Books for Learning Unix

The goal of this page is to help programmers who want to become fluent Unix users.

Although my Unix of choice is Linux, open systems don't buy you much if you're locked into one particular platform; you benefit the most from competition if you and your programs are comfortable with any mainline implementation of Unix (namely, Linux, Solaris, BSD, and MacOS/X). The books recommended below tend to reflect this opinion.

Be sure to read the reviews before buying.

Books on Using Unix

These can help you get started with interactive use of the shell and tools like grep and vi.

Books on System Administration

There's a fine line between a fluent Unix user and a Unix system administrator. Once you've learned the basics, dive into how the system works with this book.

Books on Shell Programming / Shell Scripting

One huge part of learning how to use Unix is learning how to write shell scripts.

In my opinion, one should stick to the least common denominator when writing shell scripts: portable Bourne shell syntax. This can be run by any popular shell (Bash, Korn), which is a big plus when writing scripts for others to run. Given the limitation of the #! magic mechanism, it's best to start one's shell scripts with #!/bin/sh and try not to care which shell is running your script.

The books recommended below tend to reflect the above opinion.

Online Resources

Last Change 11 December 2002
(C) Dan Kegel

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