I'm new to Unix/Linux platforms so I was hunting for good books on *nix... I soon realized there is not one book or resource. But to gain confidence on the command line and scripting (the real *nix user) I finally found two books:

1.The Linux Command Line

2.Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible

Both seem to be great. The second one is almost double the size of the first one (I don't mind, I like reading books). But which one is more informative and also has better coverage of topics? It's for you people to tell.

I looked at the reviews of the second one on Amazon. But I couldn't find the reviews of the first one. So please tell me which one should I get?



I have a general rule of thumb when buying any tech book, avoid the ones that weigh more than a phonebook (remember those? ;)). Avoid any book for dummies, unless you think you are a dummy, avoid any listed as a "Bible".

The big fat books are a marketing ploy with tons of white space, large font, and excessive examples.

I'm sorry I can't answer your question specifically as there are too many good online bash sites. (google for them)

The good books used to be published by Prentice Hall. Kernigan, Ritchie, Pike, Aho, etc. all used Prentice Hall.

I also found O'Reily's to be hit or miss; some were excellent, others bad.

Look for short and concise, with fewer examples and more exercises left to the reader. My $0.02


I would suggest combination of Unix Power Tools and Learning the bash Shell

First book will teach you how to work efficiently, elegantly, and creatively with the Unix tool suite and second book will teach you shell scripting in bash which is the most common shell used by Linux distributions.


For shell I strongly recommend Portable Shell Programming and Portable Shell Scripting. The first gets you started quickly; it's concise with excellent examples. The second delves much more deeply into the intricacies of the shell; why things work the way they do. Although both are focused on POSIX shell they'll give you a solid grounding for any shell you choose to use (e.g., bash).

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