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Learning Unix for Mac OS X Paperback – 11 May 2002

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Paperback, 11 May 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003425
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,000,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

Learning Unix for Mac OS X is targeted towards Mac users who have migrated to Mac OS X, have no Unix experience, and want to understand why Unix geeks rave about the command line. The book focuses on the terminal application to access the command line and "introduces the basic system commands". For example, there is a whole chapter on how to navigate and create files.

Well written and easy to follow, the chapters are well structured with clear sub-categories containing useful examples, highlights, exercises and problems you may face. Users new to Unix should read the preface since it explains how Mac OS X is related within the Unix family and explains some Unix concepts such as multiuser and multiprocessing.

Learning Unix for Mac OS X is a great book for those with little or no Unix experience. The book does not go into serious detail regarding the various Unix commands--only a few arguments of each command are discussed. This is not necessarily a bad thing since it keeps the book short and easy to read, however more advanced readers may be disappointed if they are expecting a book that turns them into Unix geeks. Those users are recommend to see other Unix books from O'Reilly such as UNIX Power Tools, UNIX in a Nutshell and Using Csh and Tcsh. --Parvesh Chhibber


"....It’s a good resource for the advanced beginner who wants to play under the hood." -- Netsurfer Digest, May 23, 2002

"....Taylor and Peak give a gentle introduction to the world of the Unix command line within OS X. " -- Peter Cramer, Macintosh Users of Delaware, June 2002

"...This book is everything (and more) that I had to learn by trial and error and complex man pages...." -- Jonathan Gales,, May 30, 2002

"I urge you to get a copy of the book—the asking price is well worth the peace of mind it brings." -- George Carrington, ACT Apple Users Group, Australia, August 2002

I know this book will stay close to my G4 and get well worn over the years. -- Jack Dolby, Club Mac of Hampton, August 2002

In fact, this is an excellent (and very good value) introduction to Unix in all its flavour. -- IT Training, September 2002

It has all the essentials in one fairly slim volume that is tailored specifically for OS X. It offers a clear and concise introduction. -- Ric Getter, MacDirectory

My only regret is that this wasn't available a year ago. I would have paid TWICE the price just to save the time/frustration that I spent learning what I had. -- Jon Gale,, July 2002

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 July 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an exceptionally useful book that does just what it says: it teaches Apple Macintosh OS X users how to use the Terminal application (which comes as part of the new operating system), and then how to use the version of UNIX that comes with it. It provides one of the best, most readable introductions to UNIX that I've come across, so if you want to learn UNIX from scratch, you might find this book useful even if you don't use a Mac. My only complaints are (a) I'd like the book to be longer - this is a measure of how good it is; (b) I'd have liked more on what you could do with UNIX on your Mac. But still, it's an excellent introduction. I read it like a novel, but now refer to it frequently.
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By Bernardus on 14 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Unix noob, it taught me enough to be reasonably comfortable with OS X terminal. As a consummate fiddler, it was great.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Music Fan on 30 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on a bit of a whim, but after reading most of it came to the conclusion that it didn't help at all. To use UNIX on OS X you need to know 2 things: UNIX and OS X. This books does not teach either to any real depth. There are some great UNIX books out there, and some excellent Mac OS X books too. This book (as cheap as it may be) is caught between a rock and a hard place. Don't bother.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Lazer on 4 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately this book is one of the many O'Reilly titles that trail in the wake of a few that excel themselves.
Whilst well written I can't seem to appreciate the point of this book. It claims to be an introduction to the UNIX command line for users who are new to the operating system. However, having worked through it I wouldn't say I really see the point of the command line.
The pages in this book, in my opinion, really belong at the beginning of a more detailed manual to the Terminal application. On their own they can't really justify themselves as a half decent book. Users are better off learning the basics off some of the very decent articles I found published on the web.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Too shallow for casual and power users 5 Nov. 2002
By macktheknife - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Learning Unix for Mac OS X" is a disappointing effort by O'Reilly to introduce Unix to Macusers new to OS X. While the book succeeds in showing readers some simple commands to navigate through Unix, its coverage is far too shallow. Macusers interested in knowing just the basics will do better with David Pogue's section on Unix in "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual." That section alone probably contains more than 50% of the material in "Learning Unix for Mac OS X."
If you are *serious* about learning Unix for Mac OS X, get a copy of "Mac OS X: Unleashed" by John and William Ray. At +1,000 pages, the book is a doorstopper, but it covers almost everything a Unix power user aspirant would want to know: how to navigate through Terminal, set up an Apache webserver with PHP and MySQL, etc. Again, get "Mac OS X: Unleashed" only if you truly want to unlock the power of Unix in OS X.
In short, whether you are a casual or power user interested in learning Unix for OS X, there are better options other than "Learning Unix for Mac OS X."
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A great, succinct book 8 Jun. 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a terrific introduction to the Unix underneath Mac OS X from a couple of authors that know Unix inside-out. With coverage of the Terminal app, shell scripting, aliases, changing your command prompt, how to launch Aqua apps from the command line, and much, much more, I think it's a great addition to your Mac OS X library.
It is less than 200 pages, but, frankly, I found this refreshing, given that I have lots of 700-900 page books that I only read the first 50-100 pages of anyway. The authors haven't been too badly influenced by their longer books either - Learning Unix for Mac OS X doesn't have page after page of useless "history" and "philosophy" in this tome. It's all focused and has lots of helpful examples.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A beginners guide to getting into UNIX 27 Aug. 2002
By R. Testani - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am not sure what the other posters thought but this book simply brought you into the world of UNIX. For some reason they thought they were going to learn in-depth UNIX in 150 pages. "Learning UNIX for OS X" is just a small step into learning the command line interface in Mac OS X. This book does not show you architecture of the OS nor advanced commands, Mac OS X Unleashed goes over these in-depth. OR if you want to master the command line, get O' Reilly's "Learning CSH & TCSH". The only real problem I had with this book is that it was an alteration of the already being published "Learning UNIX" book by O'Reilly which I own as well. While this book wasn't a waste of time, quite a bit was identical.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By reviewer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Unless you are a complete UNIX dummy, there is not much to expect (or benefit) from this book. Its meager 158 pages only succeeded in brushing around the very basics (and simple commands). Apart from its cogent narrations on how best a novice could explore UNIX applications and use command interface, there is little that shine in this book.
Anyone who knows one or two things about UNIX is likely to be disappointed by its inept coverage. Hence, I would advise such person to opt for "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks", which provided a more palatable gist in a chronological order. Versatile enthusiasts, who are interested in advanced explorations, should consider "Mac OS X Unleashed". One of its chapters on Unix-Mac relationships did eclipse anything this book can boast of.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An excellent starting point for Unix novices 18 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have recently fallen in love with Macs. I had been a Windows developer for 15 years. Occasionally I have had to poke around on the Solaris command line at work, but I am a Unix newbie. This book does a great job of laying out the basics of Unix for people who have little or no Unix experience. This book does not provide a "quick start". It does not go into excessive depth on Unix. But it does provide fundamental building blocks for expanding one's Unix knowledge. My suggestion to Unix novices: read this little book from cover to cover. Then you'll be able to take advantage of all the free articles and technical documentation that explain how to do the fun, tricky stuff.
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