The book I was working on for most of 2006 is now finally showing up in bookstores so it's time to announce it here.

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

Linux Kernel in a Nutshell is now availble online, for free, from the world-wide mirror systems (so that I really have no idea how many people download it, and that's fine with me.)

To quote the book's official site:

If you want to know how to build, configure, and install a custom Linux kernel on your machine, buy this book. It is written by someone who spends every day building, configuring, and installing custom kernels as part of the development process of this fun, collaborative project called Linux.

I'm especially proud of the chapter on how to figure out how to configure a custom kernel based on the hardware running on your machine. This is an essential task for anyone wanting to wring out the best possible speed and control of your hardware.

Not satisified with just offering up electonic PDF versions that mirror the book as it was exactly printed, I have availble the DocBook source that is heavily marked up by some tools that was used to generate the PDF files from.

Also, as a first in the history of publishing books (that I know of), the entire revision history of the book is availble as a git archive so you can see how slowly the process went, how bad my writing really is before the excellent editors at O'Reilly get ahold of it, and how much the Technical Reviewers for the book really helped me out in making this something that everyone will want to have on their bookshelf.

It weighs in at a slim 175 pages, which is amazing as both the editor and myself thought it would be about 350 pages before the layout people attacked it with a bunch of small pointy fonts, saving a few forests in their glee to pack as much information as possible on every printed page.

And yes, to answer all of the questions that people have asked when reading the introduction, the book did start out at over 1,000 pages, consisting of nothing other than a description of every kernel configuration option possible (see the git tree if you don't believe me). Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and a whole bunch of useful content was written by me to make this something that would acually sell.

What are you waiting for? Go buy a copy or if you are cheap, just download the thing and start building kernels!

What next? No more books for a while, that's for sure. But before quiting the writing gig, I was lucky to write a chapter for a special compilation project from O'Reilly that has turned into an amazing book that I feel honored to have been able to contribute to. More on that in a few months when it gets closer to publication date.

posted Tue, 09 Jan 2007 in [/linux]


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