The many variants of the Unix operating system require using a mode of thought that is significantly different from the one required by simpler operating systems. Think Unix
introduces readers to important fundamental and intermediate Unix commands and, in the process of doing so, inculcates them in the Unix way of thinking. It is a worthy goal in a world with more Linux users than ever, and author Jon Lasser accomplishes it. He is both a capable writer and a knowledgeable user of Unix shell commands. Lasser uses bash under Red Hat Linux in most examples, which usually apply equally well to other Unix variants, and he makes asides about other shells and environments as needed.
Like Unix itself, this book is highly literate, and it rewards those willing to read through explanations of the command strings that pepper the paragraphs. The best strategy is to read this book from cover to cover, imagining that you are sitting through a seminar. You may know about some of the topics presented, but it is likely that something in every chapter will improve the depth of your Unix knowledge. A helpful pedagogical trick: Lasser has included practice problems here and there. A typical one is, "Display the string 'Today's date is:,' followed by today's date". You should be able to solve these by carefully reading the examples, but you will find solutions in the back in case you need them.
This is a great book for Unix beginners. --David Wall
From the Publisher
A Unique Approach - Understand the 'why' of UNIX.
Unix has a reputation for being cryptic and difficult to learn, but it doesn't need to be that way.
Think Unix takes an analogous approach to that of a grammar book. Rather than teaching individual words or phrases like most books, Think Unix teaches the set of logical structures to be learned.
Myriad examples help you learn individual commands, and practice problems at the end of difficult sections help you learn the practical side of Unix.
Strong attention is paid to learning how to read "man pages," the standard documentation on all Unix systems, including Linux. While most books simply tell you that man pages exist and spend some time teaching how to use the man command, none spend any significant amount of space teaching how to use the content of the man pages.
Even if you are lost at the Unix command prompt, you can learn subsystems that are specific to the Unix flavor.