The Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD Unix Operating System

  • Leffler, McKusick, Karels and Quarterman
  • Addison-Wesley Publishing Company
  • ISBN: 0201061961

New edition for 4.4 is out now.

One of my favorite books is getting old.

Not a lot of people care too much about 4.3BSD (though Linux fans might find more here than the rest of us). This book, affectionately known as the "Devil" book because of it's cover, is 4.3BSD internals, and most of us are far more interested in System V or Linux today.

Still, I think this is worth reading. The text is clear and easy to read, and it's interesting to compare 4.3 with System V (assuming you know enough about System V to make the comparisons.)

My copy was re-printed in 1990, so that should give you some idea of what state of the art was when this was written.

Still, there is knowledge to be gained here. SVR4 is not the only way to do Unix, and having an understanding of another approach can be useful. It is also true that SVR4 has borrowed and integrated a lot of BSD, so knowing about this can help you understand SVR4 better.

If nothing else, you should have this just because you should have the Devil Book.

Tony Lawrence 1997/01/04 Rating: 4.5

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