Reviewer: Crouse - www.usalug.org
Book: Linux Pocket Guide
Author: Daniel J. Barrett
200 Pages , $9.95 US, $14.95 CA, Â£6.95 UK
1st Edition March 2004
Publisher Book Link: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/linuxpg/index.html
Table of Contents
One of the first things you will notice about this book is the size. Measuring a tiny 4.25 inches wide X 7 inches tall and only about a 1/2 inch in thickness, you might be under the mistaken impression that it doesn't have much to offer. Don't let it's size fool you. Personally, I love the size of this little book. It is small enough to take with you in your coat pocket, giving you reading material while waiting in line or any time you have spare time to kill.
This book is written as a short guide, and not intended to cover every single topic. What it does cover, it covers very well. Basically it shows you the "Essential Commands", just like the note on the front cover says. If your like me, and don't have every command and man page memorized or are just learning the Linux command line, this is a valuable tool. The book covers almost all of the basic command line commands and gives a very readable account of how they are used and some intersting comments thrown in for good measure.
The book starts out with the obligatory introduction to Linux and progresses very fast from there. A few comments on "What's a Command" and "Users and Superusers" and then into a few pages on "The role of the Shell". Now it starts to get into the bulk of what makes up the book. The bulk of the rest of the chapters cover mostly commands and what each one does. The book progresses nicely through these, starting with the basic commands for moving through the Linux filesytems, and then to basic file operations. The flow of the book is nice because as it progresses, you don't feel lost. Each section builds on the others and feels almost like a textbook in that regard.
So much is covered in the 200 pages, it's hard to believe that it actually all fit into this small book. Again, don't let the size fool you, there is an enormous amount of information packed into it. The final chapters cover some graphical things (it's not all command line), like audio/video, screensavers, web browsing. The final section deals with shell scripting and the basic bash commands. This ties in nicely as it allows you to use the commands from the previous chapters and integrate them into some bash scripts which, very nicely, wraps things up.
One of the only things that might initially make people think the book isn't something that they want, is that it says "Covers Fedora Linux" on the cover. While it does go into some Fedora specific things on a few pages, in reality, it isn't much of an issue and 99% of the book is applicable for other distro's as well. So don't let that stop you from getting this book!
This is definatley a must have for those new to Linux that want to get up to speed on using the command line. I saw this book the other day in the bookstore and bought it. It's such a great value, I had to write a review for it. For $10, you would be hard pressed to find a better book for the money.
This gets 5/5 big grins
Book Review: Linux Pocket Guide - Essential Commands