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Linux in a Nutshell Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0596154486 ISBN-10: 0596154488 Edition: Sixth Edition

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Linux in a Nutshell + Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition + The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction
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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell
  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Sixth Edition edition (October 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596154488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154486
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 coauthored 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.

Stephen Figgins honed many of his computer skills while working as O'Reilly's book answer guy. A life long learner with many interests, Stephen draws on many resources to make difficult topics understandable and accessible.

Now living in Lawrence, Kansas, he administrates Linux servers for Sunflower Broadband, a cable company. When not found working with computers, writing, or spending time with his family, you will likely find him outdoors. Stephen teaches wilderness awareness and living skills.

Robert Love has been a Linux user and hacker since the early days. He is active in--and passionate about--the Linux kernel and GNOME desktop communities. His recent contributions to the Linux kernel include work on the kernel event layer and inotify. GNOME-related contributions include Beagle, GNOME Volume Manager, NetworkManager, and Project Utopia. Currently, Robert works in the Open Source Program Office at Google.

Robert is the author of Linux Kernel Development (SAMS 2005) and the co-author of Linux in a Nutshell (2006 O'Reilly). He is also a Contributing Editor at Linux Journal. He is currently working on a new work for O'Reilly that will be the greatest book ever written, give or take. Robert holds a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Florida. A proud Gator, Robert was born in South Florida but currently calls home Cambridge, MA.

Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.


More About the Author

Robert Love is an author, speaker, and engineer. He contributes to multiple open source projects, including the Linux kernel, GNOME desktop, and Android mobile platform. Robert is Staff Software Engineer at Google, where he was a member of the team that built and launched Android. He now works on web search infrastructure. Robert holds a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Florida. He lives in Boston.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Very informative and detailed book about Linux.
Rob Pegram
I read it cover to cover while commuting on the train and now I have 11 years experience as a Linux/Unix engineer.
Steven Summers
In any edition, this book has a permanent place on my shelf for reference.
M. Helmke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven Summers on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is the basis of my career. I was working doing phone support. I was the bridge between the customers and the linux engineers running the hosted application. As I became interested in the work the engineers were doing and showed a little aptitude someone recommended this book. I read it cover to cover while commuting on the train and now I have 11 years experience as a Linux/Unix engineer. On a daily basis I draw on knowledge that I was originally exposed to in this text.

What does it provide?

This text is not "linux for dummies." It is a complete overview of command line Linux administration intended for administrators. I knew nothing about Linux before I read it. After reading I was able to make a career change to become a full time administrator. It basically covers all of the major administration activities and gives a good overview of the commands necessary to accomplish these tasks. It also goes into some of the theory behind good administration without going to deep or getting pedantic.

If you are considering learning command line linux or just tinkering around and need a basis so you know what to google for this is a great starting point.

I now provide a copy of this book to any new engineers that I train. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Years ago I purchased a copy of Linux in a Nutshell, fourth edition. That book has been well used and is looking a bit shabby. When O'Reilly offered me a free review copy of Linux in a Nutshell, sixth edition, I jumped at the chance. Some of the thoughts that follow will apply to either edition (as well as the not-reviewed fifth edition, which I don't have), but I will point out some of the more important or obvious updates to help others who also own older editions to determine whether the changes are sufficient to convince them to buy the new version.

This book is not intended as a tutorial, but rather as a quick reference. While the irony of titling a 900+ page book "... in a Nutshell" is not lost on me, like all of the books in O'Reilly's Nutshell series, this book is a fabulous resource for finding out the details of a specific command or concept rapidly.

Let me start with the foundation for my opinion that this book is one of the most useful and important books for anyone who uses Linux from the command line on a regular basis or wants to be able to or plans to do so. Any command you should desire to use is listed in chapter 3, with the command's syntax and options. This gives you one place to look that does not require an internet connection or the patience to scroll up and down reading man pages for commands. This is a book about Linux as it was originally conceived and intended: a powerful operating system based directly upon and consistent with the philosophy and design of Unix, but free for anyone to download, install, copy, modify, share and use.

This book is not about how to use Linux on the desktop, and in fact, the sixth edition does not cover the Linux desktop at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Libraries strong in system administration or Linux programming will find LINUX IN A NUTSHELL to be a powerful updated edition offering a focus of Linux options and all the latest new options for applying Linux commands. From learning hundreds of shell commands and understanding the Bash shell interpreter to processing text with expressions and using administrative tools, LINUX IN A NUTSHELL provides an extensive reference for any serious computer collection.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Martz on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
While the book has some utility as a reference, it is not well organized. Frequently a chapter or topic starts out in the worst possible way, which is to fog things up by discussing exception cases before an introduction to the topic. Then you will frequently see examples using command line characters that have not yet been explained, followed by tables exhaustively listing the various command line characters and including truncated, frequently ambiguous explanations. There are also many cases of circular explanations, where command x is defined as being like command y, except it is case sensitive, or it uses regex rules, or what have you. But when you go to command y, you find a poor explanation, so you wind up with very very clear understanding that command x is a partially explained variant of a vaguely defined command. This book is not an expeditious way to learn, nor is it particularly effective as a quick reference. You would be better off with half as much information and twice as much effort to convey it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book covers the administration of, usage of, and shell programming on Linux systems. The book is an overview of Linux and serves as an excellent reference, but doesn't come close to a tutorial. This 6th edition continues to be a good extended man page for the operating system's many commands, features, and utilities. Linux has recently been extended, and most of those extensions appear to be covered in this book. You should already have a basic knowledge of Unix/Linux and just need a quick reference for when you forget something. For example, you are not going to learn how to program using gawk with the chapter included in this book. Neither will you figure out the intracies of version control and Git. The preface states that this new sixth edition has been examined and checked against the most common Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and SUSE) so that it reflects the most useful and popular commands.
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