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LINUX in A Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference
Reviews Views Date of last review
7 109699 09-12-2011
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $24.00 9.0

Description: Linux in a Nutshell covers the core commands for common Linux distributions. This isn't a scaled-down quick reference of common commands, but a complete reference to all user, programming, administration, and networking commands, with complete lists of options. New material in the third edition includes what's commonly required for customizing the GNOME and KDE desktops and the fvwm2 window manager, thedpkg Debian package manager, an expanded investigation of therpm Red Hat package manager, and many new commands. Contents also include:

LILO and Loadlin (boot) optionsShell syntax and variables for the bash, csh, and tcsh shellsPattern matchingEmacs and vi editing commands

Linux in a Nutshell is a must for any Linux user; it weighs less than a stack of manual pages, but delivers everything needed for common, day-to-day use.
Keywords: Linux
Publisher: O\'Reilly & Associates
ISBN: 0596000251

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Old 02-12-2004, 10:51 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: rh, fedora
Posts: 5

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $28.00 | Rating: 8

Pros: concise, clear, well indexed

8.75 actually. This is a reference book rather than a lengthy discussion on basic topics. Roughly half is comprised of "man page" explanation of linux commands. The second half covers shells, editors and gui interfaces.

This is a great addition to your library, especially if you are new to linux or unix. But if you need a broad discussion on various topics you'd be better off with one of the "bible" style books.
Old 03-10-2004, 12:56 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Convenient collection of information in one source; well-structured
Cons: Information available elsewhere for free

a handy collection of commands and options. like all the O'Reilly books, the structure, writing, etc. is excellent.

if a physical desk reference is needed this is great - however, this offers more a listing of available commands than an explanation or rationale for their use or problem-solving.

most (if not all) of the content seems to be available already between man pages, standard documentation, and manuals available at application homepages.
Old 03-18-2004, 06:35 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Fedora Core 1 & WinXP Pro & Gentoo 1.4 & Arch Linux
Posts: 558

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Covers basic to very advanced command usage, Nothing is Missing
Cons: very advanced commands could use simpler explanations

I bought the book along with the Red Hat Bible shortly after I started in Linux about 8 months ago (8/03). The edition I received is the 4th edition published by I got it basically for its extensive listing of Linux commands so I could have them sitting on my desk without having to search the web if I got stuck on something. Boy am I glad I made this purchase, after the first two months the binder has a permanent crease in it from the constant use during my early days with Linux.

The book is divided by the following tabs: Linux Commands, Boot Methods, Package Managers, Bash, TCSH and then branches off to explain the different text editors in Linux (vi, emacs etc) and then covers the two major graphical window managers, KDE and Gnome.

The linux commands section(s) are all divided alphabetically which makes it a snap to find what you are looking for with ease. If you really can't find what you need quickly there is also the wonderful index at the back of the book noting page numbers to help you. This is the heart of the book and then you get into the details about booting, package management, text editors and window managers which comes in really handy since each distro takes it upon themselves to use a different default application for these areas and a newbie could get lost very quickly, but not with the trusty Linux In A Nutshell close by.

Old 08-17-2004, 03:48 PM   #4
Registered: Nov 2002
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8

Pros: Good list of CLI commands, concentrates more on the CLI than on the GUI
Cons: CLI commands are just a list, many of the more "major" distros try hard to keep you away from the CLI

As described by the title, this is an excellent Desktop Reference. There is a comprehensive list of command line commands, an explanation of vi, CVS, BASH and others. If you are delving in to the CLI and need assistance, you could do much worse than have this book by your side.

Unfortunately, many distros are focussing more on the GUI than on the CLI. A number of them try actively to keep you in the GUI. For this reason I would have to advise against having this as your only reference - it has to be backed up with other books. Although there are sections on Gnome and KDE, these are short and at the back of the book.

It's a shame that this book can't come with a distro specific book - it would fill a large number of holes. Linux, by it's nature, is too big to easily fill one book and so 2 or more books together would really be useful.

As well, without the large "Linux Commands" section, this book would be half the size. I would find it more useful if the commands were grouped somehow - an alphabetical list is only really helpful if you know the command you are looking for.

Don't let that put you off it though. Despite these (small) shortcomings, this tome will provide you with lots of help.
Old 07-02-2005, 11:58 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 94

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: Clear, Consise, Very Good Detail. Outline's the most important commands (useful for those who are just "starting out" with a command)
Cons: No Section on X Windows. Weak sections on GNOME, KDE, and fvwm2. However, the book concentrates on the "Core" of Linux, not GUI

This book was worth every penny I had invested.

Much of the bulk of this book is dedicated to a command refference. These resemble the man pages, but outline only the most useful, common, and popular options. Despite what others call "redundency" (in terms that you can find all this and more in the man/info pages), I find this useful because it helps you when you are "new" to a command. For example: When I first used GCC, I was guided by other books and guides; however, there came a point I needed more control- gcc contains THOUSANDS of command line options and I had no idea how to discern useful from the rest. The command-reference quickly outlineded what I needed, and what I needed to know

Other glorious aspects of this book is a very nice and detailed reference to bash, csh/tcsh, vi(m) (That is, basic vi commands AND vim features), emacs, and more

Concerning bash and tcsh, this book outlines the important files, options, builtins, ect.

When it comes to vi and emacs, this book is loaded with key-strokes and commands to use these commands

The beginning of this book even has a brief overview of internet concepts, a "Beginners Guide" and an "Administrator's Guide". What this "guides" do is outline commands, categorized by functionality, that you should more-or-less know to make full use of the system.

Depite a section lacking X, and weak sections of GNOME, KDE, and fvwm2, This book is a GO GO GO

From Newbie to Pro- this is an essential to your Linux Library
Old 10-09-2005, 07:40 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 106

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $20.00 | Rating: 10

Pros: Concise, well indexed and more comprehensive than I need
Cons: A ring bound version with coffee-proof pages would be an improvement

Excellent desk reference with everything I have needed so far.
It is no substitute for the set-up guides and bibles - but it is an essential companion to them.
Old 09-12-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
Registered: Sep 2011
Distribution: AntiX.
Posts: 1,825

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9

Pros: Concise
Cons: Need to know the basics

You will constantly refer to this book if you buy it.
Definitley value for money.


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