Is there any Mac OS X tutorial/book that covers the UNIX part of this operating system? Topics like:

  • Managing daemons from the command-line
  • Package management
  • Install/Remove dmg's from the command-line
  • Environment variables
  • Users/Groups/Permissions management
  • CLI utilities
  • OS Directory structure
  • Location of dev headers, libraries, etc
  • Devices names

Most of the tutorials I found out there cover GUI applications and that kind of stuff. Is there any material that covers Mac OS X under the hood?

2 Answers 2


I suggest you to try: Unix for OS X which is a good way to begin with Unix and with the Unix command line interface of Mountain Lion. O'Reilly is a very good editor in the field of the Unixes environments.


Your question is quite broad. To get the information you seek in different areas and varied levels of detail, you would have to consult:

  • Start with a FreeBSD book or tutorial, plus use the man command to get information on commands.
  • Apple Pro Training Material, like the ones mentioned at OS X and OS X Server training - this includes paid books/videos published by Peachpit as well as free downloadable guides and white papers by Apple. There is a lot of material available from Apple Pro Training.
  • A look at the command line section in the OS X Server: Advanced Administration guide (this may seem a bit shallow if you know Unix and/or have worked with OS X on the command line).
  • Some older (and somewhat outdated) books like Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach by Amit Singh, and Mac OS X and iOS Internals: To the Apple's Core by Jonathan Levin. These are not for the faint of heart, especially the one by Amit Singh.

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