Linux Application Development
Author: Michael K. Johnson & Erik W. Troan
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Price: $45.95 US
Reviewer: Andrew Johnson
Linux Application Development is a solid introduction to Linux programming. It does not attempt to teach programming or C, but serves as a topical reference for experienced C programmers to become familiar with the Linux programming model.
The book is divided into four major parts. Part One, “Getting Started”, contains three short chapters covering the history of Linux, licenses and copyright issues, and the availability and locations of Linux documentation, mailing lists and other books and sources of information.
Part Two provides an introduction to the Linux development environment and tools. Some of the coverage is minimal; for example, the section on the GNU debugger, gdb, contains only a short list of the essential debugger commands and references to two other books which offer tutorials on the debugger. More extended coverage is given to memory debugging tools. This includes source examples and information about creating and using libraries. There is also brief but important coverage of make, the gcc compiler and its options, system calls and common error codes.
The twelve chapters of Part Three, “System Programming”, comprise the bulk of the book. These chapters, as elsewhere, are heavily subdivided into subsections, which I found a little distracting on first reading, but quite convenient for relocating information later.
The authors give an excellent balance of breadth and depth of coverage, with chapters focusing on processes, simple and advanced file handling, directory operations, signals, job control, terminal handling, socket programming, dates and timing, random numbers and console programming. Virtually all of these topics are augmented with small source code examples.
A larger example program, ladsh, is a simplified UNIX command shell which is developed over the course of several chapters and eventually supports simple built-in commands, command execution, I/O redirection and job control. The final version of this program is 710 lines of code, and working through its development provides a good exercise in tying together some of the basic elements of Linux system programming.
Part Four describes a few important development libraries such as the S-Lang terminal library, the Berkeley database library and the popt option parsing library. This section also provides brief discussions of regular expressions, dynamic loading with dl, and the names and user databases.
Finally, three appendices cover direct I/O port access, the final source version of the ladsh program and the GNU licenses.
Overall, the book is well-organized and the writing and explanations are clear and concise. Although designed explicitly as a reference for experienced C programmers making the switch to Linux, I would recommend it as a good additional resource for anyone just beginning to learn C in a Linux environment.
Andrew Johnson is currently a full-time student working on a Ph.D. in physical anthropology and a part-time programmer and technical writer. He resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba with his wife and two sons and enjoys a good, dark ale whenever he can. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Google's Abacus Project: It's All about Trust
- Seeing Red and Getting Sleep
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Fancy Tricks for Changing Numeric Base
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction
- Working with Command Arguments
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Installation
- CentOS 6.8 Released
- Linux Mint 18
- The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice
Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide