Mac OSX Panther for Unix Geeks

Mac OSX Panther for Unix Geeks

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Mac OSX Panther for Unix Geeks by Brian Jepson, Ernest E. Rothman

With its rep for being the sort of machine that won't intimidate even the most inexperienced users, what's the appeal of the Mac® for hard-core geeks? The Mac has always been an efficient tool, pleasant to use and customize, and eminently hackable. But now with Mac OS® X's BSD core, many a Unix® developer has found it irresistible. The latest version of Mac OS X, called Panther, makes it even easier for users to delve into the underlying Unix operating system. In fact, you can port Linux® and Unix applications and run them side-by-side with your native Aqua® apps right on the Mac desktop.Still, even experienced Unix users may find themselves in surprisingly unfamiliar territory as they set out to explore Mac OS X. Even if you know Macs through and through, Mac OS X Panther is unlike earlier Macs, and it's radically different from the Unix you've used before.Enter Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks by Brian Jepson and Ernest E. Rothman, two Unix geeks who found themselves in the same place you are. The new edition of this book is your guide to figuring out the BSD Unix system and Panther-specific components that you may find challenging. This concise book will ease you into the Unix innards of Mac OS X Panther, covering such topics as:

  • A quick overview of the Terminal application, including Terminal alternatives like iTerm and GLterm
  • Understanding Open Directory (LDAP) and NetInfo
  • Issues related to using the GNU C Compiler (GCC)
  • Library linking and porting Unix software
  • An overview of Mac OS X Panther's filesystem and startup processes
  • Creating and installing packages using Fink and Darwin Ports
  • Building the Darwin kernel
  • Using the Apple® X11 distribution for running X Windows® applications on top of Mac OS X
The book wraps up with a quick manpage-style reference to the "Missing Manual Pages" —commands that come with Mac OS X Panther, although there are no manpages.If you find yourself disoriented by the new Mac environment, Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks will get you acclimated quickly to the foreign new areas of a familiar Unix landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780596006075
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/2004
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 383
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Brian Jepson is an O'Reilly editor, programmer, and co-author of Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks and Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther. He's also a volunteer system administrator and all-around geek for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work. These forums include galleries, performance space, and publications. Brian sees to it that technology, especially free software, supports that mission.

Ernest E. Rothman is a Professor of Mathematics at Salve Regina University (SRU) in Newport, Rhode Island, where he is also Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department. Ernie holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and held positions at the Cornell Theory Center in Ithaca, New York, before coming to SRU. His interests are in scientific computing, applied mathematics and computational science education, and the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X. Ernie lives in South Kingston, Rhode Island with his wife Kim and two Newfoundland dogs Max and Joe. You can keep abreast of his latest activities at

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Mac Os X Panther for Unix Geeks 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For many years, Mac and unix users lived in parallel universes. The operating systems were totally different and the fans of either tended to hark from different fields. Well, ever since Apply redid its Mac to use the Mach kernel, now a Mac runs a dialect of unix. No less inferior than any other version. In some ways, this book is interesting in how it caters to the unix crowd. The book has numerous screen captures of the OS X UI. It sure is pretty! Even unix geeks ought to appreciate this. Graphics-wise, perhaps the closest overlap of the unix and Mac experiences comes in the book's chapter on X Windows [=X11]. Most unix versions use X11 to implement their GUIs. The chapter shows the X11 treatment on the Mac to be very seamless. Though the Mac actually uses Quartz to make its GUI, an X11 development kit is provided, that will satisfy any X11 developer. Unix is distinguished from traditional Mac or Microsoft OSes by emphasising a command line, and very powerful utilities that are often accessed via this command line. Panther gives you most of the common unix utilities in this customary environment. Overall, unix fans might like this book for its presentation of a very cohesively integrated system that is perhaps easier to use than any other unix or linux offering.