Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top 10 UNIX and Linux System Programming Books- Best of Lot, Must Read

I have been sharing programming books in this blog for a long time, starting with core Java; I moved to other related technology, like Spring, Design patterns, Data Structure and Algorithms, etc. Today, I am going to share some of the best UNIX and Linux programming books. The list contains some of the must-read UNIX books from great writers like Sir Richard. Stevens, Sir Brain Kernighan, who has contributed so much to the development of the UNIX operating system. Most of the books on this list are timeless,  classic, and don't age with time, much like UNIX, which is around for the last 40 years, and I am sure it will be around for the next 40 years, or maybe forever.

If you don't know, I love books, both reading and collecting. I have a strong passion for finding high-quality publications and already having 100s of titles in my bookshelf. I am reading books from my childhood when I started reading pocketbooks, comics, magazines, storybooks, and then slowly moved on to Physics, Maths, Logic, and Computer Science books.

New technical inventions like Tablets, like iPad and Smartphones like iPhone, have provided a further boost to my passion. Earlier, I think twice before buying a book, but now I can store hundreds of e-Books on my tablet and read them wherever I go. I mostly read books while traveling, and that's why I am able to read lots of exciting books in the last couple of years.

Btw, in recent years, online courses have also helped me a lot to learn new technologies and consolidate my base on skills like Java, SQL, and Algorithms. If you also love learning from online courses then Learn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career on Udemy is a great course to join along with reading any of the following books. In fact, you will learn better and quicker.


10 UNIX and Linux Books for Programmers

Here is my curated list of some of the best books to learn UNIX and Linux operating systems. These books will not only teach you the basics of Linux and UNIX but also principles on which they are built. These books contain tons of code examples for advanced programming in the UNIX environment as well.

This list contains book from different areas of UNIX and Linux, like it includes books to explain the design philosophy of UNIX environment, it includes books to teach you how to do network programming in UNIX environment, then some books to explain how things work in Linux and a book to tell you about essential Linux commands.

I have tried to make it one of the complete lists of UNIX and Linux books and relevant courses, but if you have any book which you think should be in this list, then just post them in comments.


1. The Linux Programming Interface: A Linux and UNIX System Programming


Unlike many UNIX books that are older, this is a relatively newer Linux book. This book is written by Michael Kerrisk, one of the maintainers of Linux man pages. Like many writers, he has been doing UNIX since 1987 and focused on Linux from the late 1990s.

If I have to recommend just one book, I will recommend this one even over "Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment" by Richard Stevens because it's more thorough, more comprehensive, and just as well written as the Stevens book.

It's now should be the standard book to learn UNIX/Linux system programming and if you want, you can also join Learn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career course on Udemy to get the best of both world and learn Linux better and quicker.

Best Linux books




2. Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment


This is one of the best books to learn UNIX, a timeless classic written by Sir Richard W. Stevens. UNIX is one of the best software ever created; it's been more than 30 years and still going strong, and this book will be relevant as long as UNIX will remain(forever).

The good part of the book is that there are thousands of code examples with clear explanations. It is also full of hundreds of illustrations and graphics that show how different UNIX concepts work. In short, one of the must-read UNIX books for anyone who wants to learn UNIX and understand it better.

I haven't read it thoroughly, but I often consult this book to understand a new concept of refresh the old ones, and if you need a course Linux Command Line Basics is also a course which complement this book by teaching you basic Linux commands.

Best UNIX Programming books



3. How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know

As a programmer, I am curious, I want to know how things work under the hood, e.g. how HashMap works? This book tells you what happens under the hood of your Linux machine. Most of the programmers invest their time learning Java, C++, and other programming languages, but they spent very little on the operating system like Linux, which is much more valuable, and knowledge they gain will probably serve them more years. This is an excellent book for any programmer who works in Linux, must-read.

How Linux works book



4. Advanced UNIX Programming - Rochkind

The 2nd Edition of Advanced UNIX Programming by Marc J. Rochkind is another more up-to-date book to learn UNIX/Linux system programming. This book provides the most comprehensive coverage of UNIX system calls and can be used as both reference and workbook.

Until the "The Linux Programming Interface" came into the picture, most of the programmers either read Steven's book or this one to understand the UNIX programming environment.

This is just exceptional in teaching UNIX. It covers a brief history of UNIX and other UNIX standards, like POSIX, SUS, etc. It also covers sockets, signals, threads, etc. This is slightly better than Steven's book in terms of readability, but Steven's book provides a more detailed reference.

good UNIX Programming Books



5. The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction


If you ask me, Linux is all about commands; if you don't know commands, you cannot survive in Linux, but if you know commands and you are creative with their usage, then you are king. You can accomplish things that require a whole new programmer or tool in other operating systems, like Windows or Mac OS X. Every new programmer who is going to work in Linux should have a copy of this book. It is both your reference and workbook for amazing and powerful Linux commands.

Best Linux command line books



6. UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, 4th Edition

This is another excellent book to learn Linux, but it's a little bit different than others. It's a true practical UNIX book. If you're just starting with Unix and Linux, then get this book to learn both concepts and commands. The book is divided into several different administrator areas like necessary administration presents a broad overview of Unix and Linux from a system administrator's perspective. Then you have network administration and so on.


Best UNIX Linux System Administration book



7. Unix Network Programming, Volume 1: The Sockets Networking API


Sir W. Richard Stevens is not a new name in the UNIX world. The very first book on this list is authored by him, but he has written a couple of more books like this one, which is truly a gem. It's an in-depth book covering a lot of network protocols used in Linux and the internet, like IPv6, POSIX 1003.1-2001. This is a two-part book, where the first part focusing on socket programming. Clearly, a must-read book if you want to understand true network programming. The 3rd edition of this book is the latest one, but even if you get the older versions, they are worth reading.

UNIX network programming books




8. UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2: Interprocess Communications


This is the second book by Stevens on UNIX Network programming. In this first part, he explained socket-based network programming, and in this book, the focus is on "inter-process communications". The good thing is all of the Stevens books complement each other really well, and both of these books, along with Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment is a must-read for any serious UNIX programmers.

Must read UNIX books



9. The Art of Unix Programming

This is another excellent book to learn UNIX philosophy. I have a hard copy of this book on my bookshelf. There are lots of useful nuggets in there. The book will explain "why" more than "what" and "how." So, if you like to learn why certain things in UNIX are done this way and not the other way, this is the book you should read.

great UNIX book




10. The Unix Programming Environment - Kernighan, Pike


The Unix Programming Environment by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike is one of the best books to learn UNIX. This book truly captures the Unix philosophy and teaches you the idioms. It's also an authority on the subject because it comes from the original Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center, and both authors are extraordinary technical writers.

Best UNIX Programming Book




11. The Design of the Unix Operating System - Bach


This book was first published in 1987, so it's already 29 years old, but like UNIX, it's still a great source of information to many software developers and engineers. UNIX is the best example of the simplistic design which has stood the test of time and even used heavily in all mission-critical software.

This is a great book to learn the UNIX architecture and UNIX design philosophy and if you need a complementary course then I suggest you take a look at the Linux Command Line Interface (CLI) Fundamentals on Pluralsight, one of my favorite online learning platform which has courses on all the latest technologies.

Best UNIX Operating System book



That's all about the top 10 UNIX and Linux Programming books. This list is solely based upon my opinion, but they sure contained high-quality books that a geek would love to read. There is one thing I could add to my list of becoming a better programmer is to learn UNIX. It's one of the best software ever built, and it teaches you a lot in terms of system programming, networking, inter-process communication, and operating system in general.


Other Recommended Books and Resources for Programmers
Thanks for reading this article, If you like this post, then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any suggestions, feedback, please leave a comment.

P. S. - If you prefer online courses over books then you can also check Learn Linux in 5 Days and Level Up Your Career on Udemy. It is one of the best courses to join along with reading any of the following books. In fact, you will learn better and quicker.

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