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Linux Kernel in a Nutshell [Paperback]

Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Book Description

Dec 24 2006 In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)

Written by a leading developer and maintainer of the Linux kernel,Linux Kernel in a Nutshell is a comprehensiveoverview of kernel configuration and building, a critical task forLinux users and administrators.

No distribution can provide a Linux kernel that meets all users'needs. Computers big and small have special requirements that requirereconfiguring and rebuilding the kernel. Whether you are trying toget sound, wireless support, and power management working on a laptopor incorporating enterprise features such as logical volume managementon a large server, you can benefit from the insights in this book.

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell covers the entirerange of kernel tasks, starting with downloading the source and makingsure that the kernel is in sync with the versions of the tools youneed. In addition to configuration and installation steps, the bookoffers reference material and discussions of related topics such ascontrol of kernel options at runtime.

A key benefit of the book is a chapter on determining exactly what drivers are needed for your hardware. Also included are recipes thatlist what you need to do to accomplish a wide range of popular tasks.

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"you can't go wrong with adding Linux Kernel in a Nutshell to your library." - James Pyles, Linux Magazine, March 2007

About the Author

Greg Kroah-Hartman has been building the Linux kernel since 1996 and started writing Linux kernel drivers in 1999. He is currently the maintainer of the USB, PCI, driver core and sysfs subsystems in the kernel source tree and is also one half of the -stable kernel release team. He created the udev program and maintains the Linux hotplug userspace project. He is a Gentoo Linux developer as well as the co-author of the third edition of the "Linux Device Drivers" book and a contributing editor to Linux Journal. He also created and maintains the Linux Device Driver Kit. He currently works for SuSE Labs/Novell, doing various Linux kernel related tasks.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminded of things I'd forgotten and learned some new things too! Jan. 18 2007
By Leam Hall - Published on
When you are ready to build your own linux kernel this is a great book to read! Greg achieves his goal of providing lots of kernel building information in one easily useable source. He explains without being wordy and lets you learn from his ample experience. The first section deals with getting and building a vanilla kernel and should take you about an hour to read. Chapter 7 is neat because it shows how to isolate exactly what hardware you need to build for to optimize a running system. Chapters 9-11 cover half the book in reference format; boot parameters, build parameters, and configuration options.

If you are a kernel hacker the material is a bit light. However, if you have never built a kernel before you will save hours by this one read. I particularly like the reference style because I can study as much as my brain can absorb, make notes, and come back when I have a question.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Kernel reference... April 15 2007
By Valerio Valerio - Published on
Nowadays its less common for a user to have to compile a kernel, but there are times that if you don't do it a given device will no work properly (or at all). Despite the huge amount of Linux distributions available none is able to fulfill every user requirement. Configuring a laptop or installing a server requires different sets of modules with imply reconfiguring and recompiling the kernel. If you want to listen to a music, enable power management on a laptop or install some enterprise grade features like RAID or LVM this book is surely to help you.

The "Linux Kernel in a Nutshell" was written by one of the most renoun Linux kernel hackers, Greg Kroab-Hartman. Greg Kroab-Hartman develops system drivers since 1999 and is currently responsible for several of the kernel's subsystems, udev and hotplug.

This book was written to explain everything with is necessary to compile and install a Linux kernel. You don't need any prior programming experience but is most recommend some knowledge of the Linux system and it's command line.

The "Linux Kernel in a Nutshell" is quite complete and clear making it easy for the reader to compile its first kernel in just a few hours after having the book. Kroab-Hartman manages to do this supplying plenty of information in a well structured form that makes its reading extraordinarily easy.

The first chapters explain how to obtain and compile the kernel with is very light reading (about one hour). In the next chapters he explains how to customize your kernel. Finally at the end there is a list of boot and compilation parameters.

If you have some experience with Linux or you usually compile your kernel the information available in this book is a bit too simple never the less useful. If you never compiled a Kernel this book will save you plenty of time.

I recommend "Linux Kernel in a Nutshell" to every Linux user with wishes to learn a bit more how it's Linux system works.

Review made by Luis Rodrigues "Khromu".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have 2.6.x Kernel Reference June 8 2009
By Rob Wehrli - Published on
This book is a *must have* kernel reference for all who would configure, build or hack the Linux Kernel v2.6.x. Sections on the bootloaders, Grub and Lilo, Kernel boot parameters, configuration and build targets and a whole lot more make this book an indispensable reference.

This book is a quick reference guide and is well-suited for anyone with basic Unix/Linux skills and no programming experience is expected or required. Note that it does not get into programming the kernel or kernel modules. It will guide you through all of the steps necessary to obtain, patch, configure, build and install a new/different kernel on an existing Linux-based system.

If you are new to Linux and can handle basic navigation using the command line, then you'll be able to use this book for most, if not all, of your Linux kernel needs.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably valuable reference, even for kernel hackers Dec 15 2008
By John F. Hubbard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When you are configuring or compiling a kernel, or booting one up, there are so many options that a short reference manual is required just to list them all. That's what this does. It also explains each option well enough that you can use each one effectively. At least, I think that's the case; I tend to use the book as a reminder that a given option even *exists*, and then I read the kernel source code for details as to the exact effect it provides.

This book is on a very short list of books that I keep two copies of (one for work and one for home). I recommend it for anyone involved with the linux kernel, from superusers to kernel hackers, to students.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a keeper March 4 2010
By Phil Kasiecki - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have several books from O'Reilly's "In a Nutshell" series and like them all. This one might be near the top of the list out of the ones I have, as it's top-notch.

It's first and foremost a reference, and I am already pulling it out with some frequency. But it's also good for filling in some gaps in my knowledge of the Linux kernel as I'm far from an expert but also not a beginner, and this book has also helped me build some intuition into Linux and the kernel. Especially helpful is part II, showing how to determine the correct module and some of the kernel configuration recipes, as these would be helpful for a newbie and can help bring someone past the newbie level up to another level.

For anyone dealing with the Linux kernel in their work, this book definitely belongs in their collection.

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