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Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition Paperback – August 6, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596009304 ISBN-10: 0596009305 Edition: Fifth Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Fifth Edition edition (August 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009304
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is one desktop companion which confident Linux users simply cannot be without." Linux User, November 2003 "The best way to sum this book up is with the original reviewer's words: "If you don't lock your office, this will be the first thing that a techie colleague will steal!"." Linux Format, September "...anyone serious about Linux programming and administration needs this book...The authors are to be congratulated for the scope of coverage, as here's enough here about both the vi and Emacs editing systems, desktop set-ups and packages, as well as a nod to multimedia use. " - Gary Flood, IT Training, October 2004 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ellen Siever is a writer and editor specializing in Linux and other open source topics. In addition to Linux in a Nutshell, she co-authored O'Reilly's Perl in a Nutshell. She is a long-time Linux and Unix user, and was a programmer for many years until she decided that writing about computers was more fun.

Aaron Weber is a technical writer for Novell, Inc. who wrote the section on GNOME in O'Reilly's Running Linux. He's also published in Interex Enterprise Solutions (interex.com) and Boston's Weekly Dig (www.weeklydig.com), and is the host of secretlyironic.com.

Stephen Figgins administrates Linux servers for Sunflower Broadband in Lawrence, KS. He also writes, edits and consults on computing topics. He balances this with his study of nature. Through the Plainscraft school of living (http://www.plainscraft.com), he teaches wilderness awareness and survival skills including animal tracking, edible and medicinal plants and matchless fire making.

Robert Love is a contributing editor at Linux Journal and authored Linux Kernel Development (Sams). He works in Novell's Ximian Desktop Group as a kernel hacker and graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Arnold Robbins is a professional programmer and technical author who has worked with Unix systems since 1980. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for awk and is currently the maintainer of gawk (GNU project's version of awk) and its documentation. Arnold co-authored of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor.

Customer Reviews

It is well written, concise, clear and complete.
Joe Soap
Pick up Linux in a Nutshell if you already have at least a basic understanding of using Linux and want a good book for looking up how specific commands work.
R.C.
Like all of the ....in a nutshell books it's reference book not a read cover-to-cover book....
Norman V. Bauer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Robert Stinnett VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
How many times have you been trying to find a particular command but just can't remember what it was called. How many times have you been typing in a command and forgot the options available?
Through this book, the author has taken many of the substaintial commands for users, admins, networking and programming and rolled them into a dictionary of sort for Linux users.
Sure, you can find out a lot about any command through the online man pages, but the author has taken the somewhat cryptic man pages and broken them down into simple, to the point, references laid out much like you would expect to find in a dictionary.
In addition, you'll find handy reference manuals for common utilities, such as emacs, vi, CVS, sed and awk. While each of these could fill a book in themselves, the author has broken them down to the bare basics to help you get up and running and understand basic operation of each.
All in all, a wonderful reference manual that will compliment more in-depth manuals on actual use and administration of a Linux system.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Rossen on November 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you understand what "in a nutshell" means, then you shall be pleased with this book. It is not a tutorial, it is not a beginners' guide, it is not a theory book... it is a reference book, featuring entries that are succinct, to the point, sparse in places, but complete in breadth and indispensable.

I don't use Linux for my work station (Mac OS X) or for my servers (BSD UNIX) and so when I need to do something on a Linux box the UNIX commands at my fingertips sometimes don't work; then I turn to this book. Very handy.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Norman V. Bauer on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have used Linux (nearly every major and some minor distributions) and I cannot tell you how many times this book has saved me. It is also great because a huge percentage of the commands covered also work just fine in UNIX (though I recommend UNIX in a nutshell too. I also have never bought a book from O'Rielly that was less than top notch. If you are a newbie or want to learn Linux in general BUY THIS BOOK WITH ANOTHER BOOK. Like all of the ....in a nutshell books it's reference book not a read cover-to-cover book....
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Huckaby on July 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Unless you are a seasoned Linux guru who never forgets anything, then you should buy Linux in a Nutshell. This is quite possibly one of the most essential books for anyone working with Linux. If you are like me, reading documentation online can be tedious and having a handy reference volume is better than stumbling through Google search results. Linux in a Nutshell covers major user, programming, administration and networking tools for popular Linux distributions. At over 900 pages, this hefty volume can save you time and prevent you from making mistakes. Have you ever gotten regular expression wrong and deleted a bunch of files? This handy reference can help prevent future mistakes!

At first glance Linux in a Nutshell may appear to be nothing more than Linux's manual pages in print form - but it's much more. The whopping 400-page third chapter provides a comprehensive reference guide to almost any standard Linux command you will need. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of commands are covered in this chapter. Arranged alphabetically for quick reference, you can easily find the proper documentation for a command. For example, consider the simple shell command 'ls' used to list contents of directories. Often you may find yourself wanting to list items in a specific way. If you pull up the man pages on your console terminal or SSH window, you will find yourself scrolling through a myriad of pages. Or with this book next to you, you could turn to page 258 and quickly run through all of the various listing options. There are nearly 50 different command options for the seemingly simply listing command. With this reference volume, you can scan through them all in seconds.

Another excellent chapter covers package managers.
Read more ›
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Weber on July 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm one of the authors on this book and I figured I should point out what's new in the 5th edition, and how we improved it over the 4th one.

My favorite improvement is that in the reference section, we put in lots more examples, so it's easier to see the most common uses of commands. Also, we got kernel developer Robert Love to write a lot of the developer and kernel-related sections, so you know that they're applicable to real-life developer tasks.

Changes to content for the 5th edition: power management now covers ACPI, printing covers CUPS, and the kernel section now focuses on kernel 2.6. The subversion version control tool and the GRUB bootloader get a lot more coverage, too.

In my humble opinion, this is an indispensable reference, and in addition to being an update, it's an improvement in style and substance over the previous edition.

This book is a good choice if you've ever asked questions like: What's a shell script and how do I write one? How do I use a version control system? How do I select an arbitrary rectangle in Emacs? How do I write a makefile? How do you build an RPM, anyway? This can also be good to have as a reference for new users-- read the introduction, read up on the tools you're using, then keep it there by your side, and you'll grow into this book as you learn to do more with Linux. (You may also want to consider "Running Linux," which is an overview and introduction, with more focus on GUI applications and end-user tools).
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