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Moving Linux Kernel Drivers To User-Space? Nope.

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Brought up on the Linux kernel mailing list this week was a short-lived discussion whether Linux device drivers should be moved from kernel-space to user-space in an attempt to provide "greater security and robustness" of Linux systems.

Jidong Xiao asked on Wednesday, Can we move device drivers into user-space? It's been a matter that's been brought up before in past years and he cited an earlier research paper on "Tolerating Malicious Device Drivers in Linux." Jidong's reasoning for bringing up the topic again is that, "Advantage: Since most of kernel bugs are caused by device drivers issues, moving device drivers into user space can reduce the impact of device driver bugs. From security perspective, the system can be more secure and robust if most device drivers are working in user space. Disadvantage: At least, existing techniques as well as the above paper showed a relatively high overhead."

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