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Linuxhelp _ Tips and Tricks _ Books For Newbies

Posted by: Corey Mar 28 2003, 12:32 PM

I would like anyone who has read/heard/own any linux books to make some suggestions as to what are the MUST HAVE books for newcomers to linux. I'm sure this could be very helpful to people just coming into the Linux world. Here are my personal suggestions:

LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell (O'Reilly Press)

- Granted, this book is for study in the LPI Certification exams, however, it is much more useful then that. This books takes you chapter by chapter through each part of the linux operating systems, including practice tests, great summaries, and the quality we all expect from an O'Reilly book. I'm still in the process of reading this book, however, I have learned a lot of things that I never heard of before from anywhere else. There is not bias in this book for any particular distribution, it treats them all equally.

Learning Linux, 3rd Edition (O'Reilly Press)

- An excellent book for the linux newcomer. This books very basic stuff with Linux systems, as well as a few things things that even the expert can learn from. An all round perfect book, any my suggestion for the MUST HAVE linux book.

Anyone else?

Posted by: Hemant Mar 29 2003, 08:58 PM

Redhat-linux in 24 hours.
this is also a very good for newbies

Posted by: beni Mar 30 2003, 06:07 AM

I am learning RHL 8 with the help of this book : 'Red Hat Linux 8 Unleashed' Author: Bill Ball & partner Publishers: Sams publications. Seems to be quite easy on the jargon and explanation. Oh I think it'd be good idea to learn Unix simultaneously. I am referring to this book called 'Learning the Unix operating system' by Jerry Lang(O'Reilly). Small but informative book!

Posted by: Mystilleef Mar 30 2003, 02:14 PM


I don't know if this is appropriate, but I'm going to mention some of the online books and guides. For now, I read this and it's been very helpful. I will update as I find more free online books.

Posted by: Zaphrod Apr 3 2003, 02:04 AM

QUOTE (Mystilleef @ Mar 30 2003, 07:14 PM)

I don't know if this is appropriate, but I'm going to mention some of the online books and guides. For now, I read this and it's been very helpful. I will update as I find more free online books.

I dont know if I should be commenting here but I have to say this guide listed by Mystilleef is great.

Posted by: Corey Apr 4 2003, 10:51 AM

Comment all you want, it's even better when someone follows up someone elses post with "yeah i read that and it's great", it gives other users more of a reason to check it out smile.gif

Posted by: beni Apr 5 2003, 09:24 AM

I looked around for 'Linux in a nutshell'(downloadable version). O'reilly doesnt have one, but an online one instead, which wont be very convenient for me. Can someone tell me from where I can d/l it?

Posted by: melgwee Apr 15 2003, 11:07 AM

I am a newbie too and I recommend any of these two books, namely the 'Red Hat Linux 8 Bible' by Christopher Negus or 'Red Hat Linux 8 Unleashed' by Bill Ball for all newbies. wink.gif

Posted by: conqueror May 4 2003, 05:40 AM

I would just like to start out by saying THANKS for this posting. I just installed RH 9.0 yesterday (5/3/03)for the first time ever! I am a newbie through and through, but hope to learn and keep on learning about Linux. Any of this material is going to be extremely helpful and I will digest as much as my finite mind can handle.

Thanks again!

Posted by: twisted1 May 5 2003, 03:02 PM

Heres a book I am currently in the process of reading. It is very helpful.

"Running Linux" By Matt Welsh & Lar Kaufman(O'Reilly of course)
I also have a pretty extensive library at home of compputer books, mostly Linux, that I will post when I get off work. I also wanted to say that I also think that this is a great thread for not only newbies but for all in the community since one of the best teachers is books. wink.gif

Posted by: chrisw May 5 2003, 09:05 PM

i usually read the man pages for information..since
its already installed on your computer....
unless your like me and dont install the man pages like i do now...
but if i need more in depth information
i find books specific to my needs need
to set up and configure sendmail and a imap i get books on those areas...instead
of a general running redhat book...

Posted by: jetblackz May 7 2003, 01:31 PM

Linux in a Nutshell doesn't help newbies much because it's a book of man pages mostly. You can man command to view all of them.

Running Linux, OTOH, is a great book newbies should pick up. It guides you through the process of installing and running Linux.

If you're not newbies, Nutshell can be a handy reference.

This is a good one:

Posted by: chrisw May 13 2003, 01:59 PM

I have a book just about configuring the apache 1.3.X series which is really good...

ive learned a good deal of things regarding the webserver.

from basic installs to configuring ssl

Posted by: Hemant May 19 2003, 09:11 AM

for indian users there is a very good book by..
Sumitabha Das(unix ....)

books assumes the user a newbie but advanced topics are also well covered.

Posted by: toosleep May 31 2003, 06:17 PM

I know that there are many flavours of LINUX out there. I myself just starting out, am using REDHAT 8. With that I picked up the RedHat8 Bible. SO far it has been the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Another thing that has helped me is picking up an old 386 at a rummage sale with monitor and heyboard for $20. Its setup as an experimental terminal-only system to mess around with if I need to figure something out before trying anything on my main system. Sounds corny, but its saved me alot of fatal mistakes.

Another suggestion would be the linux documenttation project. I know, we all hate the man pages at first, but the HOW-TO's are a great starting point usually full of links to other helpfull sites.

Linux usage to date: 2mo. 17days. 14hours. 7min.


Posted by: zeoplanet Jun 1 2003, 09:23 AM

I know that there are many flavours of LINUX out there. I myself just starting out, am using REDHAT 9.

any of you guys and gals know of any good reading material on redhat

Posted by: Hemant Jun 5 2003, 02:02 PM

redhat bible and redhat linux in 24 hours are very good to start with.
but i will tell u distros doesn't matter much..forget different distros of gnu/linux but a unix book will also help u.

Posted by: andrewjenkins Jun 5 2003, 06:49 PM

If you're interested in the spirit of the GNU Project and Linux, I recommend these two "bibles":

Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Freedom
Sam Williams
This is a biography of Richard Stallman, known on the net as RMS. He wrote, or assisted in writing many of the tools on any linux system, most notably GCC (the compiler that turns the linux kernel from source to something runnable), and GNU Emacs, the text editor. A good read for the philosophical justifications of free software.
This book is released in accordance with the GNU Free Documentation License, so it should be available on the internet somewhere, although I coughed up dinero for the hard-cover.

Just For Fun: The Story of An Accidental Revolutionary
Linus Torvalds and David Diamond
This is a (auto-)biography of Linus Torvalds, the guy behind the Linux kernel, and the front-page man for Linux. About every other chapter is written by Linus himself. This is a very lighthearted read. It's not GFDLed though - you have to buy it or find it in a library.

Posted by: Jay-Jay Jun 5 2003, 07:18 PM

Can't say i've read it but i got the address here of;

Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Freedom.

i'm sure it'll be an interesting read . . . when i'm not essay writing or trying to fix X! (-:


Posted by: Medic6666 Jun 18 2003, 08:17 AM

I use Redhat 8 Bible (which works with 9) and Linux in a nutshell.

Linux in a nutshell lists all the commands with their options and a brief description.

Redhat Bible this pretty much walks you through the principles of doing things. Things may vary depending on your hardware but the principle is always the same.

Other wise do as I did. Using the books I installed, broke it, fixed it, removed it, installed it, broke it, get the idea..

you can learn a lot by breaking it smile.gif

Just my little bit.


Posted by: Jay-Jay Jun 20 2003, 09:15 AM

Just to say that I've brought a book today, I'll give you all a review when I'm done with it . . . but looks okay for specific distro's.

Hertzog, U. (2001). Linux in no time. (2nd Ed.) Dorset; Prentice Hall.


Posted by: warheros Jun 24 2003, 02:54 AM

it's a stupid looking book, but i have found "linux for dummies" very useful for learning basic commands. such as:

uptime (woooHOOOOOO!!!!)

and other modifications of all those. it's the very basic of basic books.

Posted by: giblet Jun 30 2003, 08:30 AM

Here's my 2c worth...

I started with the SAMS Red Hat x unleashed series. They are quite good for beginners, although some sections are a bit baffling when you are used to windoze.

Then I started reading the Red Hat official documentation (pdf format from and found that they have all manner of information there from beginners upwards. My favorite at the moment is the Red Hat 8 Reference Guide... only because I am a bit beyond the configuration and installation guides. The manuals are a good reflection of Red Hats reputation as being a solid distribution with a good installer. I thoroughly recommend them, especially if you can get your hands on someone elses laser printer!

Posted by: ewancarr Jul 18 2003, 05:49 PM

"Sams - Teach Yourself Red Hat Linux 9 in 24 Hours"

I bought this book as a complete newbie and its great - shows you all the basics, guides you through installation, and includes Red Hat 9 CDs. Excellent.


Posted by: Infenet Jul 28 2003, 03:21 PM

I want to thank you for the advice. I'm a newbie to Linux. I just installed RH 8.0 on my laptop, which now has 2 os win2k and rh. I will defienetly invest in those books mentioned, but first i will try the online ones. Thanks again this has been very helpful.

Posted by: Infenet Jul 29 2003, 07:42 AM

Hey Joey,

I would like to get those books you mention in Html format.


Posted by: tslothrop Aug 4 2003, 12:13 PM

My $0.02 on this:

Practical Linux (QUE), by Tony Guntharp et. al. I found this one at one of those "giant book sales" that are held at malls.

The Linux Cookbook (No Starch Press), by Michael Stutz

Running Linux (O'Reilly and Assoc.), by Matt Welsh

Posted by: Bourne_Again Aug 19 2003, 07:21 PM

i would suggest most of the "Sams" books for sure. I started with "Sams-Teach Yourself Red Hat Linux in 24 hrs." Once you've surpassed newbie (and even if you haven't) i am going to push "Maximum Linux Security" as a must have for anyone wanting to know about the linux world outside the personal work station. It has great tips that will help you when installing and partitioning your hard drive.

Posted by: hughesjr Aug 19 2003, 08:14 PM

If you really want to learn the ins and outs of the Linux / GNU OS, the Linux From Scratch book (and install) is great. This is really hard to do ... and it takes a very long time .... and the system you get is not really very useful. BUT, it teaches you how Linux works, and I think it is invaluable as a Linux learning tool!

Go here:

pick the closest mirror to you and then click on the link for View Online under LFS Books (on the left-hand menu) and then select the latest version of the book. If you complete the book, you will see how a GNU/ Linux OS is built from the ground up .... here is a link of the current latest book (version 4.1) concerning who would want to use the book:

and who would not want to read:

If you are interested in a functional system that is built on similar principles, but is slightly more automated and user friendly, then installing from stage 1 is also very instructive.

Posted by: Medic6666 Aug 24 2003, 03:27 AM

The Bible books are good. I have linux 9 bible and also photoshop bible and they help a lot.

The Nutshell books are also very good. Linux in a nutshell is like a dictionary of most commands and options. So far If I needed to look a command up it has been in the nutshell book.

As far as I know there is no d/l for nutshell books. Unless someone has sat and scanned every page in one at a time and made it a PDF. :S



Posted by: angels30 Sep 15 2003, 05:17 AM

I have found

"Linux Complete"


to be very helpful, it caters for all levels

Posted by: AndrewLubinsus89 Sep 27 2003, 09:49 AM

It always helps to check the library for good books. I went by and picked up the red hat bible with Redhat Linux 8 on it. I would recommend this book (I am a Noobie and I think it is great)

Posted by: aromes Sep 29 2003, 01:37 PM

Linux in 24 Hrs (as a startup guide)

Posted by: jstew Oct 9 2003, 11:21 AM

No need to actually buy a book. This is the best: also referred to as the "Rute user's guide." Of course, you can go to and buy a bound version of this book as well. This book should be used actually as Computer Science 101 IMHO

Posted by: ajs00 Nov 25 2003, 11:04 PM

I'm using 'Using Linux'. The main reason I picked it up was it came with 3 distros on in. It is reasonable and will get things up and running, but I feel can skim over some of the detail.

I've just grabbed the 'Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition' from the site in the previous post. This thing looks fantastic!!

Posted by: frodo44 Dec 1 2003, 06:56 PM

Just a heads-up for everyone out there... don't by the Redhat Linux for Dummies book. It sucks.... teaches you nothing about real unix commands, but instead teaches you all about the pretty GUI environment that Redhat provides you. Don't waste your money or time.

By the way... if anyone wants to buy a Redhat Linux for Dummies book.... jk.

Posted by: cagey cretin Dec 30 2003, 11:44 PM

QUOTE (melgwee @ Apr 15 2003, 11:07 AM)
I am a newbie too and I recommend any of these two books, namely the 'Red Hat Linux 8 Bible' by Christopher Negus or 'Red Hat Linux 8 Unleashed' by Bill Ball for all newbies.  wink.gif

Respectfully I have the Negus Redhat 9 book and I can't give it an A+.

I created a few scripts to help pass install files to the hard drive from the CDrom, but they didn't run and I spent a few days trying to find out why. It turns out that I found the problem when I used vi to edit a script.

He had said that you could use any text editor to create/edit scripts. Unfortunately, the GNU gedit that is on Redhat 9 puts extra characters at the end of the line, creating nonsense. There was two days out of my life. Other than that, it's ok.


Posted by: mandrake92 Feb 8 2004, 07:18 PM

Check it out Im a newbie and I have just started to read it but it is already helping me smile.gif

Posted by: hughesjr Feb 9 2004, 09:28 PM

QUOTE (cagey cretin @ Dec 30 2003, 11:44 PM)
He had said that you could use any text editor to create/edit scripts. Unfortunately, the GNU gedit that is on Redhat 9 puts extra characters at the end of the line, creating nonsense.

The standard gedit should allow you to edit text with no problem ... are you sure you didn't use a DOS text editor on those files in windows (or transfer the files in from a windows format) ... there are extra characters in DOS formated files (CR and LF ... which usually look like ^M and ^P ... but sometimes other characters as well)

Posted by: Termina Mar 16 2004, 10:14 AM

Does anyone know a place that sells used, cheat linux books? XD

Public library has none. =/

Posted by: Robert83 Mar 19 2004, 04:45 AM

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
Introduction to system Administration
[this book covers the basic of system administration, of what must be done, how it should be done, it's very good
advice for any system administrator who switched from Windows to Linux...]

Robert B

ps.: other more complex books can be downloaded from Red Hat website in pdf format...

Posted by: Binary_Knight Apr 17 2004, 06:34 AM


Linux Hacking Exposed covers alot of security ground, and helped me secure my system. This is a great book.

Posted by: Corey May 5 2004, 06:40 AM

Time to let this thread die peacefully. I'm going to move it over to the tips and tricks forum for easier searching.

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