How Linux Works, 2nd Edition
What Every Superuser Should Know
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: November 2014
Pages: 392

Unlike some operating systems, Linux doesn't try to hide the important bits from you—it gives you full control of your computer. But to truly master Linux, you need to understand its internals, like how the system boots, how networking works, and what the kernel actually does.

In this completely revised second edition of the perennial best seller How Linux Works, author Brian Ward makes the concepts behind Linux internals accessible to anyone curious about the inner workings of the operating system. Inside, you'll find the kind of knowledge that normally comes from years of experience doing things the hard way. You'll learn:

  • How Linux boots, from boot loaders to init implementations (systemd, Upstart, and System V)
  • How the kernel manages devices, device drivers, and processes
  • How networking, interfaces, firewalls, and servers work
  • How development tools work and relate to shared libraries
  • How to write effective shell scripts
You'll also explore the kernel and examine key system tasks inside user space, including system calls, input and output, and filesystems. With its combination of background, theory, real-world examples, and patient explanations, How Linux Works will teach you what you need to know to solve pesky problems and take control of your operating system.
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oreillyHow Linux Works, 2nd Edition

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Superb Book!

By mpoed

from Johannesburg

About Me Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly How Linux Works, 2nd Edition:

(Commenting on the Early Access Version)This is a very well written book with just enough 'linux internals' content for the Sysadmin, which is achieved by explaining how things work under the hood without going into kernel data structures or C code. I started using this book halfway through my LPIC-2 Certification and it proved to be excellent. It includes excellent coverage of Linux startup (including systemd & Ubuntu Upstart), storage, networking and security.
I would have prefered more detail on SELinux & NFS though. Otherwise a brilliant book that I would highly recommend.

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