This fine, big (over 900 pages) book about the original operating system, Unix, is aimed at beginners and longer term users alike. Hardcore System Admins folk may find that there is too much introductory padding for what they are after (although the book does devote almost half its content to basic sytem admin, network admin and administering services) but for most users of Unix this is an excellent guide.
Mastering Unix is targetted at those using one of the three most popular Unices (Solaris, FreeBSD and the ubiquitous Linux) and it is a real strength of the book that Linux and Open Source are properly explained and contextualised.
The history of Unix is briefly but fully walked through and then the book moves to describing the OS's structure and how it uses files and directories. Scripting is covered (with the focus being on the bash shell, other shells are given comparatively short shrift) and a useful overview of differing text editors is then covered. The writing is clear throughout and the examples useful and illuminating. Despite the book's size, the text never feels exhaustive and although this may not be the only Unix book to consider having on your desk, it should definitely be one of them.
The book encloses a particularly useful CD containing the Gnome and KDE desktop environments and a number of Unix servers and utilities including Samba, Apache, Sendmail, GNU Emacs, Perl and NEdit. --Mark Thwaite
From the Back Cover
All Your Unix Questions—Answered!
Mastering Unix is your source for everything you need to know about today’s most influential operating system. Inside, two Unix experts provide essential information on a wide range of Unix flavors, concentrating on Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris8. Whether you’re just getting started with Unix or want a resource to help you handle system administration’s toughest chores, this example–filled book will answer all your questions and promote the skills you need to succeed. Coverage includes:
- Using the Unix shell
- Using X–Windows
- Configuring and using remote services
- Connecting to the Internet
- Creating user accounts
- Creating user groups
- Designing and building a network
- Using Unix utilities
- Programming the shell
- Setting up and administering a mail server
- Setting up and administering a news server
- Setting up and administering a Web server
- Implementing effective security practices