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The Linux /proc Filesystem as a Programmers' Tool

Post date: June 22, 2005, 09:06 Category: Views: 3348 Comments
Tutorial quote: My entry into systems programming was guided by my desire to understand further the operating systems I was working with daily as a contract UNIX and, later, Linux system administrator. The result of this was ifchk, a packet sniffer detector I wrote in C and released in June of 2003. ifchk initially was written under IRIX and then ported to Linux, mostly under the 2.4 kernel. The current ifchk revision, beta 4, recently was released and beta 5 is on the way.

My work on ifchk has allowed me to examine programmatically several areas of operating system functionality. Examples include the Linux netlink(7) and rtnetlink(7) facilities, device control--that is, network interfaces--via ioctl(2), signals and proc, the process filesystem. Proc and its ability to display a wide array of data concerning the runtime state of a system are the focus of our discussion here.

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