Home > Store

Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base

Premium Website

  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-145695-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-145695-2

Praise for the Linux Standard Base

“Community-built software and community-built standards are two sides of the same coin. Standards help ensure that the freedom to invent, the essence of open source and Linux, doesn’t compromise the ability to write software that works together effectively. The LSB is an important set of standards for the Linux community.”

Brian Behlendorf, Apache Software Foundation, CollabNet
“With the recent success of the LSB and the adoption on a wide scale of the LSB standards, building applications that are standards-compliant has become a much easier and more necessary part of the development on Linux as a platform.”

Jeffrey “Hemos” Bates, Editor, Slashdot.org
“In the days before the LSB, every change and every improvement we wanted to make to our Linux product was subject to somebody saying, ‘But wait! I depend on that!’ The LSB laid out what interfaces were defined and how they should be used. Since the LSB was adopted, we have been free to innovate without fear of breaking somebody else’s assumptions. The success of the LSB recommended it as the starting point for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Common Operating Environment (COE) specification for Linux. Without the LSB, there would be no COE-certified Red Hat products today.”

Michael Tiemann, Chief Technology Officer, Red Hat, Inc.
“As an active LSB member, SUSE LINUX is committed both to providing customers with standardized Linux technology and to simplifying ISV’s and IHV’s Linux certification efforts. The availability of common standards plays a decisive role in the proliferation of Linux operating systems and applications on server and client systems worldwide, and we appreciate the LSB project’s work in developing and promoting these standards.”

Markus Rex, General Manager of SUSE LINUX for Novell
“We are very happy to see the progress of LSB, both in the definition of the standard and in its broad support. LSB is an important part of our strategy and MandrakeSoft will continue to support the efforts of LSB to define a standardized ABI and encourage ISVs to build and certify to this standard.”

Francois Bancilhon, Chief Executive Officer, MandrakeSoft
“The launch of the LSB is a significant development for the Linux community. For the very first time in history, a common binary computing environment will be able to be shared across different systems from different vendors. The LSB will play a pivotal role in ensuring the proper development of the Linux market. Sun Wah Linux is excited about this phenomenon and is dedicated to supporting LSB’s future efforts and endeavors.”

Alex Banh, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Wah Linux, P.R.C.

An initiative of the Free Standards Group, the Linux Standard Base (LSB) is a set of standards designed to increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable applications to run on any LSB-compliant system. The advent of LSB 2.0 is revolutionary in that it allows ISVs to create “shrink-wrapped software” for the Linux platform much in the same way they already do for Windows.

Written by the team that created the LSB, Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base shows developers how to create, test, and certify software for LSB 2.0 compliance. The book’s hands-on approach lets readers quickly understand how to write Linux applications that are portable across multiple distributions, including those from SuSE, Mandrake, and Solaris. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the full LSB 2.0 specification and the sample program files used in the book.

Coverage includes

  • LSB coding practices
  • Software packing and installation issues
  • UNIX-to-Linux migration tips
  • Testing Linux distribution and applications for LSB compatibility
  • Examples of applications using the LSB
  • Relevant standards for Linux

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Using the Linux Standard Base Sample Implementation

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Download the Sample Chapter related to this title.

Table of Contents


1. Understanding the LSB.


    The Value of Standards.

     The Free Standards Group.

    Organizational Structure of the LSB.

    LSB Specification Overview.

    Benefits for Application Developers.

    Benefits for Users.

    Benefits for Distributions.

    Brief History of the LSB Project.

2. Ensuring Binary Compatibility.

    Illustration of Binary Compatibility.

    Source Code Standards.

    Binary Standards.

    LSB Binary Compatibility.


3. Using LSB Coding Practices.

    C and C++.






    IP Information.




    Parsing of Command Options.

    LSB Don'ts.

4. Packaging Your LSB Application.

    Using RPM for Packaging.

    Installing Your Application in the Right Place.

    Package Naming.

    Example: Packaging and Installing an Application.

    Advanced Packaging.

5. Migrating Solaris Applications to Linux.

    Roadmap to Port.

    Issues with Porting.

    Signal Handling.

    Runtime Libraries.



    Absolute Addresses.




6. LSB Certification for Linux Distributions.


    Achieving LSB Certification.

    Product Registration.

    Renewals and Certified Product Updates.

    Currently Supported Systems.

7. LSB Certification for Software Products.


    Achieving LSB Application Certification.

    Currently Supported Systems.


8. Adding New Interfaces to the LSB WrittenSpecification.

    Moving Forward.

    LSB Selection Criteria.

    Candidate Identification.

    Candidate Tracking.

    Problem Cases.

    How to Get Your Favorite Interface Added to the LSB.

9. Adding New Architectures to the LSB Portfolio.

    Architecture-Specific Supplement.

    Architecture-Specific ELF.

    Architecture-Specific Symbol Versions.

    Architecture-Specific Headers.

    Architecture-Specific Packaging.

    Architecture-Specific Sample Implementation.

    Architectural Checklist.


10. Using the LSB Written Specification.

    Understanding the LSB Written Specification.

    Product Standard Descriptions.

    Specification Module Descriptions.

    Functional Area Descriptions.

    Specification Amalgamation.

    Expanding the LSB Written Specification.

    Downloading the LSB Written Specification.

11. Using the LSB Test Suites.

    Understanding the LSB Test Suites.

    TET-Based Tests.

    Using Non-TET-Based Tests.

    Expanding the LSB Test Suites.

    Downloading the LSB Test Suites.

12. Using the Sample Implementation.

    Understanding the Sample Implementation.

    Setting Up the Sample Implementation.

    Application Testing Using the Sample Implementation.

     Building the Sample Implementation.

    Testing the Sample Implementation.

    Packaging the Sample Implementation.

    Downloading the Sample Implementation.

13. Using the LSB Development Environment.

    Understanding the LSB Development Environment.

     Getting the LSB Development Environment.

    Using the LSB Development Environment.

    Shared Libraries.

    Case Study: rsync.

    Building the LSB Development Environment.

    Expanding the LSB Development Environment.

    Downloading the LSB Development Environment.

14. Using the Application Battery.

    Understanding the Application Battery.

    Using the Application Battery for Certification.

    Creating the Application Battery.

    Downloading the Application Battery.

Appendix A. GNU Free Documentation License.

Appendix B. Resources.


    Suggested Reading.


Appendix C. Book Logistics.



Download the Foreword file related to this title.


Download the Index file related to this title.


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020