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Book review: Linux Kernel Development, third edition

Dec 29, 2010, 19:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)


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"It has been well over five years since LWN reviewed the second edition of Robert Love's Linux Kernel Development. Needless to say, things have changed a little since the 2.6.10 release covered by that edition. As it happens, the third edition has been out for a few months now; your editor has finally had a chance to read through his copy and put together a review. In summary, the third edition is a much-needed update, and Linux Kernel Development remains a valuable resource, but there are some disappointments to be found as well.

"One has to dig a little bit to figure out which kernel version is covered by the third edition; according to the preface, the target is 2.6.34. Robert, ever the optimist, suggests that it will be good for a long time: "As the Linux kernel matures, there is a greater chance of a snapshot of the kernel remaining representative long into the future." Time will tell.

"The third edition has been extensively updated, but it retains the same structure as its predecessors. The preface talks of "all-new" chapters, but the number of chapters remains the same. The scheduler discussion has been updated to reflect the merging of the completely fair scheduler. Other relatively recent kernel changes (mutexes, for example) have been added, [book cover] and there are changes throughout to reflect what has happened over the last 24 kernel releases. There is a new chapter on kernel data structures; it contains the linked list discussion previously found in Appendix A, along with coverage of FIFOs, red-black trees, and the idr subsystem."

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