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UNIX Internals: The New Frontiers 1st Edition

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131019089
ISBN-10: 0131019082
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This text offers an exceptionally up-to-date, in-depth, and broad-based exploration of the latest advances in UNIX-based operating systems. Focusing on the design and implementation of the operating system itself -- not on the applications and tools that run on it -- the text/reference compares and analyzes the alternatives offered by several important UNIX variants, and covers several advanced subjects, such as multi-processors and threads.

From the Back Cover

This book offers an exceptionally up-to-date, in-depth, and broad-based exploration of the latest advances in UNIX-based operating systems. Focusing on the design and implementation of the operating system itself — not on the applications and tools that run on it -- this book compares and analyzes the alternatives offered by several important UNIX variants, and covers several advanced subjects, such as multi-processors and threads. Compares several important UNIX variants—highlighting the issues and alternative solutions for various operating system components. Describes advanced technologies such as multiprocessor and multithreaded systems, log- structured file systems, and modern memory architecture.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 601 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (November 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131019082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131019089
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Aurora on November 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
A certain small and select set of books can be found in any serious programmer's library. "UNIX Internals" is one of those books.
I originally encountered "UNIX Internals" in my undergraduate operating systems class. At the time, I liked it, but I didn't really appreciate its full beauty until I re-read it with a few years of operating systems experience under my belt. I work as an operating systems programmer for a living, and whenever my knowledge needs brushing up, I go back to this book.
Uresh Vahalia does an excellent job of comparing and analyzing the approaches taken by different operating systems, rather than merely describing them. His deep understanding of the topic is what really sets this book apart. In addition, it is well written, conveniently organized, and thoroughly indexed. If you really want to understand operating systems, this is the perfect book for you.
As others have noted, this book is not for the beginner. You should probably have a minimum of three years of computer science experience before picking this book up.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am very surprised that this book is largely get overlooked by Unix society. I read this book for over 2 years, I'm still frequently revisit it. The beautities of the book are 1. The information is up-to-date, a lot of information is summarized from latest Usenix proceedings 2. Topics involved are moderate to advanced, assuming you have enough basic knowledge on Unix Internals, such as those from BACH's book. So it focused on SMP, threaded kernel, virtual file system/journal FS. VM/Fs integration. It fillin the gap for those reader who need to know the progress of current Unixes of current Unixes since mid 80's 3. Solutions and comparisions. The author detailed different solutions on flavour of Unixes, including BSD, SVR4, Solaris (although derived from SVR4), OSF, and the legend MACH. This is the gem of the book, it outlined pro and con of each solution that brodened user's mind. 4. Well balanced contents. The author keep well balance between mechanism and implementaion detail, so that it is detail enough for reader to grasp the essence algorithm but not embroil into topic-irrevalant mess that may distract reader's attention.
This is a fasinating Unix internal book on market that can take the reader into the Unixes forest, in the meantime, keep readers a clear view about the forest evolution and landscape.
The book is not for Unix beginner.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you want to know how the Unix kernel works, and doesn't work, you need this book. Published in 1996 about "The New Frontiers", most of the "new" ideas are in current (1999) production systems. Vahalia is an excellent writer. The book is well organized and clearly written. Covers Sys V, BSD, Mach kernels and design tradeoffs. Threads, multiprocessors, IPC, lightweight processes, etc, it's all here. Excellent bibliography and references.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By waxeater on September 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be extremely helpful in studying for my OS PhD prelims. It really lays out the issues and presents solutions taken by SVR4, BSD, Mach, and Solaris in a clear fashion. Excellent detail. The Mach stuff is great, but it looks like it was almost cut and paste from the research papers. This book isnt for novices. I recommend using the BSD4.4 book as well. Both books dont look at Windows at all (for obvious reasons), so a look at the Dinosaur book (Operating System Concepts) is helpful as well for the case studies. You should have a
clear understanding of OS after finishing this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence J. Hines on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
As someone whose occupation is providing support for developers on the UNIX OS, this book is worth it's weight in gold. It explains in sufficient detail all of the major features of a modern UNIX kernel, including kernel threads, user-space threads, signal generation and handling, scheduling, IPC, filesystems, etc. I've read just about every popular book printed on UNIX internals and this is my favorite. It reads easily and the description is great. Importantly, is organized so you can skip around and get the information you need.
Congratulations to Dr Vahalia! I think you've written the seminal work for UNIX students for the next few years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have to admit I couldn't finish reading this book because a lot of content is beyond my knowledge. But I read quite a few chapters and know this is something I'll come back to in the future, once I finish David Curry's Systems Programming for SVR4. I wish Mr. (or Dr.) Vahalia gave us more examples in the book; something like "Experiment" in David Solomon's Inside Windows NT would be the best. Exercises with answers or hints would also be very good. (Humans are not computers in that we have to practice to learn.) In a nutshell, this book is a masterpiece every word of which comes out precisely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Cromar on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book shortly after it was published in hardcover and devoured it. The information is well-presented and understandable. Unlike with a lot of other internals books, you aren't presented with a pseudo-code dump and expected to untangle it. Vahalia tells you what each of the pieces does.

The genius of the book is that it is at the appropriate level of abstraction for people who are not yet experts in Unix Internals, but who are interested in learning. This is not a book for beginners, but it is an excellent choice for serious students who are trying to become experts.

Even given its age, a lot of the information is still relevant. I have been disappointed that the long-promised new edition has not been released yet, and I even considered delaying the release of my own book until I could consult the new edition. I'm glad that I did not delay my own release, since it appears that the 2nd edition was cancelled.

Scott Cromar
Author, Solaris Troubleshooting Handbook
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UNIX Internals: The New Frontiers
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