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Linux™ Kernel Fundamentals
Linux Training Overview

This 5-day course will provide a fundamental knowledge of the internals of the Linux kernel. The focus is on understanding the workings of the kernel, and not the theory. The course is valuable to any system administrator who seeks to have a greater understanding of the Linux kernel. The course is based on Linux kernel 2.6.32 as modified for RHEL/CentOS version 6.3. For demonstrations, the course uses the cscope utility to show source files, and the crash utility to demonstrate their use in a live kernel. This course is also the basis for additional training on writing kernel drivers and kernel debugging.

Audience

Programmers or system administrators interested in further developing their understanding of the Linux kernel.

Prerequisites

As this is an advanced level course, students must have taken courses in the following subjects: Linux Fundamentals, Linux System Administration, and C Programming.

Linux Training Course duration

5 days

Linux Training Course outline

1. Course Overview
  • Introduction
  • Course Prerequisites
  • System Environment
  • Conventions Used in the Studen Materials
  • Command Prompts
  • Keyboard Usage
  • Typefaces
  • References
2. Linux Kernel Introduction
  • Operating Systems and Kernels
  • Definition of Terms
  • Modes of Operations
  • Approaches to Kernel Design
  • Standards and Common Interfaces
  • The Impact of Architecture
  • Along Came Linux
  • History of Linux
  • Linux Kernel Versions
  • Some Linux Distributions
  • Linux Kernel Websites
  • Linux Kernel Organization
  • Data Flow between Kernel and Applications
  • Copying Buffers
  • The printk Statement
  • The /proc Directory
  • The /sys Directory
3. Linux Kernel Source
  • Installing Kernel Source
  • CentOS Source Install
  • Source Installation
  • Updating Kernel Source
  • kernel.org Source Install
  • Downloading Kernel Source
  • Installing Kernel Source
  • Updating Kernel Soure
  • Patching the Kernel
  • View of Kernel Source
  • Finding References
  • Kernel Symbol Tables
  • The System.map File
  • The kallsyms File
  • Searching with Linux Commands
  • The cscope Command
  • Starting cscope
  • Searching the Source Files
  • Navigating the Search Results
  • Kernel Programming Style
  • C Language Usage
  • Other Kernel Coding Conventions
  • Opaque Types
  • Explicitly Sized Types
  • Byte Order
  • Header Files
  • Inline Assembly
  • Common Kernel Datatypes
  • Linked Lists
  • Manipulating Linked Lists
  • Traversing Linked Lists
  • Red Black Tree
4. Building the Linux Kernel
  • The Build Environment
  • Steps for Building Kernel
  • Creating a Configuration File
  • Editing the Configuration File
  • The gconfig Utility
  • Configuration Options
  • Building the Kernel
  • RPM Build of Kernel
  • The kernel ABI (kABI)
  • Modify Kernel Specifications Script
  • Build the RPM File
  • Non-RPM Kernel Build
  • Setting the Kernel Version Information
  • Building the Kernel
  • Installation of Modules
  • Installation of Kernel
  • Using the crash Utility
  • Options to crash Utility
  • Analyzing the Running Kernel
  • The crash Commands
5. Booting the Kernel
  • Unit Overview
  • System Startup
  • Master BootRecord (MBR)
  • The Boot Loader
  • Grand Unified Bootloader (GRUB)
  • Linux Loader (LILO)
  • Other Boot loaders
  • Loading the Linux Kernel
  • Kernel Image File
  • The Initial RAM Disk
  • Initial RAM File System (initramfs)
  • Kernel Configuration Parameters
  • Starting the Linux Kernel
  • The bzImage File
  • Architecture Dependent Initialization
  • The start_kernel() Function
6. Process Data Structures
  • The Process Descriptor
  • The task_struct Structure
  • The Kernel Process Stack
  • Process Identifiers
  • Process Relationships
  • Linux Threads
  • Process Credentials
  • Process Resource Limits
  • Understanding Memory
  • Virtual (linear) Memory
  • The Memory Descriptor
  • Memory Areas
  • Page Tables
  • Process File Structure
  • The fs_struct Object
  • The files_struct Object
7. Process Management
  • Process Creation
  • Copy-on-Write (COW)
  • fork(), clone(), and vfork()
  • exec() Family of System Calls
  • Process States
  • The rq Structure
  • Wait Queues
  • Process Priority
  • Real-Time Processes
  • Scheduling Policy
  • Completely Fair Scheduler
  • Scheduler Domains
  • Control Groups (cgroups)
  • Scheduler Classes
  • Fair Class Scheduling
  • Idle Class Scheduling
  • Real-time Scheduling
  • Context Switching
  • Signal Handling
  • Signal Definitions
  • Signal Data Structures
  • Delivering a Signal
  • Process Destruction
  • Parent Notification
  • The sys_wait4() System Call
8. Memory Management
  • Unit Overview
  • The Memory Page
  • Memory Zones
  • Page Frames
  • Buddy System Algorithm
  • gfp_mask Flags
  • Allocating and Releasing Page Frames
  • Slab Allocator
  • Slab Allocator Design
  • Slab Allocator Data Structures
  • Cache Attributes
  • Slab Allocator Interface
  • Handling Memory Requests
  • Page Frame Reclamation
  • General Reclamation Heuristics
  • Invoking Reclamation
  • Page Frame Swapping
  • Page Faults
9. Virtual File System
  • Common File Model
  • VFS Data Structures
  • The super_block Structure
  • The super_block Operations
  • The File System Type
  • Mounting File Systems
  • The Inode Structure
  • The dentry Structure
  • The File Structure
  • File Locks
  • Block I/O Layer
  • Generic Block Layer
  • I/O Scheduler
10. Interrupt and Exceptions
  • Interrupt Signals
  • Interrupts
  • Interrupt Context
  • Interrupt Execution Flow
  • Interrupt Vectors
  • Interrupt Handlers
  • Controlling Interrupts
  • Bottom Halves
  • Softirqs
  • Tasklets
  • Work Queues
  • Exceptions
  • Exception Vectors
  • Exception Handlers
  • Oops and Panics
  • System Calls
  • System Call Interface
  • Kernel Implementation of System Calls
  • Existing a System Call
  • The strace Command
11. Kernel Synchronization
  • Impact of Preemption
  • Protecting Critical Regions
  • Race Conditions
  • Defining Critical Regions
  • Synchronization Primitives
  • Per CPU Variables
  • Atomic Operations
  • Optimization and Memory Barriers
  • Spin Locks
  • Seqlocks
  • Semaphores
  • Read Copy Update (RCU)
  • Controlling Preemption
  • The Big Kernel Lock (BKL)
  • Preemption Primitives
12. Time Management
  • Basic Timer Variables
  • The Tick Rate
  • Understaing Jiffies
  • Kernel Time versus User Time
  • Nanosecond Timing
  • Hardware Timers
  • Common Hardware Timers
  • The clocksource Structures
  • Understanding High Resolution Timing
  • High ResolutionStructures
  • Per CPU and Broadcast Clocks
  • Clock Interrupt Handling
  • The Clock Event Device
  • Dynamic Timers
  • The Tick behind Tickless Timing
13. Linux Device Model
  • I/O Architecture
  • I/O Ports
  • I/O Interfaces and Controllers
  • Dedicated I/O Interfaces
  • General-Purpose I/O Architecture
  • The sysfs File System
  • kobject, kset, and kibj_type Structures
  • The sysfs_dirent Structure
  • Kobject Inheritance
  • Putting it Together
  • Device Files
  • The Role of udev
  • Kernel Events Layer
  • The lshw Command
14. Linux Kernel Modules
  • Module Overview
  • Compiling the Module
  • Managing Modules
  • The insmod Command
  • The rmmod Command
  • The Ismod Command
  • The modprobe Command
  • The modinfo Command
  • Signing External Modules
  • kABI Compliance
  • Additional Examples

 
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