An Introduction to libuv

Introduction

«  Table of Contents   ::   Contents   ::   Basics of libuv  »

Introduction

This ‘book’ is a small set of tutorials about using libuv as a high performance evented I/O library which offers the same API on Windows and Unix.

It is meant to cover the main areas of libuv, but is not a comprehensive reference discussing every function and data structure. The official libuv documentation is included directly in the libuv header file.

This book is still a work in progress, so sections may be incomplete, but I hope you will enjoy it as it grows.

Who this book is for

If you are reading this book, you are either:

  1. a systems programmer, creating low-level programs such as daemons or network services and clients. You have found that the event loop approach is well suited for your application and decided to use libuv.
  2. a node.js module writer, who wants to wrap platform APIs written in C or C++ with a set of (a)synchronous APIs that are exposed to JavaScript. You will use libuv purely in the context of node.js. For this you will require some other resources as the book does not cover parts specific to v8/node.js.

This book assumes that you are comfortable with the C programming language.

Background

The node.js project began in 2009 as a JavaScript environment decoupled from the browser. Using Google’s V8 and Marc Lehmann’s libev, node.js combined a model of I/O – evented – with a language that was well suited to the style of programming; due to the way it had been shaped by browsers. As node.js grew in popularity, it was important to make it work on Windows, but libev ran only on Unix. The Windows equivalent of kernel event notification mechanisms like kqueue or (e)poll is IOCP. libuv was an abstraction around libev or IOCP depending on the platform, providing users an API based on libev. In the node-v0.9.0 version of libuv libev was removed.

Since then libuv has continued to mature and become a high quality standalone library for system programming. Users outside of node.js include Mozilla’s Rust programming language, and a variety of language bindings.

The first independently release version of libuv was 0.10.2.

Code

All the code from this book is included as part of the source of the book on Github. Clone/Download the book and run make in the code/ folder to compile all the examples. This book and the code is based on libuv version v0.11.1 and a version is included in the libuv/ folder which will be compiled automatically.

«  Table of Contents   ::   Contents   ::   Basics of libuv  »