What exactly is device driver? Simply put, it is an essential computer software package that acts as a translator between a hardware device and its operating system. In computer technology, a device driver is basically a computer software package that acts or operates on a specific type of hardware device that’s attached to an application or automaton running on the computer. A driver acts just like a translator between an application (the software) and hardware (the automaton). Just like a web browser acts on a browser-based browser, so does a device driver to operate a specific device instead of a generic computer software. It translates the actions taken by the application into commands that the automaton can interpret and use.
Basically, an application is just a software program for a specific device. It sends instructions, which are controlled by a specific device. The device then interprets these instructions in a form of data that’s either understood or interpreted by the device’s driver. It then sends this result back to the application, and the application uses it to do something with the device. But since there are so many different types of devices, there are different ways these applications communicate. Device drivers help make this possible for each type of application.
There are different types of device drivers that are used in different applications. The main three are visual system drivers, peripheral device drivers and network drivers. Each type of device driver has a job to do on a specific computer architecture. For example, a graphics device needs to be able to communicate with a graphic card, and a printer needs to be able to communicate with a print server. A networking device on a networked computer would need to be able to communicate with a network router or gateway.
Before discussing how each type of device driver works, let’s quickly examine how a device actually is constructed. When you put a device into a computer, it becomes part of its operating system. To understand this in detail, you’ll need to know what a device driver actually is, and what makes a driver unique from other parts of the operating system. A device driver, as an example, is a software program designed to be loaded into your computer when you install a specific type of operating system. This driver is usually written to match the specific features of the hardware that you’re trying to use with the specific type of operating system you have.
Now, every device needs a driver in order to function properly. So what happens is that the manufacturer of the device implements the device driver into their product. However, not all manufacturers create identical driver programs. In fact, not all computers will necessarily have a driver program installed. If you’re using a Microsoft Windows operating system, then you’re probably getting a Windows device driver. On the other hand, if you’re using Linux, you’ll probably be using a Linux device driver.
The question is: how do you determine what is device driver, and what kind of program should you get? Fortunately, there are several answers to this question depending on the system you’re using. For Windows systems, you can look for the device manager, or view the list of drivers under System and Maintenance. Under the heading of Driver, you can find a list of all devices that are connected to the system. To determine what driver you need, click on each device and check out the information it has about installation, such as which languages the device requires and whether or not it’s supported on your operating system. It’s best to install drivers that work with your operating system since most users don’t want to go out and buy new hardware just to be missing a single device driver.
Linux systems use a command line interface (CLI). A typical Linux device manager lists all currently installed devices, along with their names, drivers they require, and the version number of the drivers. To determine what driver you need, just open a command line prompt and type “lsmod” into it. This will display a list of modules, your computer needs to run, which includes device drivers if any are missing.
To determine what drivers you actually need, you can visit a site such as Open Source Hardware or Driver Detective to run a search. These sites have a huge database of driver files for every major operating system, plus many more drivers for things like Bluetooth, USB, and even video cards. Most of these websites also have an online application that you can download and use to test for missing drivers. If a file is found that needs to be replaced, simply click on it, and it’ll replace the existing driver with the one you downloaded.