Conventions Used in This Book

The following conventions are used in this book:


Used for Unix file, directory, command, user, and group names. It is also used for URLs and to emphasize new terms and concepts when they are introduced.

Constant Width

Used for code examples, system output, and passwords.

Constant Width Italic

Used in examples for variable input or output (e.g., a filename).

Constant Width Bold

Used in examples for user input.


Used in examples to show input typed by the user that is not echoed by the computer. This is mainly used for passwords and passphrases that are typed.

call( )

Used to indicate a system call, in contrast to a command. In the original edition of the book, we referred to commands in the form command(1) and to calls in the form call(2) or call(3), in which the number indicates the section of the Unix programmer's manual in which the command or call is described. Because different vendors now have diverged in their documentation section numbering, we try to avoid this convention in this edition of the book. (Consult your own documentation index for the right section.) The call( ) convention is helpful in differentiating, for example, between the crypt command and the crypt( ) library function.


The Unix C shell prompt.


T he Unix Bourne shell or Korn shell prompt.


The Unix superuser prompt (Korn, Bourne, or C shell). We usually use this symbol for examples that should be executed by root.

Normally, we will use the Bourne or Korn shell in our examples unless we are showing something that is unique to the C shell.

[ ]

Surrounds optional values in a description of program syntax. (The brackets themselves should never be typed.)

Ctrl-X or ^X indicate the use of control characters. They mean "Hold down the Control key while typing the character `X'."

All command examples are followed by Return unless otherwise indicated.

This icon designates a note, which is an important aside to the nearby text.

This icon designates a warning relating to the nearby text.

    Part VI: Appendixes