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Unix to Linux Porting

© April 2006 Anthony Lawrence

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The major issues with porting to Linux from other Unixes include compiler and library differences, differences in system calls, and entirely missing system calls. There's also the issue of code that never was right to start with, but that's outside of the scope of this book.

Before it gets to specific porting issues, "Unix to Linux Porting" covers Linux development tools completely, right down to packaging. Those sections really could be a separate book.

It then covers three Unixes in depth: Solaris, HP-UX and AIX. Just about everything is covered: compiler flag cross references, compiler idiosyncracies, library versioning and so on. System calls with "gotchas" are listed; this is all very complete.

The only thing I'd question is the near 200 pages devoted to listing system and standard library calls for each OS. As so much of this is unnecessary (the call and results are identical on both OSes), why not save a small tree or two and only list the troublesome or missing functions? It's actually more than 200 pages as the same duplication is throughout the book also: why, for example waste space to show that "-o filename" is identical for both Linux and Solaris compilers ( and of course for HP-UX and AIX)?

There is a lot of valuable side information here such as warnings about non-standard and platform specific programming isses you might run into.

The book ends with a chapter on testing and debugging, which is likely where most porting projects spend most of their time. A sub-title on the cover bills this a "A Comprehensive Reference" and it certainly is.

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