Linux was developed by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki in Finland. To complete the operating system, Torvalds and other team members made use of system components developed by members of the Free Software Foundation for the GNU project. Thus, the only software to which the term "Linux" applies is the kernel. The Linux kernel is responsible for the sophisticated memory management of the whole system, and the force behind Linux efficiency.
The kernel is the essential center of Linux, providing all the basic services for all other parts of the operating system. Typically, the kernel handles all requests or completed I/O operations and determines which programs will share the kernel's processing time and in what order.
"Linux source code for all supported architectures is contained in about 4500 C and Assembly files stored in about 270 subdirectories. It consists of about 2 million lines of code, which occupy more than 58 megabytes of disk space," says Daniel P. Bovet, coauthor of the latest O'Reilly release Understanding the Linux Kernel. "After reading this book, you should be able to find your way through the code, distinguishing between crucial data structures and secondary ones--in short, you'll become a true Linux hacker."
If you have ever wondered why Linux is so efficient, or if you want to know if its performance will be useful for some unusual application that you have, O'Reilly's latest release, Understanding the Linux Kernel should be on your radar. Understanding the Linux Kernel provides a guided tour of the Linux kernel along with valuable and significant insights.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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