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on 29 July 2008
OK, I'm just starting out with Linux, although I have used Mac and Windows for many years. Ubuntu was my choice as it is so well supported and appears to be the least painful way of getting into Linux.

The book itself has a very good 'building block' approach to getting up and running quickly, then takes you through all manner of configuration options. Throughout, it is well laid out and task based, i.e. 'Mounting File Systems with the mount Command', so you can quickly find out how to do a specific task. It also contains troubleshooting sections and a useful guide for vi and other editors. The Index is very thorough, as is the Table of Contents, so finding what you are looking for is dead easy. I had one Ubuntu Server and a number of desktops up and running in under a day, thanks to this book, notwithstanding the fact that the server is command only (NO GUI!) and I wanted to install VMware Server!

In conclusion, I'd say it is one of the most comprehensive Zero to Hero guides out there on Ubuntu. It's name doesn't do it justice, it is much more than just a 'Toolbox', the words Quickstart and Compendium might do better, I would think.

Well done to the authors, it nailed all of my Ubuntu questions in one neat bundle!
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on 24 June 2009
To summarize; if I had to have only one book on GNU/Linux, this would be it. It is excellently indexed, very readable, and-- at only 330 compact pages-- usefully portable. Almost immediately, it established itself as my number 1 reference. Ubuntu Linux Toolbox is almost entirely devoted to using the shell. After a useful introduction to Ubuntu, the following 13 chapters are on subjects such as using the shell, working with files, manipulating text, managing the system, remote system administration etc. Each chapter is divided into sections such as "Backing up tar archives over SSH". It is in these sections that the authors' experience really shows. Everything is explained and alternative approaches explored. The three appendices cover shell variables, Vim and /proc. The aim always seems to be to get you started, and to point you to a variety of useful features and ways of doing things. As a moderately competent user, I can not judge this book's appeal to a real expert, but to anybody else, I would say that buying this book is a no-brainer. Alternatives versions exist for Fedora and Suse.
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on 5 June 2009
As one would expect with any Linux textbook, this one is dense. There is lots of information, not presented in the most readable manner, however the good indexing and contents makes it pretty easy to find what you want.

With the subsequent updates of Ubuntu it is becoming less usual for a normal user to carry out tasks from this manual, however some, such as regular expressions, deserve to be learnt by everyone. In addition learning the different ways there are to go about everyday tasks, graphically and via the terminal, give the user a better understanding of what goes on "behind the scenes".

People argue that "you can get it all from the internet". Personally I would argue that it is easier to read things on paper, and nicer to have something there to dip into rather than switching back and forth between browser and command line continually. Also books, like this one, are written to sell, not just as a hobby, they are generally better written and more complete than online tutorials.

All in all I would recommend this book for people not scared to try the command line and those who want to learn a few more intriguing things that Linux can do. However if you are content with using Ubuntu's easy-to-operate Graphical User Interface, then steer clear!
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on 2 April 2015
At some point, any Debian user will either give up Linux, getting back to the cave and Windows or end up googling to find a faster, better way to accomplish all those tedious, time consuming and error prone tasks that he manually does, over and over, through the graphical interface. This book, with its learn by doing approach, is a great companion to anyone wiling to get the most out of the penguin, unleashing the true power of Linux and taking control of his machine and its services through the command line.

First things first: this book is not for people new to Linux. It’s for those that have already been playing with Debian, or any of its derivatives (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, …), and want to do more, faster and better. On the other hand, this title does not give the reader details about the Linux philosophy and/or its internals. There are excellent books to learn about what happens under the hood (see the suggested books down, at the bottom).

In this title, Christopher gives the readers an accurate and comprehensive coverage of the commands to take control of the many different aspects of the operating system: memory, disks, network, … . Among them, I have particularly enjoyed the chapters dedicated to the file system management, which covers everything, from mounting and unmounting up to creating virtual and encrypted file systems. And their maintenance, of course.

It’s not a reference. For each command presented, the author does not show all the possible options and flavors. He does instead present the good ones, those that you want to save as an alias in your bashrc or jealously somewhere safe.

Moving through the chapters, the reader feels amazed by the quantity of commands he’s shown, step by step, and by the simplicity through which the author explains the concepts.

A very good book. Certainly one of the best cookbooks out there. Definitely recommended to power users. Not to sys admins though: the book does not present/teach shell scripts to automate the daily maintenance tasks . Moreover, the topics covered are probably way too easy for any seasoned admin out there.

Suggested readings:
Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook: a similar book, which targets system administrators instead.
How Linux Works: a great title dedicated to the internals of Linux. A must have for anyone interested in understanding how the system works.

As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!
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on 2 April 2015
At some point, any Debian user will either give up Linux, getting back to the cave and Windows or end up googling to find a faster, better way to accomplish all those tedious, time consuming and error prone tasks that he manually does, over and over, through the graphical interface. This book, with its learn by doing approach, is a great companion to anyone wiling to get the most out of the penguin, unleashing the true power of Linux and taking control of his machine and its services through the command line.

First things first: this book is not for people new to Linux. It’s for those that have already been playing with Debian, or any of its derivatives (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mint, …), and want to do more, faster and better. On the other hand, this title does not give the reader details about the Linux philosophy and/or its internals. There are excellent books to learn about what happens under the hood (see the suggested books down, at the bottom).

In this title, Christopher gives the readers an accurate and comprehensive coverage of the commands to take control of the many different aspects of the operating system: memory, disks, network, … . Among them, I have particularly enjoyed the chapters dedicated to the file system management, which covers everything, from mounting and unmounting up to creating virtual and encrypted file systems. And their maintenance, of course.

It’s not a reference. For each command presented, the author does not show all the possible options and flavors. He does instead present the good ones, those that you want to save as an alias in your bashrc or jealously somewhere safe.

Moving through the chapters, the reader feels amazed by the quantity of commands he’s shown, step by step, and by the simplicity through which the author explains the concepts.

A very good book. Certainly one of the best cookbooks out there. Definitely recommended to power users. Not to sys admins though: the book does not present/teach shell scripts to automate the daily maintenance tasks . Moreover, the topics covered are probably way too easy for any seasoned admin out there.

Suggested readings:
Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook: a similar book, which targets system administrators instead.
How Linux Works: a great title dedicated to the internals of Linux. A must have for anyone interested in understanding how the system works.

As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!
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on 19 May 2010
This book tries it's best to cram a lot of material into a fairly short number of pages. It teaches the user the basics of the command line and then starts with a variety of very powerful tools and useful tricks. This book renders a lot of Graphical User Interface (GUI) packages obselete and can make these tasks quicker. The book helps the user develop their command line skills from early stages of browsing through files to more complicated specialist commands that a lot of users may simply never need.

So why only 3 stars? The book attempts to cram a lot into 360 pages, however the readability and user friendliness of the book does suffer, a few more examples of code and tasks would be useful.

This book finds itself stuck between two areas, it is too large for a pocket guide but at the same time I feel that too many useful commands and examples are missing to make this a great reference guide. I have been using this for over a year now so I am not basing this on a couple of weeks so I feel suitable research has been carried out. For a thorough Command Line reference then I would recommend the Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible which is by far and away the best Command Line guide available.

Ideal for the casual user that wishes to give the Command Line a go, but for those who want to take their command line skills even further then I would recommend to look elsewhere.
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on 23 October 2009
I would recommend this book for any Debian Linux / *Ubuntu user. Whether you are new to the system or have some experience but just need some help finding out how to do certain things.

The contents are perfectly laid out which makes finding what you want very quick and painless. Each tutorial is brilliantly written and explains each example in a way that makes it stick in your mind and gives you enough to expand on the example using other reference material i.e Linux Pocket Guide or Linux in a Nutshell.

I mainly used the internet as reference which was very good but this book in my opinion is easier and it teaches you instead of just giving the answer.

I believe you could download Ubuntu and work through this book to become a very skilled Linux user. I'm not saying the resources would give the reader enough knowledge to become LPI Level 3 certified but it will definitely send them on the right path.

Hats off to the Authors
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on 18 April 2014
The title's completely accurate and just what I needed to manage a rejuvenated, 9 year old AMD64 PC and 2 year old netbook both of which were crippled with Windows. As other's have said this is not a book to help you learn Linux - O'Rielly books have some great material if that's what you need. If, as I did, you need to find out how to use certain features of Linux then it's excellent as the book is divided into subject areas you may want concentrate on so there's a chapter on installing the operating system and adding software; how to use the shell ; how to work with files and how to manipulate text; how to manage the system and the network as well as a real insight on managing security. It has those all-important examples of how to use the commands in fundamental ways that the Man Pages would benefit from. Whilst the book is headed 'Ubuntu Linux Toolbox' it's absolutely fine for my 64-bit Linux Mint (a Debian / Ubuntu core distro) and of course the excellent 32-bit Lubuntu that runs like the wind on an Acer Aspire One netbook with just a single gig of RAM. When you're stuck on the command line, dip into the toolbox - all the tools are there.
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on 19 October 2013
I was looking for a book that would help me to learn more about Ubuntu in particular and Linux in general. This book fulfilled those criteria.
Not exactly for the beginner but... if you have been using Ubuntu for a while, like it, and want to know more, this is a good place to start. Thing are explained clearly giving the user access to some very useful and powerful tools.
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on 9 November 2009
As A relative newcomer to Ubuntu and Linux I found this handbook an excellent resource for getting more familiar with using the command line. Whilst still not an expert I can now do virtually everything I need to do to manage my system effectively.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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