Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2005
Pages: 908

As an open operating system, Unix can be improved on by anyone and everyone: individuals, companies, universities, and more. As a result, the very nature of Unix has been altered over the years by numerous extensions formulated in an assortment of versions. Today, Unix encompasses everything from Sun's Solaris to Apple's Mac OS X and more varieties of Linux than you can easily name.

The latest edition of this bestselling reference brings Unix into the 21st century. It's been reworked to keep current with the broader state of Unix in today's world and highlight the strengths of this operating system in all its various flavors.

Detailing all Unix commands and options, the informative guide provides generous descriptions and examples that put those commands in context. Here are some of the new features you'll find in Unix in a Nutshell, Fourth Edition:

  • Solaris 10, the latest version of the SVR4-based operating system, GNU/Linux, and Mac OS X
  • Bash shell (along with the 1988 and 1993 versions of ksh)
  • tsch shell (instead of the original Berkeley csh)
  • Package management programs, used for program installation on popular GNU/Linux systems, Solaris and Mac OS X
  • GNU Emacs Version 21
  • Introduction to source code management systems
  • Concurrent versions system
  • Subversion version control system
  • GDB debugger

As Unix has progressed, certain commands that were once critical have fallen into disuse. To that end, the book has also dropped material that is no longer relevant, keeping it taut and current.

If you're a Unix user or programmer, you'll recognize the value of this complete, up-to-date Unix reference. With chapter overviews, specific examples, and detailed command.

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oreillyUnix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition
 
3.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Concise (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (5)
  • Novice (4)
  • Expert (3)
  • Student (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (4), Sys admin (4), Designer (3), Maker (3)

Reviewed by 7 customers

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5.0

Great book for everyday reference

By a nickname

from Seattle, WA

About Me Computer Repair, Designer, Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Comprehensive
  • Concise
  • Essential Reference
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

    This is the perfect reference manual for all things Linux/Unix. I have used this book for everything, including writing semi complex scripts. Highly recommended to anyone who uses Unix based systems.

     
    5.0

    Set the standard for the O'Reilly Nutshell book series!

    By TDRSS

    from Albuquerque, NM

    About Me Maker, Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

    • Price

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

    I've owned a copy of Unix in a Nutshell since 1992; the "oldest" copy I have shows football referees on the cover, before O'Reilly adopted the "Animal Cover" for it. This edition was a logical follow-on to all of the copies I owned before it.

    This book has been my mainstay for over twenty-years. While most die-hard Unix users will swear by the man pages, I have worked on systems that were *not* connected to a network and didn't have complete installations (diskspace precluded it)...

    In the preceding decades, the book went from a few hundred pages to the behemoth on sale today. This is not a slight - the increasing complexity of the OS and its POSIX offshoots demands it.

    For those bouncing between multiple Unices (Unixes?), this book will hit the 85% mark. Basic commands - listed alphabetically - the various internal shell commands for Bash, Korn and C-shell.

    The only downside to the tome, is its cost. If you are wanting a particular overview of a subject (e.g. Bash), there's usually an inexpensive solution such as a Pocket Guide. I bring this up only because my 2nd edition of Unix in a Nutshell cost $15... back in 1993.

    One part of the book that I feel is out-of-place, yet now a necessity to include, is the Package Managers chapter. "Back in the day" you got source code in a tarball and let it loose on your system... with problems ensuing. It fits well the "Linux in a Nutshell" for obvious reasons, but less so in an UNIX agnostic book. Minor pet peeve since I'm a BSD user, but not enough to knock down the rating.

    Get a copy however you can - new, used, ebook, print. You won't regret it, and perhaps it will anchor your collection of computer books for the next two decades, like it has anchored mine.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Good reference book

    By Bill the Barber

    from Phoenix, AZ

    About Me Sys Admin

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

    • Too basic

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

    It's a good reference book to use if you already know what you are doing. It is much easier than searching man pages. That being said, I think they tried to cover too many different OSes in this book. So, if you are looking for something more specific, you should probably get a more specific text.

    Since I run Solaris, IRIX, and OS X systems side-by-side, I do find having one book to cover the basics for all is helpful.

     
    3.0

    Useful for learning commands

    By thejartender (The Jar Bar).

    from Borgund, Norway

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

    • Difficult to understand

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

    I have found this book partially useful when playing around with my VirtualBox guest. I use it mainly as a reference for finding needed commands.

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Consider the third edition

    By Joe Vegas

    from Ls Vegas, NV

    About Me Designer, Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too basic
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

        Replaces the large section on troff and its various macro packages with 'Writing Man Pages' which only covers man, not mdoc (also a failing, but less of a one in the 3rd edition) or any of the other macro pages. This edition expands the section on awk (surprise!) and generally provides coverage for GNU tools only (gmake, gawk, gsed) and its coverage of "vi, ex and vim" ignores nvi. Avoid the 4th edition and keep your 3rd edition unless you only plan to use GNU/Linux (and there are better books for that).

        (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very useful, but we need an ePub

        By salvomic

        from Italy

        About Me Developer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

          this book is very useful, but, please, provide also a good epub version :-)

          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A wonderful reference book about Unix OS

          By Michael Kim (college student)

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition:

          Let me start of by saying that if you are looking for a introductory book about Unix and you have no experience with Unix OS whatsoever, this is not a book for you. If you are new to Unix OS, then you should consider buying the O'Reilly book, Learning the Unix Operating System.

          Like the cover page says, this book is a reference book. This book covers GNU/Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, Unix commands, Bash Shells, Korn Shells, package management, emacs editor, and many others that are very useful to Unix programmers, system administrators, and Unix users.

          If you are a bit experience with Unix, this book should be a must.

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