These books are recommended for those who want to read more about
the UNIX operating system, related software, or procedures. You
should know which particular UNIX operating system you will be
using before buying books, since there are many versions of UNIX
(such as System V, BSD, Xenix, Linux, ULTRIX, AIX, etc.). Also,
some books on the C language are only for certain compilers, such
as Microsoft C or Turbo C, and will not be fully applicable to
other C compilers.
Introductory UNIX Books
- Getting Started with UNIX and X
Torbjorn Andreasson and Jan Skarsholm. Addison-Wesley, 1990.
This covers basic, intermediate, and advanced UNIX topics,
including various shells, UNIX versions, and X highlights.
- Introducing the UNIX System
Henry McGilton and Rachel Morgan. McGraw-Hill, 1983.
This is an introductory text for new UNIX users.
- Learning the UNIX Operating System
Grace Todino and John Strang. O'Reilly & Associates, 1994.
This is a concise introduction to System V UNIX and to the X
Window System, aimed at a nontechnical audience.
- Life with UNIX: A Guide for Everyone
Don Libes and Sandy Ressler. Prentice-Hall, 1989.
This is a good overview of UNIX history and folklore; it is not
an introduction to UNIX commands. Some material in this book is
difficult to find in other sources.
- MH & xmh: E-mail for Users & Programmers
Jerry Peek. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
This book introduces the MH message-handling system and its X
Window System interface, xmh. The book covers the features and
operation of MH and its configuration, and it includes a "tour"
through the program, giving many examples of its use.
- Peter Norton's Guide to UNIX
Peter Norton and Harley Hahn. Bantam Books, 1991.
This book is useful for someone coming to UNIX from a DOS
background. Although quite long (549 pages), it contains not
just examples, but some philosophy and rules of thumb that make
it interesting reading.
- UNIX for VMS Users
Philip Bourne. Butterworth, 1989.
Written for VMS users, this introduction to UNIX covers basic
concepts, command procedures, shell scripts, text processing, and
network communications. Tasks described are compared to VMS
counterparts, when possible, and the appendix includes cross-
- UNIX in a Nutshell: Berkeley Edition
- UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition
O'Reilly & Associates, 1990, 1992.
These are table-oriented guides to BSD and System V. If you like
to look things up in tables, you'll like these books. They
contain reference information for sh, csh, ksh, vi, make, and
Text Editing and Processing
- LaTeX: A Documentation Preparation System
Leslie Lamport. Addison-Wesley, 1986.
The standard work for LaTeX, the set of macros that make it easy
to use the TeX formatting language.
- Learning GNU Emacs
Debra Cameron and Bill Rosenblatt. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
An excellent Emacs tutorial, this book covers base editor
commands, special environments for use with text formatters and
programming languages, customization, Emacs Lisp programming, and
a convenient quick-reference section.
- Learning the vi Editor
Linda Lamb. O'Reilly & Associates, 1988.
This is a thorough introduction to the vi text editor.
- TeX for the Impatient
Paul W. Abrahams et al. Addison-Wesley, 1990.
A useful and practical handbook for quickly finding answers to
questions about the TeX formatting language. It contains
complete descriptions of TeX concepts, commands, and examples-
arranged for easy access.
- The TeXbook
Donald Knuth. Addison-Wesley, 1992.
The standard work for the TeX formatting language.
- UNIX System V Documenter's Workbench Technical Discussion and Reference Manual
AT&T. Prentice-Hall, 1989.
Covers in detail the nroff/troff program, the tbl preprocessor,
and the mm macro package.
- UNIX System V Documenter's Workbench User's Guide
AT&T. Prentice-Hall, 1989.
A tutorial discussion of nroff/troff and its associated
preprocessors and macro packages.
- Computer Networks
Second edition. Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Prentice-Hall, 1989.
An excellent introductory textbook.
- The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide To Global Networking
Tracy LaQuey, with Jeanne C. Ryer. Addison-Wesley, 1992.
This book helps answer the familiar question "What can I do with
the Internet?". It contains descriptions of the Internet and its
history; how to use basic network tools such as FTP, TELNET, and
electronic mail; how to hook up to the Internet; and even coupons
good for discounts for Internet services.
Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture
Douglas E. Comer. Prentice-Hall, 1991.
Volume I of a three-volume series, this is an overview and
detailed introduction to TCP/IP, including discussions of network
technologies, addresses, routing, protocols, and applications.
The other two volumes have subtitles: Design, Implementation, and
Internals and Client-Server Programming and Applications
- UNIX Network Programming
W. Richard Stevens. Prentice-Hall, 1990.
A wide-ranging treatment of networking software in modern UNIX
implementations, the book contains scores of program examples and
is indispensable reading for those developing network software.
- The Whole Internet User's Guide & Catalog
Ed Krol. O'Reilly & Associates, 1994.
This book is highly recommended for both novices and experts.
The "User's Guide" portion is an excellent overview of the
Internet and its current services, such as electronic mail, file
transfers, interactive connections, USENET news, Gopher, Archie,
WAIS, and WWW browsers. The "Catalog" portion is an exten sive
listing of Internet service providers, including descriptions of
the methods used to gain access to each service.
Advanced UNIX and Programming Topics
- Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
W. Richard Stevens. Addison-Wesley, 1992.
This work of over 700 pages contains about 10,000 lines of sample
C code. It describes the C system call interface and system
libraries under both System V Release 4 and 4.3 BSD versions of
- The Annotated C++ Reference Manual
Margaret Ellis and Bjarne Stroustrup. Addison-Wesley, 1990.
This is a complete reference manual that has been adopted by ANSI
as the base document for a C++ standard.
- The C Programming Language
Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie. First and second
edition. Prentice-Hall, 1978 and 1988.
This is an introductory book on programming in C. Use the first
edition for older C compilers installed on the Computation
Center's UNIX systems. The second edition describes the ANSI-
standard version of C (GNU C and Sun's ANSI C).
- The C++ Programming Language
Bjarne Stroustrup. Addison-Wesley, 1991.
This is a reference guide for the object-oriented language C++.
- The Craft of Text Editing: Emacs for the World
Craig A. Finseth. Springer-Verlag, 1991.
This interesting book describes the issues of writing a text
editor. The example is Emacs, but many topics such as string
searching and I/O are touched upon as well.
- The Design and Implementation of the 4.3BSD UNIX Operating System
John S. Quarterman et al. Addison-Wesley, 1988.
This discusses concepts, data structures, and algorithms used in
4.3BSD UNIX implementations.
- The Design of the UNIX Operating System
Maurice J. Bach. Prentice-Hall, 1986.
Discusses concepts, data structures, and algorithms used in
System V UNIX implementations.
- The GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual
Bill Lewis, Dan LaLiberte, and the GNU Manual Group. Free
Software Foundation, 1990.
This is a reference manual for Lisp programmers who are writing
functions for Emacs.
- GNU Emacs Manual
Sixth edition, version 18. Richard Stallman. Free Software
Foundation, 1987. Available online via anonymous FTP from
This is the original Emacs reference manual. Complete and
comprehensive, it is not a tutorial document.
- GNU Emacs: Unix Text Editing and Programming
Michael A. Schoonover, John S. Bowie, and William R. Arnold.
This manual has a particularly good section on Emacs Lisp
- Learning the Korn Shell
Bill Rosenblatt. O'Reilly & Associates, 1993.
A thorough introduction to the korn shell, both as a user
interface and as a programming language.
- Managing Projects with Make
Andrew Oram and Steve Talbott. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
Describes the use of make to simplify the process of maintaining
a software project by recording relationships between files and
automatically updating files as needed.
- Programming PERL
Larry Wall and Randal L. Schwartz. O'Reilly & Associates, 1990.
The authoritative book on programming in PERL, the Practical
Extraction and Report Language. This language combines features
from C and from a number of UNIX utilities into a single powerful
- Software Tools
Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger. Addison-Wesley, 1976.
This book explains structured programming in RATFOR to show how
to build software tools the UNIX way.
- UNIX for FORTRAN Programmers
Mike Loukides. O'Reilly & Associates, 1990.
This work assumes some knowledge of FORTRAN but not of UNIX or of
- The UNIX Programming Environment
Brian W. Kernighan and Robert Pike. Prentice-Hall, 1984.
This book includes an introduction to UNIX and covers UNIX
philosophy and programming.
- X User Tools
Linda Mui and Valerie Quercia. O'Reilly & Associates, 1994.
Presents a range of tools to help you configure your X
environment and contains many tips for making X more productive.
UNIX System Administration
- Essential System Administration
AEleen Frisch. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
This gives complete information on UNIX system administration for
both BSD and System V UNIX. It also includes information on
system administration for AIX.
- Managing UUCP & USENET
Tenth edition. Tim O'Reilly and Grace Todino. O'Reilly &
The essential book for configuring and operating a UUCP and
USENET news site on UNIX systems. One of the few readable and
complete explanations of the intricacies of setting up and
operating UUCP and USENET news.
- Practical UNIX Security
Simson Garfinkel and Gene Spafford. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
Describes UNIX security basics and network security and suggests
how to keep intruders out of your system, how to tell if they've
gotten in, how to clean up after them, and even how to prosecute
them. Filled with practical scripts, special techniques, and
- Solaris System Administrator's Guide
Janice Winsor. Ziff-Davis Press, 1993.
Covers the procedures used to administer Sun Microsystems
computers running Solaris, with task-oriented descriptions of
booting, configuring hardware, printing, creating users, and
networking. Also contains specific transition information for
system managers migrating from SunOS 4.x to Solaris.
- System Performance Tuning
Mike Loukides. O'Reilly & Associates, 1991.
Is your UNIX machine running slowly? This book is one of the
only references to the complex topic of performance tuning.
- UNIX System Administration Handbook
Evi Nemeth et al. Prentice-Hall, 1995.
A thorough tour of virtually every task a UNIX system
administrator must perform. Discusses both Berkeley and AT&T
versions of UNIX, but is particularly useful for those running a