Finding Related Information

Distributions of Mac OS X come with reference pages stored online. You can read these documents by using the info (page 30) or man (page 28) utilities, with the documentation browser in Xcode, or with the Mac Help application. You can read man and info pages to get more information about specific topics while reading this book or to determine which features are available with Mac OS X. You can search for topics by using apropos (see page 59 or give the command man apropos). The Apple support site ( has many useful links.


Good books are available on various aspects of using and administrating UNIX systems in general. In addition, you may find the sites listed in Table B-1 useful.[1]

[1] The right-hand columns of most of the tables in this appendix show Internet addresses (URLs). All sites have an implicit http:// prefix unless ftp:// or https:// is shown. Refer to "URL: Uniform Resource Locator" on page 421.

Table B-1. Documentation


About the site


Apple Manuals

Apple manuals (look under Software Manuals/Mac OS X in a box on the right).

GNU Manuals

GNU manuals.

Internet FAQ Archives

Searchable FAQ archives.


Instructions for using the info utility.


Request for Comments; see RFC (page 951).

The Linux Documentation Project

All things related to Linux documentation (in many languages): HOWTOs, guides, FAQs, man pages, and magazines. This is the best overall source for Linux documentation. Make sure to visit its Links page.

Useful UNIX Sites

Sometimes the sites listed in Table B-2 are so busy that you cannot log in. When this happens, you are usually given a list of alternative, or mirror, sites to try.

Table B-2. Useful Mac OS X sites


About the site


Apple Developer Connection

A site for developers; includes information on Intel-based Macintosh systems.


The Darwin (OS X UNIX) home page.


GNU Project Web server.


A large library and digital archive. Formerly Metalab; formerly Sunsite.


A magazine with reviews, tips, and articles about the Macintosh.


A user site full of tips, trivia, and troubleshooting help for the Macintosh.

Mac User Groups

Apple's registry of Macintosh user groups includes a searchable database.

System Administrators Guild (SAGE)

SAGE is a group for system administrators.


The author's home page contains useful links, errata for this book, code for many of the examples in this book, and answers to selected exercises.


Linux Documentation Project threads FAQ.


A large, well-established UNIX group. This site has many links, including a list of conferences.


A searchable site covering new releases of software packages.


The X Window System home.

Mac OS X Newsgroups and Forums

One of the best ways to obtain specific information is through a newsgroup. Frequently you can find the answer to your question by reading postings to the newsgroup. Try using Google Groups ( to search through newsgroups to see whether your question has already been asked and answered. Or open a newsreader program and subscribe to appropriate newsgroups. If necessary, you can post your question for someone to answer. Before you do so, make sure you are posting to the correct group and that your question has not been answered already. There is an etiquette to posting questionsfor a good paper written by Eric S. Raymond and Rick Moen, "How To Ask Questions the Smart Way," see

The newsgroup comp.sys.mac.system provides postings of solutions to common problems and periodic postings of the most up-to-date versions of the FAQ and similar documents.

Apple Discussions ( has a list of online forums including a section on Mac OS X and Related Software.

Mailing Lists

Subscribing to a mailing list allows you to participate in an electronic discussion. With most lists, you can send and receive email dedicated to a specific topic to and from a group of users. Moderated lists do not tend to stray as much as unmoderated lists, assuming the list has a good moderator. The disadvantage of a moderated list is that some discussions may be cut off when they get interesting if the moderator deems that the discussion has gone on for too long. Mailing lists described as bulletins are strictly unidirectional: You cannot post information to these lists but can only receive periodic bulletins. If you have the subscription address for a mailing list but are not sure how to subscribe, put the word help in the body and/or header of email that you send to the address. You will usually receive instructions via return email. You can also use a search engine to search for mailing list mac os x.

Apple supports many mailing lists. Visit to find a list of mailing lists; click on the name of a list to display relevant subscription information.


Many dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries are available online. Table B-3 lists a few of them.

Table B-3. Looking up words


About the site


ARTFL Project: ROGET'S Thesaurus


Multiple database search for words

Everything related to words

DNS Glossary

DNS glossary


Computer terms (Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing)


English language


Multiple-site word search with a single query

The Jargon File

An online version of The New Hacker's Dictionary


Commercial technical dictionary


An open-source (user-contributed) encyclopedia project


Dictionary and thesaurus

Yahoo Reference

Search multiple sources at the same time


There are many ways to learn about interesting software packages and their availability on the Internet. Table B-4 lists sites that you can download software from. Another way to learn about software packages is through a newsgroup (page 911).

Table B-4. Software


About the site



Long-time distributor of essays and tools


BitTorrent efficiently distributes large amounts of static data

Home of Carbon Copy Center and other useful tools


Concurrent Versions Librarian, a GUI for CVS


Concurrent Versions System (see also CVL and TkCVS)


The ddd utility is a graphical front end for command line debuggers such as gdb


The fink utility builds and installs software automatically

Free Software Directory

Categorized, searchable lists of free software


A large index of OS X software


Home page for the GNU C compiler


The gdb utility is a command line debugger


Categorized, searchable lists of free software

Network Calculators

Subnet mask calculator


A development Web site with a large repository of open-source code and applications


C program verifier (replaces lint)




A large index of OS X software

A Practical Guide to UNIX[r] for Mac OS[r] X Users
A Practical Guide to UNIX for Mac OS X Users
ISBN: 0131863339
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 234

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