Understanding Linux Network Internals
Guided Tour to Networking on Linux
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2005
Pages: 1066

If you've ever wondered how Linux carries out the complicated tasks assigned to it by the IP protocols -- or if you just want to learn about modern networking through real-life examples -- Understanding Linux Network Internals is for you.

Like the popular O'Reilly book, Understanding the Linux Kernel, this book clearly explains the underlying concepts and teaches you how to follow the actual C code that implements it. Although some background in the TCP/IP protocols is helpful, you can learn a great deal from this text about the protocols themselves and their uses. And if you already have a base knowledge of C, you can use the book's code walkthroughs to figure out exactly what this sophisticated part of the Linux kernel is doing.

Part of the difficulty in understanding networks -- and implementing them -- is that the tasks are broken up and performed at many different times by different pieces of code. One of the strengths of this book is to integrate the pieces and reveal the relationships between far-flung functions and data structures. Understanding Linux Network Internals is both a big-picture discussion and a no-nonsense guide to the details of Linux networking. Topics include:

  • Key problems with networking
  • Network interface card (NIC) device drivers
  • System initialization
  • Layer 2 (link-layer) tasks and implementation
  • Layer 3 (IPv4) tasks and implementation
  • Neighbor infrastructure and protocols (ARP)
  • Bridging
  • Routing
  • ICMP

Author Christian Benvenuti, an operating system designer specializing in networking, explains much more than how Linux code works. He shows the purposes of major networking features and the trade-offs involved in choosing one solution over another. A large number of flowcharts and other diagrams enhance the book's understandability.

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(10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


A map to dig into the network engine

By Julien Vehent

from Paris, France

About Me Sys Admin

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  • Accurate
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    Comments about oreilly Understanding Linux Network Internals:

    I was looking for information about Traffic Control, and even if the book doesn't cover directly this topic, it has been of great help during my research.

    Even so the kernel is constantly moving, almost everything detailed in this book is still true. Christian Benvenuti's explanations of the code are very helpful and not too technical for a non-developpers like me.

    The book itself is huge and reading/digesting it completely is a several weeks task.

    (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


    a wondering book

    By dave young

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Understanding Linux Network Internals:

    The best book on core IP networking and its LINUX implementations. I read it from page one to the end and loved it. I really encourage the author to continue on volume 2, covering multicast, IPSEC and TCP/UDP, volume 3 on QOS and other remaining topics. This will be one of the classic set of books on networking just like 'TCP/IP Illustrated'.

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