The book assumes that the reader has some previous knowledge of operating system
structure and terminology. For anyone needing such a background I can recommend my
book Operating Systems (O’Gorman, 2000), which is a short readable introduction to the
topic. Operating Systems with Linux (O’Gorman, 2001) is much more detailed, with all
examples in it taken from Linux, including areas not covered in this book, such as the
memory and input–output managers. The book also presumes a minimum knowledge of C
and of computer organisation, particularly the Intel i386 architecture.
One omission that may bother some readers is that it does not cover the implementation
of any of the system services. The sheer size of the project forced this decision, and maybe
the system services are not the worst choice if something has to be left out. Many of them
are covered reasonably well in existing books on Linux kernel internals.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the index is as complete as possible. As well as
the usual topic entries, each function, macro and data structure discussed is also referenced
there. It is envisaged that this index will be the first port of call for many users of the book.