How does Linux kernel detect and plug in your hardware?

I have been administrating Linux systems for a while now and were always strugling to „dig deeper“. Today I found myself wondering how does Linux detect, plug in my hardware and show that pop-up window asking me to choose what I want to do with my flash drive. So I launched my web browser and began to search for an answers in forums, tutorials and how-tos which almost ended in complete failure. I say „almost“ because I did find some of the answers but they all were scattered and incomplete or too old. So I had to use „heavy artillery“ and read through all those manuals… And I think I finally get it how it works :)

This is what I will try to explain further. *I really hope I didn’t misunderstand something*

Everything starts with at the Kernel. Operating systems are using Privilege Rings:

In computer science, hierarchical protection domains, often called protection rings, are a mechanism to protect data and functionality from faults (fault tolerance) and malicious behaviour (computer security)


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