I have a friend who just installed Linux for the first time. He asked me for recommendations on a book that would help him get started. I asked on Twitter and got the following recommendations:
- A Practical Guide to Linux(R) Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming
- Ubuntu Linux Bible
- Linux Phrasebook (Developer's Library)
- Running Linux
When I looked them up on Amazon, this well rated book also came up too.
Any others you would recommend? Or a particular one you'd recommend most, as most people aren't going to buy more than one?
I think there'd be two types. One for a like to read the manual, primarily Windows user and another kind of book for those used to Unix.
7 Replies to “Best books for getting started with Linux”
You may wish to consider Linux for dummies.
It’s very basic but also informative and answers a lot of the questions that new linux users tend to have. Another would be the official Ubuntu Book too for similar reasons.
I would not recommend “Linux in a Nutshell”. I found it to be an unhelpful collection of man pages, together with lists of common commands. My wife was given this book by a friend, and she found it completely useless as a Linux beginner.
You might want to go for a distribution-specific book for the first-time user. Less explanation of differences among distributions, more room for substantial material. Mark Sobell has done Red Hat and Ubuntu versions of his book.
Here’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on
The best five books for Linux beginners
Impossible to answer without knowing what your friend is planning to do with Linux. You might as well ask “my friend wants to buy a computer, which one should he get?”
In this case, the friend is trying to make an old laptop useful again. I believe he’d use it when traveling to check email (on the web), upload photos from the camera, web surfing, maybe some spreadsheet stuff, …
The question is interesting in general. And we assume that we know what desktop Linux users will do … and I think we tend to assume they’ll do the same things they do on their Windows box. But it might be interesting to show them additional things they can do.
I think the best way to learn Linux is to download one of the Big Three (Ubuntu, openSUSE or Fedora) LiveCDs and boot it! Then head to the forum for that distro and start asking questions.
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