Introduction

Linux has come a long way in the last few years. From relatively humble beginnings, Linux now powers a growing number of Fortune 500 companies. Everything from your cell phone right on up to the largest supercomputing clusters are now built using the Linux kernel and the software distributions built around it. But what really is Linux? What makes it different from any other UNIX-like Operating System on the market today? Most importantly, how can you harness the full power of Linux and the wider Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) revolution in your own software projects?

This book aims to address these and other questions. The raison d'etre for this book really stems from a need to impart to you, the reader, those things that make Linux unique, while going beyond the basic Beginner's guides that are already available on the market. As a professional Linux programmer, the author has, over the years, found himself working with highly skilled software engineers who have little or no Linux experience. Some were searching for a book like this one - only to be later disappointed. Born out of their frustration, this book should help you to understand the powerful sense of community, the established software development model and the way things are done in the Linux world.

There are many other books that claim to be dedicated to Linux programming. Many of those books are truly excellent, but they often concentrate too much on the ways in which Linux simply follows ...

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