Book Review – Linux and the Unix Philosophy




  • In Linux and the Unix Philosophy, author Mike Gancarz, a member of the team who developed the ubiquitous X Window graphical user interface, distills his personal take on what tenants make up the “Unix Philosophy.”  While there is bound to be disagreements within the community as to what precepts make up norms and approaches to programming embodied by Unix developers, Gancarz’s nine paramount precepts are unlikely to engender too much controversy.  Unlike many other Unix texts, which often read like glorified man pages, Gancarz focuses on the “why” of Unix; readers of how-to books would be well-served in picking up Gancarz’s text to understand the overarching themes behind the commands in their Unix toolset.

What I liked

  • As mentioned in the overview section, as expected in a book on philosophy, in the first chapter, Gancarz lays out nine tenants which unite Unix developers
    • Small is beautiful.
    • Make each program do one things…

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