Neither Richard Stallman
nor users of free Unixes will appreciate the
title of Linux in a Nutshell
: only a tiny fraction of the book is
actually Linux-specific and much of it is about GNU or BSD utilities.
It begins with 150 pages on general user commands. There follow
chapters on bash and csh/tcsh, on emacs and vi/ex, on sed and gawk, on
programming tools (gcc, gdb, make, etc.), and on RCS and CVS. A perl
quick reference is followed by an overview of system administration
commands and a final chapter on ways of booting Linux. Only this last
chapter is really Linux-specific.
As a reference Linux in a Nutshell falls uneasily between more detailed
books and online documentation. I can't see the cut-down manual pages in
the user commands chapter being used much, while the sysadmin selection is
idiosyncratic (there is nothing on X11 or samba, five pages on sendmail,
and half a page on named). Other sections will be useful for a quick
review, however, or as an introduction for experienced users approaching
new territory (I used the RCS chapter this way).
Note: a 5th (2005) edition of Linux in a Nutshell is now available.
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