FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Fri Dec 30 06:01:53 UTC 2011

> From owner-freebsd-questions at  Thu Dec 29 21:46:36 2011
> Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 22:43:16 -0500
> From: David Jackson <djackson452 at>
> To: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: FreeBSD Kernel Internals Documentation
> I have had an interest in studying the FreeBSD kernel and getting to know
> its internals better. After all, in Open source projects, they say,
> community contributions are important.
> However, My finding is that due to poor documentation, the FreeBSD kernel
> is nearly impenetrable to an outsider. I have been able to find no
> comprehensive documentation of kernel internals. I have found it nearly
> impossible, due to lack of comprehensive documentation, much of any of the
> kernel internals. What I see is an internal cliche of developers who are
> aware of its myraid of undocumented esoteric secrets, and very little to
> actually help anyone else to understand it.

You're talking abaout _volumes_ of  documentation, literally many books worth.

Start with "The Design and Implementation of the BSD 4.4.4 Operating System"
by McKusick, eal.

Then read "The design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System",
by McKusick and Neville-Neal.`

*You* are free to contribute 'better documentation' as you review any
particular file.   Since you feel it is important, you are strongly 
encouraged to "do something" to actually 'make it better', as opposed
to merely sitting on the sidelines and sniping at the work of others.

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