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Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard) 4th Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920520627
ISBN-10: 059652062X
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's about time: Mac OS X for Unix Geeks arrives on the scene none too soon for UNIX aficionados who, having heard that the latest editions of Mac OS are based on a UNIX variant, want to see how the platform compares to more venerable versions of the eminently configurable operating system. This book highlights some key differences between the Darwin environment and more conventional UNIXs, enabling people with UNIX experience to take advantage of it as they learn the Mac OS X way of doing things at the command line.

This skinny volume neither aims to teach its readers UNIX nor introduce them to the Mac, but rather to show how Apple has implemented UNIX. It's a fast read that assumes--as the title implies--rather a lot of UNIX knowledge. With that requirement satisfied and this book in hand, you're likely to discover aspects of Aqua more quickly than you otherwise would have.

The authors spend lots of time explaining how administrative tasks--such as managing groups, users, and passwords--are handled in the Mac OS environment. They document netinfo fully, and call attention to its limitations (like its inability to create home directories for users) by explaining how to do the job on the command line. They also cover C programming in the Darwin universe at greater length than any other book does, providing explicit instructions for such important tasks as creating header files and linking static libraries. A guide to the command line (they call the reference section--groan--"The Missing Manpages") provides good value at this book's conclusion. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to get around in Darwin, the UNIX implementation built into Mac OS X. Sections deal with basic maneuvering at the command line, LDAP services, C programming, and graphical user interfaces under Aqua. There's a short section on building the kernel itself, but it's limited in scope. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Vital starting point for UNIX power-users new to Mac OS X." Computer Shopper, July (5 stars) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 4th edition (September 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059652062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596520625
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #738,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been using Mac OS X since the first public beta, and have some other Unix experience. I must say, this book has taken me a long way towards applying the things I know about other Unix environments to Mac OS X. Despite my Mac OS X experience, I feel that this book has taught me a lot about the Darwin flavor of Unix. As an added bonus, the book's careful explinations have helped me to better understand the other Unix platforms I have worked with.
All and all, this was a good, if technical, book. Perfect for anybody who is interested in porting Unix software to Mac OS X, as well as the Unix admin who wants to get the most out of the new environment. However, unlike the title maintains, you don't have to be a Unix geek to get something worthwhile from the reading - though you may consider yourself one after carefully going through this book.
My only complaint is that the book leaves you wanting more information in some areas. Thankfully, it is always quick to point you to other O'Reilly titles that fill in the gaps.
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I am very happy to have found this book. I have been using BSD and Linux based platforms for many years now, and I was a little bit blown away by how much there is to adjust to on OS X. This book provided a fantastic set of hints as to where I should look to discover the OS X way of doing things. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
As the title say, this is a book to facilitate the transition of Unix
experts (or at least, proficient users) to OS X, and it certainly does.
We recently bought a Mac Pro to be used as a server but it came with the
usual OS X (not the server version) installed. I have worked before in
Linux an other Unices. Since our needs are restricted (serve file systems
via ssh, open remote desktops and serve web pages) the client version of
OS X (which, as Linux, is also server is some capabilities are enabled)
can be used. The book gives tips to make this and many other things,
apart from pointing to the most useful packages of software to be installed in a machine that is to be used for desktop, server and
programming.
Summarizing, an excellent book.
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Format: Paperback
Brian Jepson, Ernest E. Rothman and Rich Rosen's MAC OSX FOR UNIX GEEKS, 4TH EDITION now covers Leopard and offers a fine survey of the 'geekier' side of Mac OS X. This book bridges Apple's Darwin OS and traditional Unix systems, offering insights on how to perform common Unix tasks in Mac OS X's different environment. Learn how to compile code, install open source software through Fink and MacPorts, and more.
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Excellent information. The title pretty much says exactly what it is. For existing Unix or Linux users, you don't want a review of scripting and the standard command-line tools. You want to know what makes OS X different from other *nixes, and the answer is plenty--not just because it's based in a BSD (and Linux is firmly planted in the System V part of the family tree with a healthy dash of GNU) but also because Apple has added many of its own command-line tools that you won't find anywhere else.

For an illustrative example: I recently was trying to diagnose intermittent kernel-level crashes in my 2009 Mac Pro running Mavericks. I suspected third-party drivers, and on a Linux system I would be looking at what modules were loaded both at boot into the kernel and also later when specific plug 'n' play devices were added. On OS X, though, the equivalent of kernel modules is the "kext", or kernel extension. Apple provides a whole suite of command-line tools to examine kexts and control which ones get loaded when. The book doesn't go into great detail about kexts, but it gave me enough info that I could find the right man pages to read. Ultimately I did figure out the problem, a pesky third-party kext loading even though I had long since uninstalled related software.

Also appreciated is a detailed discussion of the various ways that user-space programs can be automatically loaded via launchd, cron, and the Launch Items preferences pane--again, things you won't find on Linux.

I would give the book four stars for being useful but not quite as thick and in-depth as it could be.
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