This book will be of interest to:
Full or part-time administrators of Unix computer systems. The book includes help both for Unix users who are new to system administration and for experienced system administrators who are new to Unix.
Workstation and microcomputer users. For small, standalone systems, there is often no distinction between the user and the system administrator. And even if your workstation is part of a larger network with a designated administrator, in practice, many system management tasks for your workstation will be left to you.
Users of Unix systems who are not full-time system managers but who perform administrative tasks periodically.
This book assumes that you are familiar with Unix user commands: that you know how to change the current directory, get directory listings, search files for strings, edit files, use I/O redirection and pipes, set environment variables, and so on. It also assumes a very basic knowledge of shell scripts: you should know what a shell script is, how to execute one, and be able to recognize commonly used features like if statements and comment characters. If you need help at this level, consult Learning the UNIX Operating System, by Grace Todino-Gonguet, John Strang, and Jerry Peek, and the relevant editions of UNIX in a Nutshell (both published by O’Reilly & Associates).
If you have previous Unix experience but no administrative experience, several sections in Chapter 1 will show you how to make the transition from user to system manager. If you have some system administration experience but are new to Unix, Chapter 2 will explain the Unix approach to major system management tasks; it will also be helpful to current Unix users who are unfamiliar with Unix file, process, or device concepts.
This book is not designed for people who are already Unix wizards. Accordingly, it stays away from topics like writing device drivers.