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frustrated in understanding the linux kernel

fishchip2 Posts: 19
edited January 2012 in Kernel Development


Recently, I feel frustrated in understanding the linux kernel.

I have difficulty to inter-relae differnent data structure. For example, the relationship between superblock, inode and dentry objects.


  • genomega
    genomega Posts: 7
    This is a good place to start, they maintain the kernel. They support Linus Torvalds so that he can work on it full time.

    The site is huge and the best way to find what you are looking for is to use the search function. Example inodes.
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    These are all file system related structures. Narrow you search on the web to linux file system documents. Also, you can find useful stuff on:

  • fishchip2
    fishchip2 Posts: 19
    Thank you.

    There are also some ebooks on linux kernel at :

    The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System.chm



    Addison-Wesley Tcpip Illustrated, Volume 1 The Protocols.chm


    Linux Kernel Development Second Edition.chm


  • Actually, one of the best books I have come across dealing with the Linux kernel is Robert Love's "Linux Kernel Development" which I do not know if it is the same Linux Kernel Development in your listing. Love presents the material in a very organized manner to which it becomes easier to follow.
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    I'm in the middle of reading Professional Linux Kernel Architecture by Wolfgang Mauerer. I have to admit it's a little daunting, but so far so good. It's pretty mucha step by step analysis of the actual kernel source and an explanation of what the code is doing and why. It's big, it's think, it's very technical, and probably not the best for satiating casual curiosity. But that said, I am getting a much better understanding of how things work, now, and feel more comfortable looking at the kernel source.


    I also have not ready any other books at all about the kernel specifically, so I have no point of comparison.
  • genomega
    genomega Posts: 7
    With over 10 Million Lines of Code and additions plus changes everyday, it would be a little tough for any one person to really grasp it. Even Microsoft contributed 20,000 lines of code to the kernel after they got caught hijacking the Hyper-V network drivers. There is a map here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Linux_kernel_map.png
  • chekkizhar
    chekkizhar Posts: 182
    "Robert Love's "Linux Kernel Development"

    yes. its a good one
  • Some part understanding kernel or a code walk of kernel is also possible with any good professional IDE application.

    So if you think using a open-source IDE, you can try using Bluefish, I use it to develop my open-source kernel project. Before that, I used to manage via Vi or via Gedit applications, but now the best IDE, is paying off really well both interms of understand (code walk), and even kernel software development.
  • And regarding suggested books, certainly you can read kernel specific books, but beyond that kindly read the intro sections of Linux Device Drivers (LDD) Book. It is too useful for you to understand simple kernel APIs, code, modules specific to each subsystem i.e networking, filesystem, memory, etc.
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    I noticed that some of the posts in this thread were blanked. I don't know if the OP blanked them, or if the forum software caused the problem. If it was our forum's software fault, I apologize if any useful information was lost. There is still a great bit of useful info in the thread, so, I'll just leave the remaining posts here, they contain great links to good information.
  • kiran.kankipati
    kiran.kankipati Posts: 32
    edited January 2012

    I made this video on using Bluefish IDE to understand my TrafficSqueezer code. Actually it is a part of Linux Kernel.
    It is for my students to understand Linux Kernel code + my code/modules in it.
    Hence you can use such IDE or Netbeans IDE, or any such IDE to go through the Kernel sources.

    Sometimes please note each folder you see in Kernel can be a
    module or sub-modules,
    subsystems - such as filesystem, networking, etc,
    device drivers, and so on.

    Hence use a good IDE, and preferrably O'Relly series books also mainly LDD book.

    I hope my video helps you too.
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    Thanks kiran, should be an interesting watch. I'll try to post after I watch it.


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