If you're one of the many Unix developers drawn to Mac OS X for its BSD core, you'll find yourself in surprisingly unfamiliar territory. Even if you're an experienced Mac user, Mac OS X is unlike earlier Macs, and it's radically different from the Unix you've used before, too.
Enter "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks" by Brian Jepson and Ernest E. Rothman, two Unix geeks who found themselves in the same place you are. Their new book is your guide to figuring out the BSD Unix system and Mac-specific components that are making your life difficult and to help ease you into the Unix inside Mac OS X. This concise book includes such topics as:
A quick overview of the Terminal application
Understanding Open Directory (LDAP) and NetInfo
Issues related to using the GNU C Compiler 9GCC
Library linking and porting Unix software
An overview of Mac OS X?s filesystem and startup processes
Creating and installing packages using Fink
Building the Darwin kernel
Running X Windows on top of Mac OS X
The book wraps up with a quick manpage-style reference to the "Missing Manual Pages"--commands that come with Mac OS X although there are no manpages.
If you find yourself disoriented by the new Mac environment, Mac OS X for Unix Geeks can help you acclimate yourself quickly to the familiar, yet foreign, Unix landscape.
Brian Jepson is an O'Reilly editor, programmer, and co-author of Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks and Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther. He's also a volunteer system administrator and all-around geek for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work. These forums include galleries, performance space, and publications. Brian sees to it that technology, especially free software, supports that mission.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of Mac OS X for Unix Geeks is a foxhound. The foxhound's coat is short, hard, and glossy and can be black, tan, white, or a combination of these colors. Foxhounds are generally free of many of the heritable defects that afflict other large dog breeds. They usually stand 21 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder, and their average weight is 55 to 75 pounds.
The English foxhound traces its ancestry back to the 1600s. Foxhounds were bred specifically to hunt foxes, so they require great stamina, strength, and speed. They are known for their superior scenting powers and strong, melodious voices. Amerian foxhounds, developed from stock brought over from England in the 1650s, are hardier and finer-boned than their English counterparts. They were bred to adapt to more rugged terrain, where they hunted foxes, coyotes, and deer.
Foxhounds are friendly, intelligent, courageous pack hounds with a cheerful, determined disposition. They tend to be easygoing and affectionate, and although they can be strong-willed, they are not aggressive. Foxhounds were bred mainly as hunting dogs, rather than as family pets. They are a very active breed, requiring lots of exercise, and they tend to be happiest with owners who live in rural areas or on large farms. Foxhounds enjoy the company of other dogs and can become bored if kept alone. Claire Cloutier was the production editor and copyeditor for Mac OS X for Unix Geeks. Ann Schirmer was the proofreader. Ann Schirmer, Linley Dolby, and Jeffrey Holcomb provided quality control. Claire Cloutier, Kimo Carter, and Genevieve d'Entremont were the compositors. Brenda Miller wrote the index.
Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Royal Natural History. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1, using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.
David Futato designed the interior layout. This book was converted to FrameMaker 5.5.6 with a format conversion tool created by Erik Ray, Jason McIntosh, Neil Walls, and Mike Sierra that uses Perl and XML technologies. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Rachel Wheeler.
Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X for Unix Geeks:
Good for an overview, but short on details (it is a thin book after all). Some things have evolved since 2002 (the MacPorts package manager for example) and other recent trends and current packages are of course not mentioned. Needs to be updated.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend