Learning Unix for OS X
Going Deep With the Terminal and Shell
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2012
Pages: 236

Think your Mac is powerful now? Author Dave Taylor shows you how to get much more from your system by tapping into Unix, the robust operating system concealed beneath OS X’s beautiful user interface. Mountain Lion puts more than a thousand Unix commands at your fingertips - for finding and managing files, remotely accessing your Mac from other computers, and using a variety of freely downloadable open source applications. Take a friendly tour of the Unix command line and 50 of the most useful utilities, and quickly learn how to gain real control over your Mac.

  • Get your Mac to do exactly what you want, when you want
  • Make changes to your Mac’s filesystem and directories
  • Use Unix’s find, locate, and grep commands to locate files containing specific information
  • Create unique "super-commands" to perform tasks that you specify
  • Run multiple Unix programs and processes at the same time
  • Install the X Window system and get a quick tour of the best X11 applications
  • Learn how to take even greater advantage of Unix on your Mac
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oreillyLearning Unix for OS X
 
4.0

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses

Reviewed by 4 customers

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

I Already Have Terminal Time

By MPBruiser06

from New Orleans, Louisiana

About Me Sys Admin

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to understand

Cons

  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Student

Comments about oreilly Learning Unix for OS X:

This book was very informative considering someone who might have never seen the terminal before, and I can't say I got a whole lot of extras out of it. Maybe somewhere but if i got to think this hard probably not.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Perfect for the beginner...

By Caine Hörr

from Alameda, CA

About Me Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough
  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Novice
  • Student

Comments about oreilly Learning Unix for OS X:

It is my personal belief that this book could be expanded to give greater depth on the subject matter.

Such topics might include information on managing OS X systems in an enterprise environment with regards to directory binding, network resources and profiles, managing mobile configurations and keychains, managing files across network shares, etc. Of course, such topics might take this book beyond "Learning Unix for OS X" and morph it into "Unix for OS X Admins".

From the beginner to intermediate admin's viewpoint,"Learning Unix for OS X Mountain Lion" is a great primer on the UNIX underpinning's of OS X.

I have recommended this book to my Jr. Mac Admins in order to give them a proper foundation of OS X Unix.

From the perspective of the seasoned, OS X veteran, this book may serve as a gentle reminder and resource, but it lacks deeper subject matter.

"Learning Unix for OS X Mountain Lion", when married with O'Reilly's title "Macintosh Terminal: Pocket Guide" by Daniel J. Barrett (ISBN: 978-1-449-32834-4), you'll have the Dynamic Duo of Unix for OS X resources - now we just need a "Unix for OS X Admins".

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great bridge between Mac OS X and Unix

By Duke

from Boston, MA

About Me Designer, Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Learning Unix for OS X:

    Don't let the Snow Leopard in the title deter you. I am on Lion and found differences to be minimal and non-hindering.

    This title provides a great bridge between OS X and its Unix underpinnings. It's a quick read and I intend to use it as a reference if only because the man pages can be a bit "crunchy." I especially like the fact that other titles are given to go deeper into a particular subject.

    For me, the most useful information by far was learning how to customize the .profile, and the examples given are immensely useful right out of the box.

    That said, I can't give it five stars. The focus of this book is bridging OS X to Unix, and for anything in-depth about Unix itself—for example, wanting to know the difference between /bin, /usr/bin, opt/local/bin—you will have to go elsewhere. I think an overview of how the OS is organized relative to OS X would really round out this title.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Gate to a different world...

    By Andreas Masur

    from United Stated

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Learning Unix for OS X:

      Mac OS X certainly has been and still is one of the slickest looking and easiest-to-use operating systems currently on the market. But behind the dock, the icons, the background, and the finder resides one of the oldest operating system cores around: Unix. The power and versatility of Unix can be explored by any savvy Mac user who wants to see behind the curtains and learn how to complete everyday tasks using the keyboard rather than the mouse; especially tasks that would take quite a considerable amount of time in the graphical interface.

      Dave Taylor's book sets out to provide the interested reader with an introduction to the Unix environment in Mac OS X Mountain Lion without overwhelming them with all of the thousands of commands and applications available in the Unix world.

      The book starts with a general outline of why any sane person would go back in time and use the type-in-command approach rather than the point-and-click approach of modern graphical interfaces. Certainly a good question but as the author quickly points out, the former approach offers quite a lot more visibility into the system and allows getting certain tasks, such as renaming a bunch of files, easily done with one command where the graphical equivalent would take numerous steps.

      The Terminal application is the gate to the underlying Unix core and is hence introduced in the second chapter. The reader learns how to access the Terminal, changing its preferences, customizing individual sessions as well as getting to know how to work with it by executing basic commands.

      Over the course of the following chapters, the book then dives right into different topics such the file system, file management, finding information, I/O, multitasking, remote access and FTP as well as the X11 interface. Each chapter deals with exactly one topic and introduces the most common Unix commands for that particular topic. A high-level overview helps the reader to get a basic understanding before specific commands are executed. The format as well as the resulting output is broken down into its individual pieces so that it can easily be understood and comprehended.

      Finally, the last chapter points the reader to further literature – built-in help, Internet, books etc. – to continue learning about the Unix environment available in Mac OS X Mountain Lion. It finishes with a quick tour on how the environment can be customized further to exactly suit everyone's needs.

      While being an introduction, the book is by no means aimed at the novice Mac OS X user who just started using it. The world as seen through the Terminal application is a powerful environment that can easily lead to disaster if not fully understood. A mistake as harmless as misspelling the arguments of a command can have dramatic consequences such as an unusable Mac OS X Mountain Lion installation.

      In conclusion, the book provides a solid introduction to the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Due to the technical aspect, the content certainly can be a bit dry but the author manages to convey the information in an easy-to-read style, and thus, the book can easily be read over a day or two. Anyone interested in getting Mac OS X Mountain Lion to know from a different, more technical (or "nerdy") perspective definitely cannot go wrong with this book.

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