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Operating System Concepts, 9th Edition by Greg Gagne, Peter B. Galvin, Abraham Silberschatz

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CHAPTER 18

The Linux System

Updated by Robert Love

This chapter presents an in-depth examination of the Linux operating system. By examining a complete, real system, we can see how the concepts we have discussed relate both to one another and to practice.

Linux is a variant of UNIX that has gained popularity over the last several decades, powering devices as small as mobile phones and as large as room-filling supercomputers. In this chapter, we look at the history and development of Linux and cover the user and programmer interfaces that Linux presents—interfaces that owe a great deal to the UNIX tradition. We also discuss the design and implementation of these interfaces. Linux is a rapidly evolving operating system. This chapter describes developments through the Linux 3.2 kernel, which was released in 2012.

CHAPTER OBJECTIVES

  • To explore the history of the UNIX operating system from which Linux is derived and the principles upon which Linux's design is based.
  • To examine the Linux process model and illustrate how Linux schedules processes and provides interprocess communication.
  • To look at memory management in Linux.
  • To explore how Linux implements file systems and manages I/O devices.

18.1 Linux History

Linux looks and feels much like any other UNIX system; indeed, UNIX compatibility has been a major design goal of the Linux project. However, Linux is much younger than most UNIX systems. Its development began in 1991, when a Finnish university student, Linus Torvalds, began ...

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