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The First Three Books Every Linux User Should Read 133

lessthan0 writes "Anyone proficient with Linux had to climb the steep learning curve. Part of getting over the top for me was reading a hundred different Linux and Unix related books. From that list, three books stand out as the most useful and influential. I can't promise easy sledding; it will take some work, but mastering this material will demystify Linux and make you appreciate it more."
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The First Three Books Every Linux User Should Read

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  • Re:Poor Grandma (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oahazmatt ( 868057 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @11:48AM (#15380967) Journal
    I do believe that an introductory book ("Linux: Where's my damn Soliatire" ) that taught transitions between the Linux and Microsoft platform would be something every Linux user should read, as not all Linux users want to be sysadmins, but an alternative.
  • My picks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SWroclawski ( 95770 ) <sergeNO@SPAMwroclawski.org> on Monday May 22, 2006 @11:53AM (#15381019) Homepage
    My take is that the initial reads should be practical, then slowly they should move into theory.

    Therefore my first pick is the book that got me started:

    Teach Yourself Unix in 24 Hours (first edition)

    It's a very pragmatic guide to learning the Unix command shell and system layout.

    My second pick is Think Unix by Jon Lasser, which covers using Unix systems but also gives a bit of background and teaches the lesson on how to learn.

    Lastly, to go into the pure theory, Eric Raymond's The Art of Unix Programming is a wonderful guide on explaining *why* things are the way they are in Unix (and by extension, GNU/Linux).
  • by Homology ( 639438 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:19PM (#15382370)
    Let's say I am a software author. I wrote some program to scratch my own itch. Now I need to write a manual for it.
    This is why so much OSS has crappy manuals, and why companies like RedHat and Novell are so important: they pay the writers.

    Those programmers that care about quality writes good documentation as well. The OpenBSD developers write very good, complete and relevant documentation. So companies like Redhat and Novell are important for Linux userland because the documentation is of such low quality.

  • by flajann ( 658201 ) <fred.mitchellNO@SPAMgmx.de> on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @07:29AM (#15386030) Homepage Journal
    I would say that I became "proficient" with Windows NT -- digging deep into the layers of the API and it Kernel structure, even though I primarily developed applications and middleware for it.

    Getting into Linux has been largely a joy for me, if not for any other reason that I don't have to feed Microsoft $2000 a year in its MSDN program just to have a clue. All of that info is free on the Internet, just a Google or two away.

    I enjoy building the kernel, and do so regulary to put in the features I want (and eliminate the ones I don't want). Can't do that with Windows -- you buy the whole package or nothing at all.

    I would say that today I am proficient at Linux, though I have a ways to go before I can claim true proficiency at the Kernel level. But Linux is already so powerful there is little need to have to do things at a low level unless I am writing a driver for something new.

    For the end user, one does not really become proficient with the OS, but with the applications. The GUI is there to deliberately hide the details of the OS-level interface, to add a macro-metaphor on top of a deeper metaphor.

    Ultimately, if you can get done what you need to get done, you are proficient at that level. I can get everything done in Linux what I used to do in Windows, and with much greater efficiency and lower cost. In Windows I feel like a peon, whereas in Linux I feel like the "Star Child" in 2001. And that, my friends, says it all.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin