Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 02-19-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2008
Posts: 45

Rep: Reputation: 0
What's the best Linux Book?

I'd like to learn linux inside and out. Got any reccomendations on a good linux book that goes over everything in great detail?

I really loved the book on Perl from o'reily, so I bought the "Running Linux", but found that it assumed the reader knew too much and didn't really explain anything in great detail. So, I figured I'd ask around before I buy another one.
Old 02-19-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
LQ 5k Club
Registered: May 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Debian "Testing"
Posts: 6,116

Rep: Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416Reputation: 416
What's the best Linux Book?
What's the best pizza?

There is no universal "best". Tastes vary. There is lots of choice though. Buy, taste / read, discover.

The best resource for learning about linux is right here in front of you, the internet. Learn to use it.

Old 02-19-2008, 01:50 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2007
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
Regardless of whatever book you choose, you should apply and practice the hands-on activities on a system of your choosing.
Old 02-19-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
LQ Addict
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,908

Rep: Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354Reputation: 354
Rute User's Turotial and Exposition - free for download.
Linux Unleashed - Sams publishing.
Whatever documentation is provided by your distro of choice.
Linux Administration Made Easy - free for download.

Some websites:
Cruise around (The Linux Documentation Project) to find a library full of reading.
Fultus elibrary is another source of info.
Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 02-19-2008 at 02:02 PM.
Old 02-19-2008, 07:23 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Colombia
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 220

Rep: Reputation: 30
Id go for, linux introduction a hands on guide... covers lots of basic... then maybe buy running linux or linux system administration both from oreilly theyre good books!
Old 02-19-2008, 08:01 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2001
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 153

Rep: Reputation: 19
Best linux book?

I think the best linux book is the area of linux that interests you the most. For example, in my case I like system admin stuff as well as unix programming, so two of my best books would be Linux Admin Guide from prentice hall and unix network programming vol. 1 from addison wesley. If you never read linux books before, I would recommend starting out with a generic book like Running Linux perhaps from O'Reilly and see where you want to go from there. This is only my personal opinion.

System Administrator
Old 02-20-2008, 01:26 AM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 4,113

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Agree with the pizza/net comment, but I'd caution to pay attention to the dates on the documentation you read on the net - a lot of it, especially at tldp, is pretty out of date. You don't list your distro, so it may have poor or nonexistent documentation, but if it's any good, that'd be a good place to look. No substitute for experience, though, so as mjchin suggested, put in the work.

Seems like Running Linux was pretty good, though. Maybe if you do a bit of practicing and a bit of web study and go back to that book, it'll work out better for you. It *doesn't* go into a lot of detail but that's because it's a general survey. It's pretty much impossible to "learn Linux inside and out". Being a shell script master, mail admin, C guru, etc. etc. is a tall order. So you'll be buying a *lot* of specialized books to travel that road. If you want *one* book, it's going to be either general and lacking detail, or detailed but very specific.
Old 02-20-2008, 01:42 AM   #8
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 131Reputation: 131
"A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors and Shell Programming" by Mark Sobell. Easily the best one I have in my collection. As the title implies, it's geared towards command line stuff: commands, scripting, vim, emacs, etc. The advantage is that this makes the book "distribution agnostic", it applies to any distro. The downside is that it won't explain which button to click if you use environment A in distro B. I don't really know any good books that do this well with the possible exception of the Fedora, Suse and Ubuntu Bibles or the books that Sobell wrote on Ubuntu and Fedora.I did not particularly enjoy "Running Linux" as it is too haphazard (a little bit of everything) and quite outdated in some spots. Good to tickle your curiosity but don't expect to come away an empowered user.

And yes, there is a whole lot to be found on the net., for example.
Old 02-20-2008, 01:49 AM   #9
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

Rep: Reputation: 678Reputation: 678Reputation: 678Reputation: 678Reputation: 678Reputation: 678
There are some "recipe" style books that I've found very useful and practical. There are some called "Linux Cookbook". One by No Starch Press and another by O'Reily. Another good one is Linux Quick Fix Notebook by Pter Harrison.
Old 02-20-2008, 03:55 AM   #10
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,070

Rep: Reputation: 897Reputation: 897Reputation: 897Reputation: 897Reputation: 897Reputation: 897Reputation: 897
Well, its got to cover stuff that you are interested in/things that you have to do. I like Essential System Admin by Frisch, but I bet you wouldn't.... (It covers several *nix type systems and I like that, and it covers sys admin and maybe you don't want that). And its pretty much a fundamentals book, and even people who are interested in sys admin often like cookbook/recipes books for obvious reasons (say the Linux Quick Fix Notebook... but you have to accept that the 'recipes' are Red Hat based and you have to tweak them for other distros).

And you have to accept that you are asking for a lot; if you are finding Learning Linux makes assumptions that you aren't happy with and need more, what you want has to start from a very basic level. You also want 'inside out' which implies that you really want coverage of everything, and that implies quite a book.

(I don't see anything terribly advanced about 'Running Linux, 4th ed, and had I written it I'd be more worried about extending the coverage rather than starting from a more basic level. But I do like O'Reilly books, but they are often not manuals.)

Given that you already have one book, think about tasks that you want to do: if you want to configure, say, squid or samba or NFS, try looking up documentation on that. You'll almost always find something on the 'net, and many distros install quite a good collection of 'howtos' in their default install. In addition, if you use SuSE the books that come with the 'paid for' version of their distro are pretty good (although, again, I bet you can find the same material on the net if you search).

And for individual commands, don't forget 'man command' or for tasks/subjects try 'apropos task'.
Old 02-20-2008, 07:08 AM   #11
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Distribution: Mint, OpenSUSE,Dream
Posts: 68

Rep: Reputation: 17
Red face Bible bashing

Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
What's the best pizza?
Margherita with extra olives.

Seriously, I'd recommend the Linux Bible by Christopher Negus. It just about covers everything from start to finish. You can download the Red Hat version in .pdf form form here:
Old 03-09-2008, 10:48 AM   #12
Registered: Feb 2007
Posts: 45

Rep: Reputation: 15
Check out here.
Old 03-09-2008, 10:55 AM   #13
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
Distribution: Slackware & Slackware64 14.2
Posts: 7,811
Blog Entries: 58

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Originally Posted by catweasel28 View Post
Margherita with extra olives.
Pepperoni. Can't stand olives - they look like dead beetles.
Old 03-14-2008, 06:04 PM   #14
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Pakistan
Distribution: Redhat and Debian
Posts: 317
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 35
sitting infront of the computer reading man pages and experimenting that would make you learn more than a book with limited stuff in it. use tab inorder to discover new command!


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Damn Small Linux book set for July -- and more upcoming Linux books LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 04-11-2007 07:31 AM
LXer: Book Review: The Official Ubuntu Book LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-30-2006 04:54 PM
LXer: “The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read - an introduction to Linux for Windows users” - a book by Scott Morris LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-01-2006 07:54 PM
LXer: Book Review: Linux Patch management - Keeping Linux systems up to date LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 02-07-2006 05:46 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:36 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration