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A Practical Guide to UNIX for Mac OS X Users 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092038702
ISBN-10: 0131863339
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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Practical Guide to UNIX for Mac OS X Users
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  • Macintosh Terminal Pocket Guide
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Most Useful UNIX Guide for Mac OS X Users "Ever, " with Hundreds of High-Quality Examples! Beneath Mac OS(R) X's stunning graphical user interface (GUI) is the most powerful operating system ever created: UNIX(R). With unmatched clarity and insight, this book explains UNIX for the Mac OS X user-giving you total control over your system, so you can get more done, faster. Building on Mark Sobell's highly praised "A Practical Guide to the UNIX System, " it delivers comprehensive guidance on the UNIX command line tools every user, administrator, and developer needs to master-together with the world's best day-to-day UNIX reference. This book is packed with hundreds of high-quality examples. From networking and system utilities to shells and programming, this is UNIX from the ground up-both the "whys" and the "hows"-for every Mac user. You'll understand the relationships between GUI tools and their command line counterparts. Need instant answers? Don't bother with confusing online "manual pages": rely on this book's example-rich, quick-access, 236-page command reference! Don't settle for just any UNIX guidebook. Get one focused on your specific needs as a Mac user! "A Practical Guide to UNIX(R) for Mac OS(R) X Users" is the most useful, comprehensive UNIX tutorial and reference for Mac OS X and is "the only book that delivers"

  • Better, more realistic examples covering tasks you'll actually need to perform
  • Deeper insight, based on the authors' immense knowledge of every UNIX and OS X nook and cranny
  • Practical guidance for experienced UNIX users moving to Mac OS X
  • Exclusive discussions of Mac-only utilities, including plutil, ditto, nidump, otool, launchctl, diskutil, GetFileInfo, and SetFile
  • Techniques for implementing secure communications with ssh and scp-plus dozens of tips for making your OS X system more secure
  • Expert guidance on basic and advanced shell programming with bash and tcsh
  • Tips and tricks for using the shell interactively from the command line
  • Thorough guides to vi and emacs designed to help you get productive fast, and maximize your editing efficiency
  • In-depth coverage of the Mac OS X filesystem and access permissions, including extended attributes and Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • A comprehensive UNIX glossary
  • Dozens of exercises to help you practice and gain confidence
  • And much more, including a superior introduction to UNIX programming tools such as awk, sed, otool, make, gcc, gdb, and CVS

About the Author

Mark G. Sobell is president of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He is the author of many best-selling UNIX and Linux books and has more than twenty-five years of experience working with UNIX and Linux.

Peter Seebach, a freelance writer specializing in UNIX development, has published dozens of technical articles for IBM developerWorks.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (December 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131863339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131863330
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,163,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Milam on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the book I've been looking for. Not just 'OS X for Unix Geeks' or 'OS X in a Nutshell', I wanted more. As much as possible, in one resource. 1000+ pages signaled a big yes.

I have yet to read it all the way through, but so far this is a very good guide for those who want not only to learn the general 'Unix way' of computing, but dive under the surface of OS X and examine its specificities in the command line interface, aka the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)

No, this isn't a 'hacks' book, and there's no mention of rsync, for example, but you'll find ample documentation of the underside of OS X--there's a lot more to it than just a GUI, folks.

Educational, yes. Hence 'Practical Guide'; you'll learn a good deal, in almost textbook fashion. Recommended to enhance the power and fun of your OS X experience!
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Format: Paperback
I got this book as someone who had used UNIX before, but this was many years ago, and I had forgotten a lot. This book is great for picking up the functionalities of various UNIX tools - the explanations are clear and concise. It also works very well as a quick reference. The bulk of the book is devoted to bringing you up from a potentially zero-experience user to someone who can work with ease with editors, shells, and more. Simple examples are included throughout. The back of the book has a 250-page command reference section for quickly looking up how to use a particular command. You could read the whole book and progressively work with UNIX as a self-taught course, or just reference the sections you need.
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Format: Paperback
Mark G. Sobell and Peter Seebach's A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO UNIX FOR MAC OX S USERS is a reference the UNIX/Mac user simply must have at hand: nearly a thousand pages of reference material on everything from basic and advanced shell programming to Mac's OS X filesystem and utilities modules make this the best reference on the market for users who seek either a step-by-step tutorial or a basic browser's reference for problem-solving. Exercises to test knowledge boxed highlights of information make it easy to either refer to for at-a-glance troubleshooting or sit down and study for step-by-step methodology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an ideal reference for programmers, system administrators or "power users" with motivation to gain proficiency with the Mac OS X Command Line.

Despite dating itself with its "Mac OS X Tiger Edition" moniker, this book remains very relevant as the UNIX concepts & tools covered by it are fundamental. It shares similar format & content to A Practical Guide to Solaris (also by Sobell), popular with undergraduate university operating systems courses. Its reliability is evident from the extremely short errata: [...]

I found the exercises at the end of each chapter helpful. Solutions for even-numbered exercises are found at [...] Along with the many practical examples, the author highlights tips and optional "bonus" material. About 25% (238 pages) is a handy command reference.

One suggestion: Chapter 9 on The TC Shell is unnecessary. Case in point: since the book was written, the zsh has emerged as a popular, if trendy, alternative to bash. As stated on page 338, "If you are going to learn one shell programming language, learn bash" - thus, learning another shell should be left as an exercise for the reader.
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Yes, it's old. You see Tiger and you think "not for me". Think again. This is the most thorough, and informative OSx Unix guide I've come across.

I'm running El Capitan now, and have found most of the information still completely relevant and useful. The book is a beast- but if you're going to learn, get this one and hunker down. The Pocket Guides and other "overviews" won't give you the kind of thorough background and understanding to actually apply what you are learning, rather than just repeat verbatim lines of code into a terminal window.

Plus, you can come across these pretty inexpensively now- it'd be a $80+ book if it were released today.

Bonus points: Buy it used for under $10 and make highest ROI Apple related purchase ever. That's less than a lightning cable!
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Great book for me, a newbie for Apple Unix. I had no idea there was so much available 'under the hood' of my iMac. I have worked my way through the book which has many hands-on examples to help learn and retain the info. Unix in many ways resembles the old Microsoft DOS that we all had to learn in the early days of PC's, making it easier to learn and remember commands.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thus book is a must-have for those who want to dig a little deeper into the UNIX behind OS X. The sad thing is that it doesn't have some of the newer features in OS X documented. Still, it's worth it for an introduction to what's behind all those pretty icons and I would recommend it both to UNIX beginners and seasoned UNIX users who may be new to OS X. One thing to note - I haven't traveled to the authors website to see how much 'updating' may have been done - I'm going to visit there soon and will modify this review if I find updated information to features new since Tiger.
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Format: Paperback
A unique volume! It is in fact a very good Unix book (Linux, actually) modified as necessary to apply to the Macintosh version of Unix. Just what I wanted. And the section on commands has each command start on a new page with the command name appearing in the page header to help you search. Just like a "real" Unix manual!

Yes, it is eight years old. It would be nice if it were reviewed for 2014 accuracy, but I haven't found any problems yet.
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