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Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents
1.1. Legal Blurb
1.2. Foreword
1.3. Contributions
1.4. Translations
Note

You can skip this chapter if you are familiar with HOWTOs, or just hate to read all this assembly-unrelated crap.

1.1. Legal Blurb

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.1; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover texts. A copy of the license is included in the GNU Free Documentation License appendix.

The most recent official version of this document is available from the Linux Assembly and LDP sites. If you are reading a few-months-old copy, consider checking the above URLs for a new version.

1.2. Foreword

This document aims answering questions of those who program or want to program 32-bit x86 assembly using free software, particularly under the Linux operating system. At many places Universal Resource Locators (URL) are given for some software or documentation repository. This document also points to other documents about non-free, non-x86, or non-32-bit assemblers, although this is not its primary goal. Also note that there are FAQs and docs about programming on your favorite platform (whatever it is), which you should consult for platform-specific issues, not related directly to assembly programming.

Because the main interest of assembly programming is to build the guts of operating systems, interpreters, compilers, and games, where C compiler fails to provide the needed expressiveness (performance is more and more seldom as issue), we are focusing on development of such kind of software.

If you don't know what free software is, please do read carefully the GNU General Public License (GPL or copyleft), which is used in a lot of free software, and is the model for most of their licenses. It generally comes in a file named COPYING (or COPYING.LIB). Literature from the Free Software Foundation (FSF) might help you too. Particularly, the interesting feature of free software is that it comes with source code which you can consult and correct, or sometimes even borrow from. Read your particular license carefully and do comply to it.

1.3. Contributions

This is an interactively evolving document: you are especially invited to ask questions, to answer questions, to correct given answers, to give pointers to new software, to point the current maintainer to bugs or deficiencies in the pages. In one word, contribute!

To contribute, please contact the maintainer.

Note

At the time of writing, it is Konstantin Boldyshev and no more Francois-Rene Rideau (since version 0.5). I (Fare) had been looking for some time for a serious hacker to replace me as maintainer of this document, and am pleased to announce Konstantin as my worthy successor.

1.4. Translations

Korean translation of this HOWTO is avalilable at http://kldp.org/HOWTO/html/Assembly-HOWTO/. Turkish translation of this HOWTO is available at http://belgeler.org/howto/assembly-howto.html. Incomplete Russian translation is available at http://volgograd.lug.ru/wiki/GrableVodstvo/articles/AssembleInLinux/. Also, there was a French translation of the early HOWTO versions, but I can't find it now.