33 Best Books on Unix

We have compiled a list of the Best Reference Books on Unix, which are used by students of top universities, and colleges. This will help you choose the right book depending on if you are a beginner or an expert. Here is the complete list of Unix Books with their authors, publishers, and an unbiased review of them as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase them. If permissible, you can also download the free PDF books on Unix below.

1. Introduction to Unix

1."Introduction to UNIX/LINUX" by Christopher Diaz
“Introduction to UNIX/LINUX” Book Review: This book is intended for both undergraduate and graduate students who want to delve into Unix/Linux programming. It explores key properties of Unix/Linux such as flexibility, reliability, and stability while emphasizing the fundamental knowledge and background required to work within this environment. The book provides guidance on Unix and its functions, as well as programming concepts such as building, running, debugging, and analyzing code. Moreover, it features step-by-step explanations of processing files and programs.

2."Introduction to Unix and Shell Programming" by M G Venkateshmurthy
“Introduction to Unix and Shell Programming” Book Review: This book is aimed at those who wish to learn Unix and Shell Programming. It covers the basics and fundamentals of Unix programming, as well as providing detailed guidance on Unix operating systems and system administration. The text is divided into twelve chapters, starting with an introduction to Unix, files and organization (including categories of files, file attributes and permissions, standard I/O, redirections, pipes, filters, and the Vi Editor), followed by discussions on regular expressions (including the grep family of commands and sed), types of processes, and Shell Programming. The book also covers various types of commands, AWK, basic communication tools, Perl, and system administration.

3."Introduction to UNIX and C Programming" by K Kushwaha
“Introduction to UNIX and C Programming” Book Review: This book is a valuable resource for students interested in learning both Unix and C Programming. It covers the theoretical and practical aspects of these languages, including Unix operating systems, commands, structure, and features, as well as data security and permissions. The book also includes an introduction to Shell Programming and Socket Programming, as well as a description of inter-process communication and system development tools. Additionally, it contains numerous examples, implemented programs, and outputs to aid in the learning process.

4."Learn Enough Command Line to Be Dangerous: A tutorial introduction to the Unix command line (Learn Enough Developer Fundamentals Book 1)" by Michael Hartl
5."Casting the Net: From ARPANET to INTERNET and Beyond (Unix and Open Systems Series)" by Peter H Salus
“Casting the Net: From ARPANET to INTERNET and Beyond (Unix and Open Systems Series)” Book Review: This book is a valuable resource for students and professionals engaged in the study of Operating Systems, with a specific focus on the design standards and decisions related to internetworking. It delves into Internet protocols and technical standards, including the concept of matrices for sending and receiving electronic mails. Additionally, the book provides insights into RFCs (Requests for Comments) which are utilized to disseminate technical advancements in the field.

6."Unix - The Complete Reference" by Ken Rosen and James Farber
“Unix – The Complete Reference” Book Review: This comprehensive reference book provides a detailed analysis of various UNIX releases, including AIX, Solaris 10, HP-UX, FreeBSD, and all Linux distributions. In addition to explaining the steps required to operate UNIX, the book explores methods for optimizing the usage of its tools and applications. Updated chapters on Python, Samba, Java Apache, UNIX desktops, and UNIX web development are also included. From developing Python, shell, and Perl scripts to managing emails, security, devices, and setting up Apache Web servers, this book is an all-encompassing resource for anyone seeking to enhance their knowledge of UNIX. It is suitable for beginners as well as professionals with prior experience.


2. Unix and Shell Programming

1."Unix Shell Programming" by Yashavant P Kanetkar
“Unix Shell Programming” by Yashavant P Kanetkar Book Review: This textbook is specifically designed for beginners who want to explore Unix. It delves into the robustness that Unix possesses, which is the reason for its longevity. With a total of sixteen chapters, this comprehensive book covers every content in detail. It is divided into two main parts, where the first part deals with the basics of Unix from a beginner’s perspective. The second part of the book explores the world of shell programming and system administration. It covers various topics such as The First Step, Decision Making, Loop Control Structures, Shell Metacharacters, Tricks of the Trade, System Administration, and Programming Projects. Additionally, practical shell scripts are included to make the learning experience easier.

2."UNIX and Shell Programming" by Behrouz A Forouzan and Richard F Gilberg
“UNIX and Shell Programming” by Behrouz A Forouzan and Richard F Gilberg Book Review: This comprehensive book begins by introducing basic commands and programming techniques before diving into the tools of the powerful UNIX operating system. Students will learn how to use shells both as a command interpreter and as a programming tool. Detailed discussions cover UNIX Structure, Accessing UNIX, File Systems, Security and File Permissions, and an Introduction to Shells. The book also covers Interactive Korn Shell, Korn Shell Programming, Korn Shell Advanced Programming, Interactive C Shell, and C Shell Advanced Programming. Each chapter concludes with lab session exercises, and the use of color makes it easy for students to distinguish between user input and computer output. With problems and lab sessions at the end of each chapter, this book is an ideal resource for students and professionals alike.

3."Unix Shell Programming" by Stephen Kochan
4."Unix and Shell Programming" by Sumitabha Das
“Unix and Shell Programming” by Sumitabha Das Book Review: This textbook is aimed at undergraduate students studying UNIX and Shell Programming within the Computer Science Engineering branch. It delves deeply into the various aspects of Shell Programming, including Basics of UNIX, The System File Chapter, File Attributes Chapter, The Vi/Vim Editor Chapter, The Shell Chapter, The Process Chapter, and the Simple Filter Chapter. The book emphasizes Filtering and Programming with Awk, Korn and C Shells chapter, Systems Programming, and Files chapter. The book provides a strong command of UNIX and Shell Programming.

5."Unix and Shell Programming" by Archna Verma
“Unix and Shell Programming” by Archna Verma Book Review: This comprehensive textbook is designed for first-year MCA students, focusing on the concepts of UNIX and Shell Programming. It covers a range of topics, starting with an introduction to UNIX, Shell and its structure, Shell scripts with solved examples, and basic concepts of Writer Process Communication. The book also covers System Administration, Tools, and Debuggers. Additionally, it discusses Portability with C6, Neutralization Meta Characters, Multitasking, The ps Command, and Background Process. The concept of Shell and UNIX Programming is thoroughly discussed in the book, with a range of examples and program scripts to enhance understanding.

6."UNIX and Shell Programming" by Bintu Harwani
“UNIX and Shell Programming” by Bintu Harwani Book Review: The aim of this textbook is to introduce undergraduate students to the concepts of UNIX and Shell Programming. It begins by describing the operating system and UNIX features, followed by an overview of File Management in UNIX and commonly used UNIX Commands. The book then covers a range of topics in-depth, including Description of File system and Compression Techniques, Process and Signals, Vi editor, System calls, and AWK Scripting. The book also discusses different types of editors and shell programming, and incorporates chapters on Debugging and system development, Language Development, and Text Formatting Tools. The book contains numerous examples and program scripts to clarify concepts.

7."UNIX Shell Programming Interview Questions You'll Most Likely be Asked (Job Interview Questions)" by Virbrant Publishers
“UNIX Shell Programming Interview Questions You’ll Most Likely be Asked (Job Interview Questions)” Book Review: This book is a useful resource for anyone preparing for an interview focused on UNIX shell programming. The book is divided into several chapters that cover essential topics such as shell scripting basics, flow control statements, command substitution, process substitution, pattern matching, and shell variables. Each chapter includes a comprehensive set of interview questions with answers that help readers prepare for interviews and gain confidence in their UNIX shell programming knowledge. The book is a valuable resource for anyone preparing for a job interview in the field of UNIX shell programming.

8."Learning the Bash Shell 3e (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))" by Cameron Newham
“Learning the Bash Shell 3e (In a Nutshell (O’Reilly))” by Cameron Newham Book Review: This comprehensive textbook serves as an invaluable guide to the bash shell, providing practical examples of Shell Commands throughout. The book teaches the reader how to install Bash as a login shell, introduces the basics of Interactive shell use, including UNIX File and directory structures, Standard I/O, and Background Jobs. It also covers Command Line Editing, History Substitution, and Keys Bindings, customization of shell environment without programming, the nuts and bolts of basic shell programming, flow control structure, command-line options, Process Handling, Debugging Techniques- Trace and Verbose Modes. The book also covers techniques for implementing system-wide shell customization and features related to system security.

9."Mastering Linux Shell Scripting" by Andrew Mallett
“Mastering Linux Shell Scripting” by Andrew Mallett Book Review: This book is designed to help students learn Linux Shell Scripting, with a focus on identifying high-level steps such as Verifying User Input, using Command Lines and Conditional Statements, Scripting in Perl, programming in Python, and BASH. The book also guides readers in developing Scripts that dynamically edit web Configuration files. The book covers various Conditional statements Code snippets and the power of repetition and loops in shell script. It also provides a complete coverage of other scripting languages, with thorough explanations to enhance understanding.

10."UNIX(r) System V Release 4 User's Reference Manual/System Administrator's Reference Manual(Commands M-Z) For Intel Processors (Commands M-Z for Intel Processors : Unix System V Release 4)" by The UNIX System Group
“UNIX System V Release 4 User’s Reference Manual/ System Administrator’s Reference Manual (Commands m-z) for Intel Processors” Book Review: This manual provides detailed information on the interfaces and run-time behavior of all UNIX System commands from m to z, including new multiprocessing commands. It covers a range of topics, including general-purpose user commands, basic networking commands, form and menu language interpreter, system maintenance commands, enhanced networking commands, and command language procedures. The book also includes system administration procedures, as well as a synopsis of each command syntax and its proper implementation, to aid users in performing frequently used functions. The book is intended for UNIX administrators and end-users.

3. Unix System Programming

1."Unix System Programming Using C++" by Chan
“Unix System Programming Using C++” by Chan Book Review: The textbook targets experienced UNIX System programmers interested in building complex and high-quality system applications using C++ and UNIX System Programming. It focuses on tackling real-world challenges in developing databases, network and client/server applications, compilers, operating systems, and CAD/EDA systems. The book assists readers in crafting compact, maintainable, and highly portable C++ programs for most UNIX systems. It includes numerous example programs that demonstrate the construction of C++ classes and applications using the ANSI, POSIX, and UNIX standard functions and classes. Additionally, the book features C++ classes covering topics such as interprocess communication, Sockets, TLI, and remote procedures.

2."Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing Series)" by W Richard Stevens and Stephen A Rago
3."Unix Systems Programming" by Kay Robbins
“Unix Systems Programming” by Kay Robbins Book Review: The textbook provides readers with reusable code examples and covers the content necessary to master UNIX threads, TCP/IP, and RPC programming. The book emphasizes the fundamentals of UNIX programming, with a focus on communication, concurrency, and multithread techniques. It also includes new chapters on programming for the web and multicasting, followed by RPC. The book covers topics such as files, signals, semaphores, POSIX threads, and client-server communication, and demonstrates various ways to write system calls using short code examples. Furthermore, the book showcases how to design complex software for reliability and performance.

4."UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook" by Evi Nemeth and Garth Snyder
“UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook” by Evi Nemeth and Garth Snyder Book Review: This book covers everything needed to install, configure, and maintain any Unix or Linux system that provides core internet and cloud infrastructure. It provides a comprehensive overview of system administration, including storage management, network design and administration, web hosting, and scale-out, followed by automation, configuration management, performance analysis, and virtualization. The book discusses concepts such as cloud deployments, continuous delivery, Docker, and other containerization solutions. Additionally, it covers process control, filesystems, software installation and management, scripting and shell, user management, logging, drivers, and kernel.

5."Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by W. Richard Stevens, Stephen A. Rago
Book Review: This book is an excellent resource for programmers looking to develop Unix and Linux-based kernels. It covers basic and advanced concepts such as files, directories, and processes, which are essential for understanding signal handling and terminal I/O. Additionally, the book delves into multithreaded programming and socket-based programming and contains numerous programs with different functions and procedures that demonstrate various system calls.

6."Unix Network Programming, Vol1: Sockets" by W. Richard Stevens, Bill Fenner, Andrew M. Rudoff
Book Review: This book provides in-depth information and understanding of sockets, making it an ideal resource for programmers developing code for web servers, server/client applications, and other network-related software. It covers different specifications and protocols such as IPv6, UNIX, and POSIX specifications, and various types of protocols like TCP, UDP, and SCTP. Additionally, the book includes networking debugging techniques, broadcasting, multicasting, threads, and design. The book contains a mix of practical understanding, history, and in-depth analysis, making readers well-versed in Unix network programming.

7."Unix Network Programming, Vol2: IPCs" by W. Richard
Book Review: This book contains information about different types of IPCs, including shared memory, remote procedure calls, message passing, and synchronization. It also includes the internal design of Posix and System V IPC, FIFO, and file and record locking and unlocking operations. The book’s implementation of message queues and semaphores highlights special conditions handled in applications, such as race conditions, memory leaks, error handling, and many others. The book compares and contrasts different types of IPCs, enabling programmers to make informed decisions about which version to use in their applications.

8."The Unix Programming Environment" by Kernighan
“The Unix Programming Environment” by Kernighan Book Review: This is a classic book that delves into the world of Unix programming. The book is divided into two parts, covering topics such as file systems, editors, shell programming, programming tools, and document preparation tools. The first part provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the Unix system, while the second part focuses on practical programming techniques. The book is an ideal resource for programmers and computer science students interested in Unix programming, providing valuable insights into the Unix environment and its programming capabilities.

9."Automating Linux and Unix System Administration (Expert's Voice in Linux)" by Nathan Campi and Kirk Bauer
10."Unix Network Programming" by W Richard Stevens

4. Advanced Programming and Unix Environment

1."Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by W Richard Stevens
“Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment” Book Review: The book introduces the reader to files, directories and processes before diving into more advanced topics such as multithreaded programming and socket-based IPC. It also covers POSIX asynchronous I/O, spin locks, barriers and POSIX semaphores. The reader will find complete programs explaining hundreds of system calls and functions.

2."The UNIX Programming Environment" by Kernighan & Pike
“The UNIX Programming Environment” Book Review: This is a comprehensive guide to Unix programming. The book covers various topics, including Unix philosophy, file systems, shell programming, programming tools, document preparation, and system administration. It provides a deep understanding of the Unix system and practical programming techniques. This classic book is ideal for programmers and computer science students who want to gain a solid foundation in Unix programming and explore its capabilities. Overall, it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Unix programming.

3."Unix Command Line and Awk Scripting: Harnessing the Power of Unix and Linux Programming Environments" by Dmitri Petrovic
4."Advanced Unix Programming" by Rochkind
“Advanced Unix Programming” Book Review: This book covers a range of operating systems, including POSIX, Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, and Darwin. It offers comprehensive explanations of interprocess communication, networking, pseudo terminals, asynchronous I/O, advanced signals, real-time programming, and threads. Additionally, it includes a wealth of example code, covering topics such as pipelines, redirection, and background processes.

5."Advanced UNIX Programming" by Gay
“Advanced Unix Programming” Book Review: This book, designed for professional Unix programmers, delves into various essential topics, including internet processes, interprocess control, file system manipulation, and synchronization. It also covers files and directories, library functions, as well as advanced concepts like signals, timers, pipes, processes, and pattern matching. Additionally, the book provides a summary at the end of each topic, making it a valuable resource for Unix programmers looking to deepen their understanding of these important concepts.

6."The Linux Programming Interface: A Linux and UNIX System Programming Handbook" by Michael Kerrisk
“The Linux Programming Interface: A Linux and UNIX System Programming Handbook” Book Review: This is a comprehensive guide to Linux and Unix system programming. The book covers various topics, including system architecture, file I/O, processes and threads, signals, sockets, interprocess communication, networking, and security. It also provides practical examples and detailed explanations of Linux system calls and library functions. This book is ideal for intermediate to advanced-level programmers and system administrators who want to master the intricacies of Linux system programming.

7."Advanced Unix Shell Scripting: How to Reduce Your Labor and Increase Your Effectiveness Through Mastery of Unix Shell Scripting" by Praveen Puri
We have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on Unix and came out with a recommended list and their reviews. If any more book needs to be added to this list, please email us. We are working on free pdf downloads for books on Unix and will publish the download link here. Fill out this Unix books pdf download" request form for download notification.

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Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He lives in Bangalore, and focuses on development of Linux Kernel, SAN Technologies, Advanced C, Data Structures & Alogrithms. Stay connected with him at LinkedIn.

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