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UNIX For Dummies 5th Edition

50 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764541476
ISBN-10: 0764541471
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The title of this book invites comment. "Some things weren't meant for dummies and Unix is one of them," you might say. Wrong! Levine and Young take advantage of the Dummies format's strength with command-line operating systems. They flatten the learning curve and have even the greenest beginner doing useful work with Unix in mere hours.

Once you get past a couple of pointless chapters about offering pizza to Unix experts in exchange for help, you'll find conceptual explanations of files, directories, permissions, and redirection. Command explanations take a hybrid form; they mix "type this verbatim" statements with tables showing switches and parameters.

Much of Unix for Dummies is task-oriented. You'll find a whole chapter on printing, for example, that covers the commands you'll need to know to format and print a document on the right printer. Other chapters cover file searches, software installation, and X Windows navigation. The book also provides cursory coverage of four text editors--ED, vi, Emacs, and pico--but you learn little more than how to enter and save text in each.

Levine and Young include an eminently useful "DOS-to-Unix Rosetta Stone" that immediately tells you, for example, that the approximate Unix equivalent of DOS's copy is cp. DOS experts who are new transplants to a Unix environment will appreciate this translation guide. The authors wrap up with a wealth of basic troubleshooting information and a command reference.

This book, along with its companion, More Unix for Dummies, is the perfect choice for those who have no knowledge of Unix and need to learn it quickly. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Administer UNIX on a LAN and use the newest utilities

Understand the UNIX shell, go online with new browser options, and get things doneSo you’re using UNIX these days? Sure, it can be a little tricky, but this friendly guide will lead you through all its peculiarities. Soon you’ll understand the GNOMETM and KDETM desktops, know the secret names of your Web files, Samba with the file server, and most importantly, know how to sidestep common problems.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Discover how to:

  • Find out which flavor of UNIX you have
  • Manage UNIX on a LAN
  • Handle files and directories for Web sites
  • Build good directory structures
  • Recover missing or damaged files

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 5 edition (January 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764541471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764541476
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By B. L. Ridenhour VINE VOICE on May 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
First, this is a beginner's book. It does the job, no question. If you already know the basics of UNIX, skip it ... you won't learn that much. Buy O'Reilly or Power Tools or whatever you think will help you the most for the *specific* way you want to use UNIX.

For those of you who want to set up a BSD network, or Linux cluster...[sigh]...please buy a book on UNIX networks and/or Linux clusters. You will by no means master MPI or system's level programming in C with this book. What you will learn is a bit more than the very basics. What a directory structure is, how to create, delete, re-permission files, configure some of your user preferences, etc. You will be introduced to the UNIX paradigms that we all live with, and might or might not learn how to tweak the specific thing you're interested in (like "nice"-ness of processes, and the perfect ".alias.all" file, though you'll glimpse their existence). So .... use this to learn about UNIX, not how to use UNIX to automate your life. If you need to write a 200 line shell script, you should already know all this and more. If you want to organize and move some files around, and generally not be an ignoramus in UNIX, then this is as good a place to start as any. It will not, however, make you worthy of a black T-shirt and the title of SYS. ADMIN.

(My UNIX background is extensive, starting around '91, so while I am by no means a UNIX guru, I use it effectively without letting it become a hobby. For things I don't know or can't remember, I "man page", just like everyone else. I taught intro classes at the University level, and I *ONLY WISH* my students had come to me already knowing 25% of what's in this book!
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've been working on IBM mainframe systems for several years, and had to start working on UNIX. I got a copy of this book, and have never regretted it! Well layed out, informative, and genuinely useful. I still refer to it regularly, and colleagues 'borrow' it on a daily basis. The best work related book I've ever bought!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By pat@hti-usa.com on January 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a Unix Systems Administrator. I found a copy of this book in one of my user's office several years ago and said "Unix for Dummies" now that's an oxymoron! But I looked through the book and fell in love with it. I had the user order me a copy through purchasing -- I didn't want anyone to see me buying a "Dummies" book. My dog-eared, bookmarked and highlighted copy still sits on top of my server for emergency referals to seldom used switches and commands in vi or grep. Unix concepts are explained in terms even USERS might understand and checklists and tables make it easy for veterans to find what they are looking for. If you work with Unix, get Amazon.com to find you a copy of this book. You won't regret it.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I see people bashing this book for not transforming someone, who knows nothing about UNIX (a "dummy"), into a UNIX Guru. Sheish I mean come on. ONE BOOK cant do that no matter what the reviews say. This book serves its purpose to aquaint a "dummy" to a new opperating system, UNIX. I don't recall this book claiming that it will turn the reader into an internet WHIZ this is a book about UNIX and thats what you will learn about. If you want to learn about the internet go buy a book on it! This book will teach you about the history of UNIX(an important thing to know whether you realize it or not) and about how to get your feet wet in the operating system. This book again is for "DUMMIES" NOT system administrators. If you know nothing about UNIX get this book. If you want to be a GURU or system administrater plan on buying a couple more books such as the UNIX Bible etc.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roland Grefer on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
John R. Levine provides a great introduction to UNIX, geared towards newcomers to this operating system. While anybody who has already spent a while working with UNIX, will probably consider the approach and contents of this book as too simplistic, it appears to be a perfect fit for those readers who need to or want to take their first steps in this great operating system.
Once the basic philosophy of UNIX has been communicated, and the reader has become familiar with the use of a wide variety of the standard commands, as well as the basic functionality of a few shell command interpreters, the reader is equipped with all the basics for jumping into the pool and paddling around.
Even though this title provides a great introduction for UNIX users, and will be sufficient to learn how to swim with the flow, it should by no means be considered a sufficient resource for the experienced and/or advanced UNIX user or system administrator.
For these latter groups there are a variety of other titles available that provide the desired depth. However, Levine's book is one of the very few that manages to address the very basics which quite often are omitted in other publications presumably aimed at the same target group.
Even though it will take an aspiring reader and UNIX user quite a while to get to level of understanding required to get the most out of the likes of "The Design of the UNIX Operating System" and "Design and Implementation of the BSD 4.4 Operating System", this book constitutes the first step for any newcomer towards achieving such a goal.
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