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Linux.com: Surfing Kernel Code

Feb 26, 2001, 15:46 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Michie)

"Even though everyone knows the Linux kernel is "free software", and that the source is open, most beginner and even mid-level Linux users usually don't take time to read the source. This article will give a couple tips and interesting high points to check out, as well as give you a small taste of the wealth of information embedded in the kernel, even if you aren't a C or ASM programmer."

"For someone who's never looked through the source, 145 megabytes of compressed C and assembly sounds daunting. However, it is easy to see why Linus has maintained his benevolent dictatorship over the kernel. All the source is wonderfully organized into modules and directories, which makes things easy to find and understand."

"The first directory everyone should be familiar with is Documentation. There is a wealth of simple text files with information on everything from how Linus wants code submitted, to writing device drivers for the Amiga's Zorro bus. If you are a coder or plan to learn to code someday, start with Linus' CodingStyle file. If you aren't a coder, read it anyway for an interesting glimpse into the mind of Linus Torvalds. It is probably possible write a pulp psychology book on analyzing programmers through their coding styles, and this is no different."

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