8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An excellent introduction and reference,
This review is from: Beginning the Linux Command Line (Expert's Voice in Open Source) (Paperback)
Beginning the Linux Command Line.
Author: Sander van Vugt
Publisher: Apress, 2009
User Level: Beginner-Intermediate
Since I began working with Unix systems at a time when there was no alternative to the Command Line interface, it may seem a trifle odd that I have selected this book. I scarcely qualify as 'Beginning...', but I am conscious that there are now far more commands available to the serious user than there were in the days when I started working with System III Unix, and many old commands now have many more options. There are also, as I discovered during my reading of this book, numerous possibilities that I either never knew or have long since forgotten.
Fourteen chapters take the reader from the origins of Linux, through simple commands for manipulating text files, through partition management, to working with the kernel and an explanation of shell scripting. Each chapter begins with introductory paragraphs which provide a background to the task to be tackled, followed by detailed descriptions of the pertinent commands and finishes with a summary of the topics which have been covered. The descriptive chapter headings and a comprehensive index make it simple to re-examine a topic and to use this text as a work of reference.
Of course, no book is perfect. The author tends to use many short, staccato sentences, which may not please everyone, but there is none of the annoying, jokey, conversational style which makes many computer-related texts difficult to read. The tone is neutral, factual and informative.
It seems a trifle incongruous to find an appendix devoted to installing OpenSUSE, using a graphical user interface, when the author has previously confined himself entirely to the command-line and striven to remain 'distribution-neutral'.
These are minor quibbles, however, with a book which I am happy to describe as excellent. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to all who wish to work with Linux and other Unix-like operating systems from the command line, whether a beginner or, like me, in need of a refresher.