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How Linux Works, 2nd Edition by Brian Ward

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Chapter 1. The Big Picture

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At first glance, a modern operating system such as Linux is very complicated, with a dizzying number of pieces simultaneously running and communicating. For example, a web server can talk to a database server, which could in turn use a shared library that many other programs use. But how does it all work?

The most effective way to understand how an operating system works is through abstraction—a fancy way of saying that you can ignore most of the details. For example, when you ride in a car, you normally don’t need to think about details such as the mounting bolts that hold the motor inside the car or the people who build ...

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