Learning the UNIX Operating System (Nutshell Handbooks)

Learning the UNIX Operating System (Nutshell Handbooks)

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.


  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 11, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565920600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565920606
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
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  1. I am an MCSE who is looking to expand my skills as an Administrator. I recognize that being Agnostic in which OS best suites a given situation is a must. So, I decided to take on the task of learning Unix – something that takes a looong time….unless you know where to start!
    No matter what flavor of Unix (any System V or any *BSD version) this book will get you started in a jiffy. I sat down on an SGI running Irix 6.2 and started reading this book and perofrming the exercises. One of the most important things about this book over any other is that when you actually do these exercises you will learn more than you expected! Best of all it makes a good, quick reference to flip open when you forget something silly and need the answer quick. I GURANTEE this book will help anyone who is a Microsoft junkie that wants to start learning *ANY* version of Unix.
    Although it’s only 92 pages, you will understand mail, file and directory permissions, passwd, file management, printing files, pipes and filters, and multi-tasking. That’s a lot of sh*t for such a small book.

  2. This book is only a tiny part of your very first step to learning the UNIX system for the first time. Although it covers some very important basics of UNIX, it sure is not even close to being a source enough for a complete start to UNIX. This book is not intended for that, therefore if you are someone who would like to have a detailed start to UNIX, buy another book.
    It starts with some general information about UNIX and proceeds to teach how to log in and out, but covers only the most basic commands. There is too much general information which is more suitable for people who are not familiar with operating systems at all. It doesn’t cover any commands for the editors in UNIX, which means you will have to purchase another book. It has around 7 chapters, which could be covered in 2 if you take out all the unnecessary text. It certainly is not suitable for a programmer wishing to get into UNIX fast and complete.

  3. I needed a book that would tell me very quickly what I needed to know to make use of a UNIX shell, and more importantly, to have some idea what I was looking at when I saw UNIX-related commands on a screen. I have worked with many operating systems over the years, but somehow had missed UNIX.
    This book did 100%++ of what I wanted it to do. The great thing about it is that I believe it would do the same thing for someone without a lot of systems background. A technical book of any kind that can talk clearly to both kinds of readers is a very rare thing!
    Highly recommended!

  4. This book was written for the newbie who is using a unix terminal. He don’t teach you the installation or config of unix, only gives you an overview of the fundamental commands and tasks (logging, windowing, managing files & directories, background processing and a little more). So if you are using a unix/linux preconfigured system and know nothing about unix, then buy this book or look the net (for there are very much like this and you don’t need to pay), if not, forget!!!

  5. 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.

  6. Jon Heffley ([email protected]) says:

    For all the people who whined and pined about how this book didn’t talk about anything: 1) Pick the book up. 2) Look at it’s width. 3) Note that a 3/4cm book will not answer all your questinos about a 30-yearold, complex, multiuser, multitasking operating system! Honestly, what did you expect in 100 pages!? For everyone else who is new/practically new to the Unix OS, get this book. $10 will not break you. It then refers other books to you. I also recomend Unix in a Nutshell (and all the other books by O’Reilly, they’re amazing) for some more indepth information on the Unix OS. Then it will talk about smaller parts of the OS and then you can get another O’Reilly book about that! I’m actually excited. So in short, one book will not tell you everything you need to know about anything!

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