Books: A User's Report
This month I review a different type of UNIX book by
two new networking books -- one from Prentice Hall and
Addison-Wesley -- and a new system administration book
on SCO UNIX
from Prentice Hall.
Networking Applications on UNIX System V
by Michael Padovano
Michael Padovano's book explores the networking concepts
implemented in UNIX System V Release 4 (UNIX SVR4) and
systems, including Solaris 2.0, Solaris 2.1, and UNIX
author assumes that the reader understands UNIX, can
read and write
shell scripts, and is familiar with C.
Padovano begins with a thorough discussion of networking,
an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of networking.
he does not assume prior knowledge of networking concepts,
the terms so that the experienced user will also learn
from the definitions.
He presents an example of a layered architecture, then
OSI Reference Model and the purpose of each layer. As
an example of
a networking relationship, Padovano focuses on the client/server
and describes how it functions. He also discusses transport
transport modes of service, plus ports and port monitors.
chapter contains a section not only on UNIX networking
also how UNIX SVR4 networking differs from other UNIX
The next topic is the STREAMS framework. Padovano defines
as "a replacement of the traditional UNIX communications
He further analyzes the STREAMS mechanism by demonstrating
of a stream and explaining how it is implemented. Using
C system calls
and statements, supplemented by a graphic representation
of what is
happening, Padovano shows how to modify a stream by
or removing modules. He also explains the STREAMS multiplexing
and its importance to networking.
The book progresses from STREAMS concepts to the networking
that use the STREAMS framework. Padovano defines TCP/IP,
an overview of the TCP/IP protocol suite. He includes
diagram displaying the TCP/IP and the OSI Reference
In addition to the topics already mentioned, Padovano
UUCP, Remote File Sharing (RFS), the Network File System
Procedure Calls (RPC), the Transport Level Interface
(TLI), and sockets,
as well as a chapter entitled "Network Selection
Mapping." In each case he not only defines the
topic, but also
discusses when it should be used and its applications.
when discussing the UNIX SVR4 Transport Level Interface
describes the states of the transport endpoint from
both the client
and the server views, presenting them step-by-step along
to explain the procedures.
Networking Applications on UNIX System V Release 4 is
book for learning about UNIX networking. The writing
style is clear,
and Padovano provides many useful diagram and examples.
includes both a "For Further Reading" and
section; depending on the topic covered, the chapter
may also include
a summary. Although the book is written for the reader
networking knowledge, it will also appeal to the experienced
It should be read prior to the UNIX manuals, as it clarifies
of the ideas presented in the manuals. This is a book
rate a place on every UNIX user's bookshelf.
UNIX System V Network Programming
by Stephen A. Rago
Professional Computing Series
This book was written primarily for programmers interested
UNIX System V Release 4 (UNIX SVR4) networking interfaces,
expects the reader to be familiar with both UNIX and
the C programming
language. Also useful, but not mandatory is some knowledge
structures and algorithms. The preface contains a list
of five UNIX
manuals that will help the reader understand the subject.
The book is divided into four main sections: "Background
"User-level Network Programming," "Kernel-level
Programming," and a "Design Project."
The first section
introduces networks and UNIX programming. Network coverage
networking terms, network characteristics, and network
the OSI Reference Model. Coverage of UNIX programming
includes a number
of useful examples.
The second section addresses topics that programmers
the user level. Rago explains what the programmer needs
to know to
implement these concepts. This section explores STREAMS,
Level Interface (TLI), "Selecting Networks and
"The Network Listener Facility," "Sockets,"
Procedure Calls" (RPCs). In the chapter devoted
to sockets, Rago
describes the socket interface which originally resided
in BSD UNIX,
but is now employed by UNIX SVR4 and provides a comparison
the socket interface and the Transport Level Interface
Through the first two sections, the only references
to the kernel
are either theoretical or used in a description of the
The third section, however, addresses programmers who
code. Rago divides this segment into four chapters:
Subsystem," "STREAMS Drivers," "STREAMS
and "STREAMS Multiplexors." The first of these
the kernel environment and provides the foundation for
the next three
chapters. "STREAMS Drivers" continues by discussing
of a driver, introducing the Data Link Provider Interface
and analyzing the design of a STREAMS Ethernet driver.
Rago next describes
"STREAMS Modules" and their differences from
He also discusses the terminal interface before studying
terminal emulator example. The final chapter in this
Multiplexors," describes what a multiplexor is
and how to use
and implement a multiplexor. The example that the author
a Transport Provider Interface.
The final segment is a "Design Project: Implementing
SLIP, which is defined as a serial line IP, is a protocol
how IP packets "are framed to allow their transmission
serial connections." Many of the concepts previously
are implemented in this design, and both the user-level
components are examined in this project.
UNIX System V Network Programming can be used as a standalone
book or as a textbook for a class. Each chapter contains
summary, exercises, and a bibliography. Throughout,
the author refers
to his examples and builds upon them. His writing style
and clear. Anyone interested in UNIX networking will
find this book
a worthwhile addition to their resources.
Running UNIX So It Doesn't Run You
by Don Crabb
This book addresses UNIX users and, UNIX system managers,
to take into account the different backgrounds these
readers may have.
In "An Overview of UNIX," Crabb examines why
are converting to UNIX and what they will gain from
the move. The
author draws comparisons among operating systems by
means of a table
that lists operations and shows the corresponding UNIX
System V Release
4, DOS 5.0, and Mac System 7 commands. Chapters 2 and
3 explore the
file system and UNIX customization, respectively. Chapter
4 is devoted
to GUIs. In it, the author explains the graphical user
its components, and each component's purpose(s). He
to evaluate different GUIs and how GUIs interact with
Crabb also discusses X servers, X clients, and their
While presenting his evaluation criteria, the author
focuses on the
following GUIs: Open Desktop, X.Desktop, Open Look,
Motif, A/UX, and
Crabb next examines UNIX "Communications and Shared
"UNIX LANs," and "UNIX LAN Backup Technologies."
included is a valuable chapter entitled "UNIX Software
This section will help anyone who needs to know the
of UNIX. Here, Crabb begins by defining a five-step
process consisting of discovery, recovery, invention,
and systemization. The author also delves into the topic
programming. He examines the differences among the variant
systems, particularly UNIX System V Release 4 (UNIX
SVR4) and NeXTStep.
Crabb also analyzes when a UNIX manager should hire
a consultant and
what the manager should know before approaching a consultant.
The author also presents some strategies relating to
and how to efficiently manage UNIX, including security
standards, and system performance. In a chapter devoted
and Supporting UNIX Users," Crabb not only stresses
of allowing users uninterrupted training time, but also
different types of training available. The final chapter
"The Art and Science of Troubleshooting UNIX"
information on hardware problems, possible reasons why
start, and some error and warning messages. The book
a command reference, a glossary, and a comprehensive
Each chapter is well-organized, beginning with a bullet
list of the
chapter contents and a brief summary, and concluding
with a "Crabb's
Unix Quiz" for each chapter. The author always
on where the reader may obtain something that he has
also provides other sources for topics that he has mentioned,
has not dealt with in depth. Don Crabb writes from a
coming more from a Mac background than most UNIX authors.
As a result,
he includes subjects that most authors tend to overlook,
in the software development process, as well as some
to the reader. His writing sytle is crisp, friendly,
and very readable.
The chapters on GUIs, software development, and troubleshooting
among the most informative sections. This book is an
for new users, users who need to review the most recent
managers, and evaluators of UNIX systems.
SCO UNIX System V
System Administrator's Guide
This book was intended for UNIX system administrators
UNIX System V. The contributors to the book define a
as the individual "in charge of system maintenance
The tasks that this manual addresses include the simple,
and difficult jobs associated with the position of UNIX
The book is organized in three major sections: "System
and Maintenance," "Performance and Troubleshooting,"
the Appendices. The first section focuses on topics
ranging from using
the system administration shell (sysadmsh) through managing
filesystems, including adding new filesystems and mounting
filesystems, to using different peripherals, such as
disks, tape drives, and modems. The first section also
DOS operating systems, how to maintain system security,
remote network using UUCP, installing electronic mail,
and how to
The "Performance and Troubleshooting" section
ways to improve your system's performance. It helps
you become more
familiar with your system and tells you how to configure
so your users will have optimal performance. This section
a Troubleshooting overview that can help system administrators
out how to recover quickly from a system failure. One
of the most
informative chapters here is the "Troubleshooting
which presents information about system problems that
It is organized alphabetically and also, where appropriate,
by related subjects.
The appendices deal with the following topics: "Customizing
Startup," "Authorizing the Use of Job Scheduling
"Using the System Console and Color Displays,"
Directories and Special Device Files." Following
the index for
the "SCO UNIX System V System Administrator's Guide"
most recent release of the "SCO UNIX Hardware Configuration
This manual will aid the system administrator in the
and configuration of hard drives, tape drives, controllers,
drives, printers, modems, and network cards, to name
Through the concatenation of the two books, there are
and warnings, with the heading in bold plus a vertical
line so that
the reader will not overlook it. The authors and editors
diagrams and screen displays to represent what system
would encounter at their terminals. The topics are developed
logical order and the procedures are presented step-by-step.
documentation is well-written and would be an excellent
any SCO system administrator's library.
About the Author
Elizabeth Zinkann has been involved in the UNIX and
C environments for the past
11 years. She is currently a UNIX and C consultant,
and one of her specialities
is UNIX education. In addition to her computer science
background, she also has a
degree in English.