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A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming (2nd Edition) Paperback – November 19, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0131367364 ISBN-10: 0131367366 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1080 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 2 edition (November 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131367366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131367364
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

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See all 33 customer reviews
I found the explanations to be very concise, easily readable and easy to comprehend.
Ashton
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.
Gjorgi Var
If your looking for a good book on Linux commands or just want to learn more about how Linux works, This book is for you.
krycom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alexandros Gezerlis on 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 By Nizdobs on 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 By Gjorgi Var on 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 By Wes on March 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. This book starts out easy to follow but quickly looses you in some chapters and you find yourself flipping around for answers or turning to Google to figure out what they are talking about. It almost seems like they are trying to stuff too much stuff into one book when it should be broken down into two books. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are more of an intermediate user. Beginners should definately look for another book and be more familiar with the OS and terminal before jumping head first into this book.
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