Linux Core Kernel Commentary: Guide to Insider's Knowledge on the Core Kernel of the Linux Code
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Spotlight Customer ReviewsAverage Customer Rating: 3.38
Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Just like the classic Lions book, but for Linux
Comment: I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to really know how a real OS works. Yes, the bulk of the book is Linux kernel source, but it has been nicely formated and the commentary alone is worth the price of the book. You also get the source on CD in a nicely browseable format.
I think that some of the previous reviews are unfair. This book follows in the footsteps of the classic Lions book, which many Unix "old-timers" cherish. If flipping back and forth is too much effort to learn an OS - either you are brilliant enough to understand kernel source at first glance or you should stick to working with things that have on-screen help. If it is too much to pay someone thirty+ bucks to have kernel source conveniently packaged so that you can read it late at night on the sofa, perhaps you won't really appreciate what you are getting.
I'd like to thank Scott Maxwell for the service he has done for the Linux - too many OS books are written so abstractly that they might as well be written on parchment in Old English.
Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Useful for some purposes
Comment: This is a book that may prove useful to some. It contains a chunk of the Linux kernel source code in printed form and some commentary on the code. It has been pointed out that one can get the kernel code for free very easily. This is true. However, the commentary does add some value to this book, as there are some valuable explanations of some interesting areas of the Linux kernel. My favorite is the chapter on kernel memory management, which includes a nice explanation of the conditions that trigger the fearsome Segmentation Fault.
The commentary in this book is sketchy in places and is focused on the x86 architecture where processor architecture matters. I found that the commentary was fairly useful overall and therefore I could justify the price of the book. I also appreciate, as another reviewer mentioned, the nicely bound hardcopy of the source code so that I can thumb it without being in front of my computer.
Thus, I would recommend this book to people who would like to: a) learn more about how Linux works, b) speak fluent C, and c) feel they need a bit more information than the kernel comments and documentation provide in order to really understand the code. This is not a book for novice programmers! This is not a book for Uber-Hackers, either. This is a book for in-between types, like myself (I have three years professional experience and have been casually fiddling with computers for more than ten years).
Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Diversity of responses
Comment: While the reviews for this book vary greatly, for my purposes I have found it to be a useful tool and reference guide. I look forward to future addtions.