[ACCEPTED]-What are good Linux/Unix books for an advancing user?-command-line

Accepted answer
Score: 63

I've wiki'd this post - could those with 77 sufficient rep add in items to it.

System 76 administration, general usage books

  • Nemeth 75 et. al, Linux System Administration

  • The Armadillo book, as mentioned by Bill 74 The Lizard below.

  • Anything by Mark Sobell. He does a sort 73 of theme-and-variations for various flavours 72 of unix, so pick the book most appropriate 71 to the environment in hand. The books are 70 quite good. One of his was a prescribed 69 text when I did my B.Sc.

  • Stevens' TCP/IP illustrated, vol. 1: The Protocols for a 68 comprehensive run down on how TCP/IP works 67 in detail.

  • I've never read this particular 66 book, but many people here are recommending 65 Unix Power Tools as mentioned by Hortitude.


Specific tools 53 (e.g. Sendmail)

Various of the books from 52 O'Reilly and other publishers cover specific 51 topics. Some of the key ones are:

Some 37 of these books have been in print for quite 36 a while and are still relevant. Consequently 35 they are also often available secondhand 34 at much less than list price. Amazon marketplace 33 is a good place to look for such items. It's 32 quite a good way to do a shotgun approach 31 to topics like this for not much money.

As 30 an example, in New Zealand technical books 29 are usurously expensive due to a weak kiwi 28 peso (as the $NZ is affectionately known 27 in expat circles) and a tortuously long 26 supply chain. You could spend 20% of a 25 week's after-tax pay for a starting graduate 24 on a single book. When I was living there 23 just out of university I used this type 22 of market a lot, often buying books for 21 1/4 of their list price - including the 20 cost of shipping to New Zealand. If you're 19 not living in a location with tier-1 incomes 18 I recommend this.

E-Books and on-line resources 17 (thanks to israkir for reminding me):

  • The Linux 16 Documentation project (www.tldp.org), has many specific 15 topic guides known as HowTos that also often concern 14 third party OSS tools and will be relevant 13 to other Unix variants. It also has a series 12 of FAQ's and guides.

  • Unix Guru's Universe is a collection of unix resources 11 with a somewhat more old-school flavour.

  • Google. There 10 are many, many unix and linux resources 9 on the web. Search strings like unix commands or learn unix will 8 turn up any amount of online resources.

  • Safari. This 7 is a subscription service, but you can search 6 the texts of quite a large number of books. I 5 can recommend this as I've used it. They 4 also do site licences for corporate customers.

Some 3 of the philosophy of Unix:

Score: 20

I have found Unix Power Tools to be one of the best resources 2 for me. It may not have a tutorial in it, but 1 it is a great reference.

Score: 15

The Art of Unix programming is a book that I've found helpful in the 2 past, in spite of being a bit slanted against 1 other non-unix platforms.

Score: 11

The O'Reilly books have excellent *nix coverage. I 6 have these:

Learning the bash Shell
* Covers several basic *nix 5 command line tools as well as more advanced 4 shell scripting techniques.

Learning the vi and Vim Editors
* Priceless. Gave 3 me the ability to very quickly edit or create 2 shell scripts, configuration files, Python 1 scripts from the shell.

Score: 10

I recommend the Armadillo book from O'Reilly for 1 command line administration and shell scripting.

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Score: 7


Unix Programming Environment by Kernighan and Pike will give you 5 solid foundations on all things Unix and 4 should cover most of your questions regarding 3 shell command line scripting etc.

The Armadillo book 2 by O'Reilly will add the administration 1 angle. It has served me well!

Good luck!

Score: 4

I can suggest the bunch of books here:


good 1 luck;)

Score: 4

The aforementioned Unix Power Tools is a must. Other classics 2 are sed&awk and Mastering Regular Expressions. I also like some books from the 1 O'Reilly "Cookbook" series:

Score: 4

The Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide is the only book that really allows 4 the reader to grok bash scripting. You need 3 that ability to fully understand how to 2 start/stop daemons and to automate a lot 1 of tasks.

Score: 2

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In my opinion, you will learn more just 4 by messing around with what you find interesting 3 on a *nix box. It is a waste of time to 2 read about BIND if you have no interest 1 in networks.

Score: 2

The AWK Programming Language

Not only introduces to the versatile tool 2 that awk is, but also gives an insight about 1 the Unix based philosophy and some awk 'design-patterns'.

Score: 1

Big agreement for Essential System Adminstration and Unix Power Tools.

Also, whichever 3 editor you prefer, vim or emacs, learn it 2 back & forth. If you like vim, then 1 get Steve Oualline's vim book.

Score: 1

With regards to Ubuntu and Linux in general, a 1 good book:

Score: 1

Stephen Kochan's "Unix Shell Programming" and 1 "Exploring the Unix System"

Score: 1
  • sed & awk Dougherty and robbins
  • Mastering regular expression Jeffrey Friedl
  • Linux in a nutshell to look things up, although most of the info is also in manpages
  • Vim by Steve Oualline


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