Users of open source (http://opensource.org) Unix operating systems are an interesting breed. They like to poke under the surface of things, to find out how things work, and to figure out new and interesting ways of accomplishing common computing tasks. In short, they like to "hack."
While this book concentrates on the BSDs, many of the hacks apply to any open source operating system. Each hack is simply a demonstration of how to examine a common problem from a slightly different angle. Feel free to use any of these hacks as a springboard to your own customized solution. If your particular operating system doesn't contain the tool used in the solution, use a tool that does exist, or invent your own!
This chapter provides many tools for getting the most out of your working environment. You'll learn how to make friends with your shell and how to perform your most common tasks with just a few keystrokes or mouse clicks. You'll also uncover tricks that can help prevent command-line disasters. And, above all, you'll discover that hacking BSD is fun. So, pull your chair up to your operating system of choice and let's start hacking.