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Good book for Linux?

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by K2DN, Jan 21, 2021.

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  1. K2DN

    K2DN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am setting up a raspberry pi for ham radio and would like to learn more about Linux. I am computer literate and can program in a few languages. Any suggestions for books to learn Linux?
  2. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  3. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree, the standard for hard-copy book in the O'Reilly.

    Also get familiar with the man command. It saves a lot of time if you have an idea what you're looking for: in Linux is,EXAMPLES, AUTHORS and SEE ALSO.
    KC3PBI likes this.

    GNUUSER QRZ Member

    learning about linux!
    there is no single book out there to learn linux because there are so many flavours of it.
    linux is not like microsoft and there is a little learning to it ( mostly just getting used to the difference)
    Ive been a linux user now for nearly 25 years.
    choose a distro that is to your liking. and stick with it until you are comfortable exploring linux.
    many choose ubuntu varients, many choose debian, mint, redhat, bsd, arch, or knoppix.
    being into ham radio andy's ham linux or my choice Debian Pure blend Ham linux.
    these two come with all the software you need customized for amateur radio
    join the user forum for the distro they can help you make the best out of it.
    oh the best part is they are free!
  5. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Honestly. There are several books out there and they can be a good reference, but they won't *teach* you Linux in a qualitative way.

    The best way to learn Linux is to actually run Linux and have a web browser handy to search the Internet when you have an issue or program you need to learn to use.

    Now, the downside is you have to be careful about what you *learn* There are people out there teaching things that aren't actually experts at the subject matter and they can teach you bad things.

    The good thing is, you can learn a ton and if you're using a machine you can format and start over again. You're learning the right way because you are more likely to learn through trial and error than though a book that while teaches you something. It might not be specific enough to teach you what you want (or need) to know.

    I wish you the best of luck. Linux is an awesome OS in many ways and superior especially as a server to pretty much everything else.

    If you are having issues with something. Post here (or anywhere else) for help.
  6. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    the best book for Linux by far is this one:


    It expalains everything in an easy to understand style, but doesn't skimp on the advanced things. If you want to REALLY learn Linux, like we all learned DOS back in the day, this is the book for you. I have two copies: one for reading, and the other one that sits on my desk as a dailly reference. The desk copy is full of tabs, notes, underlinings, and so forth..... everything I've worked with, is noted in there somewhere. Since it's quite a few years old, as you can imagine it's pretty ragged.
    WN1MB likes this.
  7. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem with "learning" linux is without knowing some history, many things you "read" about or see a video about linux doesn't work on the linux distribution you're running.

    I quit teaching last year, but I always started with some history.

    For example:

    How many distributions there are. Hundreds! (probably thousands!) Main (largest) distribution branches:
    Debian -> Ubuntu -> Mint
    Debian -> Raspbian
    Slackware -> OpenSUSE
    Redhat -> Fedora
    Arch -> Manjaro
    Android (Expand the very large picture on the right just under "history") (Top 100 most downloaded distributions on the right)

    Then I'd talk about office software and mention most servers run linux and the type of servers. (I'd ask how many of you have Android phones? And point out that's linux.)

    Unix was (is) closed source, like Windows. Andrew Tanenbaum created Minux when Unix quit making their source code available to teachers. Then Linus Torvalds created Linux to make it free to everyone by creating GNU (a recursive acronym "GNU's Not Unix") open source licensing.

    Then Richard Stallman created the GPL (General Public License.)

    After some "jump right in" exercises: installing, the shell, linux help, text editors, redirection/piping, directories, files, links, standard file hierarchy, searching, some simple regular expressions, and basics on planning a system, I finally got into some real history: The Boot Process

    The original Unix System 5 init (and run levels), initd systems (derived from System 5 init), a little about the lesser known Upstart system, and the majority of systems today, the "systemd" system (allowed parallel processing). (BTW, the name systemd was chosen based on some guttural french slang.)

    I then focused and got pretty granular on systemd and its boot process--from BIOS power on to the first target executed (, to the last target executed ( which sets up the file system in accordance with /etc/fstab.

    If you understand the type system you have and the boot process, a LOT of other things will then start to make a LOT of sense.

    I then spent the rest of the semester going over the OLD GRUB (several ways the different distributions implement this) and the NEW UEFI, boot targets, how to deal with system services, clean shutdown (very important on old systems, not as important on new systems), package management (the evolution from RPM (dependency hell!), YUM and now DNF, Debian uses DPKG, OpenSUSE uses ZYPPER, which is probably updated by now), online package repositories, shared libraries, MBR and GUID disk partitions, LVM, file systems, mounting, unmounting, file system maintenance, ownership and permissions, device drivers, kernel management, hotplug/coldplug devices, process management and if I had a spare day in the semester--text stream processing. Not enough time in the semester to cover some other things, like user/group management and several other things.

    I got good reviews every time after I taught this class.

    Linux, like ham radio has evolved and the "old" Unix/Linux guys hate how the new Linux guys are so accepting of all the change. And the changes in Linux are happening every few months now. Welcome to the new world.

    Oh, and one more thing, how people learn today has changed because of the internet. And that's making some "old" folks hate how the new folks are so accepting of change also.

    As for your original question, which book? Raspian is a Debian branch and most likely an INITD system, so just about any beginner's guide to Debian might be a good start for you. And which ever book you start will probably lead you to buy other books which have more of the information you might be seeking. It's a shot in the dark to start.

    Good luck.

    (My distribution of choice is Fedora, currently on version 33. I'm 100% Fedora now that Windows turned off their Windows 7 update servers about a week ago.)

    Edit: and I just stopped using LVM and am now using BTRFS.
  8. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think Linus created any "open source licensing". He released Linux kernel under the GPL.
  9. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why not post the link to the web site where you can download the book instead of just a picture?
  10. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't know it was available for download. Besides, it's more fun to mark up a paper copy!

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