Re: linux-kernel-digest V1 #94

Matthew Crosby (
Sat, 24 Jun 1995 17:03:50 -0600

> Andrew Walker mumbled something vague about:
> [ Required reading list snipped ]
> > Bach is still the bottom line as a reference for UNIX internals - but why d
> oes
> > it have to be so bl**dy expensive :-( Oh, and if you find someone with the
> "Lions"
> > book you could always photocopy that. You don't know about the "Lions" book
> ? This
> > near legendary book by David Lions contains the entire annotated source to,
> I believe,
> > the version 6 UNIX kernel.
> Is the Lions book still in print?
> If not, what's the legal/practical status of getting my hands on a
> copy, either printed or digital? I'm willing to HTMLify it and
> publish it if such a process would be both possible and legal...
> Mike

The Lions book was never in print in terms of being availible. AT&T
squashed it pretty hard, you could only get a copy if you were in the
class. Of course, a number of people had (and have) third, fourth and
more generation copies of it. Its still illegal to posess, however.
(Though I don't know how long the situation would last. Copyright lasts
years, but the big thing with the Lions book was trade secret, not

Anyway, hypothetically speaking, if I had a copy of it (which of course
I don't), I could tell you that it covers v6 Unix, which is about the level
of Minix in terms of functinality (though not microkernal, of course), and
wouldn't be _that_ useful for Linux. It still makes a nice introduction,
of course, and the complete Unix V6 source code it comes with is interesting
for historical reasones, if nothing else.

I know Usenix gave away a couple of signed copies to people at last years
conference, so I guess they managed to bribe^Wsweet talk _someone_ at AT&T.
My copy (if I posessed one, which I of course don't) would be too poor
in quality to really scan very well, but I have seen an online version
(shocking, this blantant lawlessness.)

Going back to the original question, I agree with most all that has been
said. Kurk McKusick is working on a new copy of the Daemon book to cover
4.4BSD, which will be good when it comes out, since most of these books
are kind of outdated.

It would be cool to see "The Design and Implementation of the Linux
Operating System". (Yeah, I know, I know, "Great Idea! Send us the