Learning the Unix Operating
System, 5th Edition
A Concise Guide for the New User
By Jerry Peek, Grace Todino-Gonguet, John Strang
5th Edition October 2001
0-596-00261-0, Order Number: 2610
174 pages, $19.95 US
- What the Book is About
- "If you're new to
Unix, this concise book will tell you just what you need to get started and no more.
This fifth edition is the most effective introduction to Unix in print, covering
Internet usage for email, file transfers, and web browsing. It's an ideal primer
for Mac and PC users who need to know a little about Unix on the systems they visit."
O'Reilly's above description is right on the mark for what this book is all about.
It describes the UNIX operating system in short concise chapters, broken down as
- Getting Started
- Using Window Systems
- Using Your Unix Account
- File Management
- Redirecting I/O
- Using the Internet and Other
- Where to Go from Here
- Target Audience
- This book is intended for
people brand new to Unix. It covers only the very basic underpinnings of the OS,
and only briefly reviews some of the in's and out's. Those with some experience
in Unix may discover some things they did not already know, mainly because they are
probably things that you had no reason to know (I find that if I don't need to use
a feature, I tend not to learn it). If you have a decent or better understanding
of Unix, this book is definitely not for you.
- What to Expect
- I found the book to be well-written
and easy reading. The terminology is carefully defined in most places, providing
a very easy to understand perspective on the Unix operating system. It is smooth
reading, although I am not sure the organization of the chapters was most effective.
The book jumped from an overview of Unix directly into a chapter on "Window"
systems (referring to Unix interfaces that uses windows, not the Windows OS). I
didn't really find the Window systems section to be particularly interesting, and
probably should have been placed somewhere in the tail end of the book as a "feature"
of some Unix interfaces. Most non-Unix people (like myself) end up diving into Unix
mainly to work on their web sites, and I think that gearing the book to that kind
of reader would have been more appropriate. When I got to the File Management section
and read that learning how to create a symbolic link to a file was beyond the scope
of the book, I was disappointed. That small piece of information comes in quite
useful for the novice Unix person who wants to establish links for web pages (for
example, instead of creating a home.html file that "redirects" to index.html
via the web browser, it is more efficient to create a home.html file in Unix that
is a symbolic link to index.html). Other than a few missing tidbits such as that,
the book provided a decent amount of information on Unix for those using Unix for
- Highlights of the Book
- What I liked most about the
book is that it was an easy read. I got through it without having to stop and re-think
passages due to complex terminology, and never felt any brain overload. Not all
the sections were of great interest to me, but overall, the book provided an excellent
overview of the Unix operating system.
- Mac Guild Grade
- B Really Good
- Final Words
- For someone not familiar with
Unix, I definitely recommend this book for getting your feet wet. If you are looking
for much more than that, you may want to skip this particular book and jump right
into a more detailed Unix book