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How Linux Works by Brian Ward

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Working with Loadable Kernel Modules

Loadable modules are little pieces of kernel code that you can load and unload into the kernel memory space while the kernel is running.

The make modules_install command (discussed in the "Installing Modules" section) installs the kernel module object files in /lib/modules/version, where version is your kernel version number. Module object filenames end with .ko in kernel versions 2.6.0 and later, and .o in older releases.

All distributions use modules in some capacity. If you would like to see the modules currently loaded on your system, run this command:

lsmod

The output should look something like this:

Module                  Size  Used by
es1370                 24768  0 (autoclean)
appletalk              19696  13 (autoclean)

This output includes es1370 ...

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