Teach Yourself Linux Programming in 24 Hours: Starter Kit Edition

ISBN 10: 0672315823 / ISBN 13: 9780672315824
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Synopsis: Sams Teach Yourself Linux Programming in 24 Hours is a tutorial, organized into a series of easy-to-follow, 1-hour lessons. The book focuses on C, the fundamental language of Linux, throughout the lessons. You will learn: Linux, compilers and GNU, how to code a Linux Utility, Modular programming in "C", how to make files, Linux Command Option Processing, Linux filter programs, Error handling and reporting, Useful debugging techniques, Static and Shared Libraries, Advanced String functions, Conversion Functions, and Pipes and Processes.

Review: Sams Teach Yourself Linux Programming in 24 Hours provides a digestible introduction to creating Linux system utilities in the C programming language for the beginning or intermediate C programmer. Written by author Warren W. Gay, whose own code is part of today's Linux, this guide provides just enough nitty-gritty detail in 24 easy-to-follow lessons.

The best part of the book is the author's common-sense approach to writing usable system utilities. A single example, for a Unix to DOS text converter, is used in the first few lessons. First he shows you how to build C programs using the GNU C compiler. From this simple start, Gay adds necessary features, like command-line processing. His guide to debugging and tracing code is also good.

As most readers know, Linux is built on small, discrete utilities built by programmers around the world. This book can help get you started understanding and using the Linux open source and even teach you how to create your own utilities. (To get you started, a copy of Linux Red Hat 5.2 is included on the companion CD-ROM.)

Later chapters add depth to programmable elements, with coverage of such topics as string and file handling, and several chapters devoted to multitasking issues, such as forking and IPC mechanisms. (Here, a simple Battleship-type game is used to illustrate programs that share data.) For a client/server demonstration, the book looks at the Tiny Query Server (and TQL) to show how client and server modules can work together.

In all, this text makes a good first choice for the beginning C programmer seeking an introduction to the world of Linux development. There are other more technical books available, but they can often lose the novice reader in needless detail. Sams Teach Yourself Linux Programming in 24 Hours will be valuable to anyone who wants an approachable guide to the exciting possibilities of today's Linux. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Linux system programming in C, GNU C compiler, environment variables, debugging, forking, strings, file I/O, IPC, client/server, Tiny Query Server, and TQL.

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