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Linux in a Nutshell review

Posted 12-02-2009 at 08:46 AM by jaymarting

Users of free Unixes won't agree with the title of Linux in a Nutshell. The fact is much of the book is actually focused on GNU or BSD utilities and not specifically Linux. The book begins with just over 100 pages of general user commands. Next you get info on bash and csh/tcsh, on emacs and vi/ex, on sed and gawk, and on gcc, gdb, and the like. A perl quick reference is followed by an overview of system administration commands and a final chapter on ways of booting Linux. Here's the odd part, it's only this last chapter on booting Linux that is really Linux-specific. Like I said, most of the book deals with related topics of Linux rather than Linux itself.

Learning to use a text editor is essential to becoming a good Linux administrator and Linux in a Nutshell covers both Emacs & vi. When you use the right commands, text editors can be incredibly powerful to an admin. You won't find these chapters on editors a replacement for dedicated references on this topic. Still, they are certainly handy when you need to find something quick.

As a reference Linux in a Nutshell falls uneasily between more detailed books and online documentation. Unless you are a Linux veteran who is basically a Linux god, Linux in a Nutshell is going to be a good direction for you. I would easily say this is an essential for anyone working with Linux.
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  1. Old Comment
    So is this mainly an update of the classic Unix in a Nutshell for the modern GNU tools? The latter is still a staple text round here, but it would be nice to have coverage of modern Bash features etc.
    Posted 04-03-2010 at 06:05 AM by richardash1981 richardash1981 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    The information in the book isn't any thing that you couldn't find on your own system by using apropos/man. Additionally, it's far easier to read the bash, sed, and gawk sections of the book than it is to read the respective manpages.

    What's even better, is I found my copy a few years ago on the Fry's discount shelf for $15 with a $15 mail in rebate... I didn't bother with the rebate but it was still quite a steal!
    Posted 10-20-2010 at 12:39 AM by lumak lumak is offline


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