Re: how to learn kernel programming

Perry Harrington (
Thu, 22 Jan 1998 21:40:51 -0800 (PST)

> > > I consider myself fairly competent C(++) programmer. What is a good
> > > source of info on kernel and low-level programming? So many books these
> > > days are written so you can print "hello world" in a MS window, not how
> > > to swap pages of vm. I do not believe reading the source will help
> > > much, I am more of a book learner.
> >
> > Böhme, Linux Kernel Programming, Addison Wesley 1998 (3rd(?) edition)
> >
> > Regards,
> > Martin
> Beware, however, that any book is going to be fairly out of date in a number
> of areas. Be prepared to refer to the source at frequent intervals.
> I usually tell people that their first port of call should be the source code,
> then myself, then this list.
> The books can be very useful if you are new to the style and layout of the
> Linux kernel, or of such low level code in general, but remember to take the
> precise definitions of structures etc. with a pinch of salt.
> As an aside, I tend to find that I learn virtually nothing from sitting down
> and reading source code. I do, however, learn a great deal by tracing source
> code in an attempt to examine a particular execution path in detail.
> I would recommend a newcomer to the scene to start, as you would with a new
> programming language, with a "hello world" program (or module, in this case),
> and work your way up. Think of something trivial which you want to change or
> implement, and you'll be amazed at how much you learn about the kernel
> structure when looking for particular pieces of code in it.

I for one would absolutely love a technical step through of the Net subsystem,
written by Alan Cox. ;) I have read the KHG on sk_buffs, device drivers, etc,
but I feel a good explanation that outlines what modules exists, what they do,
and the conceptual and semantic interelation of the various code modules.

> Also, don't be afraid to ask for help - people on this list are almost always
> prepared to answer questions if you seem to have made a genuine attempt to
> find the answer. It's often quicker to get a response back from the list than
> it is to answer your own question.
> Happy Hacking.

Perry Harrington       Linux rules all OSes.    APSoft      ()
email: 			Think Blue. /\