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houndbytes 05-31-2010 08:10 AM

Looking for Linux Resources
I am new to Linux, but not new to IT. I have been a Windows person since my first pc. Now it is time to move away from Windows and learn new things. I am trying to find reading material that would be helpful in understanding Linux commands, programming and terminology. Where would one start.

I have used some Linux distros such as Puppy and Unbuntu. Yet I am at a loss when it comes to advanced system tasks. I realized this when using the system rescue cd, trinity rescue kit and parted magic. The powerful utilities were limited by my ignorance. This is why I decided it is time to back to "school." Is there a Linux "Bible" so to speak? Or other type of hard copy learning tools.

Any help will be appreciated

pixellany 05-31-2010 08:20 AM

Welcome to LQ!!

What you are looking for is **everywhere**......

First, any large bookstore will have a good selection of Linux books. Also look at the O'Reilly website---they specialize in Linux and OpenSource and they have many good books free online.

There are some good tutorials and such at

And of course this site for any specific quesions.

alli_yas 05-31-2010 08:28 AM

Hi & Welcome

The advice I always give to people is to pick a few distros and try them out to see what fits nicely with you.

The thing about Linux is that with each flavour comes different ways of doing advanced things; so to start off with you may want to stick with getting comfortable with a particular distro.

Thereafter as you get more comfortable; you may choose to run multiple different distro's of your choice.

I prefer anything rpm based as an example and thus I use Fedora, CentOS, Red Hat etcetera. Go to where you'll get an idea of what there is out there in terms of different flavours.

My advice is that you do this before buying any particular book, simply because most books focus on a certain "type" of Linux (either rpm based, Debian based, Slack, Gentoo etcetera).

Lastly remember there are a multitude of members in the LQ community who are here to help you along the way :D

jone kim 05-31-2010 09:48 AM

linux tutors
The best way to learn linux is to INSTALL and play with it.
refer to It has good collection of videos.
And youtube and google are with you.

jamescondron 05-31-2010 11:06 AM

Think about how you first learned Windows; if you were anything like me you'd try something and if it broke you'd go running off for help (I think my old boy still gets echoes of "Dad, Dad, the computers broke.. I just turned it on and..." in the night).

Grab a livecd version of linux, perhaps one with an emphasis of ease over power (which would be Ubuntu I suppose) and just start messing about. What happens if you mess about with this file, what does this program do, why does this do that etc.

Then look at some of the theoretical stuff (But only after you've managed to break the livecd a few times- don't worry, you need only reboot, it wont break anything permanently) such as the FHS:


and this which I think is pretty interesting:

The point I'm trying to make is that just as you didn't learn with Windows from a book, its generally not the done thing to do so with Linux, or at least not the sensible way. Play with it, break it, fix it, get used to it; then do the theory.

salasi 05-31-2010 03:22 PM


Originally Posted by houndbytes (Post 3987306)
I am trying to find reading material that would be helpful in understanding Linux commands, programming and terminology.

The best advice (earlier in this thread) was to try a good bookshop; browse the books, select one or more that you like. this is a personal thing, and while i can tell you any number of books that I like, it is rather harder to to tell which books you would like.

You seem not to be asking for general linux books, but books on 'commands, programming and terminology'. I can't really make a good suggestion on terminology, except that most books explain the terminology needed for the subject area that the book covers.

On programming, maybe 'Beginning Linux programming' because roughly the first three chapters cover the environment...OTOH, I got my copy cheaply, so that might bias me slightly in its favour and I don't think I've ever read more than a quarter of the book, and the different editions seem to have different lists of authors, so maybe the up-to-date edition is better (or worse) than the remaindered one that I have...who knows.

Anything on O'Reilly tends to be good (not that they have a monopoly...), but they do hundreds of books and you won't want to buy hundreds, so you'll have to be selective. 'Running Linux' sounds appropriate, but I never really found that it helped me that much (but mine is several editions old and I knew nothing about Linux at the time).

I'd give the Linux Quick Fix notebook a big thumbs up, but a lot of the material is available (more up to date??) on the Linuxhomenetworking site, so maybe look there.


Is there a Linux "Bible" so to speak?
there is a series of books of exactly that name, but I never found them to be any good (I was given the SuSE one once, on some course); the specific-to-one-distro ones struck me as a big bundling of stuff that was available elsewhere, plus the obvious. YMMV.


I have used some Linux distros such as Puppy and Unbuntu. Yet I am at a loss when it comes to advanced system tasks.
The man pages! Read the man pages! Re-read the man pages!

And, in general, there are usually non-command-line ways of performing "advanced system tasks"; you seem to be saying that you wouldn't want to know about those.

There are many, many, many books on Linux. Is there any specific area in which you are particularly interested? That might make it easier.


Think about how you first learned Windows
I think I'm in remission now, but you never truly get over it.

chrism01 05-31-2010 06:52 PM

Here's some good Docs/tutorials links (tldp = the linux doc project)
In fact linuxtopia has more books/manuals (free to read) than you can use.

Other than that, can you tells us more specifically what you want to learn.

houndbytes 06-01-2010 12:34 PM

Thanks for all the thoughts and advice. I suppose the right thing to do is to play with the Distros and find what fits. The advice learn as I learned Windows rings the common sense bell. After all, I didn't know a thing about Windows until it was broken (which in those days was about every day). I learned quickly what not to do, and what to do in case I did what I learned not to do.

My main area of interest is in building machines, configuring them and of course programming. I suppose I have always enjoyed open source because I can personalize the program. I guess I am becoming more conservative as the years pass on. hence the hesitation to just hack around with Linux.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

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