Advanced UNIX Programming Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
A brief history of UNIX and a history of various UNIX standards such as POSIX, SUS and pretty much all the others plus a 30 minute crash course in the underlying structure of UNIX get the readers going. If you are anything like me that hasn't as much a thought about how process ID's are used and the creation child processes and how permission plays a role in process creation, you will enjoy this section. I learned that its one thing to "use" UNIX, and another to really understand it deep down. The standards that are out there really throws you off though as there are so many of them. How and which one to choose? It gets rather complicated. Marc spends the first section talking about all the difficulties of "choosing a standard", and then gives you a header file that you can plug into your code and off you go. I was pleased by that. I have already started using that header file in my code and I find it rather useful.
Starting from the basics of files and file access, every one of the function calls are depicted in full and example is given for each one of them. This book is like a big "how-to" notebook that one can pick and choose what to read where to get valuable information from as one needs it. Another thing that the author does throughout his book, which made me very happy, was the little tables of "stats comparisons" between the various options and settings that were just discussed. No more guessing games as to what to expect or what to test. It's all right there.Read more ›
There is a saying which goes, "UNIX is user-friendly; it's just picky about who its friends are." Upon reading Advanced UNIX Programming, I get the impression that Marc Rochkind may at one time have been a close friend of UNIX, but having become a little disillusioned by what UNIX has become in the 19 years since his first edition, is willing to settle for being a calm, professional acquaintance. His opening chapter provides two main reasons why this has happened: first, the UNIX kernel has grown from providing 70 or so system calls, to over 600 for an implementation that provides Single UNIX Specification and POSIX compliance; and second, there are so many flavours of UNIX out there (including Linux) that none of them implement exactly the same set of system calls. Thus the increasing complexity and diversity of UNIX implementations makes it difficult to know all that can be called UNIX intimately. Rochkind's book presents enough material to make the reader an acquaintance, leaving the building of a friendship as an exercise for the highly committed.
Rochkind makes a careful selection of just over 300 of the most important system calls and groups them into a handful of broad topics: I/O (file and terminal), processes and threads, inter-process communication (including sockets), signals, and timers. He takes great care to highlight what is available in Solaris (version 8), Linux (SuSE 8), BSD (FreeBSD 4.6), and Darwin (6.8; MacOS 10.2.8), and how to write something that has a hope of running on all of them. The system calls he describes are the ones anyone writing UNIX applications must know about. That is his target audience, and he meets that target squarely.Read more ›
What is different? Much. Indeed, most of the book. In the first chapter, he summarises myriad developments in the unix world and, of course, the rise of linux. He writes for all the current unix variations and linux.
Since 1985, there has been a plethora of different interprocess communications methods. So the chapters on these form a prominent part of the book. Then, naturally, in the networking chapter, who can ignore the web? So Rochkind gives a concise detour into http, with example code for a simple browser and web server.
One thing unchanged from the first edition is the well deserved use of "Advanced" in the title. The treatment is sophisticated and, frankly, not an easy read for someone new to the subject. Rochkind writes well, but you do have to concentrate. He goes at a pace that at a very minimum assumes you are already facile in C and with using unix at the user level. The source code examples are simple, once you grasp the concepts.
The problems he furnishes in each chapter can be extremely useful if you want to deepen your understanding. The questions are nontrivial and usually expand on salient points discussed in the chapters. If you are indeed new to all this, you should make a serious attempt at the problems.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The copy I read had a different cover.
This book is interesting, showing you the relation between C and Unix.
I am a systems administrator professionally, but I have a need to know the inner workings of UNIX that only seems to be covered in programming books. Read morePublished on April 28, 2008 by H. E. Paul
The book is good for beginners. All you need to know to get started with Unix/Linux programming.Published on December 7, 2007 by Huy Pham
I bought this book in order to get an overview on what primitives I have available on a unix system for doing system programming. Read morePublished on January 23, 2007 by Shlomo Yona
This is an exceptional introduction to Unix features that most people won't see in every-day programming. Read morePublished on January 28, 2006 by wiredweird
This book starts at the beginning, assumes very little, and takes you quickly to the essentials you need to know about unix. Read morePublished on April 9, 2005 by brad
I also have the first edition (and a previous book) and am an unabashed fan of Marc Rochkind's.
What this book promises and delivers is a catalog and explanation of Unix... Read more