Linux in a Nutshell

Ellen Siever

O'Reilly & Associates 1999
A book review by Danny Yee © 1999
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.

August 1999

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%T Linux in a Nutshell
%A Siever, Ellen
%I O'Reilly & Associates
%D 1999
%O paperback, 2nd edition, index
%G ISBN 1565925858
%P xiv,612pp