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The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction Paperback – 17 Jan 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

William E. Shotts, Jr. has been a software professional and avid Linux user for more than 15 years. He has an extensive background in software development, including technical support, quality assurance, and documentation. He is also the creator of LinuxCommand.org, a Linux education and advocacy site featuring news, reviews, and extensive support for using the Linux command line.


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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
With this book I've gone from being a complete newbie to feeling like I have a decent understanding of the command line. While I'm not an expert and can't tell you if any areas are being neglected it does seem to cover a good range of topics and it does teach all the skills I was looking to learn. The writing style is enjoyable and not too technical and there are lots of useful practical examples for the various commands introduced which help a lot in understanding how to use them.

I would definately recommend this book to anyone interested in learning to use the Linux terminal.

By the way- the book is also available in PDF form on the authors website. Google the name of the book and you'll find it. :)
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I've been a Linux user for over 10 years and read a good few Linux books. The reason I like this book so much is that it is written kind of like a novel rather than a reference book. It starts with the very basics and slowly builds until the end where you begin to write shell scripts. I also like the authors style which is more conversational. If you are used to reading traditional computer text books you may find you don't like the style as this is defiantly NOT a pure reference book or a technical manual. However this is the first Linux book I have read from cover to cover and keep going back to. Dare I say the first one I enjoyed reading! Well worth the money and the five stars.
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So why is the book so good?
The book is very practical - you learn through "doing".

For instance ^ normally acts as an anchor to say "search for matching items from the start of the line".
However the ^ inside a bracket means something totally different.. it "negates" the command. DUH!! Quite a difference there then!

Next is the [RANGE] command. So if you search for [A-Z] or [A-z], the second command will not find a little a, if you're in "Locale" mode. We expect locales to work like ASCII works A-Z and a-z...
BUT the locale mode works on aAbB. Now [A-Z] will miss the starting baby a... as A is the second letter, not the baby a which is first. So asking it to find [A-Z] means you're starting the search from the SECOND letter, and it can never locate a little a... Well, that might mess up your results.

You'll find yourself reading and rereading each section, as you don't want to miss anything.

I don't think there's a command line book on the market to rival this book. It's stunning.
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Format: Paperback
The command line is a powerful tool that experienced computer users will really benefit from learning. When I first started using Linux about ten years ago, it was difficult to avoid the command line. It seemed like a chore at first, but after learning only a few commands, I found it to be a satisfying and efficient way of getting things done. This book provides a nice, usable introduction to the ins and outs of the Linux command line, along with an extensive survey of command line tools and their uses. The style is somewhere inbetween a reference book and a hands-on guide - the writing is friendly and interesting, but concise, and a lot of ground is covered. Solid examples are given for all of the common tools, along with a number of more obscure ones.

A real strength of The Linux Command Line is its task-based approach. Related commands are grouped together, with the discussion flowing logically from the simpler aspects of a task through to what can be achieved with the more advanced tools on offer. This guarantees that there will be something in every chapter for both beginners and more advanced readers alike. Indeed, the grouping of common commands with less well-known ones in each chapter means that there's lots of potential for discovering neat new tricks. A number of key commands are treated in a careful, detailed manner, which serves to equip the reader with some very powerful tools. I especially appreciated the extended sections on commands like find and sed, and thorough discussions of concepts like redirection and expansion. These had always seemed like something of a mystery to me, but now I know how they work, I use them all of the time!
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As a guy who wanted to start learning about linux and its command line, I have to say that this book met all my expectations. It covers a large number of topics and does so in a very inviting, interesting way. I especially enjoy the bits where author explains the way unix-like systems operated in the past which led to specific ways in which the shell works today - this gave me a better understanding of the matter.
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In the past few months I've been making effort to improve my knowledge on the Linux system. This book is FANTASTIC. I initially had the .pdf version but through both being very satisfied with what I had learned and wanting to support the Author I have decided to purchase the paperback.

Along with the Linux Foundation Introduction course which is now offered for free on their site I have also purchases the Pocket Guide to Linux. The course lacks in-depth content but does cover what it gives you well. On the opposite side the Pocket Guide to linux is brilliant as a reference.

This book combines the two. You can read from front to back and it will take you on a guided linear tour through linux from your first steps in the command line right through to advanced shell scripting and others. I am sure I will keep returning to this book for a long time to come.

Note: I am also interested in the networking side of Linux, this is covered in the book. The book doesn't go too super in-depth on the subject, you will need to purchase another book on Networking or Sys Admin stuff alone. This is not to slate The Linux Command Line as this book covers those topics in more than sufficient depth, just personally I will be looking into additional reading material for those subjects.

For anyone looking to just understand the Linux system a bit more or if you're wanting to delve right into the dirty with it and touch on everything there is to learn this book is an essential addition to anyone's reading material.
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