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No Starch Press Releases Linux Appliance Design: A Hands-On Guide to Building Linux Appliances

April 6, 2007, San Francisco–Modern appliances are complex machines, with processors, operating systems, and application software. While there are books that describe how to run Linux on embedded hardware and books on how to build a Linux application, “Linux Appliance Design” (April 2007, No Starch Press, is the first book to demonstrate how to merge the two to create a Linux appliance.

Linux is the embedded operating system of choice for low-cost development and fast time to market. “Linux Appliance Design” shows how to use Linux to build better appliances-appliances with more types of interfaces, more dynamic interfaces, and better debugged interfaces. Readers learn how to build backend daemons, handle asynchronous events, and connect various user interfaces (including web, frame buffers, infrared control, SNMP, and front panels) to these processes for configuration and control. Linux Appliance Design also introduces the Runtime Access library, which provides a uniform mechanism for user interfaces to communicate with daemons.

The bundled CD includes a prototype appliance-a home alarm system-that supports the book’s lessons. It uses a liberal BSD style license, which allows readers to use it as the basis for their own appliances.

“We’re continuing to feed the growing hunger for Linux content in the marketplace,” said No Starch Press publisher and founder Bill Pollock. “Linux is very well suited for use in appliances, but it’s difficult to find engineers who know how to combine both the hardware and software. This book distills the work and experience of four engineers into one very compelling volume.”

Readers learn how to:

-Separate user interfaces from daemons
-Give user interfaces run time access to configuration, status, and statistics
-Add professional network management capabilities to applications
-Use SNMP and build a MIB
-Build a web-based appliance and a command line interface (CLI)
-Build a framebuffer interface that uses an infrared control as input
-Manage logs and alarms on an appliance

Additional Resources:
Table of contents:
Sample chapter: Chapter 12: Infared Remote Control

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Bob Smith, John Hardin, Graham Phillips, and Bill Pierce have experience in embedded systems, commercial Linux and BSD appliances, network management systems, and designing software solutions for business problems.

Linux Appliance Design: A Hands-On Guide to Building Linux Appliances by Bob Smith, John Hardin, Graham Phillips, and Bill Pierce April 2007, 356 pp., CD, ISBN 978-1-59327-140-4, US$59.95 Available at fine bookstores everywhere, from, or directly from No Starch Press (,, 800.420.7240).

ABOUT NO STARCH PRESS: Founded in 1994, No Starch Press is one of the few remaining independent computer book publishers. We publish the finest in geek entertainment–unique books on technology, with a focus on Open Source, security, hacking, programming, and alternative operating systems. Our titles have personality, our authors are passionate, and our books tackle topics that people care about. No Starch Press titles have been included in the prestigious Communication Arts Design Annual and STEP inside 100 competition, and have won the Ippy Award from Independent Publisher magazine. See for more information and our complete online catalog. (And most No Starch Press books use RepKover, a lay-flat binding that won’t snap shut.)