December 15, 2006
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell: Get the Performance and Behavior You Need from Linux with a Custom Kernel
Sebastopol, CA--Despite its large code base (more than seven million lines
of code), the Linux kernel is the most flexible operating system that has
ever been created. It can be used for a wide range of different systems,
running on everything from a radio-controlled model helicopter, to a cell
phone, to the majority of the largest supercomputers in the world. But,
although modern Linux distributions have become very accommodating--with
support for every known device, for sound, and even for power
distributions--no Linux distribution provides the exact kernel most of its
users want. It may be a question of hardware. Or, you may want to create
something faster and smaller than the kernel in available distributions,
something customized for your specific environment.
If you've reached the point in your Linux career where you need to build a
kernel or tweak the parameters of one you're already running, Linux Kernel in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, US $34.99) written by Greg Kroah-Hartman,
a leading developer and maintainer of the Linux kernel, will show you the
way. The book provides complete guidance on how to build and install a
custom kernel in order to get the performance and behavior you need from
Kroah-Hartman recalls that when the topic of the book was first presented
to him, he dismissed it as something that was already covered by the
plentiful documentation available on the kernel. "Surely someone had
already written down all of the basics needed in order to build, install,
and customize the Linux kernel, as it seemed to be a very simple task to
me." But, a Linux kernel developer by trade, Kroah-Hartman admits that
things that seem basic and simple to him are often completely
incomprehensible to others.
"After digging through the different HOWTOs and the Linux kernel
Documentation directory, I came to the conclusion that there was not any
one place where all of this information could be found," he says. "It
could be gleaned by referencing a few files here and a few outdated
websites there, but this was not acceptable for anyone who did not know
exactly what they were looking for in the first place."
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell was created with the goal of consolidating
all the existing information available on the subject--pulling together
the information scattered about the Internet as well as adding new and
useful information that Kroah-Hartman had learned by trial and error in
his years of kernel development.
- The book focuses on version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, which has brought
Linux into the heart of corporate IT environments.
- It covers the entire range of tasks in kernel building and installation,
beginning with downloading the source.
- Includes guidelines for ensuring that your tools are in sync with your
version of the kernel, references and discussions of related topics, and
recipes that list what you'll need to accomplish a wide range of tasks.
- No programming experience is needed to understand and use the book. Some
familiarity with using Linux and basic command-line usage is expected of
Kroah-Hartman confesses that his secret goal in writing the book is to
bring more people into the Linux kernel development fold. "The act of
building a customized kernel for your machine is one of the basic tasks
needed to become a Linux kernel developer. The more people that try this
out and realize that there is not any real magic behind the whole Linux
kernel process, the more people will be willing to jump in and help out
making the kernel the best that it can be."
Greg Kroah-Hartmanhas been writing Linux kernel drivers since 1999, and
is currently the maintainer for the USB, PCI, I2C, driver core, and sysfs
kernel subsystems. He is also the maintainer of the udev and hotplug
userspace programs, as well as being a Gentoo kernel maintainer, ensuring
that his email inbox is never empty. He is a contributing editor to Linux
Journal Magazine, and works for IBM's Linux Technology Center, doing
various Linux kernel related tasks.
Background and Market Information:
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell
ISBN: 0-596-10079-5, 182 pages, $34.99 US, $45.99 CA
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