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Linux in a Nutshell 6th Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596154486
ISBN-10: 0596154488
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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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell
  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 6 edition (October 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596154488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596154486
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been asked quite a few times to recommend a book for the novice to learn Linux. This book is it. Effectively half the book is devoted to every command that typically comes standard on distributions. If you just look through those, say one or two commands a day and read the options you'll start to see what kind of capabilities Linux affords you.

Anyone looking to understand the basics will need to know package management and this gives you yum and apt-get and rpm and dpkg so you get perspective on both the Redhat and the Debian package management methods.

The bash shell, pattern matching vim (my favorite) and emacs basics to get you started. This book almost 1,000 pages and none of it wasted with useless info. Browse a couple commands a day and read the rest of the book cover to cover. You'll be rock'n Linux like a pro!
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book once again, when a kid I had lent this to, never returned the book. Unfortunately, barnes and nobel has closed in my area and I was forced to buy it here. I don't normally buy books here as it is a well known issue among most people in the book community, but let's not get into that. I needed this F*****g book!
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This is the Linux equivalent of the Webster's Dictionary for the English Language.

Yes, there are the man pages. Yes, there is Google. And yes, I use both of those resources, too. BUT, I love the feel of holding a book. I write notes in it. I highlight in it. I take it for "light reading" on the train back and forth from home to work. No need to worry about batteries, either. It stands up to minor coffee spills, too.

It's great for when you know the command but want to make sure you are using the right parameter(s), or when working with Bash Shell intricacies. Many good, simple examples. I strongly recommend this for anyone's professional "tool box".

There are several other great Linux books that I have. But when anyone asks, "Which book should I buy first?", this is the one that I strongly suggest.
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