The Linux Kernel Primer
- Claudia Salzberg Rodriguez, Gordon Fischer, Steven Smolski
- Prentice Hall
I've been less than happy with other kernel books I've read.
Admittedly,it's a difficult subject: there's a lot to cover, and
you really need quite a bit of programming and general Unix knowledge
before you could even consider jumping into this area. But I have
the background, have even written simple Unix drivers, and yet every
other kernel programming book has disappointed me.
It's all so overwhelming: there are conventions and quirks that
have developed over time and surely are second nature to the people
who have been doing Linux kernels for years, but these things are
baffling to the newcomer.
This book tries to get you past
that. The authors specifically say that they have tried to cover
the things that confused them when they first started looking at
the kernel. I'm sure their efforts aren't perfect, but the effort
does definitely show.
The authors present several programming projects to help explore
the kernel concepts, and every chapter has review questions to help
firm up your understanding. The approach is from user space when
possible: the assumption is that you are comfortable with application
programming and that is used as the base to lead you down into the
work done by the kernel for your programs. There's plenty of
annotated source code here, both for x86 and PowerPC architectures.
The inclusion of PowerPC information was an unexpected bonus; other
books I've read have usually ignored that entirely or glossed it
Of course you need a background in C, and while
this does try to cover general kernel subjects, it wouldn't hurt to have
at least some prior reading there. A little familiarity with
hardware and light assembly language will help also, although the
authors do give some coverage there.
I'm looking forward to spending more time exploring this book.
Tony Lawrence 2005/10/04 Rating:
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