O'Reilly has updated its book on the inner workings of Linux. The third edition of “Understanding the Linux Kernel — From I/O Ports to Process Management,” by Daniel Bovet and Marco Cesati, offers a “guided tour” of significant data structures, algorithms, and programming tricks.
The first edition of Understanding the Linux Kernel covered the 2.2 Linux kernel, while the second covered the 2.4 kernel. This edition, as you might expect, covers the 2.6 kernel.
According to Bovet and Cesati, the Linux kernel was designed to efficiently and maximally exploit processor capabilities, allowing it to work well on a variety of architectures. The book takes a “hardware-up” approach to Linux, focusing primarily on x86. It discusses the history of various features and design decisions within their historical context.
Topics include process and memory management, the virtual filesystem layer, ext2 and ext3, process creation and scheduling, essential interfaces to device drivers, IPC (inter-process communication), and program execution.
Cesati asserts, “After reading this book, users will find their way through the many thousands of lines of code, distinguishing between crucial data structures and secondary ones. In short, they'll become true Linux hackers.”
The 942-page books is available now direct from O'Reilly, priced at $50.
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