Tuesday, April 6, 2010

12 More of the Best Free Linux Books

Many computer users have an insatiable appetite to deepen their understanding of computer operating systems and computer software.

Linux users are no different in that respect. At the same time as developing a huge range of open source software, the Linux community fortunately has also written a vast range of documentation in the form of books, guides, tutorials, HOWTOs, man pages, and other help to aid the learning process.

Some of this documentation is intended specifically for a newcomer to Linux, or those that are seeking to move away from a proprietary world and embrace freedom.

There are literally thousands of Linux books which are available to purchase from any good (online) book shop.

However, the focus of this article is to highlight champion Linux books which make an invaluable contribution to learning about Linux, and which are also available to download without charge.

We have tried to select a fairly diverse selection of books in this article so that there should be something of interest here for any type of user whatever their level of computing knowledge.

This article should be read in conjunction with our previous article on free Linux books, entitled 20 of the Best Free Linux Books

1. GNU/Linux Advanced Administration
GNU/Linux Advanced Administration
AuthorRemo Suppi Boldrito, Josep Jorba Esteve
We start of this article with a book that is exhaustive in its treatment of system administration. This book examines many different areas involved in administering Linux systems, with each subject being accompanied by a tutorial to act as an aid in the learning process.
Topics covered include:
  • Introduction to Linux
  • Migration and coexistence with non-Linux systems
  • Basic tools for the administrator
  • The kernel
  • Local administration
  • Network administration
  • Server administration
  • Data administration
  • Security administration
  • Configuration, tuning and optimisation
  • Clustering

2. Using Samba
Using Samba
AuthorRobert Eckstein, David Collier-Brown, Peter Kelly
Samba is a suite of tools for sharing resources such as printers and files across a network. Samba uses the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, which is endorsed by Microsoft and IBM, to communicate low-level data between Windows clients and Unix servers on a TCP/IP network.
It is one of the most important software to bridge the open source and closed source worlds.
The book focuses on two different areas:
  • Installation including configuring Windows clients
  • Configuration and optimization exploring areas such as disk shares, browsing and advanced disk shares, set up users, printer and Windows Internet Naming Service setup with Samba, and troubleshooting tips

3. Slackware Linux Basics
Slackware Linux Basics
Website www.slackbasics.org
Author Daniël de Kok
Format PDF, HTML, Single page HTML
Pages 233
Slackware Linux Basics is a book that aims to provide an introduction to Slackware Linux. It targets people who have little or no GNU/Linux experience. It aims to cover the Slackware Linux installation, basic Linux commands and the configuration of Slackware Linux.
Slackware is one of the earliest Linux distributions with development commencing in 1993.
  • Installation including partitioning and custom installation
  • Basic essential information such as the shell, files and directories, text processing, process management, editing and typesetting, and electronic mail
  • System administration covering topics such as user management, printer configuration, X11, package management, building a kernel, system initialization, and security
  • Network administration focusing on network configuration, IPsec, the Internet super server, Apache, and BIND

4. Advanced Bash Scripting Guide
Advanced Bash Scripting Guide
Website www.tldp.org
Author Mendel Cooper
Format PDF, HTML
Pages 945
Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide is an in-depth exploration of the art of scripting. Almost the complete set of commands, utilities, and tools is available for invocation by a shell script.
The book explains:
  • Basics such as special characters, quoting, exit and exit status
  • Beyond the Basics including loops and branches, command substitution, arithmetric expansion, recess time
  • Commands - Internal commands and builtins; External filters, programs and commands; System and Administrative Commands
  • Advanced topics: Regular Expressons, Here Documents, I/O Redirection, Subshells, Restricted Shells, Process Substitution, Functions, Aliases, List Constructs, Arrays, Indirect References, /dev and /proc, Of Zeros and Nulls, Debugging, Options, Gotchas, Scripting with Style
5. Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds
Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds
AuthorDavid Brickner
Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds is a detailed step-by-step guide to Linux and selected popular open source programs. It is a gentle introduction for newcomers to Linux showing them how to perform common activities such as surfing the web, using email, instant message with friends, writing letters, creating spreadsheets, and enhancing digital photos.
The book explores a wide range of topics including:
  • Surfing the web
  • File Management
  • Music and Videos
  • Playing Games
  • Email, Organizers and Instant Messaging
  • Office Suite
  • The Command Line
6. Open Sources 2.0
Open Sources 2.0
Website commons.oreilly.com
Author Chris DiBona, Danese Cooper, Mark Stone
Format HTML
Pages 496
Open Sources 2.0 is a collection of insightful and thought-provoking essays from today's technology leaders that continues painting the evolutionary picture that developed in Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution.
  • Open Source: Competition and Evolution, covering such topics as:
    • Mozilla, Commoditization of software
    • Dual Licensing - provide a single software product under two different licenses
    • Security
    • Open Source Software in India and China
  • Beyond Open Source: Collaboration and Community
    • The Open Source Paradigm Shift
    • Patterns of Governance in Open Source
7. Linux in a Windows World
Linux in a Windows World
AuthorRoderick W. Smith
Linux still faces numerous challenges before it can dominate the computing world, much less the world at large. One of these challenges is the huge installed base of Windows systems. Linux must coexist with these systems. Indeed, the challenge of coexisting with Windows can be viewed as an opportunity: Linux can be integrated into a Windows network, providing a reliable and low-cost platform on which to run vital services for Windows systems, or even serving as a workstation on an otherwise Windows-dominated network. This book is dedicated to describing this opportunity for Linux.
Covers topics such as:
  • Samba - an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients
  • OpenLDAP - an implementation of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
  • BIND - Berkeley Internet Name Domain
  • Kerberos Configuration and Use - Kerberos is a network authentication protocol
  • Remote Login Tools such as VNC
  • Configuring Mail Servers
  • Network Backups
  • How to manage a network

8. Linux From Scratch
Linux From Scratch
Website www.linuxfromscratch.org
Author Gerard Beekmans, Matthew Burgess, Bruce Dubbs
Format PDF, HTML, Single page HTML, XML
Pages 290
Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with step-by-step instructions for building your own customized Linux system entirely from source.
Chapters cover:
  • How to create a new Linux native partition and file system
  • Which packages and patches need to be downloaded to build an LFS system and how to store them on the new file system
  • How to Set up an appropriate working environment
  • Installation of packages, and how to build a toolchain
  • Building a full LFS system
9. Beyond Linux from Scratch
Beyond Linux From Scratch
Website www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs
Author BLFS Development Team
Format PDF, Multi-page HTML, Single-page HTML
Pages 1164
Beyond Linux From Scratch (BLFS) is a project that continues where the Linux From Scratch book finishes. It introduces and guides the reader through additions to the system including networking, graphical interfaces, sound support, and printer and scanner support.
This is a really comprehensive book providing a wealth of information on:
  • Security: OpenSSL, GnuTLS, CrackLib, Linux-PAM etc
  • File systems: ReiserFS, XFS
  • Editors: Vim, Emacs, Bluefish etc
  • Shells: ZSH, ksh, Dash, Tcsh
  • General Libraries and Utilities: PCRE, S-Lang, GLib, and many more
  • Graphics and Font Libraries: libjpeg, libpng, FreeType to name a few covered
  • General Utilities: ImageMagick, ScrollKeeper, Screen, GPerf etc
  • System Utilities: Hdparm, cpio, Apache Ant
  • Programming: GCC, JDK-6, NASM, PHP, Python, Ruby, Tcl ...
  • Networking
  • Mail/News clients
  • Servers
10. Linux 101 Hacks
Linux 101 Hacks
Website www.thegeekstuff.com
Author Ramesh Natarajan
Format PDF, HTML
Pages 140
Linux 101 Hacks is a 12 chapter, 140 page manual which explains easy to follow Linux commands. Ramesh Natarajan describes how to use these commands, with clear and concise examples.
This ebook has chapters on:
  • Powerful Command Hacks
  • Date Manipulation
  • SSH Client Commands
  • Essential Linux Commands
  • Linux Prompts
  • Colorful Shell Prompt Using PS1
  • Archive and Compression
  • Command Line History
  • System Administration Tasks
  • Apachectl and HTTPD Examples
  • Bash Scripting
  • System Monitoring and Performance
  • Bonus hacks
11. The Linux Command Line
The Linux Command Line
Website gd.tuwien.ac.at/linuxcommand.org
Author William D. Shotts, Jnr
Format PDF
Pages 522
This book is a broad overview of 'living' on the Linux command line. Unlike some books that concentrate on just a single program, such as the shell, bash, this book will try to convey how to get along with the command line interface in a larger sense. How does it all work? What can it do? What's the best way to use it?
The book is divided into the following parts:
  • Learning The Shell starts the exploration of the basic language of the command line including such things as the structure of commands, file system navigation, command line editing, and finding help and documentation for commands
  • Configuration And The Environment covers editing configuration files that control the computer's operation from the command line
  • Common Tasks And Essential Tools explores many of the ordinary tasks that are commonly performed from the command line. Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux, contain many 'classic' command line programs that are used to perform powerful operations on data
  • Writing Shell Scripts introduces shell programming, an admittedly rudimentary, but easy to learn, technique for automating many common computing tasks. By learning shell programming, you will become familiar with concepts that can be applied to many other programming languages

    12. Linux Sea
    Linux Sea
    Website swift.siphos.be
    Author Sven Vermeulen
    Format PDF, HTML
    Pages 171
    Linux Sea offers a gentle yet technical (from end-user perspective) introduction to the Linux operating system, using Gentoo Linux as the example Linux distribution.
    Topics covered include:
    • What is Linux / How does Free Software affect Linux
    • The Role of the Community / Running Linux
    • The Linux File System / Working with Processes
    • Configuring a Linux Kernel / Hardware Support
    • Software Management / User Management
    • Network Management / Service Management / Storage Management / System Management
    • Introducing the Graphical Environment
    • Installing Gentoo

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