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Unix Power Tools, Third Edition 3rd Edition

47 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596003302
ISBN-10: 0596003307
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Unix Power Tools, Third Edition + UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition) + Learning the bash Shell: Unix Shell Programming (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
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Editorial Reviews Review

The mark of a craftsman is his familiarity with his tools, the speed with which he can use them to solve simple problems, and his cleverness in using them to solve more complicated challenges. The latest edition of Unix Power Tools explores the standard Unix tools in greater depth than ever, and with better coverage of Linux, FreeBSD, and even the Darwin environment of Mac OS X. It's also been improved by the addition of sections on Perl and Python, programming languages that can often solve Unix problems more adeptly than any specific utility. This detail-filled book distinguishes itself from other guides for Unix gurus with its organizational structure (it's a series of articles that can be absorbed sequentially or individually) and carefully designed and executed index. Like its esteemed predecessors, this book is one you will keep handy.

The authors have achieved a nearly ideal balance in the pages of this book. It's not just a collection of recipes (such collections tend to leave you hanging if you want to do something a little differently), it's not just a book of documentation (books like that have application mainly as references for people who know a lot already), and it's not just a conceptual how-to guide. Unix Power Tools is all of those things, and the overall effect is impressive indeed. If you work with any flavor of Unix, whatever your level of experience, you will benefit by having this book. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to work efficiently, elegantly, and creatively with the Unix tool suite, as well as (to a lesser extent) with Perl and Python scripts. Tips and strategies on customization, document generation, process management, and networking abound in this wisdom-rich volume.


"Highly recommended." - Tony Houghton, Cvu, June 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 3rd edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003302
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Niloufer Tamboly on June 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books which I refer to often. Whether it is that thing about shell variables or just for finding some obscure command. It is a book which will go well with an expert as well a beginner trying to find her way around. The website has an awesome collection of tools which can be added easily to one's toolkit. What I like the most about this book is that it has covered all the popular flavors of UNIX so it will make a permanent place on the desk for itself. The chapters on security and internet access, groups a lot of commands and information making it very easy to use and find. Even though I was using UNIX for years and thought of myself as an advanced user, a power user if you may. I found this book humbling and learned at least three different ways of doing the same task.

Niloufer Tamboly, CISSP
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I'm an analog IC designer moonlighting as a linux hacker (I'm actually addicted). I try to build software, write shell scripts and customize my desktop to death. I picked up this book a year or two back and I think I've probably used it almost every single day to look up something or the other. I probably own about 20 linux related books (more than my engineering books) but this is the one that I would run out with when the firealarm sounds. Here is my short summary of my feelings about this book.
- this book (primarily) caters to intermediate to advanced users
- I would still recommend this for linux beginners as a reference to check up when every other beginner book fails. There are introductory chapters on shell scripting which could put some of the dedicated shell scripting books to shame
- One of the fundamental holy grail that linux books try to achieve (and in which they often fail) is to find a good balance between breadth and depth - both qualities which the subject of Unix do not shy away from. So a Linux beginner picks up an introductory book which addresses just one linux issue and before he knows it-he has gathered enough knowledge and the book just picks up dust. Or he could pick up a book that claims to be a reference and skims over all the items with little depth and boom when he really needs information about a particular topic he finds that the book is too shallow. The "Unix Power Tools" book, I'm happy to say achieves this good balance between depth and breadth in very good measure. Ex. When I was confused about the intricacies of bash quoting or I/O redirecition, this book came to my rescue.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ales Kavsek on December 26, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best technical book that I bought in the last 10 years, at least from the organizational and layout point of the view. It contains hundreds of short articles, page or two in length organized in a remarkable way of cross-referenced, alamanc-like book.
Articles are logically organized in chapters so you can read the book from cover to cover if you wish. However more likely you'll end up reading the book more randomly, following the cross-references. (I have some bad experience with the books organized in this way but this one is a clear exception.)

The book is written for beginners and experts alike, since I'm a Unix newbie I can only confirm that; I hate to say but the life of Unix SA would be much easier if the man pages would be organized in a similar way -- including examples that're almost never there.
I'm waiting for O'Reilly to update their "Unix CD Bookshelf" with third edition of this book because it's a little too heavy for carrying it with me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Knight Hawk on May 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Here is a quote taken from _Unix_Power_Tools_ which demonstrates the

attitude, shared by the authors, that unix allows you to make things

easier. "''Ugh!', you say, 'that's just what I hate about UNIX. All

these long filenames and options I can't remember. Who wants to type

all that stuff!' Precisely. That's why UNIX makes it so easy to

create custom commands, in the form of aliases and shell scripts."

Unix Power Tools is true to the spirit and philosophy of unix in

focusing on the command line environment with its rich abundance of

command interpreters, shell languages, system utilities, commands, and

the like. This is the realm of real power.

The book is aimed squarely at the user who wants to learn what's under

the hood of the unix (and Linux) system. It's not about how to change

your wallpaper or install the latest media player, or configure your

desktop, although this new edition may touch on these topics, too.

It's really about using unix to greatest advantage, about tapping its

real power, the power of its simplicity, of its flexibility, of

tapping into I/O streams, and using the tool-box approach to solving

real problems. It's about using 'pipes', 'redirection', and

'filters', to automate the big jobs.

My copy of this book is tattered from all the use it's had over the

last ten years. I'm always hunting it down, as my associates at work

are constantly borrowing it to help them solve a problem. That's

okay, though. I am ordering another copy, just for me.
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