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Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard) by Ernest…

Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard)

by Ernest E. Rothman

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Mac OS X For Unix Geeks 4th Edition provides an overview of the "Leopard" (10.5) version of the Mac OS X operating system. It is divided into four sections covering day-to-day use, developing software for the Mac, dealing with various package management systems (ports, fink, etc), and using Mac OS X as a server. The first two sections are particularly good at providing an overview of their topics along with many references to online resources for further information. The package management section was interesting, but less illuminating as there is not really much to learn if you are familiar with the tools. The final section is the weakest in the book: you could probably write a whole book on how to run Mac OS as a serve and this section feels very rushed.

Books covering specific software packages suffer from two problems: pallid regurgitation or online reference material, and rapid obsolescence.

Mac OS X For Unix Geeks avoids the first problem by way of its unifying theme: what does Mac OS X look like to a UNIX geek? The authors do a very good job of relating how Mac OS X differs from other UNIX variants in both technical detail (for example, differences in handling dynamic libraries) and in user workflows (for example, using the Terminal to fire off an SSH connection over Bonjour rather than just using ssh).

There is not too much that an author can do regarding obsolescence. Already a new version of Mac OS X is available (Snow Leopard). However many of the topic in this book will be relatively stable with that release and so this book is still worth a look at least until O'Reilly comes up with a new edition. ( )
  raymond_and_sarah | Aug 30, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 059652062X, Paperback)

It's about time: Mac OS X for Unix Geeks arrives on the scene none too soon for UNIX aficionados who, having heard that the latest editions of Mac OS are based on a UNIX variant, want to see how the platform compares to more venerable versions of the eminently configurable operating system. This book highlights some key differences between the Darwin environment and more conventional UNIXs, enabling people with UNIX experience to take advantage of it as they learn the Mac OS X way of doing things at the command line.

This skinny volume neither aims to teach its readers UNIX nor introduce them to the Mac, but rather to show how Apple has implemented UNIX. It's a fast read that assumes--as the title implies--rather a lot of UNIX knowledge. With that requirement satisfied and this book in hand, you're likely to discover aspects of Aqua more quickly than you otherwise would have.

The authors spend lots of time explaining how administrative tasks--such as managing groups, users, and passwords--are handled in the Mac OS environment. They document netinfo fully, and call attention to its limitations (like its inability to create home directories for users) by explaining how to do the job on the command line. They also cover C programming in the Darwin universe at greater length than any other book does, providing explicit instructions for such important tasks as creating header files and linking static libraries. A guide to the command line (they call the reference section--groan--"The Missing Manpages") provides good value at this book's conclusion. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to get around in Darwin, the UNIX implementation built into Mac OS X. Sections deal with basic maneuvering at the command line, LDAP services, C programming, and graphical user interfaces under Aqua. There's a short section on building the kernel itself, but it's limited in scope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:22 -0400)

This title shows Unix developers and system administrators how to get the most out of Mac OS X by describing how the Leopard Unix command line works.

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