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The UNIX Programming Environment

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,241 ratings  ·  35 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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 ·  1,241 ratings  ·  35 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Alex French
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is AMAZING that a 35 year old hands-on specific usage technology book can still be a high quality resource.

I was impressed enough by this that I have picked up "The C Programming Language" just for the heck of it.

The mehs: The final chapter has obviously not been relevant for a very, very long time. The three-ish preceding chapters focused on specific C usage were worth skimming but much less relevant to my interests than the book up to that point.
Kim L
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One word: brilliant. This book ought to be a mandatory study for all computer science students. Don't just learn different commands; learn to think like the authors. While reading this book one absorbs the paradigms and modes of problem solving from the brightest minds in the field.
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.
Sep 23, 2019 added it
It's a very beautiful
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Undoubtedly a must read for all system administrators and engineers. This book lays out the groundwork on how to navigate and use the environment. It's concise but comprehensive.
good book
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
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. ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aug 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
Another good book. Read it years ago, while learning Unix.
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.
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.
Pratik dhanave
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Must Read Book
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-challenge
It was an amazing experience read it. You know that it's worth at very beginning, when it enforces about Unix culture. Chapter after chapter was an enjoyable journey to the unix internals. If you use any shell, you must read this book! loved
Dave Gill
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps a little dated now in terms of some of the examples but brings through the whole point of Unix like systems being a collection of collaborating tools. Made me go back to the Command Line with a renewed vigour to make the most of the tools available.
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Going back to basics made me realize how far we have NOT come.

Unix, always fun. And frustrating.
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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.

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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