Working With Unix Processes

- The only book addressing Unix programming specifically for Ruby developers -

I just finished reading the book and loved it! That made me realize how simple and powerful unix programming is and how very little I really knew about it. It will definitely help me design the next version of Thin.

Marc-Andre Cournoyer — Author of the Thin web server

Working With Unix Processes

As Ruby developers we like being on the cutting edge and using the latest & greatest tools. But what about the stuff that's been in use for decades? Unix programming continues to be the weapon of choice for smart programmers solving hard problems.

Like using the right tool for the job? Before discovering Unix programming I simply didn't understand how to solve hard problems like parallelization and load balancing. After I learned the fundamentals of Unix I approached problems differently. Your Unix system provides simple, powerful tools for improving your code. 

It's friendly, non-pedantic, and does a great job of explaining how to think about Unix processes.

Sebastian Wittenkamp

DRM-free download includes PDF, ePub, MOBI, source code, and a money-back guarantee for just $27.

Download via email immediately after purchase.

Paypal login not required.

Rubyist? Nodester? Pythonista? Unix programming APIs have been unchanged for decades. What you'll learn in this book was useful 10 years ago and will be useful 10 years from now. And the APIs are the same across languages. All of the examples in this book are written in Ruby, but they're simple enough to apply to any programming language running on a Unix system.

Hate long boring books? Where other books can be 1000+ pages covering every aspect of your system I’ve boiled it down to just what you really need to know. At just over 100 pages this book is quick and to the point.

Because you're not trying to write an operating system, you're trying to put this stuff to work for you.

Don't take my word for it, see what others are saying.


"This book fills a gap that a lot of developers have these days; it shouldn’t require writing C code to learn the UNIX fundamentals. This book proves that to be true."

David Bryant Copeland (full review) — Author of "Build Awesome Command-Line Applications in Ruby"

Want to know how things work under the hood? Don't know where to begin?

The 115-page book includes dozens of examples illustrating the APIs and techniques.
We dissect real-world projects and show how they use these techniques.
Source code for a functioning web server. Well-documented and perfect for tinkering.

Resources about Unix programming are typically tomes covering in excruciating detail everything that your system is capable of. It can be tough to trudge through all that when looking for the basics.

Working With Unix Processes starts with the basics and guides you all the way up to expert level.

In between we talk about how your programs interact with the hardware, creating your own processes, communicating with other processes, and lots in between. And, of course, the real world concerns and best practices for Working With Unix Processes.

Even experienced Ruby developers might not be familiar with this stuff. As a Ruby developer you get to work with high-level constructs every day. You don't have to worry about the low-level details.

Most of the time you can get away with this, but when your web server starts acting up and you need to fix it your life will be significantly easier if you have this knowledge.

You'll learn...

  • What are file descriptors? How do they work?
  • Creating new processes with fork(2).
  • When you need a daemon process, and when you don't.
  • 4 different ways to exit a process.
  • The real world concerns of spawning shell commands.
  • High level discussion about the costs of creating processes.
  • Communicating via Signals.
  • How not to crash your system using these techniques.
  • And more! It's packed with guidelines, tips, and best practices.

More than just an eBook

The experience isn't over when you're done reading the book: Ever wonder how your libraries make your app fly?

You'll see how real Rubygems leverage Unix processes on thousands of Rails applications every day. We break it down line-by-line to make sure that it's clear. When we're finished you can start sending pull requests ;)

What other readers said about the book

If you’re interested in reading more on unix processes in general I’d highly recommend [this book], this will greatly raise your understanding of how they work and touches on unicorn directly.

Thomas Pomfret — CTO of mintdigital

Overall great book. Enough content to make it fun while keeping to the point, it never gets boring, and the pace is consistent. And it covers exactly what you need to know about that type of stuff.

Daniel Huckstep

I've always wondered how software deals with 'under the hood' stuff like this, but was too intimidated to find out and try it. The ebook really helps demystify things and make it more accessible.

Jesse Kaunisviita

It is really well written and very informative. I really like that kind of writing-style and how you got down to *nix system level.

Lukas Rieder

The theme and orientation of the book is awesome, [...] it is quite important to know what is really happening there.

Alejandro Andres

I find the tone and the contents organization perfect so far.

Raul Murciano

Your book is awesome!

Jakub Svehla

The book is definitely worth a read if you work with *nix-based web systems at all. The author takes a simple, straightforward approach that distills good information quickly.

Quinn Murphy (full review)

You'll receive an email with a download link immediately after purchase. No login required.

Download includes PDF, ePub, MOBI, and source code.

Books about Unix programming can be quite an investment. They're typically 1000+ pages, and cost anywhere from $60 - $100. When you buy Working With Unix Processes you get the book, case studies, plus the web server project and any future updates for only $27.

Need more than one copy? Want to buy it for your whole team?

Buy a team license - up to 20 devs for just $99.

My name is Jesse Storimer. I'm a programmer.

For the past 3 years I've been solving hard problems at Shopify, one of the largest, busiest Ruby on Rails sites on the web.

My journey into the world of Unix programming started while working on Shopify's infrastructure and continues today. I live near Kemptville, Canada with my wife and daughter.

And, yes, I'm working on my Unix beard.

Money-back Guarantee

If it's not working for you then it's not working for me.

If, for any reason, you're not happy with this book just send me an email: I'll give you your money back and you keep everything. I want you to be happy.

Need more info? Got a question? Get in touch: .