The book starts with an overview of Linux and the IA-64 architecture and then discusses each major subsystem of the kernel in more detail. Among others, there are separate chapters on how multi-tasking maps onto the underlying hardware, on the virtual memory subsystem, device support (programemd I/O, DMA & interrupts), symmetric multi-processing (SMP), and on the bootstrap procedure needed to bring a computer to live. These chapters place great emphasis t just on the what , but also on the how and why of how Linux accomplishes its tasks. Each chapter has two primary components: the first describes the interfaces that the Linux kernel uses to abstract platform differences, and the second describes how these interfaces have been realized for IA-64. This structure makes the book useful t just to those readers interested specifically in IA-64 Linux, but also to anyone who would like to gain a better understanding of how Linux works on other platform.
DAVID MOSBERGER is a Senior Research Scientist at HP Labs. In early 1998, he founded the project to bring Linux to the IA-64 platform, later developing the first IA-64 version of the GNU C compiler and GNU toolchain. He has been serving as lead architect, developer, and gatekeeper of the IA-64 Linux kernel source code. STEPHANE ERANIAN is a Senior Research Scientist at HP Labs. He has been working on the port of Linux to the IA-64 platform since late 1998. He is main architect of the kernel performance monitoring subsystem, and architect and maintainer of the Linux/IA-64 elilo boot loader.