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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 28 March 2013
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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on 15 April 2012
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 September 2014
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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on 17 May 2012
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! There is also a large section on shell scripting, covering over a quarter of the book, and chapters on essentials like basic system administration, text processing, and regular expressions.

I have only two real criticisms. The first is that a few important commands are glossed over more than I would have liked. The need to skim over some topics is understandable, given the wide scope of the book, but it can still be a little disappointing. For example, SSH is an extremely important tool for system administrators, but it only has a couple of pages worth of discussion, which is barely enough to scratch the surface. More detail on complex tools such as this would be welcome, perhaps at the expense of some of the less immediately-useful material in the lengthy shell scripting guide. My second complaint is that a few chapters are rather distribution-specific, choosing to specialise to popular distros like Debian and Red Hat. While it's unrealistic to expect every Linux distro to be covered, it would have been nice to see a slightly broader listing of distro-specific command line installation tools, for example. Happily, this criticism only applies to a handful of chapters, and the vast majority of the material is fully distro-independent.

All in all, The Linux Command Line will serve as a useful reference/guide for those interested in taking control of their computer with the command line. It covers a wide range of topics, but avoids being dry, list-y, or superficial for the most part, and should be suitable for beginners and intermediates alike. Whether you are interested in learning the command line from scratch, or simply want to improve your existing skills, this book will provide pretty much everything you need.
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on 6 November 2012
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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on 18 August 2015
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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on 14 January 2015
I bought this for my dad, who's always used Windows and now wants to try Linux. The book presumes some proficiency in using computers (e.g. with Windows), but does not assume any knowledge whatsoever of Linux or other UNIX-like operating systems. Neither does it assume any experience in programming, scripting, or command line interaction.

It doesn't just explain how to use the command line, but also how the philosophy of how UNIX-like operating systems work. For example, the author explains Linux's unified filesystem hierarchy (a common source of confusion for Windows users), how the shell relates to the operating system, file permissions, and so on.

And while it's very accessible to the complete beginner, it's thorough enough for me to learn from it as well (I'm an intermediate user of Linux with a few years' experience).
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on 12 May 2016
A fantastic introduction for people wishing to learn the linux command line, containing anecdotal notes about historical *nix systems, and practical demonstrations of the commands covered. The book guides the reader through the process of creating a "playground" to safely play with commands, as well as warning the reader of potential disasters, practices to avoid, etc.

The book is very succinct and understandable, and I would say that it still provides some valuable information for even competent linux users, though the early chapters are certainly aimed at beginners.
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on 24 August 2013
I'm the sort of person who likes to take things apart and put them back together, and my recent purchase of a Raspberry Pi has encouraged me to delve deeper into how Linux works. This book has certainly given me the confidence to do so. The book is well-written, with the author managing to tread perfectly the line between solid technical writing and sufficient light-heartedness to make the book entertaining. No mean feat.
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on 9 October 2015
I just wanted to say what a brilliant book this is. I wanted to keep up/improve my Linux skills, since I mostly work on Windows, and this book have been superb. It is practical, and easy to do a chapter's worth of learning at a time (i.e. in bite-sized chunks). What I love about it is, it is totally geared up to hands-on experience. It also serves as a very useful reference. I am really grateful to the author of this book.
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