Some FAQ's...

Frequently asked and answered on


Q: How can I avoid asking a FAQ?

A: Please use the search function of the message board:
   Also see the new FAQ Section of the message board, which incorporates portions of this document.

Q: I'm new to Unix.  Which books should I read?

A: This has come up in various threads.

   and others.  A collection of all the recommended books can be found in the store on Fatbrain:

Q: How can I create an email attachment from the command line?

A: See the following threads:

Q: I have a spare Intel box to install Unix on, which version is the best?

A: There is no single "best" vendor.  Intel machines can run Linux, *BSD, and Solaris.
   Linux is available from various vendors such as Redhat, Mandrake, Suse, Slackware, Debian, etc.
   Solaris costs approximately $75 for the source media, or you can download it for free from Sun's
   website.  The download is approximately 800 megabytes.  Other distributions range from $5 on up 
   depending on the level of support you get with it.  Many may also be downloaded for free from the
   Internet.  If your goal is to simply learn Unix, any distribution will probably work.  If you 
   have a specific purpose in mind, please research the appropriate vendor websites to determine
   if their product will meet your needs.

Q: Which shell should I use to write my scripts?

A: Again, there is no single "best" shell.  ksh, bash, and sh are all considered to be good
   scripting shells.  ksh93 has (arguably) the most powerful feature set, but is available
   standard on only a few vendors distributions.  csh, while acceptable as a login shell, is
   generally considered poor as a scripting language, due to the difficulty of manipulating
   variables, performing mathematical calculations, etc.
   If your script parses a lot of text, you should strongly consider using perl instead of 
   a shell script.

Q: How can I automate something that happens over a telnet session?

A: Use expect or shell pipes or perl.  See this thread: