Ioctls for all tape-device drivers are described in mtio.4s

Frame Buffers

Frame buffer devices include color frame buffers described in the cg*.4s and gt.4s manual pages, monochrome frame buffers described in the bw*.4s manual pages, graphics processor interfaces described in the gp*.4s manual pages, and an indirect device for the console frame buffer described in fb.4s Ioctls for all frame-buffer devices are described in fbio.4s

Miscellaneous Devices

Miscellaneous devices include the console keyboard described in kbd.4s the console mouse described in mouse.4s window devices described in win.4s and the DES encryption-chip interface described in des.4s

Network-Interface Devices

SunOS supports the 10-Megabit Ethernet as its primary network interface; see ie.4s and le.4s for details. However, a software loopback interface, lo.4 is also supported. General properties of these network interfaces are described in if.4n along with the ioctls that operate on them.

Support for network routing is described in routing.4n

Protocols and Protocol Families

SunOS supports both socket-based and STREAMS-based network communications. The Internet protocol family, described in inet.4f is the primary protocol family primary supported by SunOS, although the system can support a number of others. The raw interface provides low-level services, such as packet fragmentation and reassembly, routing, addressing, and basic transport for socket-based implementations. Facilities for communicating using an Internet-family protocol are generally accessed by specifying the AF_INET address family when binding a socket; see socket.2 for details.

Major protocols in the Internet family include:

The Network Interface Tap (NIT) protocol, described in nit.4p is a STREAMS-based facility for accessing the network at the link level.


fcntl.2v getsockopt.2 ioctl.2 socket.2 ar.4s arp.4p dkio.4s drum.4 fb.4s fbio.4s filio.4 icmp.4p if.4n inet.4f ip.4p kbd.4s le.4s lo.4 mem.4s mti.4s mtio.4 nit.4p null.4 pty.4 routing.4n sd.4s st.4s streamio.4 tcp.4p termio.4 tm.4s tty.4 udp.4p win.4s xd.4s xy.4s zs.4s


Name Appears on Page Description

alm	mcp(4S)	 ALM-2 Asynchronous Line Multiplexer
ar	ar(4S)	 Archive 1/4 inch Streaming Tape Drive
arp	arp(4P)	 Address Resolution Protocol
atbus	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
audio	audio(4 )	 telephone quality audio device
bwtwo	bwtwo(4S)	 black and white memory frame buffer
cdromio	cdromio(4S)	 CDROM control operations
cgeight	cgeight(4S)	 24-bit color memory frame buffer
cgfour	cgfour(4S)	 Sun-3 color memory frame buffer
cgnine	cgnine(4S)	 24-bit VME color memory frame buffer
cgsix	cgsix(4S)	 accelerated 8-bit color frame buffer
cgthree	cgthree(4S)	 8-bit color memory frame buffer
cgtwelve	cgtwelve(4S)	 24-bit SBus color memory frame buffer
cgtwo	cgtwo(4S)	 color graphics interface
console	console(4S)	 console driver and terminal emulator
db	db(4M)	 SunDials STREAMS module
des	des(4S)	 DES encryption chip interface
dkio	dkio(4S)	 generic disk control operations
drum	drum(4)	 paging device
eeprom	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
fb	fb(4S)	 driver for Sun console frame buffer
fbio	fbio(4S)	 frame buffer control operations
fd	fd(4S)	 Disk driver for Floppy Disk Controllers
filio	filio(4)	 ioctls that operate directly on files, file descriptors, and sockets
fpa	fpa(4S)	 Sun-3 floating-point accelerator
gpone	gpone(4S)	 graphics processor
gt	gt(4S)	 double buffered 24-bit SBus graphics accelerator
icmp	icmp(4P)	 Internet Control Message Protocol
id	id(4S)	 disk driver for IPI disk controllers
ie	ie(4S)	 Intel 10 Mb/s Ethernet interface
if	if(4N)	 general properties of network interfaces
inet	inet(4F)	 Internet protocol family
ip	ip(4P)	 Internet Protocol
ipi	ipi(4S)	 IPI driver
is	is(4S)	 IPI channel driver for Sun IPI string controllers
kb	kb(4M)	 Sun keyboard STREAMS module
kbd	kbd(4S)	 Sun keyboard
kmem	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
ldterm	ldterm(4M)	 standard terminal STREAMS module
le	le(4S)	 LANCE 10Mb/s Ethernet interface
lo	lo(4N)	 software loopback network interface
lofs	lofs(4S)	 loopback virtual file system
mcp	mcp(4S)	 MCP Multiprotocol Communications Processor
mem	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
mouse	mouse(4S)	 Sun mouse
ms	ms(4M)	 Sun mouse STREAMS module
mti	mti(4S)	 Systech MTI-800/1600 multi-terminal interface
mtio	mtio(4)	 general magnetic tape interface
NFS	nfs(4P)	 network file system
nit	nit(4P)	 Network Interface Tap
nit_buf	nit_buf(4M)	 STREAMS NIT buffering module
nit_if	nit_if(4M)	 STREAMS NIT device interface module
nif_pf	nit_pf(4M)	 STREAMS NIT packet filtering module
null	null(4)	 data sink
openprom	openprom(4S)	 PROM monitor configuration interface
pp	pp(4 )	 Centronics-compatible parallel printer port
pty	pty(4)	 pseudo-terminal driver
rfs	rfs(4)	 remote file sharing service
root	root(4S)	 pseudo-driver for Sun386i root disk
routing	routing(4N)	 system supporting for local network packet routing
sbus	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
sd	sd(4S)	 driver for SCSI disk devices
sockio	sockio(4)	 ioctls that operate directly on sockets
sr	sr(4S)	 driver for CDROM SCSI controller
st	st(4S)	 driver for SCSI tape devices
streamio	streamio(4)	 STREAMS ioctl commands
taac	taac(4S)	 Sun applications accelerator
tcp	tcp(4P)	 Internet Transmission Control Protocol
tcptli	tcptli(4P)	 TLI-Conforming TCP Stream-Head
termio	termio(4)	 general terminal interface
tfs	tfs(4S)	 translucent file service
tm	tm(4S)	 Tapemaster 1/2 inch tape controller
tmpfs	tmpfs(4S)	 memory based filesystem
ttcompat	ttcompat(4M)	 V7 and 4BSD STREAMS compatibility module
tty	tty(4)	 controlling terminal interface
udp	udp(4P)	 Internet User Datagram Protocol
unix	unix(4F)	 UNIX domain protocol family
vd	vd(4)	 loadable modules interface
vme16d16	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vme16d32	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vme24d16	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vme24d32	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vme32d16	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vme32d32	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
vpc	vpc(4S)	 Systech VPC-2200 Versatec printer/plotter
vx	vx(4S)	 Sun applications accelerator
win	win(4S)	 Sun window system
xd	xd(4S)	 Disk driver for Xylogics 7053 SMD Disk Controller
xt	xt(4S)	 Xylogics 472 1/2 inch tape controller
xy	xy(4S)	 Disk driver for Xylogics 450 and 451 SMD Disk Controllers
zero	mem(4S)	 main memory and bus I/O space
zero	zero(4S)	 source of zeroes
zs	zs(4S)	 Zilog 8530 SCC serial communications driver

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Created by unroff & hp-tools. © by Hans-Peter Bischof. All Rights Reserved (1997).

Last modified 21/April/97