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The UNIX Programming Environment

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,166 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In their preface, the authors explain, "This book is meant to help the reader learn how to program in C. It contains tutorial introduction to get new users started as soon as possible, separate chapters on each major feature, and a reference manual. Most of the treatment is based on reading, writing, and revising examples, rather than on mere statement of rules. For the mo ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published November 11th 1983 by Pearson
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,166 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
You can make poetry out of anything. This book is a stunning example.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: development
Written in 1984, The Unix Programming Environment introduces the reader to the then middle-aged Unix operating system. The environment described is that of spare text-only terminals, command line prompts, inputs, outputs, and the pipes that connect them. It is from a time when telephones were anchored in place with a wire, before they dropped their cords and became our constant companions, sporting sleek bodies, incorporating lenses, clocks, and music. Yet if you pare away the anachronism there ...more
Akos Hochrein
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
First of all, the book is incredibly old. If you are a software developer in this world, you will most likely never want to hold books related to your craft as old as this.However, UNIX is a timeless beauty. This book show exactly why.

Crunching through the first couple of sections of The UNIX Programming Environment completely refreshed my dusty knowledge on the UNIX system. Apart from receiving practical knowledge with many exercises to hone the newly attained knowledge, the book provide it's r
Kyle The Hacker
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Despite its age, this book remains remarkably relevant to modern Unix systems. It explains many of the tools available on Unix systems. I've seen many updates on twitter expressing surprise at the fact that Unix allows this or that; many of the posters would have done well to read this book as most of what I've seen was covered in this book.
Mark Schulz
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Should be read by every programmer new to Linux. It introduces the underlying philosophy of Unix, something which most new programmers do not understand or practice (observations from 30+ years of teaching computer engineering). Kernighan has always been able to give clear explanations and examples of the Unix philosophy.

This is the third time I have read the book and I found it just as useful and illuminating as the first time. I started programming on a Unix system in 1979 with only the V6 doc
John Wye
Perfectly captures the Unix philosophy of breaking down complex tasks into smaller ones held together by glue code. This book, more than any other, taught me to think the way a programmer thinks.

Despite its age (it was published in 1984) most of the examples still compile and run on a modern Unix-like system; a testament to the firm conceptual foundation of Unix.
Ayush Bhat
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
was released in 1984, still totally relevant
This book captures the spirit of UNIX better than any book I have read. Small, simple programs that do one thing really well glued together. Amazingly powerful and beautiful.
Tom Sturgeon
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is the Unix philosophy.

It is dated on some important parts, but every utility I noticed still exists today.

I picked up my copy for free in the library discards.
Ovidiu Neatu
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Kind of obsolate, as so many people said already. I began reading the book expecting to understand more of the unix system call using the C programming language, but.. I din't find alot of that. In spite of being obsolate and my expectation going down I like very much Brian Kerninghan's way of teaching stuff. The epic chapter "Program Development" convinced me to give a 4 star to the book. The chapter is about creating a programming language so you go to all kind of stuff a computer scientist sh ...more
Elie De Brauwer
It's actually quite awesome to see how a book which is almost as old as I am (dated '84) can still be relevant today, certainly if you keep into account that this book is covering a topic in one of the fastest evolving disciplines today. It even has an advantage over more modern books that it's very to the point and technically going very deep. Modern books on Linux/Unix will cover X primarly and will barely touch programming, let alone describe how to use yacc and lex.

Well it's a classic, what
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
1. UNIX for Beginners
2. The File System
3. Using the Shell
4. Filters
5. Shell Programming
6. Programming with Standard I/0
7. UNIX System Calls
8. Program Development
9. Document Preparation
Appendix 1. Editor Summary
Appendix 2. hoc Manual
Appendix 3. hoc Listing
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
good stuff, it's a bit dated but it's nice to see the evolution and progress that *nix has made. Also a lot of the tutorials were super helpful. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to become a sysadmin.
Kazutaka Ogaki
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my first contact UNIX.
Although most of people have no need to know command line magics, this book is still "MUST" for apprentices of Guru.
Just a spell is not enough. To know 'WHY' is the key. This book is nearest place from the source of UNIX, so, full of anecdotes lives here.
David Carroll
Feb 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Written when UNIX was younger, the voice is one of presentation excitement & clarity. A good read for those interested in UNIX history and written by some of the gentlemen who invented it back in the late 60's.
Dan Allen
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introductory text to the world of the command line, small tools, and Unix. The C programming language, as well as Awk are described. Command shells are demonstrated. A most important work, and well written too.
Jonathan Dowland
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
well written and funny in places, nevertheless quite basic and lacking coverage of newer UNIX technologies like sockets (which admittedly lack shell-level tools to manipulate and are more of a systems programming tool). file descriptor juggling is only given cursory coverage.
Jeremy Dagorn
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book, with a lot of common parts/topics with the C programming Language book.
Clear, with good examples. Maybe some parts are too long to be read at one.
Really interesting part about yacc and lex.
idle sign
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Книга для желающих ознакомиться с базовыми принципами UNIX, от тех, кто стоял у истоков. Философия, архитектура, оболочка, утилиты, средства программирования. Местами слишком поверхностно, местами неоправданно глубоко.
Aug 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Another good book. Read it years ago, while learning Unix.
Pratik dhanave
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Must Read Book
Noe Nieto
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this thing in the university. It allowed me to understand how unix is meant to be.
Jack Repenning
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Before there was bash, before Ruby or PHP or Python or Perl, before X Windows, there was The Shell.
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  • Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
  • The Design of the UNIX Operating System
  • The Art of UNIX Programming
  • The Implementation (TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2)
  • The AWK Programming Language
  • UNIX Power Tools
  • UNIX System Administration Handbook
  • C: A Reference Manual
  • Programming Perl
  • Operating Systems Design and Implementation
  • Learning the bash Shell
  • ANSI Common Lisp
  • Mastering Regular Expressions
  • sed & awk
  • Understanding the Linux Kernel
  • Lex & Yacc
  • Linux Kernel Development
  • The Design and Evolution of C++

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Brian Wilson Kernighan is a computer scientist who worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed greatly to Unix and its school of thought.