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Linux Debugging and Performance Tuning: Tips and Techniques Paperback – October 20, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0131492479 ISBN-10: 0131492470

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (October 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131492470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131492479
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn Linux debugging and optimization—at kernel and application levels—hands-on!

This is the definitive guide to Linux software debugging and performance optimization at both the kernel and application levels. Using extensive Linux code examples, Steve Best systematically introduces open source tools and best-practice techniques for delivering bug-free, well-tuned code.

Drawing on his exceptional experience optimizing Linux systems for IBM, Best covers issues ranging from memory management and I/O to system processes and kernel bug messages. You'll walk through real debugging sessions, discovering the strategies experts use to debug even the most complex application- and kernel-related problems. You'll master sophisticated profiling techniques for identifying and resolving bottlenecks more quickly and learn how to capture the right data in the event of trouble. Coverage includes

  • Bottleneck identification

  • Code coverage

  • Debuggers: gdb, kgdb, and KDB

  • Memory management

  • /proc kernel data analysis

  • System process monitoring

  • Network performance

  • Oops bug messages

  • Syslog and event logging

  • Execution traces

  • Profiling kernel behavior

  • Cache misses

  • User-Mode Linux

  • Dynamic probes

  • Crash dump analysis

  • And more...

Linux® Debugging and Performance Tuning will be indispensable for every developer who needs to supercharge the Linux kernel and applications, and for every administrator and support specialist who must resolve Linux reliability or performance issues.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Steve Best works in the Linux Technology Center of IBM in Austin, Texas. He is currently working on Linux storage-related products. Steve has led the Journaled File System (JFS) for Linux project. Steve has worked on Linux-related projects since 1999 and has done extensive work in operating system development focusing on file systems, internationalization, and security. Steve is the author of numerous magazine articles, many presentations, and the file system chapters in Performance Tuning Linux Servers (Prentice Hall PTR 2005).


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lawrence VINE VOICE on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are more of an administrator than programmer, pay attention to "Debugging" in the title and forget about "Performance Tuning"; this is primarily a programmer's book.

More specifically, it's a programmer's book that takes debugging all the way to the kernel, investigating tracing problems right down to kernel level. There's in depth coverage of the tools you need to do this and good case study examples are employed.

This is deeper than many will want to go, but if you do want to get into this level of debugging, this is a great place to start.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Best gives an advanced course in using important programming tools that come (free) with linux. These include gprof for profiling, gdb for debugging and gcov for testing code coverage. These can be used with C or C++ code made with gcc. Some of you who are from the unix world may well be familiar with these tools. Certainly, gcc and gdb have been around for over a decade.

Typically, many linux programmers don't get beyond using gcc. The book shows the power in the above tools, that can greatly enhance your understanding and performance of the code. Of these, I would consider gprof to be the most useful. You can see where the CPU spends most of its time when running your code. So you can focus on optimising the appropriate routines. Otherwise, it's very easy to get sidetracked streamlining a routine that has no appreciable overall effect on performance.

While the book treats gprof, gdb and gcov equally, I would recommend that you first get facile with gprof, for perhaps the best payoff.

The book also has lengthy treatments of other tools and methods. These tend to be for system administrators and developers of tools for those people. (Whereas the earlier tools are available to any user.) For example, the mysterious /proc is shown to be a nifty viewport into the runtime kernel activity. Without it and its associated tools, the latter could be largely a black box.

Also, to the extent that you can, when accessing /proc, try doing this very carefully. Type slowly and check what you have typed, before pressing return. Yes, this sounds mundane. But it is possibly to really muck up the system.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hari Lalgudi on October 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Easily readable. Excellent for beginners(Oops, ltt, valgrind, /proc). Some boring sections(ps, network debugging tools).

In the next version, it would be nice to have Xenmon, SystemTap, Perfmon2 & section on general hw counters (TLB miss, memory latency). Two pages(277-278) for cache misses is weak.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Moffatt on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read most of this book. I have kind of lost interest. I was under whelmed by the book. It is a bit out of date but 99% of the information is still good. This is not a bad book. I did not find errors. However, the author did not go into any real depth on methodologies for attacking problems. He never discussed when to use which tools. He just stitched together a bunch of getting started documents. The book should have had fewer subtopic (i.e. you don't really need to talk about a bunch of memory checkers 1 or 2 would have been fine) and then go into detail with some real world examples not "hello-world".

I recommend that a potential reader borrow this book from someone and skim it. Don't buy it
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Argon on December 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book does give a broad overview of linux debugging and profiling. The coverage is useful for a newbie but doesn't really add much value for the experienced linux programmer. It doesn't really cover any "performance tuning" except for a chapter on profiling. The real negative of this book for me is the screen shots of untarring a tool or applying a patch. These are just page wasting tactics and I hate it when authors resort to such tricks to fill pages.
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