Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager (Bruce Perens'' Open Source)

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9780131453487: Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager (Bruce Perens'' Open Source)

A programmer wanting to understand the workings of the Linux VM today literally has no choice but to study the kernel source code, line-by-line - an excruciatingly difficult and time-consuming task. This book dedicates itself to explaining, in detail, how the memory manager is implemented in Linux, thereby cutting down the time needed to understand it from many months to mere weeks. The Linux VM is the single most important component of the Linux kernel. The behavior of the VM affects all other kernel subsystems, and has a dramatic impact on overall system performance. This book is unique in that not only does it describe the Linux VM itself in unprecedented detail, it also includes the theoretical foundations for it which is of interest to both developers and students but has been omitted from recent Linux kernel related material. It is split into three parts. The first part begins with an introduction on how to approach reading the code of an open source project. It then provides a detailed description of the VM architecture with the aid of numerous diagrams and call graphs, which is suitable for people who need a clear understanding of how the VM functions. The second part is a detailed line-by-line description of the C source modules (source code commentary) that implement the VM in the Linux 2.4 kernel. The third part describes new features in the upcoming 2.6 kernel.

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From the Back Cover:

Finally, a comprehensive guide to the Linux VM!

VM's behavior affects every Linux kernel subsystem and dramatically impacts overall performance. But until now, there was only one way to understand VM: study the poorly documented source one line at a time. Now there's an easier, faster alternative. This book describes VM in unprecedented detail, presenting both theoretical foundations and a line-by-line source code commentary. It systematically covers everything from physical memory description to out-of-memory management. Coverage includes:

  • Linux VM 2.4 architecture in depth-with diagrams and call graphs
  • Physical memory description, page tables, address spaces, and memory allocation
  • High memory, swapping, shared memory, and much more
  • Expert guidance for analyzing the code of any open source project
  • New Linux 2.6 kernel features in every chapter

Well organized and superbly written, Understanding the Linux Virtual Memory Manager will be indispensable to every kernel programmer and researcher.

CD-ROM INCLUDED

Complete VM Learning Lab! Contains the author's new toolkit for exploring VM, including a browsable version of kernel source, CodeViz call graph generator; and VMRegress for analyzing and benchmarking VM. Also includes all code commentary in HTML, PDF, and plain text formats.

About the Author:

MEL GORMAN specializes in documenting open source software. He holds a MSc in Computer Science from the University of Limerick, Ireland, and has served as an instructor there. He has worked as a system administrator, applications developer, and consultant, and has been researching Linux memory management for more than two years. Currently he is an applications developer with J2EE technologies at IBM, Dublin.

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