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Linux Kernels Internals (2nd Edition)

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.57

Customer Rating: 2
Summary: OK introduction, but out of date
Comment: If you want an introduction on how the Linux kernel works, this book does an OK job, though the information is slightly out-of-date for Linux 2.0 and inadequate for recent 2.1 kernels. However, it wants to teach how to write device drivers, and here it falls far from its goal. When writing a Linux device driver, there is a "how", but there is, perhaps more important, a "how _not_" (for instance, don't do noninterruptible blocking system calls) which are either glossed over, or done wrong in the examples.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Great intro to Linux internals
Comment: I found the explanations in this book to be very clear, giving enough detail for a good head start into Linux internals. The book briefly explains the OS concepts, such as semaphores, virtual memory, etc., followed by an overview of how each is implemented in Linux, and code snippets.

Most of the code snippets are simplified for readability, which I found useful because the hacks can be distracting (scary, too) for a beginner. Detailed and up-to-date information can best be obtained from source code itself.

The book assumes some familiarity with Unix concepts, as it mentions such buzzwords as POSIX, BSD, and SVR4 in the context of the discussions, but one could safely ignore them, and just concentrate on the Linux part.

The book briefly covers adding new system calls, compilinag and debugging the kernel, and even shows how to write a simple device driver - these are hard to find in one place.

Overall, I found this book to be very useful for my self-paced study (the best so far), and I only wish they had a newer edition.

Customer Rating: 3
Summary: A liitle out-date, but still a good book for OS concepts
Comment: This book is a little outdated today as it covers the older 2.0 kernels. If you are reading this book and following it up on a 2.4 kernel you will find many changes.The book does contain the source code of the reference kernel it is written on.

I suppose its time a new updated edition is published.

However the commentry on a older kernel does not reduce the value of this book. It is a good book to understand the OS concepts as applied to Linux kernel.This book can be a good companion to Silberschatz/Galvin's "Operating Systems Concept" in a college course.

Another value of this book is purely historical, in case someone desires to compare older and newer kernels with a high-level view.