Chapter 10. Where to Go from Here

Now that you’re almost at the end of this guide, let’s look at some ways to continue learning about the Unix side of OS X. Documentation is an obvious choice, but it isn’t always in obvious places, so I’ll give you a few pointers on where to look. You can also learn how to save time by taking advantage of other shell features—aliases, functions, and scripts—that let you shorten a repetitive job and “let the computer do the dirty work.”

Oh, and there’s the fun factor, too. Have I mentioned yet that it’s really fun to master the command line and learn how to create sophisticated command pipes and, down the road, shell scripts, even if you don’t consider yourself a programmer? Give yourself some time to become comfortable, and you too might find ls and vi fun alternatives to the sameness of working within the Mac’s Aqua interface day in and day out.


You might want to know more about the options to the programs I’ve introduced here, and get more information about them and the many other Unix programs out there. You’re now ready to consult your system’s documentation and other resources.

The man Command

Different versions of Unix have adapted Unix documentation in different ways. Almost all Unix systems have documentation derived from a manual, originally called the Unix Programmer’s Manual. The manual has numbered sections; each section is a collection of manual pages, often called manpages, and each program has its own manpage. Section ...

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