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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
112
Linux Kernel Development (3rd Edition)
Format: Paperback|Change
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on April 9, 2014
I had the 2nd version of this book and I got the 3rd one for updates. Every time I want to understand certain part of Linux kernel, I go to this book first to get the brief idea. Robert did a very good job to give you a brief architecture and kernel major data structure using his language and approach. The book is not a Linux kernel reference for details and completeness, but it focus on the major points of Linux kernel. This is the book you can read from the beginning to the end of each chapter without getting lost. If you need to know the details for completeness, you may go to Linux kernel source anyway. I did not like certain kernel book because I was easily lost when I read some chapter. I really enjoy reading this book. Highly recommended!
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on May 19, 2016
I know everything now.
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on September 1, 2015
Very easy to read and understand. If you are new to Linux read this before going to something like Linux Device Drivers. There are a few details that the book glosses over but that is necessary to keep it simple and easy to understand for beginners. I followed the strategy of reading any topic first in this book and then researching about it more using Linux Device Drivers or google. Hope this helps.
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on August 31, 2017
Its a new unused books, however note it is an Indian Edition and at least from what it states on the book front and back is not authorized for sale outside the Indian Subcontinent. The text is a bit faded and sometimes hard to read and the paper is light and dull, not like the crisp laser like font and better paper of the actual US edition I have seen here in a local bookstore.
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VINE VOICEon August 2, 2011
Linux is one of these moving targets. Books keep getting out dated.. every day. They have tried to include all the changes in page cache, elevator upto date. It is a very good read for any one who is interested in the linux kernel. If you dont have enough time to read all the release notes and follow mailing lists, this is one concise book to read and understand the 2.6.30+ version of Linux. Very very easy to read, most of them are explained verbally than with code samples. Lot of books waste print space by simply publishing code snippets from the kernel.. Worth the price. Even available in Kindle. There are some formatting issues in kindle, but very well presented most of time. Happy reading
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on June 26, 2014
While I have not completed reading this book yet, the chapters I read are very well written and informative. I was worried about the book targeting the 2.6 kernel which has long been outdated, but found most of the knowledge to be generic enough that this was not an issue.

I purchased this book primarily to prepare for an upcoming job interview. I had some small background in driver development and user space development. A job I was interviewing for delves into kernel space beyond my current depth. This book helped me come up to speed and ultimately pass the interview and get the job offer.
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on April 1, 2015
It's surprising how helpful this book is, considering how little material is actually inside. You need several other books, in order to get started properly (Linux Device Drivers; Understanding the Linux Kernel; and Linux Kernel Architecture, mainly). However, this is still worth owning, primarily because the subject has so much depth that a clear, high-level description of what's going on is invaluable. And that's what Robert Love provides.
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on February 7, 2006
About one year ago I was browsing the univerity book store, not really knowing what I was looking for. Being all fed up with math thesis stuff I was certain that I wanted somthing practical and funny to read. By chance I saw a book called "Linux Kernel Development". At first I did not give it much attention because normaly writing kernel code does not make me relax at all. When I was leaving the book store, curiosity took over and I decided to find out who the author was - expecting to see some no name punk I was really surprised that it was Robert Love, known of much programming fame in the kernel community. Naturaly I bought the book, read it in 2 days and I loved it. Here for the first time was a book that precendet the art of kernel programming in an easy, understandebel and about all funny way. This was 2004, last week I discovered that a second edtion was out. I quickly bought it on Amazon and while I loved the first edition I must admit that this one is even better.

Robert takes you gently but thoroughly through most of the facets of kernel programming, including system call registration, coding guidelines, synchronization and the VM layer. This is a great book which while being short and precise still manages to get you hacking on the kernel without suffering two much headache. The only thing I feel is missing is a chapter or two devoted to debugging the kernel - but in that regard one could also pickup "Linux(R) Debugging and Performance Tuning " by Steve Best which is a complete book on the fine art of bug/bottleneck hunting. Anyway this is one of the best written tech book I have ever had the joy of reading and it fully deserves to be put next to computer science classics such as "Introduction to Algorithms" and "The C Programming Language".
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on June 29, 2005
I just got my order (the 2nd edition) yesterday. This is my second book about Linux Kernel, the other one is "Understanding The Linux Kernel" by Daniel P. Bovet, Marco Cesati. I was having hard time to understand reading the Bovet's book, but when I read this book it was really fun. I even couldn't stop reading it when the time past midnight (wow, it is like reading a thrilling novel book :-).

I love the way the author tries to explain in a "human plaintext" language (w/ some humors), and gradually he introduces some jargons w/ clear explanations. The book is intended for intermediate to advanced programmers who now C and have some experience in building their kernel from source code. Although, it still guides readers how to compile, to patch and so on (chapter 2).

Another good thing is that, unlike many other Linux Kernel books, the author emphasizes concepts of the Linux Internals. So he tries to minimize a copy-paste of the source code on the book (you can just open the source code and see it, no need to have a book for that). This is what I have been looking for. Besides, when there is a new patch/version, the book will be still relevant long into the future.

Here is the list of the chapters:

1. Intro to the Linux Kernel
2. Getting Started w/ the Kernel
3. Process Management
4. Process Scheduling
5. System Calls
6. Interrupts and Interrupt Handlers
7. Bottom Halves and Deferring Work
8. Kernel Synchronization Intro
9. Kernel Synchronization Methods
10. Timers and Time Management
11. Memory Management
12. The Virtual Filesystem
13. The Block I/O Layer
14. The Process Address Space
15. The Page Cache and Page Writeback
16. Modules
17. kobjects and sysfs
18. Debugging
19. Portability
20. Patches, Hacking and the Community
Appendix (Linked Lists, Kernel Random Number Generator, Algorithmic Complexity)

My suggestion is first read this book thoroughly, then may continue with "UNderstanding The Kernel" and also "Linux Device Drivers", 3rd Edition by Jonathan Corbet. If you want to know more about TCP/IP stack in the kernel, "The Linux TCP/IP stack" by Herbert may be good too (I bought this book too, but I have not read it yet, but from what I saw on the table of content seems it is interesting). The last but not the least, another book about wi-fi "Linux unwired" may also compliment your personal library of Linux.
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on February 23, 2004
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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