• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Chapter 12. Introducing the BSD Subsyste... > Interacting with Unix: Basic Unix Co...

Interacting with Unix: Basic Unix Commands

You've already learned how to interact with Unix using OS X's Aqua interface and the GUI tools discussed throughout the first 11 chapters of this book. Much of the rest of the book will provide you with the information you need to interact with Unix textually, through the command line. Although there are no sharp dividing lines between Unix commands, Unix programs, and Unix applications, there is some benefit in making at least a fuzzy semantic distinction between them.

The Unix design philosophy drives programs that are used in day-to-day interaction with a Unix machine to be small, single-purpose, and nonoverlapping in functionality. The presence of a vast array of these single-purpose programs, designed so that they can be combined in near-infinite combinations, allows the user to construct customized solutions for most any problem. The necessity for some programs to provide more complicated functionality, requires them to be less-single purpose, and to allow somewhat more overlap. Finally, just as in other operating systems that you're used to, there are programs that are large, multifunctional, and monolithic. Typically, Unix users think of the small, single-purpose programs as commands, and the large, multifunctional programs as applications. Although they're all programs, the term program is frequently reserved for a program that doesn't fit the description of a command or an application. This somewhat muddy semantic distinction between types of programs might seem confusing at first, but as you become more comfortable using Unix, it will make more sense to you. As an example to get you started, you can think of a Unix command as a small program with a single function such as listing files. A Unix application is typically a much larger program, perhaps something like a word processor or a Web browser. Moreover, although both are programs, the term program itself is infrequently used to describe anything that falls into either of these categories.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint