Mac OS X in a Nutshell
A Desktop Quick Reference
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2003
Pages: 832

Mac OS X is a stunning technical achievement--a virtually crash-proof Unix core paired with the sleek Aqua interface, bringing style, usability, and stability to a new level. It has almost everything that Macintosh fans have been waiting for: protected memory, crash resistance, and the ability to run the 18,000 existing Mac programs and an unlimited supply of Unix and Open Source software. An instant success among longtime Apple users and developers, the new Mac operating system is becoming the system of choice among serious Unix users as well. There is plenty of territory to explore in Mac OS X, and O'Reilly's latest Nutshell book, Mac OS X in a Nutshell, offers all audiences--both longtime Mac users and converts--the most complete guide to this remarkable operating system.

In the tradition of O'Reilly's Nutshell series, this new title offers a thorough treatment of Mac OS X version 10.2, from its BSD Unix foundation to Aqua, the new user interface. The book's "Unix Command Reference" is the most complete and thorough coverage of Mac OS X Unix commands you can find anywhere. Each command and option in this section has been painstakingly tested and checked against Jaguar--even the manpages that ship with the system can't compete in accuracy. The reference incorporates the new command-line tools that come with Apple's Developer tools. It familiarizes readers with the Finder and the Dock, file management, system configuration, network administration issues, and more. Later chapters include bonus material for the Unix user, including advanced use of the Terminal and how to configure a DAMP (Darwin, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP) web publishing system. Other topics covered in the book include:

  • Filesystem overview
  • Running Java applications
  • System and Network Administration
  • Directory Services and NetInfo
  • Scripting on Mac OS X
  • Using CVS
  • Unix Command Reference
  • Installing and Running X Windows and BSD Unix applications
Mac OS X in a Nutshell follows the common-sense O'Reilly approach, cutting through the hype and giving readers practical details they can use every day. Serious users who want more from their system will find everything they need to know systematically documented in this book. It provides a wealth of knowledge for anyone who wants to make the most of Mac OS X.
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4.0

Mac OS X in a Nutshell Review

By Steve Chambers

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X in a Nutshell:

While I have not read this book extensively I have mixed feelings about it. I like the command reference (and neither want nor need another manual on Perl or AWK (as O'Reilly publishes books on that, I don't see a need) but found a couple of things a bit glossed over.

Check out the chapter on setting up users and groups outside of the Preference pane for it. The amount of info on that subject (something I would like more info on) is sketchy at best. Though I dont have the book in front of me, it boils down to: "netinfo is the way you do it." (sigh)

Also while the DAMP chapter (available as a download) is a nice start. It is nowhere near sufficient for what I want to do:

How about more on Sendmail, setting up a webmail interface on your web server would be nice. And brfore someone mentions Squirrelmail. I have tried it and failed. Maybe I am a doofus, but I think not...

How about setting up FTP (not anon.) so only specific users have access to a shared folder. No I am not setting up a Warez server. I keep personal (work) files there for easy access on the road and post the occaisional picture or movie for family and friends and would love to set up everyone with their own account in a shared directory.

So while I thought the book was good I found some of the subject matter curiously lacking in subject depth. However I would still recommend this book. It has come in quite handy as a reference for basic UNIX and system admin tasks.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Mac OS X in a Nutshell Review

By Dave Cheatham

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X in a Nutshell:

I found OS X in a nutshell a pretty good reference. If you were an early adopter of OS X, you've either figuered out most of the information in the first half of the book using survival instincts, or you don't care about the less-than-obvious OS X panels, apps and utilities.

I have to compliment the writing team for covering a gazillion different mac and unix topics in one volume. That being said, some of the topics are a little thin to apply to practical use without some additional information.

I really liked the DAMP chapter. I never had the opportunity to lauch a web server before, but I had Apache up and running in 5 minutes, exactly as documented!

A pretty good all-in-one refernece for those of us who don't touch unix every day, or never earned a sysadmin merit badge. By the time this book wears out, we'll all be using OS XV.

 
3.0

Mac OS X in a Nutshell Review

By Dan Allen

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X in a Nutshell:

This could easily be a great book, but the manual pages have a two huge flaws:

1) there is no man page for Perl! How can O'Reilly, the publisher of all things Perl, leave out a basic man page for Perl on the highest volume Perl shipping platform ever in history, Mac OS X? This is unbelievable.

2) there is the worst man page for Awk ever given. It lists one or two options. It should at least be Brian Kernighan's own page which is a nice summary of the language. A full man page is given for the rarely used bc (binary calculator) -- which is nice don't get me wrong -- but why give a bc page with great detail and NOT do the same for the most useful utility in the system (awk), or the most used utility (perl).

The first half of the book is interesting, but should be in the "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks" book. I'd like to see Awk and Perl treated with some dignity and respect and put with all of the man pages alone in a separate volume, tiny print, thin Bible paper, in a ultra-cool pocket reference that would really fit in a standard shirt pocket.

Also, the authors do not know Macintosh history very well. They say that AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) was introduced in Mac OS 8.5. Try Mac OS 6! There are quite a few other technical flaws, and a few very bad grammatical errors due to words being caught by spell checkers, but not by decent proof readers.

My advice? Wait for a 2nd edition that fixes these fundamental flaws.

 
5.0

Mac OS X in a Nutshell Review

By greg priglmeier

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X in a Nutshell:

This book is very good. It replaces my previous #1 macintosh book, Mac OS X Unleashed, because of its detail, conciseness and that it is the most up-to-date Mac OS X book. The sections covering the BSD Unix / NextStep underpinnings of Mac OS X are excellent. My only criticism is that the book seems to be written for the client version and is missing the Mac OS Server specific commands, etc. An example of this is: diskspacemonior or IP failover. It is very well writtten. Amazon has this book for appx. $10 off the cover price! Check it out.

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