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  1. #1

    Smile I Love Linux!

    Hello Guys,

    I've started with Linux when I was 13 years old and now I'm nearly 15.
    I've used it as my main OS and I learned how to program on/in it.
    I know C++, python and bash scripting.

    But this thread is not about me.
    I want to know ALL about Linux. How the FIle Sytem works, how the Kernel works, the toolchain...
    Is there any book I should buy/download ??
    My dream is to write a non reinventing-wheel OS.
    I'm on the right track?

    I just need some direction.


    Sam ( Sorry about my English ; ) )

  2. #2
    Linux Guru jmadero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    First off welcome to the forum. Second, I would just recommend doing Linux From Scratch and anything that you want to know more about as you go through the process, google. I'd also suggest joining some mailing lists. From my understanding Linux is best learned/understood by doing and actively communicating in the forums, books are great but they are best as references, I've been using Linux for nearly a decade now and I own one reference book.
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
    Dell Studio 17, Intel Graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, E17

    "The beauty in life can only be found by moving past the materialism which defines human nature and into the higher realm of thought and knowledge"

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast Mudgen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    You sound prepared to absorb the techical stuff already, and jmadero's advice is good for pursuing that. I'd also recommend some cultural reading about how open source came about and why it is so important. "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond is somewhat dated, but is a very good perspective. I wouldn't want to emulate the author as a person, but his insight is still relevant.

    You have an exciting journey and, I hope, a long life in front of you. I was 15 ten years before Ken Olson, head of DEC, said "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home".

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by linux-unix-4ever View Post

    I just need some direction
    nah just dive in no substitute at the beginning for time spent

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    If there is ONE book you should get to help in this endeavor, it would have to be the pricey ($100USD) two inch thick tome "The Linux Programming Interface - A Linux and UNIX System Programming Handbook" by Michael Kerrisk, published by the No Starch Press. I got it as a Christmas present for myself this year. Some of the chapter titles are:

    Fundamental Concepts
    Memory Allocation
    Users and Groups
    System Limits and Options
    System and Process Information
    File Systems
    File Attributes
    Access Control Lists
    Monitoring File Events
    POSIX Semaphores
    Sockets (6 chapters, from an Introduction to Advanced topics)
    Kernel Configuration

    The book is about 1500 pages long... If you are REALLY interested in mastering Linux, then this may become your "Bible". Obviously I haven't read the entire book yet, but I've skimmed through a lot of it, and read some items in detail (memory management, for example), and it is spot on, clearly and well written. It isn't humorous, cute, or as far as I can tell, redundant. It clearly discusses all of the applicable topics, and it is obvious to me that the author is a real expert in the domain. From the author's bio on the back of the book, it says he has been the maintainer of the Linux man-pages project since 2004, and has personally written more than 250 of those man pages.

    Anyway, I'd give this book two thumbs up!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  7. #6
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    BTW, you can get this book from right now for $60USD. A bargain, for sure!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  8. #7
    I also suggest "The Linux Programming Interface" as a good book. I own a copy and it really is a wealth of knowledge on how Unix-like operating systems (Linux based more specifically) function at a low level. One thing that is really helpful is that the author clearly states where a technology is strictly Linux or a more Unix-in-general way to do something.

    Personally I wouldn't start with Linux From Scratch, I would chose a distro like Arch Linux, Gentoo Linux, or a *BSD like FreeBSD where you start off with a basic system and build up, you have a package manager, and it is a nice way to learn at a higher level how an operating system works before moving on to Linux From Scratch as a more detailed examination of the same process. When I started with Linux From Scratch, I found I was Googleing all over the place because of make errors instead of anything else, but after having played with systems like Arch, Gentoo, and FreeBSD I found it was easier to pick away at make errors and make sense of them.

    As for file systems, In one of my forensics classes "File System Forensic Analysis" by Brian Carrier was the text book, we never actually used it but I read it anyways, It covers DOS, Windows, Apple, BSD, and Sun Solaris partitioning as well as FAT, NTFS, and UFS file systems (with a more in depth look at ext2 and ext3 specifically in another chapter) plus some other goodies. But the big thing is, it explained how these file systems worked at a low level. "The Linux Programming Interface" also looks at the file system but this is a more in depth look.

    And the toolchain is perhaps trickier then the kernel itself. There are a few books on compiler and interpreter design but I don't feel qualified enough to suggest any of them. Though for a class project we built an interpreter for a strict sub-set of the C language. And for me one of my most valuable resources was "Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets" by Peter Van Der Linden. While the book itself isn't specifically about writing compilers or interpreters it looks at how things like arrays, pointers, and other syntax bits are interpreted by the compiler. It also talks a little bit about linking. It might be useless for what you had in mind but it might be worth looking into a pre-view version of the book that is available on Google or Amazon. One more thing is that the book mainly focuses from a Solaris point of view but I would say at least 85% of the information can be used as is on other Unixies.

    I think for you, the biggest thing is finding projects to work on and learn from. It seems like you already have the motivation and passion to complete them.

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