Linux Programming Hints

In this column, I'll explore the GNU C Library. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has written an excellent reference manual, available in an electronic form that can be printed or read on-line, but I think that an introduction will help some people get started.

The GNU C Library Reference Manual is an amazingly large and comprehensive work. While it's not perfect and is still being written, it contains a lot of information. I do not know if it is being published on paper, but it's available via ftp from all gnu mirror sites and can easily be printed or formatted for on-line reading from within emacs or the standalone info reader.

I'll take some space here to plug, as usual, some of the books that I have found most helpful, books which I think that my readers should not be without.

When you are programming for modern variants of Unix, you ought not to be without W. Richard Stevens' Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, which has most of the information you need to write real applications under most variants of Unix. Both the principles and the details are covered. ISBN: 0-201-56317-7

For learning how to write POSIX compatible programs which can run on more than just Unix platforms (rather the opposite of this month's column, I'll admit), I recommend Donald Lewine's POSIX Programmer's Guide. It's hard to go wrong if you follow this book. ISBN: 0-937175-73-0

What is the GNU Library Public License?

Obtaining FSF Code


I'm open to suggestions on what programming hints people would like to see. Please send email to or send paper mail to Programming Tips, Linux Journal, P.O. Box 84867, Seattle, WA 98145-1867, and I'll consider your suggestions. If you have any books which you really like and which you would like to see me recommend in this column, please recommend them to me. I'd appreciate a detailed description of any book which you find indispensable as a Unix programmer.

  1. American National Standards Institute: American National Standard X3.159-1989-“ANSI C”.