The Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD Operating System

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri Jun 6 19:40:21 UTC 2014

On Fri, 6 Jun 2014 12:26:39 -0500, David Noel wrote:
> Is this book still relevant?

I would say: Yes, it is. Many fundamentals and basics haven't
changed that much, and many developers say that it's very useful
to know the history of today's technology in order to understand
it, especially when today's are more complex. So this book will
probably provide you with useful knowledge.

I have also read "The magic garden explained. The internals of
UNIX System 5 release 4." by Benny Goodheart & James Cox, which
isn't FreeBSD-specific, but nicely illustrates the concepts and
mechanisms which are also found in FreeBSD.

In my experience, the more technical books on topic you read,
the better is your understanding of the parts that keep the
system working. Especially when they are re-read from "different
standpoints" (book about 4.4BSD, book about FreeBSD 11, book
about UNIX V5R4), you get a wider view (instead a narrow focus
on just one specific implementation of a broader concept).
This is definitely an advantage in the always evolving technical
sector. It enables you to acquire new knowledge and understand
new implementations more quickly.

> I notice there's also "The Design and
> Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System", but it's circa v5.2.
> Are either of these books still useful resources for novice systems
> developers?

As I suggested: Yes.

> Are there better or more current ones out there?

Have a look at "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD
Operating System (2nd Edition)" by McKusick, Neville-Neil, and
Watson. From the book's description:

	The most complete, authoritative technical guide to
	FreeBSD's internal structure has now been extensively
	updated to cover all major improvements between
	Versions 5 and Version 11. Approximately one-third of
	this edition's content is completely new, and another
	one-third has been extensively rewritten.

	Three long-time FreeBSD project leaders begin with a
	concise overview of FreeBSD's current design and
	implementation. Next, they cover FreeBSD from the
	system-call level down: from interface to kernel to
	hardware. Explaining key design decisions, they detail
	the concepts, data structures, and algorithms used in
	implementing each significant systems facility, including
	process management, security, virtual memory, the I/O
	system, filesystems, socket IPC, and networking.


Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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