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A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  312 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The essential reference for core commands that Linux users need daily, along with superior tutorial on shell programming and much more. The book is a complete revision of the commands section of Sobell's Practical Guide to Linux - a proven best-seller. The book is Linux distribution and release agnostic. It will appeal to users of ALL Linux distributions. Superior examples ...more
Paperback, 1008 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Prentice Hall PTR
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Bernie Noel
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every software developer, architect, designer or even QA engineer should read it. It focuses on principles and guidance, so it may feel missing some level of detail.
Joe Vaughn
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Linux Newbies
Excellent is the first word that comes to mind for a primer. While I'm more *nix oriented, this is an awesome starting place for anyone with the savvy to install Linux on a box but doesn't know the hell to do with it afterwards. Unlike the majority of LUGs with replies with RTFM n00b33 replies to basic functionality questions, this book gives practical examples for first-timers and frames knowledge in such a way as to provide newcomers with the ability to ask *smart* questions of those of us who ...more
Clifton Franklund
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
This is an excellent introduction and reference for Linux/Unix/OSX terminal. I have many books that cover specific topics in greater detail (e.g. send, awk, Python, or emacs). But this, in one nice volume, is enough information for most people to do most things. It has earned a place in my at-hand bookshelf by my desk at work. Only the best, most useful, and frequently consulted texts abide therein.
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have used this book in a class I led at work, and strongly recommend it for people that are interested in developing their Linux proficiency.

This book will not make you a Linux expert. But you will have a solid foundation from which to develop the skills you learn from this book to become that expert over time, after you read this book.

I like this book because it provides ample coverage of its topics. Each chapter is a sort of mini book in and of itself, providing solid coverage of the topic i
Jay Cresva
It was hardly a practical guide considering there were no examples given to show the codes in action. I also felt that material wasn't covered comprehensively. I've picked up Steve Moritsugu's Practical Unix since, because I was disappointed with this one..and my course required a comprehensive knowledge of UNIX/LINUX commands and utilities..also I wanted to get into shell scripting. So far Steve's book is proving to be 100x better than this one.
I would only recommend this to people who are try
Evan Snyder
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comp-sci
As a programmer who had already spent some time tripping around Linux environments, I found this a most excellent, to-the-point overview of the operating system's baseline functionality, file system, and commands. Explanations were kept direct and simple, which is ideal if, for example, you are already familiar with what ACLs are, but need a quick hit about using them on a Linux box. Extensive command reference at the back. ...more
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have come across for the UNIX , LINUX "power user". If you really want to understand the shell,text editors (Emacs,Vi),programming tools,sed,gawk then this book is for you. This book is distro neutral, and the examples in the book, will work for any distro ex (fedora,Gentoo,FreeBSD, Debian). ...more
The organization of this book needed some help. Chapters on bash had constant references and asides for tcsh, which was confusing. The graphics representing different flows were often on the wrong page, so you'd turn a page and be confronted with a graphic that won't matter until a page or two later. The content was good, but it really needed some editorial help. ...more
Zach Klippenstein
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book for the linux user who wants to learn how to use the shell. Serves as a very detailed, yet easy to read and understand, introduction to bash and tcsh. Definitely made me more productive (and is a great skill to show off at parties). Includes a very handy little command reference, until you get comfortable with man pages ;)
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Pretty good book to understand a little of Linux, but not to use as a guide or a reference book. It left alot of important things out, or in some cases the subject that I was looking for was divided in small parts all over the book.
Feb 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
The whims of a random geek put into book form.

Editors: just vim and emacs so no purist would feel bad.

Shells: bash, I get that, and tcsh - dated junk who has got its lats patch three years ago.

Programming "tools": bash. Okay. It makes sense in a "shell programming" book. Than perl? And python. See the editors section: just to please them all. MariaDB? Why? Who cares! Than awk and sed, when their functionality it included in bash, perl and python. When they are different languages from the above.
Caroline Knightley
I have a few choice words about this textbook. First off, it does not explain things so clearly. Second, the exercises expect you to know things from later chapters without explaining them in that chapter. Third, the exercise questions were out of order. For example: answer to question 7 was on the first page of the chapter and answer to question 3 was 5 pages from the end with question 10 following it. I hated this textbook so much, and I didnt fully understand things until I read it a second t ...more
Phil Filippak
Mar 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: programming, dropped
It's an okay book but I don't need to read it anymore. If it were truly exciting I would maybe finish it. But there's lots of unnecessary (in my opinion) parts concerning vim, Emacs, and some other non-essential (again, purely in my opinion) aspects of working with Linux. ...more
Dhul Wells
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A nice comprehensive overview of Linux. A book I will be keeping as a reference for years to come.
Hemhek Song
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computers
Very clear and well explained. Could have used another proofreading pass as there were occasional missing words and mislabeled graph and table references.

**Note: The cover states that the book covers python 3. This is not true. The book only covers python 2.x. The author explains in the book that since most python code uses python 2.x he decided to cover that version. (Although this is true for the existing code base, most code that is currently being written in python uses python 3)
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Intense book. Kind of reference of it all. Lots and lots of information. At least you get to know what you're capable of to do.

Its really emerging your keyboard ninja within :) Huge volume but well worth the time.
Rich Tijerina
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book. I would choose this over Linux in a Nutshell, as it contains everything the other book has, explains clearer, and has more 'practical' info. ...more
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive for introducing frequent use commands, shell scripting. Use as a reference book than a textbook
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
The author's style just works for me. Great book. ...more
Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you want to learn Linux any one of the Sobel books is good. They are all the same just a new cover and distro of the month.
Gene Smith
A good introduction.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book for learning basic shell scripting and bash and tcsh commands. A must - read for anyone who hopes to one day be a Linux guru.
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is very helpful while learning Linux. I'd imagine it is pretty helpful afterwards too! ...more
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written and good to have for reference when working in linux os environment. Keep some sections until needed.
Charles Tudu
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Ioana Colfescu
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Aug 16, 2018
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Feb 19, 2011
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Mar 02, 2012
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Mark G. Sobell, author of many best-selling books, including A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sixth Edition, A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux, Third EditionA Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Third Edition (all from Prentice Hall), has more than thirty years of experience working with UNIX and Linux. He is the president of Sobell Associate ...more

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