This book is about system programming on Linux. System programming is the practice of writing system software, which is code that lives at a low level, talking directly to the kernel and core system libraries. Put another way, the topic of the book is Linux system calls and low-level functions such as those defined by the C library. While many books cover system programming for Unix systems, few tackle the subject with a focus solely on Linux, and fewer still address the very latest Linux releases and advanced Linux-only interfaces. Moreover, this book benefits from a special touch: I have written a lot of code for Linux, both for the kernel and for system software built thereon. In fact, I have implemented some of the system calls and other features covered in this book. Consequently, this book carries a lot of insider knowledge, covering not just how the system interfaces should work, but how they actually work and how you can use them most efficiently. This book, therefore, combines in a single work a tutorial on Linux system programming, a reference manual covering the Linux system calls, and an insider’s guide to writing smarter, faster code. The text is fun and accessible, and regardless of whether you code at the system level on a daily basis, this book will teach you tricks that will enable you to be a better software engineer.
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