The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction

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No Starch Press, 2012 - Computers - 480 pages

You've experienced the shiny, point-and-click surface of your Linux computer—now dive below and explore its depths with the power of the command line.

The Linux Command Line takes you from your very first terminal keystrokes to writing full programs in Bash, the most popular Linux shell. Along the way you'll learn the timeless skills handed down by generations of gray-bearded, mouse-shunning gurus: file navigation, environment configuration, command chaining, pattern matching with regular expressions, and more.

In addition to that practical knowledge, author William Shotts reveals the philosophy behind these tools and the rich heritage that your desktop Linux machine has inherited from Unix supercomputers of yore.

As you make your way through the book's short, easily-digestible chapters, you'll learn how to:

* Create and delete files, directories, and symlinks
* Administer your system, including networking, package installation, and process management
* Use standard input and output, redirection, and pipelines
* Edit files with Vi, the world’s most popular text editor
* Write shell scripts to automate common or boring tasks
* Slice and dice text files with cut, paste, grep, patch, and sed

Once you overcome your initial "shell shock," you'll find that the command line is a natural and expressive way to communicate with your computer. Just don't be surprised if your mouse starts to gather dust.

A featured resource in the Linux Foundation's "Evolution of a SysAdmin"


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - vishallama - LibraryThing

Pretty good introduction to and overview of important Linux commands, shell scripting (especially bash), the vi (or vim) editor, regular expressions, text processing, and a host of other related stuff ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcrben - LibraryThing

While I didn't finish this, the guy seems to cover the little hang-ups that frustrate beginners pretty well. However, points out some issues. Read full review

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Configuration and the Environment
Common Tasks and Essential Tools
Writing Shell Scripts

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About the author (2012)

William E. Shotts, Jr. has been a software professional and avid Linux user for more than 15 years. He has an extensive background in software development, including technical support, quality assurance, and documentation. He is also the creator of, a Linux education and advocacy site featuring news, reviews, and extensive support for using the Linux command line.

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