Unix and BSD books

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Here's a list of some good UNIX and BSD books. This page is a new project, and is in very active development, so be sure to check back often for more titles.

Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Code
John Lions. 1996 Peer-to-Peer Communications. ISBN 1-57398-013-7.

The most famous suppressed book in computer history! Used as an Operating System textbook at MIT. After 20 years, this is still the best expostion of the workings of a 'real' operating system. --- Ken Thompson (Developer of the UNIX operating system).
After years of suppression (as trade secrets) by various owners of the UNIX code, this tome has been re-released, and we owe a debt to all involved in making this happen. I consider this to be the single most important book of 1996. Unix Review, June 1997.
The Lions book, cherished by UNIX hackers and widely circulated as a photocopied bootleg document since the late 1970's, is again available in an unrestricted edition. This legendary underground classic, reproduced without modification, is really two works in one: the complete source code to an early version (Edition 6) of the UNIX operating system, a treasure in itself! a brilliant commentary on that code by John Lions, with additional historical perspective essays added in 1996. Lions' marriage of source code with commentary was originally used as an operating systems textbook, a purpose for which it remains superbly well-suited (as evidenced by it's ongoing use at MIT).

UNIX Papers for UNIX Developers and Power Users
The Waite Group. 1987 Howard W. Sams & Company. ISBN 0-672-22578-6.

Here are fifteen hot new topics in UNIX from fifteen gurus of the UNIX trade! Each essay in this book is original and has never been in print before. Written for programmers and serious users, the essays present today's most important ideas for understanding, and for getting the most out of your UNIX applications. UNIX Papers reveals expert advice, little-known techniques, and tips.

The Design and Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating System
Sam Leffler, Kirk McKusick, Michael Karels & John Quartermann. 1989, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-06196-1.

The first authoritative description of Berkeley UNIX, its design and implementation. Book covers the internal structure of the 4.3 BSD systems and the concepts, data structures and algorithms used in implementing the system facilities. Chapter on TCP/IP. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

A Quarter Century of UNIX
Peter H. Salus 1994, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-54777-5.

A concise history of the UNIX operating system. Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-237) and index.

UNIX SYSTEM Readings and Applications, Volume I
AT & T 1987, Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-938532-0.

A collection of papers originally published in The Bell System Technical Journal written by some of the creators and early users of the UNIX Operating System.

The UNIX Programming Environment
Kernighan and Pike 1984, Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-937699-2.

Both novice and experienced users will appreciate this work. It provides an understanding not only of how to use the system, its components, and programs, but also how they fit into the total UNIX environment.

The C Programming Language
Kernighan and Ritchie 1978, Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-110163-3.

This is the original book describing the C programming language. Like `The UNIX Programming Environment' this book is clear, concise and elegant. This is a classic text and a collector's item.

The Elements of Programming Style
Kernighan and Plaugher 1978, McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-034207-5.

A classic tome on programming style that teaches by example. This book is a must-read for every coder.

The Practice of Programming
Kernighan and Pike 1999, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-61586-X.

With the same insight and authority that made their book The Unix Programming Environment a classic, Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike have written The Practice of Programming to help make individual programmers more effective and productive. The practice of programming is more than just writing code. Programmers must also assess tradeoffs, choose among design alternatives, debug and test, improve performance, and maintain software written by themselves and others. At the same time, they must be concerned with issues like compatibility, robustness, and reliability, while meeting specifications. The Practice of Programming covers all these topics, and more. This book is full of practical advice and real-world examples in C, C++, Java, and a variety of special-purpose languages. It includes chapters on: x debugging: finding bugs quickly and methodically x testing: guaranteeing that software works correctly and reliably x performance: making programs faster and more compact x portability: ensuring that programs run everywhere without change x design: balancing goals and constraints to decide which algorithms and data structures are best x interfaces: using abstraction and information hiding to control the interactions between components x style: writing code that works well and is a pleasure to read x notation: choosing languages and tools that let the machine do more of the work Kernighan and Pike have distilled years of experience writing programs, teaching, and working with other programmers to create this book. Anyone who writes software will profit from the principles and guidance in The Practice of Programming.

Software Tools
Kernighan and Plaugher 1976, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-03669-X.

With the same style and clarity that characterized their highly acclaimed book, The Elements of Programming Style, the authors have written Software Tools to teach how to write good programs that make good tools. The programs contained in the book are not artificial, but are actual programs ae tools which have proved valuable in the production of other programs. Modern programming techniques such as structured programming and top-down design are emphasized and applied to every program. The programs are presented in a structured language called Ratfor ("Rational Fortran") which can be easily understood by anyone familiar with Fortran or PL/I, Algol, PASCAL, or similar languages. (Ratfor translates readily into Fortran or PL/I. One of the tools presented is a preprocessor to translate Ratfor into Fortran). All of the programs are complete and have been tested directly from the text. The programs are available in machine-readable form from Addison-Wesley. Software Tools is ideal for use in a "software engineering" course, for a second course in programming, or as a supplement in any programming course. All programmers, professional and student, will find the book invaluable as a source of proven, useful programs for reading and study. Numerous exercises are provided to test comprehension and to extend the concepts presented in the text.

The UNIX System V Environment
S. R. Bourne 1987, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-18484-2.

Stephen Bourne's Unix System V environment clearly states the UNIX programming philosophy AND is concise. I bought this book when it was still in print, and I still use it regularly. Most of us won't use the troff (and maybe even the vi chapters) but the systems programming chapter and the shell chapters are still very good. Currently Unix/Linux references look like telephone directories, if you want to learn more and read less, this book might work for you. -- A reader.

The Standard C Library
P. J. Plaugher 1992, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-131509-9.

Prentice Hall's most important C programming title in years. A companion volume to Kernighan & Ritchie's C PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. A collection of reusable functions (code for building data structures, code for performing math functions and scientific calculations, etc.) which will save C programmers time and money especially when working on large programming projects. The C Library is part of the ANSI (American National Standard Institute) for the C Language. This new book contains the complete code for the library. It covers elements of the library with which even the most experienced C programmers are not familiar such as internationalization (the ability to write programs that can adapt to different cultural locales, for example, using the C library, programmers can write software that manipulates large character sets such as Kanji). Structured like the Standard C Library, it contains 15 headers declaring or defining all of the names in the library. A separate chapter covers each header, including excerpts from relevant portions of the C Standard showing all codes needed to implement each portion of the library and explaining why it is necessary. The book teaches readers the concepts and design issues associated with library building. Using this book, programemrs will be less likely to re-code something that already exists in a given program. Plauger is one of the world's leading experts on C and the C Library.

C A Reference Manual
Harbison & Steele 1992, Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-110933-2.

The third edition of this established C handbook now includes the ANSI C STANDARD. Features a description of ANSI C together with a discussion of the traditional language. Program portability in both UNIX and non-UNIX environments is considered.

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