How Linux Works, 2nd Edition

What Every Superuser Should Know
by Brian Ward

November 2014, 368 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-59327-567-9
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Unlike some operating systems, Linux doesn’t try to hide the important bits from you; it gives you full control of your computer. You’ll find that there are many ways to tweak the system to your liking, but there are also a few pitfalls. To truly master Linux and avoid obstacles, you need to understand Linux internals like how the system boots, how networking works, and what the kernel actually does.

In this completely revised second edition of the perennial bestseller How Linux Works, author Brian Ward makes the concepts behind Linux internals accessible to anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the operating system. Inside these information-packed pages, you’ll find the kind of knowledge that normally comes from years of experience doing things the hard way, including essential topics like:

  • How Linux boots, with coverage of boot loaders and init (systemd, Upstart, and System V)
  • How the kernel manages devices, device drivers, and processes
  • How networking, interfaces, firewalls, and servers work
  • How development tools and shared libraries work
  • How shell scripts work

You’ll explore the kernel, with coverage of system calls, input and output, and file systems, and examine key systems tasks inside user space. With its combination of background, theory, real-world examples, and patient explanations, How Linux Works, 2nd Edition will teach you what you need to know to understand and customize your system, solve pesky problems, and take control of your operating system.

About the Author

Brian Ward has been working with Linux since 1993. He is the author of The Linux Kernel-HOWTO, The Book of VMware (No Starch Press), and The Linux Problem Solver (No Starch Press).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Big Picture (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 2: Basic Commands and Directory Hierarchy (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 3: Devices (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 4: Disks and Filesystems (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 5: Linux Booting: Boot Loaders and Kernel (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 6: How User Space Starts (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 7: System Configuration: Logging, System Time, Batch Jobs, and Users (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 8: A Closer Look at Processes and Resource Utilization (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 9: Understanding Your Network and Its Configuration (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 10: Network Applications and Services (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 11: Introduction to Shell Scripts (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 12: Moving Files Across the Network (AVAILABLE NOW)
Chapter 13:
User Environments
Chapter 14: A Brief Survey of the Linux Desktop
Chapter 15: Development Tools
Chapter 16: Compiling Software from Source Code
Chapter 17: Building on the Basics