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Linux Kernel Development, Second Edition by Robert Love

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Chapter 9. Kernel Synchronization Methods

The previous chapter discussed the sources of and solutions to race conditions. Thankfully, the Linux kernel implements a large family of synchronization methods. This chapter discusses these methods and their interface, behavior, and use. These methods enable kernel developers to write efficient race-free code.

Atomic Operations

Atomic operations provide instructions that execute atomically—without interruption. Just as the atom was originally thought to be an indivisible particle, atomic operators are indivisible instructions. For example, as discussed in the previous chapter, an atomic increment can read and increment a variable by one in a single indivisible and uninterruptible step. Instead of the race ...

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