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LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell: Covers General Linux Exams 101 and 102 (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)) 1st Edition

51 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1565927483
ISBN-10: 1565927486
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Editorial Reviews Review

You may not have heard of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) or its professional certifications, but they're becoming an important part of proving professional competence in the Linux operating system. That aside, LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell is a fantastic introductory Linux book, well suited to introducing a curious newcomer to the environment and bringing an intermediate user up to expert status.

The book is organized around the LPI's published standards for two Level 1 exams (exams 101, which deals with key commands and file-system concepts, and 102, which places more emphasis on hardware, networking, and shell scripting). The organization works well even if you're not specifically preparing for either exam.

LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell assumes nothing in early chapters, going so far--to cite one example--as to walk readers through the concept of commands with parameters separately from the concept of commands alone. Later, the pace picks up, and strategic advice is substituted (such as how to partition a disk for maximum speed and reliability) for "type-this" instructions.

Throughout, the book makes effective use of O'Reilly's time-tested and remarkably clear format for presenting Unix commands and configuration files. Each chapter concludes with a series of exercises designed to help you discover behaviors on your own, and includes the practice questions you expect in a test-prep aid. --David Wall

Topics covered: The knowledge that's tested on the Linux Professional Institute's exams 101 and 102, which includes everything from basic Linux commands and concepts to installation of the operating system, essential network configuration, and kernel recompilation.


'The style throughout is friendly yet informative and Dean seems to have an unconscious knack of answering questions just as they are forming in the reader's head. Some of the content, particularly that on networking and system hardware, actually puts other 'definitive' Linux works to shame. Perhaps the most valuable aspect, however, is the frequent 'box-outs' which highlight the most pertinent topics to revise for the examination itself. This is the key buying point, as success in the examination will be dependent on how well you know the material in this syllabus; against that, almost any amount of hands-on experience will pale. Although O'Reilly's Nutshell series are intended as 'Desktop Reference' manuals, I have to recommend this one as a good all-round read; not only as a primer for LPI certification, but as an excellent introductory text on GNU/Linux. In all, this is a valuable addition to O'Reilly's already packed stable of Linux titles and I look forward to more from the author.' Rory Beaton, - "This is a gem of a book. " - Joe McCool, Cvu, June 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: In a Nutshell (O'Reilly)
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (June 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565927486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565927483
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,137,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Robert Nagle on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
The first thing I want to say about reading this book is : I passed! Certification books serve four purposes: first, they serve as a way to prepare for computerized certification exams. Second, they provide a �training plan� for learning the objectives in the certification. Third, can a book explain system administration concepts while limiting a reader�s exposure to difficult, elusive topics until later? Fourth, can a book like this still be useful post-certification?
Part One (covering the 101 test) contained generous amounts of examples for text-processing commands and a really top notch discussion of permissions, ownership, booting and documentation. Helpfully, �need to know� boxes are scattered throughout the book to indicate how important a topic is on the test. Frequently, the author will point out that although he explained a certain topic in depth, it won�t be covered in depth on the test. I really appreciated that, although I found that the actual test covered certain topics (such as X Windows) in much more depth than Dean leads us to believe. One thing, by the way, to remember, is that often the book gives only the 5 or 6 most popular switches for each command. If you learned about these commands only from this book, you might be overlooking some important switches. I found this especially to be true when Dean discussed user management. I consider usermod �g and usermod �G to be really important commands, but this book didn�t even mention them. On the other hand, Dean gave an explanation of regular expressions which was quite adequate for the purposes of this book. Although omitting some switches proved exasperating at times, the simplified view of the commands can be helpful for linux newbies.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Wu on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, very comprehensive. Organized by subject matter. The explanations are very clear and easy to understand. The writing style is easy to follow and direct without being too cutsey or annoying. I will say there are a number of shortcomings that will hopefully be fixed in edition 2. 1. Not enough practice problems (there is just 1 practice exam for each one exam) 2. Sometimes they screw up the topics. For instance, there is a whole mess of stuff on shell scripting in the "LPI101" section; yet the LPI website says that shell scripting is in part 2. 3. There are a few typos.
I will say that after having taken LPI 101, but not 102, and passed, that there are some holes in the book. For instance, (and this is not a real example) the book may tell you about "ls" and "ls -l" and "ls -a" but the test may ask about "ls -c" or "ls --sort=size" or something. So there are some holes in the book! You have to be careful. But OVERALL it's a good book, if you learn everything in the book you will pass. Just don't expect that it will give you the keys to the test.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Penrose on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm happy with this book. I'd been running Linux in an academic environment for several years, so I had a bit of a head start before reading this book. I took the first LPI Level 1 exam this afternoon, and passed with about 45 minutes to spare. As a professional AIX and Linux consultant, I was surprised to have acquired new knowledge from reading this book. However, I did encounter a few questions on the exam that weren't covered in the book, as well as a few tricky (or maybe just ambiguously/poorly written) questions that required multiple rereads. Despite being the first of the lowest level of LPI certification, this exam became surprisingly difficult during the last third of the questions (I don't think this is an adaptive test). I've taken Microsoft, IBM, and Sun certification exams, and this test ranks among the tougher ones. That's good, in my opinion, because it sorts out the knowledgeable people from, ahem, the others. I strongly advise you to read O'Reilly's Running Linux in addition to this book before attempting the exam. I hope O'Reilly plans a similar book for LPI Levels 2 and 3.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Micah J. Miller on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am preparing for the LPI level one test and picked up this guide as a study reference. Overall, the quality of this book is outstanding and the material is presented in way that made it very easy to digest. I've broken the highlights down into three categories.
1. Good - Excellent explanation of the topics in the books. There were very few items I had to go to other sources from. The way this book is set up makes it great as a study guide or for future reference. Even if I wasn't going to take the test, I'd still keep this one within arms reach.
2. Bad - LPI has restructured their tests. This means that some of the 102 test topics are now in the 101 test. Make sure you get the correct list of study topics directly from LPI to ensure you are preparing for the correct subjects. Since these changes were made quite a while ago, I would have hoped that O'Reilly would have come up with a new version, but no luck.
3. UGLY - Several topics were not covered at all in the book. This is really dissapointing for me as I've always respected the O'Reilly books and found them to be way above par. But don't take my word for it. You can locate the missing parts by comparing the T-O-C and the LPI site
Overall, this is a great book. If you are currently a system administrator or work with Linux often, this matierial should be easy to pick up and understand. The book has in depth coverage along with a "Highlighters Index" for quick reviews and sample tests to help you prepare.<...
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