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The Design And Implementation Of The Freebsd Operating System

Marshall Kirk McKusick, George V. Neville-Neil · 5 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
The authors provide a concise overview of FreeBSD's design and implementation. Then, while explaining key design decisions, they detail the concepts, data structures, and algorithms used in implementing the systems facilities. As a result, readers can use this book as both a practical reference and an in-depth study of a contemporary, portable, open source operating system.
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Not an article, but Kirk McKusick (a very longtime developer of BSD) gave a few talks on BSD and UNIX history (and the beginnings of TCP/IP), which are on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVSXXeiFLgk

If you prefer text, you can find it in Chapter 1 of his book "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System": https://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-FreeBSD-Operati... (the chapter seems to be available in the book preview)

Eric S. Raymond also wrote a nice chapter on UNIX history in "The Art of Unix Programming": http://www.catb.org/esr/writings/taoup/html/historychapter.h...

luzer7
Thanks, looks very interesting.
The BSDs are far more approachable, and I recommend starting there for anyone interested in kernel development.

There are books, such as The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System (by McKusick): http://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-FreeBSD-Operatin...

There are papers, such as Jonathan Lemon's "Kqueue: A generic and scalable event notification facility" presented at Usenix 2001: http://people.freebsd.org/~jlemon/papers/kqueue.pdf

There are kernel interface man pages:

http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=SYSCALL_MODULE&sekt...

http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=hhook&apropos=0&sek...

There are examples referenced by the man pages:

http://svnweb.freebsd.org/base/head/share/examples/

songgao
Thanks for the references!

I actually started to look into FreeBSD kernel code recently. I've found that FreeBSD's ath driver code is cleaner and more straightforward compared to the ath/ath*k drivers in Linux. Not sure if this is coincidence or due to different philosophy between FreeBSD and Linux communities.

teacup50
I've found similar across the board; I think it boils down to different philosophies/development cultures.
justincormack
Indeed and there is a new edition of the Design and Implementation updated for FreeBSD 10/11 http://www.freebsdnews.net/2014/04/02/design-implementation-...

NetBSD is pretty approachable too. With the rump kernel you can run drivers in userspace, so you can use a normal debugger and so on, and not crash the OS you are running.

As a start, read and understand http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Linux-Kernel-Third-Editi... (that's a very technical and in-depth book) and http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Kernel-Development-3rd-Edition/d... (that's a more gentle overview book) then dive in with http://www.amazon.com/UNIX-Filesystems-Evolution-Design-Impl... and write a very simple file system.

Learn C as necessary.

The FreeBSD kernel book is worth a look too: http://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-FreeBSD-Operatin...

Surprised not to see "Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operation System" mentioned yet (http://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-FreeBSD-Operatin...).

McKusick's 'Kernel Internals' class is based on this, and is well worth your time (though it's a bit pricey to purchase the videos on your own: https://www.mckusick.com/courses/advorderform.html)

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