10.2. Flashing keyboard LEDs

In certain conditions, you may desire a simpler and more direct way to communicate to the external world. Flashing keyboard LEDs can be such a solution: It is an immediate way to attract attention or to display a status condition. Keyboard LEDs are present on every hardware, they are always visible, they do not need any setup, and their use is rather simple and non-intrusive, compared to writing to a tty or a file.

The following source code illustrates a minimal kernel module which, when loaded, starts blinking the keyboard LEDs until it is unloaded.

Example 10-2. kbleds.c

/* a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html kbleds.c - Blink keyboard leds until the module is unloaded. figures/ #include <linux/module.h> #include <linux/config.h> #include <linux/init.h> #include <linux/tty.h> /apps /backup /bin /boot /data /dev /etc /home /lib /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tftpboot /tmp /usr /var For fg_console, MAX_NR_CONSOLES figures/ #include <linux/kd.h> /apps /backup /bin /boot /data /dev /etc /home /lib /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tftpboot /tmp /usr /var For KDSETLED figures/ #include <linux/vt.h> #include <linux/console_struct.h> /apps /backup /bin /boot /data /dev /etc /home /lib /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tftpboot /tmp /usr /var For vc_cons figures/ MODULE_DESCRIPTION("Example module illustrating the use of Keyboard LEDs."); MODULE_AUTHOR("Daniele Paolo Scarpazza"); MODULE_LICENSE("GPL"); struct timer_list my_timer; struct tty_driver *my_driver; char kbledstatus = 0; #define BLINK_DELAY HZ/5 #define ALL_LEDS_ON 0x07 #define RESTORE_LEDS 0xFF /apps /backup /bin /boot /data /dev /etc /home /lib /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tftpboot /tmp /usr /var a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html Function my_timer_func blinks the keyboard LEDs periodically by invoking a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html command KDSETLED of ioctl() on the keyboard driver. To learn more on virtual a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html terminal ioctl operations, please see file: a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html /usr/src/linux/drivers/char/vt_ioctl.c, function vt_ioctl(). a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html The argument to KDSETLED is alternatively set to 7 (thus causing the led a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html mode to be set to LED_SHOW_IOCTL, and all the leds are lit) and to 0xFF a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html (any value above 7 switches back the led mode to LED_SHOW_FLAGS, thus a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html the LEDs reflect the actual keyboard status). To learn more on this, a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html please see file: a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html /usr/src/linux/drivers/char/keyboard.c, function setledstate(). a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html figures/ static void my_timer_func(unsigned long ptr) { int *pstatus = (int *)ptr; if (*pstatus == ALL_LEDS_ON) *pstatus = RESTORE_LEDS; else *pstatus = ALL_LEDS_ON; (my_driver->ioctl) (vc_cons[fg_console].d->vc_tty, NULL, KDSETLED, *pstatus); my_timer.expires = jiffies + BLINK_DELAY; add_timer(&my_timer); } static int __init kbleds_init(void) { int i; printk(KERN_INFO "kbleds: loading\n"); printk(KERN_INFO "kbleds: fgconsole is %x\n", fg_console); for (i = 0; i < MAX_NR_CONSOLES; i++) { if (!vc_cons[i].d) break; printk(KERN_INFO "poet_atkm: console[%i/%i] #%i, tty %lx\n", i, MAX_NR_CONSOLES, vc_cons[i].d->vc_num, (unsigned long)vc_cons[i].d->vc_tty); } printk(KERN_INFO "kbleds: finished scanning consoles\n"); my_driver = vc_cons[fg_console].d->vc_tty->driver; printk(KERN_INFO "kbleds: tty driver magic %x\n", my_driver->magic); /apps /backup /bin /boot /data /dev /etc /home /lib /lost+found /media /misc /mnt /net /opt /proc /root /sbin /selinux /srv /sys /tftpboot /tmp /usr /var a1387.htm a1387.html a1403.htm a1403.html book1.htm c1050.htm c1050.html c1159.htm c1159.html c119.htm c119.html c1209.htm c1209.html c1254.htm c1324.htm c1324.html c1350.htm c1350.html c38.htm c38.html c425.htm c425.html c567.htm c567.html c708.htm c708.html c885.htm c885.html c890.htm c890.html c976.htm c976.html doc-index.html f25.htm f25.html figures hello2.html i1413.htm index.html interrupthandlers.html ln16.html TXT_lkmpg.html x1052.html x1161.html x1194.htm x1194.html x1211.html x121.html x1256.html x1326.html x1352.html x1389.html x1405.html x181.htm x181.html x217.htm x245.htm x245.html x279.htm x279.html x27.html x30.htm x30.html x323.htm x323.html x351.htm x351.html x35.htm x35.html x380.htm x380.html x40.html x427.html x44.htm x44.html x569.html x710.html x769.htm x769.html x810.htm x810.html x861.htm x861.html x887.html x892.html x978.html Set up the LED blink timer the first time figures/ init_timer(&my_timer); my_timer.function = my_timer_func; my_timer.data = (unsigned long)&kbledstatus; my_timer.expires = jiffies + BLINK_DELAY; add_timer(&my_timer); return 0; } static void __exit kbleds_cleanup(void) { printk(KERN_INFO "kbleds: unloading...\n"); del_timer(&my_timer); (my_driver->ioctl) (vc_cons[fg_console].d->vc_tty, NULL, KDSETLED, RESTORE_LEDS); } module_init(kbleds_init); module_exit(kbleds_cleanup);

If none of the examples in this chapter fit your debugging needs there might yet be some other tricks to try. Ever wondered what CONFIG_LL_DEBUG in make menuconfig is good for? If you activate that you get low level access to the serial port. While this might not sound very powerful by itself, you can patch kernel/printk.c or any other essential syscall to use printascii, thus makeing it possible to trace virtually everything what your code does over a serial line. If you find yourself porting the kernel to some new and former unsupported architecture this is usually amongst the first things that should be implemented. Logging over a netconsole might also be worth a try.

While you have seen lots of stuff that can be used to aid debugging here, there are some things to be aware of. Debugging is almost always intrusive. Adding debug code can change the situation enough to make the bug seem to dissappear. Thus you should try to keep debug code to a minimum and make sure it does not show up in production code.