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99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Linux kernel development book for newbie and prof.
I have been doing Linux kernel/system level development on and off since 1999. This is the book that I think should be owned by any Linux newbie who wants starting their kernel hacking. Even if people do not directly do Linux kernel development, it is a good book complementary to any serious operating systems course in college - it helps gain a better idea of how and...
Published on September 28, 2004 by H. W

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6 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 496 Pages. I think not.
I just got the book today. I feel deceived in that the details about this book stated around 500 pages. Given the price, I figured this was a reasonable price/page ratio. Now that I have the book in hand, I realize it's only 330 pages, including index and stuff.
I guess this is more of a beef with Amazon than the book.
Published on November 7, 2003 by Brian Auld


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99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Linux kernel development book for newbie and prof., September 28, 2004
By 
H. W (Bay Area, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
I have been doing Linux kernel/system level development on and off since 1999. This is the book that I think should be owned by any Linux newbie who wants starting their kernel hacking. Even if people do not directly do Linux kernel development, it is a good book complementary to any serious operating systems course in college - it helps gain a better idea of how and why.

The book is quite easy to follow and read and does not try to overwhelm readers with tons of information (consequently it does not address many details in Linux kernel). I consider this is a major strength of the book which parts away from other books (comparing to "Understanding the Linux Kernel", which has quite some details on each subsystem, but if you take the book as your guide to kernel programming, you feel you are overwhelmed by the information and often clueless on where to start to write some simple stuffs. This does not mean I think the latter is a bad one - it is a very good one indeed). Considering the fact that Linux kernel evolves so fast, it may make sense to focus on the core parts and once you understand them, it may become easy for you to track and understand changes later. Even as a professional programmer doing kernel development, occasionally referencing a well-written book like this is very helpful.

I am a bit reluctant to rate it 5 stars though due to many typos observed, which I guess is the result of rush to publishing (and the poor job of proofreading). Fortuanately, most can be understood by reading the contexts around them. But a few are really misleading or totally wrong. For example, on page 169, there is a sample code to show how page allocation/free is done in kernel. It uses __get_free_pages() to allocate pages, but uses free_pages() to free these pages. As the author has just said a page ago, __free_pages() should be used to free (struct page*) pages, otherwise corruption will ensure (free_pages is used to free pages with logic address as parameter).
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clear and careful explanations from an expert, February 23, 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
I was a Linux kernel newbie writing a device driver and started reading "Linux Device Drivers" by Rubini. On hindsight, this was a bad idea. Rubini's book goes deep into driver code quickly with good details but it only sparingly touches the higher level kernel overview or essential concepts. These missing pieces are covered very well in Love's book and I should have understood them before reading Rubini's book; important basic concepts covered in good detail include:

- user thread vs kernel thread.
- kernel-space process context vs kernel-space interrupt context.
- tasklet as a non-concurrent form of softirq and is not related in any way to tasks.
- bottom-half methods comprising softirq, tasklet and work queue; and that BH and task queue are obsolete and deprecated.
- semaphore sleeping vs spinlock spinning (busy-wait).
- spinlock adversely affecting scheduling latency while semaphore does not.

Love's book shows ambly that he is an expert in Linux kernel matters and speaks with authority. At the same time he has the ability of a good teacher to explain obscure and critical kernel concepts clearly. I heartily recommend this as the first book one should read about the Linux kernel, well before books such as Bovet's "Understanding the Linux Kernel" or Rubini's device driver book.

This 2nd edition introduces more materials and explanation to cover the updated 2.6 kernel. As far as I can see, it is a worthy new edition to own.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, July 8, 2004
By 
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
There is only 1 reason that I didn't give this book a 5 star rating. I found the memory management a bit below par. But that's probably because the initial chapters up the bar so high that the last few fail to live up to those high standards.
The chapter on Scheduling is phenomenal - easily the best! Maybe even that is an understatement. An added "advantage" is that this book is on kernel 2.6.
If you're entering the realm of kernel hacking, my recommendation is, read this first, Linux device Drivers by Rubini next, and then Understanding the Linux Kernel by Bovet and Cesati.
What next? The source - that's where you'll get all the answers. :)
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on the kernel... with a sense of humor., October 6, 2003
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
There are more technical books than Linux Kernel Development, with more code samples and technical jargon, but when it comes to up to date knowledge, and a clear, concise writing style, this volume is one of the best.
Robert Love has written a book that is readable for both kernel newbies and those wishing to get a better grasp for what is at the heart of 2.6. However, what I find most appealing about this book is it has a sense of humor that most other technical books seem to have left at home. This is a book you will read cover to cover, instead of using it as a meer reference.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn, or brush up on, the linux kernel.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, October 5, 2003
By 
Claus Olesen (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
I like the book because it is well organized, clear, no nonsense, explains the subject top-down, up-to-date including kernel 2.6, contains very little code and despite the subject still readable as a regular book. It is like a book about operating systems in general but about Linux only. I'd recommend reading this book before "Understanding the Linux Kernel".
However, I find the word "Development" in the title a little misleading because the book contains very little about the actual howto and could have been backed up by for example an appendix with an example from real life with a step-by-step walk-thru by the hand.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great technical book, January 30, 2004
By 
"lars6327" (Copenhagen, Zealand Denmark) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
This is a very easy introduction to hacking on the linux kernel,
there is not much discussion about design choices, but it explains
how the kernel work, how to program on it and what things one need to look out for.
The book is readable for both newbies and uber kernel hackers and
through out the book Robert has a great sense of humor that most
other technical books does not have. Highly recomended read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, October 19, 2003
By 
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
Just bought it from amazon. After two days reading many of my doubts on the Linux Kernel were solved and I must say this book has a great structure and good editorial work on it! A very good Book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for kernel developers and enthusiasts, March 25, 2005
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srg "srg" (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
When I wanted to just refer few things in this book, I couldn't stop with that and continued to read and ended up reading several chapters in one sitting. You will enjoy reading this book, most of all finally understand the big picture and the details. I personally would thank the authors for their work.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best technical books I own, October 22, 2004
By 
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This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
I buy a lot of technical books - more than I could possibly ever read. This title is, for me, very readable. The Author presents information the way I want to see it. I really like the historical background information on Linux and comparisons to Unix. If you are looking for one single reference on Linux programming, I recommend this title. Not just for kernel hacking.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, November 2, 2004
This review is from: Linux Kernel Development (Paperback)
This book dives into the structure of the kernel and how it works in great details. It doesn't lose you in technicalities like some books, instead Robert Love keeps it as close to simple english as possible and tries to make it very easy to read.

I've never read a book that taught me so much about the kernel's inner workings in just the first 3 chapters. I've now read about half of them and will probably finish it today. This book is truly amazing.
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Linux Kernel Development
Linux Kernel Development by Robert Love (Paperback - September 8, 2003)
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