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Review: The Linux Programming Interface

Jan 27, 2011, 19:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jake Edge)

"Michael Kerrisk's (relatively) new book, The Linux Programming Interface (TLPI), is targeted at Linux system programmers, but it is not just those folks who will find it useful. While it is a hefty tome ("thick enough to stun an ox" as Laurie Anderson might say), it is eminently readable, both by browsing through it or by biting the bullet and reading it straight through. The coverage of the Linux system call interface is encyclopedic, but the writing style is very approachable. It is, in short, an excellent reference that will likely find its way onto the bookshelves of user-space developers and kernel hackers—including some who aren't necessarily primarily focused on Linux.

"Kerrisk has been the maintainer of the Linux man pages since 2004, which gives him a good perspective on the Linux API. As he says in the preface, it is quite likely that you have already read some of his work in sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 of those pages. But the book is not a collection of man pages though it covers much of the same ground. The style and organization is much less dry, and more explanatory, than a typical man entry."

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