- Paperback: 568 pages
- Publisher: Course Technology; Revised edition (October 11, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0619130016
- ISBN-13: 978-0619130015
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,163,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Guide to UNIX Using Linux Revised Edition
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Although you can learn UNIX by reading books or online guides, anyone who has started from "zero" realizes that the process is very confusing to someone who doesn't already know UNIX--as strange as that may sound. This is often the case when the programmers and IT professionals write the books and online guides--you know, those people who believe anyone can look at a man page and understand exactly what is being stated. They forgot how much they know and it is reflected in the way the material is presented, which cannot be easily deciphered by someone who is not already "part of the group." Therefore, "ordinary" people or beginners--even those with experience outside of UNIX--need something better that will cover all the basics in a clear way that can be understood without already being a computer science major in college or an IT professional. For these people, Guide to UNIX Using Linux provides a welcome and relatively easy introduction to UNIX. (Although understanding UNIX is not a trivial process, it is fifty times easier to get acquainted with UNIX using this book than to try to figure out what to do using man pages in my opinion.)
The book contains some fundamental weaknesses. Sure, not all versions of UNIX or Linux the user may encounter are going to be identical, so I did not anticipate that every command would work perfectly with every system, but some of the examples did not work as expected.
When the book refers to something that does not exist in the book text, you have a problem. For example, in the Chapter 2 review questions, it asks about a solution that simplifies things for users who must access files that have a long pathname. The answer is "Teach them to use a symbolic link." Although that is a correct answer, neither chapter 1 or 2 discusses symbolic links. Omissions like this can leave a person frustrated and confused. Further, after purchasing an $80.00 book, you would think that a reader should not have to go on the Internet to find answers to questions in their textbook.
Overall, the book is very good. If you find the price a little steep, consider getting a used copy.
Missing from this book are discussions on important topics such as links/symlinks, su, detailed discussions of mode/permission settings, suig/sgid program execution, terminal settings, and much more. Large type-face and excessive (unnecessary) illustrations are more the cause for its 568 pages, than is an abundance of content. Additionally, the author spends far too much time teaching the X-Windows GUI than the actual command line which is the fundamental heart of the UNIX system. My students and I have also noticed various inaccuracies with the text content. I have removed this book from the book list for my course, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone wanting to learn UNIX.
What I found most disturbing was the author's own comments that he was more concerned about Amazon initially getting the credits right than he seems to be with accurately and completely presenting information regarding the UNIX operating system.
problems. I felt it deserved 1.5 stars. It has many figures of
monitor screens which are about 90% blank space. The text on the
screens is hard to read since it's fine white letters on black.
There is a lot of wasted space elsewhere.
Why doesn't it show long options using -- or the --help option?
Why were the important symbolic links omitted? Why didn't it show
how to ask for help with the vi editor? The list of important
information omitted goes on and on.
Fig. 2-1 fails to show the important /sbin and /var
directories. The use of the + option for the sort command is
obsolete according to the on-line manual page. The obsolete +
option uses and index origin of 0 which the book fails to
mention. The definition in the Glossary of Telnet as being
a "terminal emulation program" is incorrect. And so on ...
So I'm disappointed with the book and can't recommend it.