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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable classic!
In 1992, W. Richard Stevens wrote Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (APUE), published in 1993 by Addison-Wesley. The original edition was revised in 2005 by Stephen A. Rago to more accurately reflect the landscape of UNIX and UNIX-like systems. In 2013, Rago wrote an updated 3rd edition upon which this review is based.

APUE is targeted at readers...
Published 15 months ago by ksw

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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Required book
Published 2 months ago by Ruth Hansen


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable classic!, August 23, 2013
This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
In 1992, W. Richard Stevens wrote Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (APUE), published in 1993 by Addison-Wesley. The original edition was revised in 2005 by Stephen A. Rago to more accurately reflect the landscape of UNIX and UNIX-like systems. In 2013, Rago wrote an updated 3rd edition upon which this review is based.

APUE is targeted at readers with a working knowledge of UNIX and C. It includes chapter long examples of real-world applications, and manages to simultaneously serve as an enlightening tutorial and a valuable reference book.

Few technical authors have had such a great impact on the geek community as Rich Stevens, and because of this, any review of his books should include a few words about the man himself. Stevens' work typically tops any "recommended reading" list when it comes to TCP/IP networking or UNIX programming. Stevens passed away on September 1st, 1999. In addition to APUE, he authored UNIX Network Programming (Volume 1: APIs and Volume 2: IPC) and TCP/IP Illustrated (Volume 1: Protocols, Volume 2: Implementation, and Volume 3: TCP/T, HTTP, NNTP, Unix Domain Protocols.) Stevens was posthumously awarded the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinarily lucid teaching and generous spirit within the community, which was accepted on his behalf by his wife and children.

Stephen A. Rago, who accepted the daunting task of revising Stevens' APUE, worked at Bell Laboratories as a UNIX SVR4 developer. His first contact with Rich Stevens was an e-mail regarding a typographical error in Stevens' first book, UNIX Network Programming. Stevens later acted as a technical reviewer for Rago's UNIX System V Network Programming. Rago reciprocated as a technical reviewer for the first edition of APUE, and has done a fine job of revising that same text for the second edition and third editions.

Rago's revisions to the third edition reflect the following changes:
* The text now covers version 4 of the Single UNIX Specification (SUS).
* STREAMS-related interfaces have been obsoleted per SUS POXIS.1-2008.
* The following platforms are covered: FreeBSD 8.0, Linux 3.2.0 (the Ubuntu 12.04 distribution), Mac OS X version 10.6.8 (Darwin 10.80.0), and Solaris 10.
* Linux 2.6 changed to the Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL).
* "In total, this edition includes more than 70 new interfaces, including interfaces to handle asynchronous I/O, spin locks, barriers, and POSIX semaphores. Most obsolete interfaces are removed, except for a few ubiquitous ones."

Stevens believed that the best way to learn code was to read code, and his books reflect that philosophy well. The original edition contained a chapter titled "Communicating with a PostScript Printer" that included a complete program to communicate over a RS-232 serial connection to an attached printer. Most printers today are accessed via a network interface, and in the second and third editions Rago has changed the material to reflect this while still maintaining the original intent of the chapter.

This book is no superficial update from the previous edition. From cover to cover, it's apparent that Rago has carefully interpreted the original text and rewritten it to accurately reflect the changes of the past several years; he has also managed to preserve to original lucid and efficient presentation style of Stevens' classic.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I dig it!, September 7, 2013
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
Good gracious this is a big book! What's funny is I KNOW I have read and reviewed a previous edition of this book and I spent a half an hour looking for it this morning, but it must have been before I moved and on my old Blog. That being the case, well it's high time you heard about this monster!

This book, Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment, by Stevens and Rago, is the 3rd edition of what is, essentially, the Unix Programming Bible. In fact, so much so that I cannot imagine any serious Unix/Linux/**ux contributor that doesn't own a copy or at least know what it is.

This is *not* light reading. It is a reference book. This is the stuff geek dreams are coded in and you are going to want to be familiar with the C language to get a lot of this.

All the internal workings and ideas about this kind of operating system, how it works, or is supposed to work and code examples are included here. The least technical chapter in here is the 1st, which is the overview chapter. This goes over things like input/output, files/directories, processes, error handling, and system calls. From there, the chapters narrow in more on specific subjects like Process control, Daemons, Signals, Threading, etc.. Like I said, there is a LOT of very specific information in here. That being said, if you are developing anything more than some scripting, this has what you want to know. This is not to say that those are the only folks that can get anything out of this book, though. Even without understanding the code examples, a person could get a good understanding and overview of how this fantastic type of operating system works, and why. This is the category I find myself in more than any other. Although I have done some C programming, I find myself using this book to help me conceptualize how things are working the background.

No self respecting Unix/Linux geek should be without this book in one format or another. Remember this is not a story book you read once, this is going to be something you turn to for the right information when you need it. I almost always give away my review books after I read through them, but this one is sticking around. In fact, I am just going to take it to work with me so I can have it handy where I would normally need the information anyway
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid update to a great book., October 14, 2013
This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (APUE) has long been a standard reference for those seeking to learn about systems programming in the UNIX environment. I was recently provided a review copy of the latest edition, but I have long been familiar with the book.

Don't let the "UNIX" in the title fool you, the examples provided are applicable to the following covered platforms: Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and Apple Mac OS X. The concepts taught are going to be useful for many (if not all) modern operating systems. The fact that this is now in its third edition is a testament to the quality of the material and the authors' writing style. Whether you are learning these concepts for the first time, or just want a trustworthy reference, APUE 3rd Edition will be very useful. Look at other reviews and you will see words like "classic", "bible", and "indispensable". There is a well earned reason for this, and this book deserves your consideration if you have any interest at all in the subject matter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there abetter UNIX book?, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
Read this - cover to cover. This is simply the best book on UNIX out there. If you use Linux, pair this with 'The Linux Programming Interface' by Michael Kerrisk. My only gripe with this book is that they've dropped the hardcover from this edition and now it comes only in a soft-cover version. For a book like this, having a sturdy hardcover is a must because a softcover will just wear every time you pull this book out until the pages are dog-eared.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where is AIX, HP/UX, among other majors?, July 31, 2014
This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
This book is a fantastic starting point in life. Somehow our public schools over look teaching the fundamental skills presented in this book. We learn how to play with toys on simple computers and never really learn what we are doing.

The real strength of this book is in the definitions. We get to see the purpose and flexibility of system calls and functions. Not just use them but understand them. UNIX functions as job control or signals are explained in detail. Let's take just one item "waitpid":

The waitpid function provides three features that aren't provided by the wait function.

You will have to red the book to find out what they are. However there are examples also. Now for people with real systems like AIX all you have to do is ad a "k" to the front of the call and you have the AIX kernel function call "kwaitpid"; voila you now have an understanding that can not be found clearly in a Red Book.

It does help some to have a preunderstanding of the system do you can use the book to fill in the education holes missed when necessary.

The index is worth its weight in gold as you can find functions headers and concepts all in alphabetical order. My favorite is the definitions.

As much as I am a fan of the internet it also pays to carry the information in the form of a book. And all this book has to do is save a couple of hours and it has paid for its self.

Each addition adds newer information at the expense of dropping what appears to be obsolete information; so it would behoove you to obtain a copy of each addition and periodically look for the latest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable guide to Advanced Unix, July 26, 2014
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A classic! Nicely updated. I bought it for the C style used in the examples. Fortunately, they are readable on the iPad Air. In some titles the examples are just 8x8 bit maps, and worthless. It's a nice easy intro into more advanced programming. Beware, the first chapter is mostly a review of Unix history and standards, which I found almost lethally boring, maybe others find it interesting. I consult this edition when revisiting an area I don't use every day, knowing It will give me a solid base to elaborate on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... for two years (four times) and I am very happy with it, July 20, 2014
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
I have been teaching a course in advanced Unix based on this text for two years (four times) and I am very happy with it. It is thorough, clearly explaining the main features while drawing attention to possible problems and pitfalls. It is a bit hefty, but one need not cover it all in a course. I choose chapters 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 18, 14, 11, 12 and then go off to show shell scripting, which is not covered in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book! I am planning to read it up more than twice., June 18, 2014
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
Stevens is my role model, I am fighting to become such kind of man in UNIX and Network programming.
His book is precious to me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent Book, February 20, 2014
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Luciano (Sao Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
One of the best books on Unix Development. It covers the basics as needed and becomes a good reference as well.
Thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most authoritative Unix Programming book, February 14, 2014
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This review is from: Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition (Paperback)
This is one of the best book in Unix (Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris types) programming book. Good understanding of C is required. I used it over 20 years ago and still a indispensable classic. Anyone who is a Unix wizard owes gratitude to the colossal that is Richard Stevens. A priceless treasure for Operating Systems/Distributed systems/Unix aficionado.

Very highly recommended
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Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition
Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, 3rd Edition by Stephen A. Rago (Paperback - May 24, 2013)
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