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What is a Driver?

A device driver, or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a device. A driver typically communicates with the device through the computer bus or communications subsystem to which the hardware is connected. When a calling program invokes a routine in the driver, the driver issues commands to the device.

Once the device sends data back to the driver, the driver may invoke routines in the original calling program. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific. They usually provide the interrupt handling required for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interface.

A device driver simplifies programming by acting as a translator between a device and the applications or operating systems that use it. The higher-level code can be written independently of whatever specific hardware device it may control. Every version of a device, such as a printer, requires its own specialized commands.

In contrast, most applications access devices (such as sending a file to a printer) by using high-level, generic commands, such as PRINTLN. The driver accepts these generic statements and converts them into the low-level commands required by the device.

Here is a list of common devices that you would require a driver for;