Arnold Robbins

Unix/Linux expert, author


Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Unix/Linux
  • shell
  • awk
  • C
  • C++


Effective awk Programming by Arnold Robbins Fourth Edition March 2015
Unix in a Nutshell by Arnold Robbins Fourth Edition October 2005
UNIX in a Nutshell by Arnold Robbins Third Edition September 1999
Learning the vi Editor by Linda Lamb, Arnold Robbins Sixth Edition November 1998
Effective AWK Programming by Arnold Robbins Second Edition June 1997
sed & awk by Dale Dougherty, Arnold Robbins Second Edition March 1997
bash Pocket Reference by Arnold Robbins Second Edition (est.)


“There are chapters that cover just about every aspect of system administration and development including boot loaders, the bash shell, different editors, gawk programming, version control and virtualization. In short something for everyone in a desktop reference!”
— Rick Gatewood, MELUG Mid-Coast
“This book's 6th Edition is indeed a worthy inheritor to those that have come before it and carries on the tradition of providing A Desktop Quick Reference for Linux shell commands and utilities. If you've owned a prior edition, this update is now available as a replacement. If you are learning Linux administration for the first time and have the basics down, you're ready to buy this edition as your first experience to Linux in a Nutshell.”
— James Pyles, Million Chimpanzees
“I would definitely recommend this book to anyone just beginning to use vi or Vim and wanting to really hone their skills with these editors.”
— Michael Dumont, Computer Science House
“In any edition, this book has a permanent place on my shelf for reference...If you never use the command line in Linux, the book might not interest you. Otherwise, I can’t imagine using Linux without having a copy nearby.”
— Matthew Helmke,
“If you're moving to Google Apps, you should make this a priority purchase. ”
— Andy Hudson, Linux Format
“In summary I think this is a fantastic book for anyone new to Vi/Vim but not so much for the more experienced Vi/Vim user... ”
— Harry Tormey, BayPIGgies
“O'Reilly's Classic Shell Scripting is a comprehensive and detailed text. Extensive use is made of example code to illustrate the discussions, but it is neither a tutorial nor a collection of solutions to specific problems...The book is a valuable source of information about finding the right tool for any given task and how to put it to work.”
— Major Keary, book
“This book is really handy for quick reminders during the initial learning curve and is small enough to actually fit in your pocket. Yeah, it peeks out just a bit, but definitely not something difficult to bring around in your back pocket or bookbag.”
— Christer Edwards, Ubuntu Tutorials
“Think of the book as a desktop encyclopedia; it gives you a good overview, and if you already know an area it can remind you of the parameters, but it's neither a tutorial nor a complete reference.”
— Allen Stenger, SPUG Nuggets