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on 21 August 2010
What could I say about this book?

Well the first thing is that if you are new to OS shell scripting this probably isn't the book for you.

If however you've dabbled a bit and find yourself stringing commands together to form complex functions, or are now writing shell procedures that involve business logic - then this book should be by your keyboard.

It is a book that is concise with no "fat" on it at all. It is a fast reference to the shell commands that UNIX scripters use evey day, and also for those that are rarely used. For general scripting it is THE complete reference.

In the same way that Kernighan and Ritchies book "The C programming language" is THE reference for the "C" language, so this book is THE reference for UNIX shell scripting.

I have had 2 of these books now (as I had my first "borrowed") - it was very well thumbed and some pages stood out as they had been "thumbed" that often.

The original book is here UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition: System V, Release 4 (Nutshell Handbooks).

And the new version is here Unix in a Nutshell (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))

This book is a must have. Of all the UNIX books I have bought or thought of buying - this is the one that I would not be without!
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on 1 May 1999
A good book is nice, but a good, concise book is a treasure. That's what "UNIX in a Nutshell" is. It's the first place I go for the "five cent tour" of UNIX commands or utilities. The examples are excellent. Highly recommended for intermediate and advanced users.
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on 20 April 1999
This is a great reference book: as it says in the intro, it's clearly aimed at people who already know what it says, and only need reminding of the details. If you don't already know how to use a tool or which tool to use, then learning from this book is long and difficult, but for simple queries its invaluable.
The basic summary of commands doesn't really tell you anything you can't find out from the man pages, but it's much quicker to find things out from a book rather than on screen. Complex tools (the shells, awk, troff etc) have their own sections so things that may be presented tersely in the on-line documentation are much clearer. My only complaint is that options may be documented that aren't present on your Unix, and these aren't clearly indicated as not being universal, so check the man pages if in doubt.
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on 10 June 1999
Cheers I no longer live in fear of man. My scripts are smaller. I now use emacs & RCS (and am in danger of delving deeper into gnu). I always keep copy next to terminal and associates know better than to borrow it.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2008
UNIX is really intimidating to beginners which is something experts tend to forget, it's not really very discoverable either! In fact it usually takes a month or two before you're comfortable in a UNIX environment. Once you get to this point you start to understand why people love it, but it's a considerable hurdle. The other major fault is that the man(ual) pages are extraordinarily unhelpful, you can't even type 'help'! Which is where this book comes in.

This is a really useful book if you're already familiar with UNIX but have forgotten the details of some command(s). If you need more hand holding the dummies guide is really good, don't be put off by the title.
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on 19 April 1999
If you're a beginner or even casual user of Unix then steer clear of this book. While the information contained within is excellent, it's more suited towards experienced users as it's not very well explained.
Also a major fault is the incredibly poor index. Frankly, it's one of the worst I've ever seen in any computer book. Pathetic. Instead of just indexing the terms, the descriptives should be listed as well.
But all is not lost. When you become used to Unix (although I cringe at the title, Unix For Dummies 3rd Edition is a very good starting point), Unix In A Nutshell is a thorough reference. Just don't plan on using the index!
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on 21 December 1999
No Unix user no matter how advanced should be without it!! If you know ruffly what you want but can't remember the syntax for it, then this book is for you!! A master piece!!
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on 15 September 1998
It may sound easy to write a book like this. But if you want to make sure all and only those important commands and their usages are selected, it takes a lot of time. BTW, the price used to be $10 but bookstores cheated by pasting a price tag of $20 over the printed $10. Later the bookprice was officially changed to $20.
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on 15 October 1998
You may have seen UNIX quick reference guides, but you have never seen anything like UNIX in a Nutshell. Our DBAs have a copy, and we have stolen it so many times that in the last month they have been incapable of doing any backups, greps etc! We are all thinking of getting a copy.
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on 20 March 2015
The book received WAS THE OLDER VERSION version NOT the one in the thumbnail (the referee's on the front), which i could have borrowed off a work colleague.

Never the less, there is not great differnce, and the price was not life threatning :P
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