This practical training course covers basic and advanced Unix and Linux topics. It targets scientists, programmers and system administrators. Readers will find plenty of material and exercises of varying difficulty. Move the pointer to the icon at the top left corner to open the navigation menu.

Table of Contents

Unix Concepts
OS-Level Virtualization


These pages were originally written to provide the necessary background for using the IT infrastructure of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory in Tübingen, Germany. Over time they morphed into a generic document that was made public in December 2019.

The title is of course a pun on the famous book Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment by W. Richard Stevens. While Stevens' book centers around C programming, we try to convey fundamental ideas without assuming substantial programming skills. An elementary knowledge of shell and C programming is certainly helpful, though. We also put an emphasis on Linux, which was still in its infancy when Stevens' book was published in 1992.

All pages are served as static html files with no active contents. They do not require javascript, work with any browser and do not track the user in any way. In particular, we don't use cookies, there is no "like" button, and we do not employ any web analysis service like google analytics. Also, there are no advertisements of any kind.

Exercises and Homeworks

The exercises generally try to encourage the reader to think about a specific topic rather than solve meaningless problems mechanically. Many exercises suggest to examine further literature. Longer or more challenging exercises are labelled as homework. Solutions to homework exercises are only provided if at least one person hands in a draft of a solution. To do so, send plain text email to Andre Noll.


These pages get updated when errors are found, contents become obsolete, or improvements are suggested. Feedback via the above mailto link is appreciated. Besides solutions of homework exercises, suggestions for additional topics or improvements of existing contents are welcome. Please also point out unclear wording, grammar mistakes and typos.


This work is published under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). You may copy, redistribute, and modify these pages but all copies and derivatives are required to be available under the same license.

See Also

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