How Linux Works cover

How Linux Works, 3rd Edition

What Every Superuser Should Know
by Brian Ward
April 2021, 464 pp.
Use coupon code PREORDER to get 25% off!


Unlike some operating systems, Linux doesn’t try to hide the important bits from you—it gives you full control of your computer. But to truly master Linux, you need to understand its internals, like how the system boots, how networking works, and what the kernel actually does.

In this third edition of the bestselling How Linux Works, author Brian Ward peels back the layers of this well-loved operating system to make Linux internals accessible. This edition has been thoroughly updated and expanded with added coverage of Logical Volume Manager (LVM), virtualization, and containers.

You'll learn:

  • How Linux boots, from boot loaders to init (systemd)
  • How the kernel manages devices, device drivers, and processes
  • How networking, interfaces, firewalls, and servers work
  • How development tools work and relate to shared libraries
  • How to write effective shell scripts

You’ll also explore the kernel and examine key system tasks inside user space, including system calls, input and output, and filesystems. With its combination of background, theory, real-world examples, and patient explanations, How Linux Works, 3rd edition will teach you what you need to know to solve pesky problems and take control of your operating system.

Author Bio 

Brian Ward has been working with Linux since 1993. He is also the author of The Linux Kernel-HOWTO, The Book of VMware (No Starch Press), and The Linux Problem Solver (No Starch Press).

Table of contents 

Chapter 1: The Big Picture
Chapter 2: Basic Commands and Directory Hierarchy
Chapter 3: Devices

Chapter 4: Disks and Filesystems
Chapter 5: How the Linux Kernel Boots
Chapter 6: How User Space Starts
Chapter 7: System Configuration: Logging, System Time, Batch Jobs, and Users
Chapter 8: A Closer Look at Processes and Resource Utilization
Chapter 9: Understanding Your Network and Its Configuration
Chapter 10: Network Applications and Services
Chapter 11: Introduction to Shell Scripts
Chapter 12: Network File Transfer and Sharing
Chapter 13: User Environments
Chapter 14: A Brief Survey of the Linux Desktop and Printing
Chapter 15: The Big Picture
Chapter 16: Introduction to Compiling Software from C Source Code
Chapter 17: Virtualization

The chapters in red are included in this Early Access PDF.