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Lions’ Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition with Source Code

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  5 reviews
This legendary underground classic, reproduced without modification, is really two works in one:

▪︎ the complete source code to an early version of the UNIX operating system; and
▪︎ a brilliant commentary on that code by John Lions

Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, and other UNIX luminaries have contributed new essays on the enduring value of this Computer Science masterpiece.

Lio
...more
Paperback, Sixth Edition, 254 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Peer-To-Peer Communications (first published August 1st 1977)
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Steve
Jan 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've never run across another book like it: take a collection of working kernel and boot code and write commentary on every function.

You'll start out learning PDP 11/40 assembly and PDP machine architecture, followed by how the system boots into /unix, and from there onto a full tour of Unix.

Unix 6th Edition was much smaller than any modern desktop Unix, it fit into 32K of RAM. Fewer features translates into much simpler to understand code. Most times, code is concise and readable although ofte
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Vasil Kolev
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-tech-books, tech
This was interesting. Also, this code is a lot closer to assembly than normal C, a lot of it is weirdly optimized, and there are things in it that make you cringe. Otherwise it's well written, very hard to understand at places, but with the commentary it becomes manageable.

At some point I felt like getting a pdp11 to try it on (probably an emulator).
Mike
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Obviously not for the faint of heart, or anyone without at least some experience with C and pointer arithmetic, but still a really nice examination of what two smart guys can come up with when it's just them together in a room coding without a huge bureaucracy and team of people designing by committee. As one of the reviewers also said, it really demonstrates engineering tradeoffs very well - you need simplicity but you need reliability but you need it to be inexpensive and you'd really like it ...more
Manzur
Dec 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: programming
In short this book is worth reading if you want to gather programming mastery of Dennis and Ken. And if you think you know "C", you should definitely test yourself by reading this book, you'll see that "C" is different in the hand of its authors. Nevertheless, the book can sometimes be hard as it requires knowledge of the old hardware like PDP-11, which consumes time. So if you want to just learn about internals easily without reading source code, you'll better go with "Unix internals" or other ...more
Robert
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pretty neat so far. Understanding more about C and UNIX/UNIX-like operating systems. The commentary is very well written.
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