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Learning the UNIX Operating System [Paperback]

Jerry Peek , John Strang , Grace Todino
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Oct. 11 1993 --  
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Book Description

Oct. 11 1993 1565920600 978-1565920606 1

If you are new to UNIX, this concise introduction will tell you just what you need to get started and no more. Why wade through a 600-page book when you can begin working productively in a matter of minutes?Topics covered include:

  • Logging in and logging outContents include:
  • Window systems (especially X/Motif)
  • Managing UNIX files and directories
  • Sending and receiving mail
  • Redirecting input/output
  • Pipes and filters
  • Background processing
This book is the most effective introduction to UNIX in print. The third edition provides increased coverage of window systems and networking. It's a handy book for someone just starting with UNIX, as well as someone who encounters a UNIX system as a "visitor" via remote login over the Internet.

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Part basic primer, part reference guide, this slim volume will make your life with UNIX much simpler. This book is specifically designed for those who are new to UNIX and contains neither introductory-level condescension nor advanced-level gibberish. Well-indexed and clearly mapped, Learning the UNIX Operating System will show you how to use and manage files and get your e-mail as well as how to perform more advanced tasks, such as redirecting standard input/output and multitasking your processes. Those new to the UNIX world will appreciate its concise presentation, and those reasonably familiar with UNIX will learn many new shortcuts, tricks, and tools. --Jennifer Buckendorff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A useful reference for those interested in the Unix operating system... -- Joe Huber, The Book Report, March/April 2002

Its small footprint makes it an ideal desk reference for the learning period. -- Major Keary, Book News, 2002 No 6 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Every UNIX Admin Group Should Have One... To loan to users
You are perceived to be a UNIX guru. People regularly come to you with great deference to ask you for advice and help. Someone apologizes for his/her lack of knowledge for the third or fourth time and asks about a basic command. You grab a thin book from the shelf. "Take a look at this book", you say, "You probably know most of what's in here, but maybe some of it will help you. Just give it back when you're done." With relief he/she clutches the book and thanks you several times. He/she almost bumps into your neighbor's cubicle wall as he/she walks away reading this book...
Buy this thin book and this may happen to you. Well, the first part you'll have to manage yourself, but no self-styled UNIX novice has been ungrateful to borrow this book. Anyone seen as a guru will find that this book will pay for itself as a time-saving loaner.
I must say, that perception plays a great deal in this case. The book is amazingly thin and sports an O'Reilly animal on the cover. Anyone in corporate IT will associate this book with the O'Reilly books the in-house experts have on their shelves. I have another book that I feel may be a bit better for UNIX beginners, but given a choice, people will grab this one.
One can't help but notice sections that are probably unnecessary for computer-savvy UNIX beginners, such as "working with a mouse" and the description of a directory structure. But these sections are brief and clear and the authors move on quickly to UNIX-specific items such as "Redirecting I/O".
I definitely prefer "UNIX: Visual QuickStart Guide" from Peachpit Press, so I'm compelled to give this book less than a perfect score. I must admit that people who borrow this book seem much more enthusiastic when they borrow it than when they return it. But they also seem ready to move on to heavier books, and that's well worth the price.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Now all that text means something... Oct. 21 2002
By ewomack
I remember my first look at a UNIX terminal. A little '%' with a flashing cursor. I don't remember how long I stared at the little prompt not knowing what to do. Then I pressed some keys and things became much worse.
Now I'm surfing around dizzying hierarchies of file structures, able to get to the root and back again and make and edit text files. I bite my thumb at weird commands that used to seem as comprehensible as medieval scholasticism.
I wouldn't have been able to accomplish any of that without this little book that's as intimidating as a ladybug.
The most difficult part of the book, in fact, is actually finding a UNIX environment to log into. If you're not at a University or a fairly good-sized corporation (and if you don't know UNIX they won't let you near a command line anyway) you may wonder where to go. Linux, in most cases, is a good substitute; or check the web for free UNIX (or Linux) shell accounts. Combine your new-found account with this book and UNIX will no longer be a gut-wrenching incomprehensible monolith.
Don't consider yourself an expert, however, and don't stop there. UNIX may not be as difficult as some like to think it is, but it's also not easily mastered. Take this book, digest it, then move on to bigger tomes (there is no shortage of tomes in the land of UNIX, as you will find).
Lastly, the owl on the cover rules.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for total Unix newbies March 22 2002
By Doug M
People who have never used Unix will find it very intimidating, but this book will definitely change that. This book doesn't try to throw a lot of information at you, but rather, it gives you a nice, easy-going introduction to using Unix.
Some of the books strengths are its using of examples and illustrations. Using screens shots to show what the user will (or should) see helps the Unix shy better understand should happen when they do something. This book really does a good job in going step by step in order to accomplish. New users definitely won't feel like they will get lost.
The other strength is how the book covers errors that users might encounter, and how to deal with them. Afterall, new users will make mistakes, and it helps to have a book that will tell users why they got that error.
If you have a fair amount of experience in Unix, you should definitely read other books. If you are really new to Unix, then definitely read this book. You will definitely feel more confident when you are done. Even those who have learned Unix before just might learn sometihng new (I did). :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars valuable out of the box Feb. 6 2002
The first day I brought this book to work it paid for itself. It helped me solve a problem that had been pestering me for a week. Bigger than a tutorial but smaller than the 1000-page administrator tomes, this book is just the right size for the Unix neophyte. Now that it's proved its value, I'm actually going to read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction Feb. 19 2004
This is a good first book on Unix. A reader of the book can decide which of the subjects covered in the book interests him, and go deeper by reading other books. Be sure to check the errata page at oreilly.com for mistakes in the book.
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