O’Reilly news

"Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks": Mac and Unix, Happily Ever After

March 4, 2004

Sebastopol, CA--"Once upon a time, Unix came with only a few standard utilities and, if you were lucky, it included a C compiler." So begins the tale of Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks, (O'Reilly, US $24.95) told by Brian Jepson and Ernest E. Rothman. But this is no bedtime story designed to lull listeners to sleep; Unix developers will most appreciate this book in the glare of office fluorescence, for Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks was written for Unix users who want to make the most of the legendary power underlying Panther's beauty and sleek appeal.

Mac users at all levels have a sophisticated partner in Mac OS X Panther, and no one more than Unix geeks. Hacking code on a Mac is similar to hacking code on other Unix systems, but there are important, sometimes subtle, differences. Hence Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks, written to bridge the Unix-Panther gap not only for Unix developers and sys admins, but also for web developers, Unix hackers, and programmers who switched to Linux from a non-Unix platform.

Recommended by Apple Developer Connection, this concise new edition has been revised and expanded to cover Mac OS X Panther, notably CUPS, Perl, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and running Mac OS X as a server. Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks eases readers into the Unix innards of Mac OS X Panther, covering such topics as:

  • Using the Terminal and understanding how it differs from an xterm
  • Using Directory Services, Open Directory (LDAP), and NetInfo
  • Compiling code with GCC 3
  • Printing and printer management with CUPS
  • Library linking and porting Unix software
  • Creating and installing packages with Fink
  • Running X Windows on top of Mac OS X
  • The book wraps up with an overview of Mac OS X's filesystem and startup processes, and includes a quick manpage-style reference to the "Missing Manual Pages"--commands that come with Mac OS X Panther, although there are no manpages.

    Longtime Unix users, Jepson and Rothman note in their preface, "You'll find some things are different on the Unix side. But rest assured, they're easy to deal with if you know what to do. This book is your survival guide for taming the Unix side of Mac OS X."

    Praise for the previous edition:

    "If you read just one book, try Mac OS X for Unix Geeks. Most other books aren't for you because they are trying to explain Unix to Mac heads."
    --www.macosxhints.com, December 2002

    "For the Unix developer this title presents a concise, but comprehensive, guide to working in the OS X environment. There are many traps and tricks, and this is undoubtedly the best (if not the only) reference that covers them in specific detail."
    --Major Keary, "AUSOM News," May 2003

    "Mac Guild Grade B+ Great...I found that the book would be useful by any experience level of Unix developer or system administrator...I did find the book useful and practical and would recommend it as the place to start."
    --Steve Nickerson, Mac Guild, February 2003

    "Slim and unassuming, but contains valuable nuggets of Mac OS X lore."
    --Rich Morin, MACTECH, December 2002

    "It's not just a book. It is the access code to the world of the 'backside of OS X'"
    --Robert Pritchett, MacNut, January 2002

    "Despite the title, anyone wanting to get the most out of the Unix underpinnings of OS X would do well to invest in a copy of this book...bottom line: if you want to know about the BSD core of OS X, get this book; Unix experts will find themselves transitioning more quickly, while those of us from the graphical worlds of Windows and Mac OS will find it easier to communicate with our Macs and other geeks."
    --Chris Pirillo, Tech TV, November 2002

    "This little book is packed with tremendous details important to the large segment of Unix programmers who have migrated to the Apple Mac OS X for its cool development environment. Although there are similarities to the hacking code between Mac OS X and Unix systems, there are pitfalls and minefield that make a guide like this valuable."
    --Book Bytes, December 2002

    "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...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."
    --David Wall, Amazon.com

    Additional Resources:

    Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks
    Brian Jepson, Ernest E. Rothman
    ISBN: 0-596-00607-1, 240 pages, $24.95 US, $36.95 CA
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O’Reilly

    O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

    Email a link to this press release