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Kernel hacker writes Linux book

Sep 21, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Long-time kernel hacker Robert Love has authored a technical book on low-level system programming with Linux. Published by O'Reilly, Linux System Programming aims to provide a Linux-only version of the many available Unix system programming references.

(Click for larger view of the flying machine)

Love may be familiar to readers as the maintainer of the preemptible kernel patch. The long-time kernel hacker currently works in Google's Open Source Program office.

Love said he wrote the book in the style of the many available Unix system programming references, but specifically tailored to Linux. “I did not want to read about how System V did things a decade ago, or about how standard Y and standard Z agree on something, but no one listens, anyhow. I wanted a book solely on Linux.”

Topics covered include:

  • Reading from and writing to files and other file I/O operations, including how the Linux kernel implements and manages file I/O, memory mappings, and optimization techniques
  • System calls for process management, including real-time processes
  • File and directories — creating, moving, copying, deleting, and managing them
  • Memory management — interfaces for allocating memory, managing memory, and optimizing memory access
  • Signals and their role on a Unix system, plus basic and advanced signal interfaces
  • Time, sleeping, and clock management, starting with the basics, and covering POSIX clocks and high-resolution timers

In a statement, Love said, “How is Linux different? What Linux-only interfaces does it provide? I wanted Linux-specific optimizations. I wanted to know how the Linux kernel and glibc (Linux's C library) actually implemented the routines I used. I believed such a tome would be useful no matter where someone programmed in the Linux stack.”


The 388-page Linux System Programming is available now, priced at $50 direct from O'Reilly.

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