The Audience for This Book

All people curious about how Linux works and why it is so efficient will find answers here. After reading the book, you will find your way through the many thousands of lines of code, distinguishing between crucial data structures and secondary ones—in short, becoming a true Linux hacker.

Our work might be considered a guided tour of the Linux kernel: most of the significant data structures and many algorithms and programming tricks used in the kernel are discussed. In many cases, the relevant fragments of code are discussed line by line. Of course, you should have the Linux source code on hand and should be willing to spend some effort deciphering some of the functions that are not, for sake of brevity, fully described.

On another level, the book provides valuable insight to people who want to know more about the critical design issues in a modern operating system. It is not specifically addressed to system administrators or programmers; it is mostly for people who want to understand how things really work inside the machine! As with any good guide, we try to go beyond superficial features. We offer a background, such as the history of major features and the reasons why they were used.

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