User Mode Drivers #driver

Jett ✈ Rink

Hey all,

Do all "drivers" need to be run in supervisor mode (within the kernel)? I am specifically thinking about external ICs that are connected to an embedded controller running Zephyr via i2c/SPI/etc.

Take, for example, the drivers for certain EEPROMs. The EEPROM drivers do not actually need to run within the kernel, but only need permission for the SPI kernel device that the EEPROM is attached to.

Within the principle of least privilege, should these drivers for external ICs that communicate over buses actually be kernel-level drivers, or should they be "user mode drivers" instead? Just for clarity, the drivers for hardware modules on the actual embedded controller should remain in the kernel.

Lastly, should "user mode devices" be present in the device tree or not? If we wanted to use the device tree to express how external ICs were connected, does that force us to make all drivers in the kernel or would there be flexibility to use the device tree for "user mode devices"?

Thank you for any input!


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