The third edition of Unix in a Nutshell (for System V) generally follows the dictum that “if it's not broken, don't fix it.” This edition has the following new features:
Many mistakes and typographical errors have been fixed.
Covers Solaris 7, the latest version of the SVR4-based operating system from Sun Microsystems.
Sixty new commands have been added, mostly in Chapter 2.
Chapter 4, now covers both the 1988 and the 1993 versions of ksh.
Chapter 7, now covers GNU emacs Version 20.
A new chapter, Chapter 16, describes the troff man macros.
Chapter 17, now covers refer and its related programs.
Chapter 19, now covers Version 5.7 of RCS.
Commands that are no longer generally useful but that still come with SVR4 or Solaris have been moved to Appendix B.
The Bibliography lists books that every Unix wizard should have on his or her bookshelf. All books that are referred to in the text are listed here.
This book should be of interest to Unix users and Unix programmers, as well as to anyone (such as a system administrator) who might offer direct support to users and programmers. The presentation is geared mainly toward people who are already familiar with the Unix system; that is, you know what you want to do, and you even have some idea how to do it. You just need a reminder about the details. For example, if you want to remove the third field from a database, you might think, “I know I can use the cut command, but what are the options?” In many cases, specific examples are provided to show how a command is used.
This reference might also help people who are familiar with some aspects of Unix but not with others. Many chapters include an overview of the particular topic. While this isn't meant to be comprehensive, it's usually sufficient to get you started in unfamiliar territory.
And some of you may be coming from a Unix system that runs the BSD or SunOS 4.1 version. To help with such a transition, SVR4 and Solaris include a group of “compatibility” commands, many of which are presented in this guide.
Finally, if you're new to the Unix operating system, and you're feeling bold, you might appreciate this book as a quick tour of what Unix has to offer. Section 1.4 in Chapter 1, can point you to the most useful commands, and you'll find brief examples of how to use them, but take note: this book should not be used in place of a good beginner's tutorial on Unix. (You might try O'Reilly's Learning the Unix Operating System for that.) This reference should be a supplement, not a substitute. (There are references throughout the text to other relevant O'Reilly books that will help you learn the subject matter under discussion; you may be better off detouring to those books first.)
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