Table of Contents

1. Philosophy
Culture? What Culture?
The Durability of Unix
The Case against Learning Unix Culture
What Unix Gets Wrong
What Unix Gets Right
Open-Source Software
Cross-Platform Portability and Open Standards
The Internet and the World Wide Web
The Open-Source Community
Flexibility All the Way Down
Unix Is Fun to Hack
The Lessons of Unix Can Be Applied Elsewhere
Basics of the Unix Philosophy
Rule of Modularity: Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces.
Rule of Clarity: Clarity is better than cleverness.
Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected with other programs.
Rule of Separation: Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines.
Rule of Simplicity: Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
Rule of Parsimony: Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that nothing else will do.
Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier.
Rule of Robustness: Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
Rule of Representation: Fold knowledge into data, so program logic can be stupid and robust.
Rule of Least Surprise: In interface design, always do the least surprising thing.
Rule of Silence: When a program has nothing surprising to say, it should say nothing.
Rule of Repair: Repair what you can — but when you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible.
Rule of Economy: Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
Rule of Optimization: Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it.
Rule of Diversity: Distrust all claims for one true way.
Rule of Extensibility: Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think.
The Unix Philosophy in One Lesson
Applying the Unix Philosophy
Attitude Matters Too
2. History
Origins and History of Unix, 1969-1995
Genesis: 1969–1971
Exodus: 1971–1980
TCP/IP and the Unix Wars: 1980-1990
Blows against the Empire: 1991-1995
Origins and History of the Hackers, 1961-1995
At Play in the Groves of Academe: 1961-1980
Internet Fusion and the Free Software Movement: 1981-1991
Linux and the Pragmatist Reaction: 1991-1998
The Open-Source Movement: 1998 and Onward
The Lessons of Unix History
3. Contrasts
The Elements of Operating-System Style
What Is the Operating System's Unifying Idea?
Multitasking Capability
Cooperating Processes
Internal Boundaries
File Attributes and Record Structures
Binary File Formats
Preferred User Interface Style
Intended Audience
Entry Barriers to Development
Operating-System Comparisons
Windows NT
What Goes Around, Comes Around