A practical Guide to Linux</img>

If you are starting with Linux you will need a good book to help you with that, and if you are a mid-experienced Linux user, you will also need a good book that helps you “Take Linux to the next Level”

A Practical Guide to Linux(R) Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming by Mark G. Sobell is a book with all the needed info to get started with Linux command line, it is a book for the newbie to the intermediate user.

The first and second chapters introduce you to Linux with its history, answers a question maybe all people new to Linux could answer “What is so good about Linux?” giving some ideas about this, for example because it has lots of useful applications, a wide range of supported peripherals, and the emulators for running software of other platforms. It also gives you an introduction to the Linux Kernel, the shell and the GUI interfaces like GNOME or KDE.

The third chapter, touches the Command Line utilities, with lots of commands like ls, cat, rm, cp, mv, grep and much more, it subdivides these commands into six categories, which are:

  • Basic Utilities
  • Working with files
  • Compressing and archiving files
  • Locating commands
  • Obtaining user and system information
  • Communicating with other users

this is a very didactic way to introduce you in the world of the command line.

On the fourth chapter it touches the File System and commands to work with it, like: mkdir, mv, rmdir, cp, etc. to work with directories, permissions, links, explaining it section and commands in depth, so you can understand how it works, and its options.

The fifth chapter takes care of the shell, the syntax, how to execute a command, redirection of commands, special characters, and so on.

Sixth and seventh chapters are devoted to VIM and emacs editors, which are two of the most powerful editors in Linux, and if you plan to program in Linux you must understand at least one of these editors, it covers them really deeply with more than a hundred pages dedicated to this two powerful editors.

Chapter eight and nine are dedicated to shell specifically to BASH and TC Shell, explaining its differences and similarities, how the commands works on them the variables management and some introduction to shell scripts.

Chapter ten, eleven and twelve talk about programming, in Bash and gawk, starting with the basics and going as deep as a standard Linux User will ever need, you will be able to write small code to help you work with the daily tasks.

The best thing of this book is that you will never stop using it, as it is not distribution oriented or release oriented, you will use it as soon as you get it, and for the years to come, you can use it if you run SUSE, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva, RedHat and any other distribution you use.


A practical guide to Linux Commands, Editors and shell programming
Mark G. Sobell