Unix Books

I'm just looking for really good unix book on programming in all shells, and system adminstrator books, and well as just all around really good books on unix.
I know the "Unix Shell Programming" book that Neo recommends I recently purchased that it is very good.
But when I heard that Neo has around 30 books on unix I wanted to hear more about them. So if you post teh books you would recommend and not just Neo everyone's choices - and maybe even not recommeded just in case!

Thank yout


1 Like

My technical lib has over 200 books, about half UNIX and programming related, the other have is electrical & computer engineering related.

I would be very interested to see the books that others are recommending and using. As a side note, I am going to the bookstore in a few minutes to check out the IMAP book by O'Reilly.

Also, for those of you who live near Universities, many have 'friends of the library programs' which will provide a library card for a 'small charitable donation'. I live in Northern Virginia (US) and George Mason University (GMU) has a program which I belong which for about $40 a year gives me 3 week checkout privs on up to 25-30 books. Obviously, if you have this sort of program at your local University you can save a lot of money.

In fact, when I'm in the middle of some difficult project; I often go to GMU and supplement my bookshelf with books from GMU. More often, however, I just go to the bookstore and write down the ISBN numbers of the new books I like and order from Amazon at a discount :wink: If I'm in a hurry, I will buy locally as well (like today, on IMAP architectures).

Let's compile a list of the most read and like books and I'll put up some Amazon links for fun. These forums are strickly non-profit, BTW... so links are for reference only.

[Edited by Neo on 11-30-2000 at 02:22 AM]

My absolute two most-used books are
<B>Programming Perl and Perl Cookbook</B> both from O'Reilly. Programming Perl is in its 3rd edition now. I own the 2nd -- the third edition is significantly thicker and appears to be just as good as previous versions.
<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596000278/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0596000278.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a>

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565922433/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565922433.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

My most used Unix book is one that is now out of print:
<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0534088627/">An Introduction to Berkeley Unix</A> It was my introduction to Unix, and has been worth its weight in gold through the years as a reference for scripting and commands.

Another very dog-eared favorite is <B>C, How to Program</B>
<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130895725/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0130895725.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

I have the 2nd edition (link is to the 3rd edition which looks to be even better), and use it as a reference frequently. While not strictly a Unix book, my involvement in programming has helped me grow and learn in the Unix environment too, due to the vast array of free compilers, debuggers, etc available on a Unix platform.

I have quite a few other technical books, but these are, by far, the most valuable...

[Edited by Neo on 11-29-2000 at 08:37 PM]

Another good shell programming book I saw on my quest on
getting the best unix shell programming book is:
"Linux and Unix Shell Programming" by Tansley David
<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201674726/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0201674726.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

I find that "Unix Shell Programming" is a better book, but this linux/unix book comes very close. I'd recommend checking it out!

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/067248448X/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/067248448X.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

Keep this post active!


[Edited by Neo on 11-29-2000 at 08:32 PM]

Here are three books I purchased today and why. The first is Managing IMAP.

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/059600012X/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/059600012X.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

I purchased the IMAP book because one of my large international clients is trying to move from a vertical email architecture to a more horizontal one. IMAP is very important for these thin-client architectures.

The second book purchased is now a classic, The Cathedral & The Bazaar.

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565927249/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565927249.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

Purchased this one because I love open source and have not read this great book (heard super, must read, things about this one.) Plus, I have to fly from VA to CA next week and need a good book for the plane.

The third book purchased today was, Vol II, Information Security Management Handbook, 4th Edition. I purchased this because I have a CA trip to a ecommerce dotcom next week providing guidance on their internet security architecture.

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0849308003/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0849308003.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

I purchased this book to give to the client if they need a reference. Plus, I know a few of the contributors and had worked with one of the guys for about a year. This is more for other peoples benefit, as required for my dotcom client work.

I promise to visit my bookshelf and post recommendations on my top 'must have' UNIX books and why (my perspective).

I am till now working with MS products for the past 4 years (windows and backoffice servers) with no knowledge in unix. I was searching to learn unix and steps to go and master it. I went into many sites, newsgroups,online docs and much more, but dropped the project feeling that unix is very tougher to be self learnt. Good day started one day ,i randomly typed this web address and was very much impressed to see the forum. Immediately i registered for the membership(of course free). One of the biggest advantage is the recommendation of the books for unix. Its really great. I bought the recommedations suggested and started learning from scartch and damn sure i will be a master in a few months (no shortcuts). Users or people new to unix can go through the these threads (really a classic ones, i bet)

1) http://www.unix.com/showthread.php?threadid=75
2) http://www.unix.com/showthread.php?threadid=107
3) http://www.unix.com/showthread.php?threadid=97

which was exactly info every newbies will be looking for. The most important things i learnt from these things are, Unix OS, books as recommended, breathing unix, patience and no shortcuts. Hats off to this forum.


Admin Note from Neo: Thanks for the nice words !! Glad to help others embark & follow a wonderful, rewarding and fun career path. It just keeps getting better and better :slight_smile:

[Edited by Neo on 11-30-2000 at 02:13 AM]


Can any Unix Admin live without this book on his/her desktop ??

(complete refernce for the unix commands/CSH/SH/KSH/Awk/sed/VI and many more...)

I find it the MOST valuable book.
<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565924274/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565924274.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>



[Edited by Neo on 11-30-2000 at 10:46 AM]

As promised, I went to my bookshelf and picked four books that are recommended. Depending on your interests, some might not apply for you. The first book is for people who want to really dig into the UNIX kernal, file descriptors, inodes, etc <B>The Design and Implementation of the 4.2BSD UNIX Operating System</B> This book is out of print and is mostly for those who want to really have a good historical background on the UNIX OS and it not something most UNIX admins would read. One of the most important books for all UNIX folks (a most know and have) is:

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565925122/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565925122.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

<B>DNS and BIND</B> is perhaps one of the most important foundation books for understanding UNIX networking; and without networking UNIX is not very useful. Everyone must have this book! Another <B>MUST HAVE</B> is <B>TCP/IP Network Administration</B> better known as <B> THE CRAB BOOK</B>. Without understanding TCP/IP network adminstration you can only swim in the 'UNIX baby pool' :slight_smile:

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565923227/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565923227.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

Switching gears, understanding history is always fun and very important. This is the best and most factual history book on the Internet without a doubt:

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684812010/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0684812010.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

<B>Where Wizards Stay Up Late - The Origins of the Internet</B>. This book has the names, faces and stories of the real heros of the Internet, not the false heros of todays media. In this book you will read how Dr. Kleinrock sent the worlds first email message to locate his lost razor! Messaging is the most important core service that the network offers. Regardless of your career path, you must understand messaging. That brings me to the last MUST HAVE book of this post:

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1565922220/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/1565922220.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a></CENTER>

<B>SENDMAIL</B> is critical in your studies. You don't have to master every flag and switch, that is impossible!! However, you must understand the basics of heterogenous messaging systems and sendmail is the great-grandfather of the Internet. Learn about messaging and always be an expert in heterogeneous email architectures. No organization can survive without robust messaging.

That is all for today. I have a few more on networking that are essential academic texts for those who, like me, do not see UNIX as an OS but as a networking philosophy. If you would like, I will post the networking books as well.

Thanks everyone, and Neo please post the networking books as well, and as many as you can that are worth posting about.
Keep them coming!


Another good one is <A HREF="http://www1.fatbrain.com/asp/bookinfo/bookinfo.asp?theisbn=0743411463&vm=">The Cuckoo's Egg</A> by Cliff Stoll. It details the true story of a sysadmin that discovers a $0.75 accounting error which leads him into a chase for an international spy ring. A must read for any sys-admin.

What about the two monsterous additions of "Unix Unleashed" :
System Administrator addition
& Internet addition.

These are not bad books for Unix either...

YOu may place them aside the Sendmail book and fill the shelf :slight_smile:


P.S. Thanks for the nice image of Unix in a Nutshell, Neo.

Another book I saw while browsing at Chapters was

"Optimizing Unix for Performance" -Author Amir H. Majidimehr

Seemed very interesting, I was just wondering if anyone has read this book and could give an opinion on it.
But I the cover was orange and not white.

And Neo when you said "without understanding TCP/IP network adminstration you can only swim in the 'UNIX baby pool'

I noticed that a lot of networking courses teach TCP/IP for Windows NT and not unix. So is it just having knowledge about TCP/IP or should you get a course on unix TCP/IP.

We recommend this above to UNIX.COM Forum members for checking out the recommended books.

Also, visit a previous thread for more book ideas from forum members:

[Edited by Neo on 01-21-2001 at 10:45 AM]

Link corrected -- Perderabo

<A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130206016/"><IMG SRC="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0130206016.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg" border=0></a>
This book is one of the most popular (current) system admin books. Reviews are great.</B>