Chapter 13. Programming Languages

There’s much more to Linux than simply using the system. One of the benefits of free software is that you can modify it to suit your needs. This applies equally to the many free applications available for Linux and to the Linux kernel itself.

Linux supports an advanced programming interface, using GNU compilers and tools, such as the gcc compiler, the gdb debugger, and so on. A number of other programming languages, including Perl, Python, and LISP, are also supported. Whatever your programming needs, Linux is a great choice for developing Unix applications. Because the complete source code for the libraries and Linux kernel is provided, programmers who need to delve into the system internals are able to do so.[44]

Linux is an ideal platform for developing software to run under the X Window System. The Linux X distribution, as described in Chapter 10, is a complete implementation with everything you need to develop and support X applications. Programming for X is portable across applications, so the X-specific portions of your application should compile cleanly on other Unix systems.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the Linux programming environment and give you a five-cent tour of the many facilities it provides. Half of the trick to Unix programming is knowing what tools are available and how to use them effectively. Often the most useful features of these tools are not obvious to new users.

Since C programming has been the basis of most large projects ...

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