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A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming (2nd Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Mark G. Sobell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For use with all versions of Linux, including Ubuntu,™ Fedora,™ openSUSE,™ Red Hat,® Debian, Mandriva, Mint, and now OS X, too!

  • Get more done faster, and become a true Linux guru by mastering the command line!
  • Learn from hundreds of realistic, high-quality examples
  • NEW! Coverage of the Mac OS X command line and its unique tools
  • NEW! Expert primer on automating tasks with Perl

The Most Useful Linux Tutorial and Reference, with Hundreds of High-Quality Examples for Every Distribution–Now Covers OS X and Perl, Too!

 

To be truly productive with Linux, you need to thoroughly master shells and the command line. Until now, you had to buy two books to gain that mastery: a tutorial on fundamental Linux concepts and techniques, plus a separate reference. Now, there’s a far better solution. Renowned Linux expert Mark Sobell has brought together comprehensive, insightful guidance on the tools system administrators, developers, and power users need most, and an outstanding day-to-day reference, both in the same book.

 

This book is 100 percent distribution and release agnostic: You can use it with any Linux system, now and for years to come. Use Macs, too? This new edition adds comprehensive coverage of the Mac OS X command line, including essential OS X-only tools and utilities other Linux/UNIX books ignore.

 

Packed with hundreds of high-quality, realistic examples, this book gives you Linux from the ground up: the clearest explanations and most useful knowledge about everything from filesystems to shells, editors to utilities, and programming tools to regular expressions. Sobell has also added an outstanding new primer on Perl, the most important programming tool for Linux admins seeking to automate complex, time-consuming tasks.

 

A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Second Edition, is the only book to deliver

  • Better, more realistic examples covering tasks you’ll actually need to perform
  • Deeper insight, based on Sobell’s immense knowledge of every Linux and OS X nook and cranny
  • A start-to-finish primer on Perl for every system administrator
  • In-depth coverage of basic and advanced Linux shell programming with bash and tcsh
  • Practical explanations of 100 core utilities, from aspell to xargs–including Mac OS X specific utilities from ditto to SetFile
  • All-new coverage of automating remote backups with rsync
  • Dozens of system security tips, including step-by-step walkthroughs of implementing secure communications using ssh and scp
  • Tips and tricks for customizing the shell and using it interactively from the command line
  • Complete guides to high-productivity editing with both vim and emacs
  • A comprehensive, 286-page command reference section–now with revised and expanded indexes for faster access to the information you need
  • Instructions for updating systems automatically with apt-get and yum
  • Dozens of exercises to help you practice and gain confidence
  • And much more, including coverage of BitTorrent, gawk, sed, find, sort, bzip2, and regular expressions

 

 



Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for the First Edition of A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming 

 

“First Sobell taught people how to use Linux…now he teaches you the power of Linux. A must-have book for anyone who wants to take Linux to the next level.”

—Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director, Linux International

 

“This book is a very useful tool for anyone who wants to ‘look under the hood’ so to speak, and really start putting the power of Linux to work. What I find particularly frustrating about man pages is that they never include examples. Sobell, on the other hand, outlines very clearly what the command does and then gives several common, easy-tounderstand examples that make it a breeze to start shell programming on one’s own. As with Sobell’s other works, this is simple, straight-forward, and easy to read. It’s a great book and will stay on the shelf at easy arm’s reach for a long time.”

—Ray Bartlett, Travel Writer

 

“Overall I found this book to be quite excellent, and it has earned a spot on the very front of my bookshelf. It covers the real ‘guts’ of Linux—the command line and its utilities—and does so very well. Its strongest points are the outstanding use of examples, and the Command Reference section. Highly recommended for Linux users of all skill levels. Well done to Mark Sobell and Prentice Hall for this outstanding book!”

—Dan Clough, Electronics Engineer and Slackware Linux user

 

“Totally unlike most Linux books, this book avoids discussing everything via GUI and jumps right into making the power of the command line your friend.”

—Bjorn Tipling, Software Engineer, ask.com

 

“This book is the best distro-agnostic, foundational Linux reference I’ve ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books I’ve read. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free UNIX-like OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you’ll find toward that end.”

—Chad Perrin, Writer, TechRepublic

 

Praise for Other Books by Mark G. Sobell

 

“I keep searching for books that collect everything you want to know about a subject in one place, and keep getting disappointed. Usually the books leave out some important topic, while others go too deep in some areas and must skim lightly over the others. A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is one of those rare books that actually pulls it off. Mark G. Sobell has created a single reference for Red Hat Linux that can’t be beat! This marvelous text (with a 4-CD set of Linux Fedora Core 2 included) is well worth the price. This is as close to an ‘everything you ever needed to know’ book that I’ve seen. It’s just that good and rates 5 out of 5.”

—Ray Lodato, Slashdot contributor

 

“Mark Sobell has written a book as approachable as it is authoritative.”

—Jeffrey Bianchine, Advocate, Author, Journalist

 

“Excellent reference book, well suited for the sysadmin of a Linux cluster, or the owner of a PC contemplating installing a recent stable Linux. Don’t be put off by the daunting heft of the book. Sobell has strived to be as inclusive as possible, in trying to anticipate your system administration needs.”

—Wes Boudville, Inventor

 

A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® is a brilliant book. Thank you Mark Sobell.”

—C. Pozrikidis, University of California at San Diego

 

“This book presents the best overview of the Linux operating system that I have found. . . . [It] should be very helpful and understandable no matter what the reader’s background: traditional UNIX user, new Linux devotee, or even Windows user. Each topic is presented in a clear, complete fashion, and very few assumptions are made about what the reader knows. . . . The book is extremely useful as a reference, as it contains a 70-page glossary of terms and is very well indexed. It is organized in such a way that the reader can focus on simple tasks without having to wade through more advanced topics until they are ready.”

—Cam Marshall, Marshall Information Service LLC, Member of Front Range UNIX Users Group [FRUUG], Boulder, Colorado

 

“Conclusively, this is THE book to get if you are a new Linux user and you just got into the RH/Fedora world. There’s no other book that discusses so many different topics and in such depth.”

—Eugenia Loli-Queru, Editor in Chief, OSNews.com

About the Author

Mark G. Sobell is President of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that special­izes in UNIX/Linux training, support, and custom software development. He has more than twenty-five years of experience working with UNIX and Linux systems and is the author of many best-selling books, including A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Fourth Edition; A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Second Edition; and A Practical Guide to UNIX®for Mac OS® X Users (coauthored with Peter Seebach), all from Prentice Hall; and A Practical Guide to the UNIX System from Addison-Wesley.


Product Details

  • File Size: 21881 KB
  • Print Length: 1080 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (November 19, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002ZM6KDM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,159 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So-so as a tutorial, pretty good as a reference June 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mark Sobell's "A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Second Edition" follows a number of other "Practical Guides" that Sobell has authored on different flavors of Unix and Linux. Its title is quite descriptive, as it does not contain any material on GUIs, networking, printing, and so on.

The Good: this is basically two books for the price of one. The 300-page reference section toward the end of the book is very good: it contains tables of command arguments in a visually pleasing layout, specific notes, and on top of that it also includes exactly what the man pages sorely lack: detailed examples! Thus, the command reference in Part V alone is worth buying the book for. Sobell covers 100 utilities, ranging from one-page pointers (e.g. cal, renice, strings, wc) to mini-tutorials (e.g. find, grep, make, pax, sort). The early part of the book is 600 pages long and is intended to be both a tutorial and a reference. Sobell is explicitly trying to be novice-friendly: he has included chapter summaries, exercises (with answers to even-numbered exercises provided on his website), a glossary in an appendix, as well as numerous tables summarizing lessons learned (or about to be introduced). Such tables are scattered throughout the text and in the case of a few chapters (notably the ones on vim and emacs) they are also repeated in the form of very useful chapter summaries. Sobell is very good both at cross-referencing material and at collecting all the relevant information in one place. The first 5 chapters deal with the basics of interactive shell usage and are pedagogically sound, probably more so than the chapters that follow. After that, the author covers two different text editors and two different shells.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beyond frustrating May 7, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book as I am now a regular linux desktop user and want to learn shell/perl scripting. Unfortunately this book has been a tremendous letdown. The presentation of topics and the code examples do not build on one another and the ordering too often seems haphazard.

Readability of code samples is hindered by not numbering lines of code. It's a lot easier to read when the text says "Line 24 specifies the variable...." instead of trying to find the line referenced by "The third say statement specifies the variable....".

Most damning in my mind is the repeated sin of referencing material not yet covered in examples. So when I am reading page 200 there is no reason to throw out a code sample with material that won't be covered until page 450. This book is replete with examples like this! It's as if they had a general idea of the topics they wanted to cover, they wrote the text and code samples for each topic and only then decided on the order in which to present the information. I'm sorry to report that learning from this book is far more frustrating than it should be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, authoritative, readable and educative September 10, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book that will take your linux skills to the next level. Command line is where Linux shines and if you need to know what's under the hood, read this book, either cover to cover or just by chapters that interest you.
You'll hear many Linux enthusiasts gladly pointing to free online resources for learning Linux and although there are many, those resources are of varying quality and always fail to go into a deeper discussion accompanied by examples, end up pawing man pages or worse are just echo of somebody else's attempt at writing a Linux walkthrough.
This book is primarily practical. Although the opening chapter may seem unnecessary, dealing with history of GNU and Linux, chapters that follow dive deeper and deeper to show you just what is it that makes Linux shell so great.
The language in which this book is written makes it an authoritative source. If you ever caught yourself reading the man pages of any Linux utility, you noticed how incredibly terse and hard to understand the language of the man pages can be. The language of this book is just a notch down from the man pages language, it isn't hard on you but it will require your attention all the time as there's very little to none "filler material" and unnecessary repetition.
This is not to say that this material is dry and unreadable. The material is not only compiled information on utilities and their roles but author also shows his points in practice and makes you learn not only on how- to's but by contrast as well. I caught myself reading 30 pages at once when I noticed this book on the shelves of the bookstore, just by browsing through the pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors and Shell Programming appears in its second updated edition to provide a tutorial to the latest Linux commands and references. It's the only book to offer a primer on Perl for all system administrators, in-depth coverage of basic and advanced Linux shell programming, and tips and tricks for customizing the shell. If only one advanced Linux command reference were to be chosen, this is among the top contenders for the job.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Needed this text for school, it actually turned out to be pretty good and I would recommend for others learning about the topic.
Published 10 months ago by Joshy G
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for all Linux users
Very useful reference. I got it because I'm fairly green with Linux and it was the right book for me to have.
Published 13 months ago by O. Dodd
4.0 out of 5 stars Linux Commands are Explained - Nice Supplement to the Man Pages
Some books you read all the way. Some books you just have as a reference for just in case. This fits very well in the latter category and can be very useful when you need to... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michael Gautier
1.0 out of 5 stars Need some work.
Mostly codes would have liked more scripts and shell terminal information, a lot of the Perl code doen't work straight from the book in the version of Linux I'm using.
Published 16 months ago by Alfred
4.0 out of 5 stars Good coverage
For a wide range of topics, I felt that the author did a good job of covering all of them.
Published 17 months ago by Bruce Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great if you are more than a beginner
I purchased this book in the goal of learning more about the terminal and shell programming. I mainly use fedora but have touched ubuntu and mint. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Wes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book!
It's a good book for beginners and intermediates. I learned things from this book that I didn't know before. Well worth the price.
Published 22 months ago by Michael A. Fitts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
This book was sold at a great price for a used product. It contains clear linux commands. It is easy to read and understand.
Published 23 months ago by Andrew J Liu
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Can't recommend it enough. Well worth the price.
Certainly one of the best (if not the best) books on the subject that I've ever seen. This was a prescribed text book for a course I did on *nix principles, and I must say that it... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Ashton
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the book
I just got the book today and as I browse the contents I must say most commands that I need for linux and mac are there. It's also presented in a nice and detailed way. Read more
Published on November 1, 2012 by mark
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