Advanced Linux Programming

Mark Mitchell, Jeffrey Oldham, Alex Samuel

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Advanced Linux Programming is divided into two parts. The first covers generic UNIX system services, but with a particular eye towards Linux specific information. This portion of the book will be of use even to advanced programmers who have worked with other Linux systems since it will cover Linux specific details and differences. For programmers without UNIX experience, it will be even more valuable. The second section covers material that is entirely Linux specific. These are truly advanced topics, and are the techniques that the gurus use to build great applications. While this book will focus mostly on the Application Programming Interface (API) provided by the Linux kernel and the C library, a preliminary introduction to the development tools available will allow all who purchase the book to make immediate use of Linux.

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I'm learning C by rehashing some Project Euler problems, as I did for Python. In Python, I created a file of general mathematical utilities such as prime number checking, which I pulled functions out of as and when I needed them. I was wondering if there was a way to simply do a similar thing with C, other than compiling alongside the utilities file each time?

I'm running Linux and using gcc as my compiler, if that helps.

It looks like you need some basic knowledge about separate compilation and libraries(archives and shared libraries). You can read about it in chapter "2.3 Writing and Using Libraries" of

This book is also available as a PDF from (although the site is down at the moment). Perhaps you can search for other places to legally download the PDF.

A crash course:

  • You create a number of object (*.o) files via

    gcc name.c -o name.o
  • Each file has a header that declares the functions in the source file. You might have several source files using a single header if the functions are related. The source files such as name.c include that header. Your code that uses those functions also includes that header.

  • You create a static library (archive) with ar

    ar ruv libXYZ.a name1.o name2.o ... nameN.o

    The prefix lib is important.

  • You link to the library with

    gcc prog.o -lXYZ -o prog

    This command will create an executable named prog from the object file prog.o and from object files, extracted from libXYZ.a, which are required to satisfy symbol references from prog.o.

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