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Linux Kernel Development

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  783 ratings  ·  41 reviews
"Linux Kernel Development" details the design and implementation of the Linux kernel, presenting the content in a manner that is beneficial to those writing and developing kernel code, as well as to programmers seeking to better understand the operating system and become more efficient and productive in their coding. The book details the major subsystems and features of th ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 440 pages
Published June 25th 2010 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published September 8th 2003)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been always fascinated with operating systems. After majoring computer science and still not knowing the inside of them, I felt like a joke. So after reading the Code and this, and various other books too, I am coming closer to understanding the inner workings of the hard parts of software architectures.

I have read this book, and currently reading it second time. There is really a lot of interesting things going under the cover. I was in love with CFS and other terms which was always ali
Chris Tierney
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We read this as a book club on our dev team. It was well written and approachable for an advanced developer. Great survey of Linux Internals and reads like a book. There are even a few jokes in here! I tried reading similar books, and this one just kind of stuck.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been somewhat of a novice kernel hacker for many years now and the few pieces of the kernel that I can say that I understand very well have been small, hard-won victories for me. There are a number of Linux kernel books out there, and most novice hackers will find, as I have, that it's very difficult to just go in "cold" and learn about a specific kernel subsystem from these books. Books like "Linux Kernel Internals", "Understanding the Linux Kernel" and "Understanding the Linux Virtual Mem ...more
Arvydas Sidorenko
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
Developing an operating system is hard and so is the material in this book. It is rather technical and doesn't really explain the concept very well. If you have prior experience in BSD or equivalent kernel development, then it will be a peace of cake. The author tends to throw some kernel specific features "A" at you explaining how it is implemented in Linux and expecting that you have the common sense to figure that every kernel has to have feature "A". ...more
Kam Yung Soh
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference, computing
Good intro to Linux Kernel newbies who want to know how the kernel works and how to modify it.

Best used while cross-referencing with current Kernel documentation so you know what in the book is obsolete/deprecated and what APIs have been changed or introduced.
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my second time to read this book this year. A lot of dots have been connected!
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
I think this would've made a good companion to Tannenbaum as textbooks for my undergrad operating systems course. Very focused on the details of implementation of central parts of linux 2.6, whereas Tannenbaum is more theoretical and not focused on implementation details. However, that specificity has caused this work to not age so well, as the 2.6 kernel is now quite outdated, and in certain cases his recommended ways of doing things are now outdated too (his enthusiasm for uevents has, I belie ...more
Saran Sivashanmugam
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
I have tried reading other well know Linux Kernel literature, but Robert Love's is the most readable of all. Robert has written with a good balance of Linux Kernel fundamentals and the code walk through of Kernel where appropriate. With his long experience with Kernel development, he provides lot of context on why certain decisions were made (For example, Why scheduler's Complete Fair Queuing (CFQ) is the best scheduler in O/S world).

This book created a new level of respect for Linus Torvalds. I
Rohit Shinde
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: computer-science
Robert Love has written an excellent book covering the major systems of the Linux Kernel. It starts off with describing the main systems and how they are inter-related with each other. These include the virtual filesystem, the memory manager, the drivers, the process schedulers and more. All of them include the relevant snippets from the Linux Kernel.

Although the book was written around 10 years ago, it is still extremely relevant today. I had the kernel source open in another window and I was
Ryan McCoppin
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best Linux Kernel books when it comes to understanding as well as implementation. He breaks down the complexity of the kernel into simple components that any computer science major can understand. He discusses each concept from an operating systems class and breaks them down to how they are implemented in the kernel. From processes, synchronization techniques, to sysfs, drivers, and even various data structures that are already implemented in the kernel; and more importantly h ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and very informative book. I did not understand it entirely as I am not by any means a kernel hacker, although it gave me the opportunity to understand most of the Linux kernel characteristics. Sure this book is old enough and is written for kernel 2.6, although I am pretty sure it will give you an insight on several kernel structures.
Teodor Moroz
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I would expect from the book like this to explain Linux concepts and philosophy, instead, it just explains some functions and structures from Linux source code. Sometimes there is more conceptual parts, but not as often as I expect them to be.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After you read any OS book, this one may be one of the best books to know more about operating systems. Most OS books only talk about ideas and concepts, this one gives us more details but not the whole detail. Great book!
Matt Robertson
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent insight into the design of the Linux kernel, abounding with practical information for anyone needing to add features or use existing ones. Example code and structures are well-chosen and clearly annotated, and the accompanying text is written in a very readable, often entertaining style.
Kushagra Misra
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nice book give u a clear picture of Linux kernal... Must read for all engineers
Innocent Samuel
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading is knowledge and wisdom
Ryan Frantz
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit dated by now but this book still provides lots of useful context about Linux kernel internals.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must read for all middleware or system level developers. Preemption, context switch, process scheduling all here and well explained. I wish I read this book 10 years earlier)
Elie De Brauwer
This is the second time I'm reading this book and this book is *#$*!ing awesome. Although this book is a first edition (I believe a 3rd edition is available nowadays) this book still applies (partly because Linux is still in a 2.6.x compatible version, it would probably have been a different story if this edition was published in the 2.4.x era) to today's reality AND it's just a pleasure to read this book. It only happens in very rare occasions that an author is capable to describe a technical s ...more
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great reference manual for Linux APIs. The chapters are laid out so that readers can ease into the complex subject of Operating System. The book serves as an important source for my Operating System class, and it helps me understand how different pieces fit together.

Linux Kernel code base is big, lack of clear structure to beginners. The book explains in details how each pieces fit together, the functions of each API calls. It is a great book to have by desk for people who do low-
Manavendra Manav
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linux
Very good book for beginners to understand the Linux kernel API's and mechanisms. It has a good complete chapter devoted to Bottom Halves mechanisms like SoftIRQ, Tasklets, Work queues, etc. A must read for Linux enthusiasts. However, it lacks exercises and some text is old (2.6.xx) as compared to the rapidly changing Linux kernel versions (3.16.xx). Looking forward to buy the 4th edition. ...more
Terry Wang
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terry
Excellent book even if you are NOT a kernel developer, it really helped me to understand how the Linux kernel works and solved a lot of my misunderstandings (dentries, path, buffer/page cache etc.).

Process Management, scheduling, System calls, MM, VFS, Block I/O layer, Process Address Space, Page Cache and Page Writeback, Modules, Debugging, these chapters are brilliant.
Bhaskar Chowdhury
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book has a tremendous effect on me to understand the kernel. Thank you so much, Robert, appreciate that you wrote such a wonderfully in a very descriptive manner easy to grasp by an ordinary mortal like me.

Highly recommended to anybody who wanted to know about the inner working of Linux Kernel. Certain game changer.

Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linux-kernel
It is one of my favorite book on understaning Linux kernel. Though this book is not begginers.
Bob Hancock
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best explanation of the Linux scheduler and multi-level feedback queue.
Feb 22, 2011 marked it as to-read-technical  ·  review of another edition
There is a 3rd edition - read that!
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The only book I can read through about Linux kernel. It is a very very fun journal through a more updated kernel!
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the best technical book ever written
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech
Very good introduction on Linux kernel and general operating systems concept. A must-read for everyone willing to involve with the kernel.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. Anyone with basics, I would personally recommend to first start with this book and then to more advanced material.
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