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The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction

The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction [Kindle Edition]

William E. Shotts Jr.
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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.

Über den Autor

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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1080 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 480 Seiten
  • Verlag: No Starch Press; Auflage: 1 (13. Januar 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B006X2QEQS
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #90.825 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Sassy, informative, inspiring ... buy it! 11. Februar 2013
Von S. Goss
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a really sassy, informative and inspiring book! I have been doing little jobs on *nix workstations for years and am a novice awk and vi user. Some commands I never got my brain around properly and there comes a point, where you're too ashamed to ask your colleagues.
This book takes me where I never believed I would get. It won't improve my awk talents, but sed, find, a bit of shell scripting and just simply loads and loads of fun with this really extremely readable book.
I also have the "Teach your mom Ubuntu" (or similar) which I can also recommend. No-Starch-Press have really fulfilled my expectations and more with these two books.
Buy this book at this price, you cannot make a mistake, especially if you just want that additional nudge to get further than ever before on the *nix command line.
Have fun!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Großartig, wenngleich auf Englisch 5. März 2014
Von Wonko
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Eines der besten Bücher zu dem Thema, die ich gefunden habe. Leider auf Englisch, aber verständlich geschrieben ... die Beispiele sind ebenfalls sehr gut und alles ist gut nachvollziehbar. Eine Prise Humor lockert das Ganze ungemein auf und macht Spass beim Lesen.
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Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
As an entry-level user of linux for the operation of design and simulation software in my working place, I was missing a structured explanation for all the 'ad hoc' tricks and tips that my colleagues gave me when asked. After several 'googling' sessions I found the free available pdf-text of William E. Shotts and it was just the type of text I needed: showing the basic mechanisms and commands by elegant, to-the-point examples. In the last part Shotts explains how you can use all these commands in scripts for automated operation, which keeps the text attractive if I become more advanced. Of course no text is perfect but it convinced me to have in print on my desk.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  120 Rezensionen
82 von 84 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Dude Abides in the Command Line 14. Februar 2012
Von Michael Larsen - Veröffentlicht auf
What if you had a book that took you from the very beginning of the Linux command line options, and it took you through progressively interesting and relevant topics so that you really could develop a mastery of the shell? Oh, and what if it were written in a fun style that was less wonkish and easier to embrace and follow along with? Less tech, mode dude. William E. Shotts, Jr.'s "The Linux Command Line" manages to do that.

Let's face it, learning the entirely of the Linux command line can take years. It's unlikely most will walk through the book page by page and work through each example, but with this book, it feel like you could do exactly that and not get bored.

The first part of the book walks the user through the many commands that are relevant to all systems and all shells; the navigation options through directories, showing files, getting your head around terminals, finding and opening files, moving files and directories around, links (both literal and symbolic), learning about commands and how to learn more about them. All of this, as well as redirection, using pipelines, creating filters, expansions, and so on. A wonderful metaphor and explanation made in this section is that Windows is like a GameBoy, and Linux is like the world's biggest Erector Set. While Windows is nice and shiny and makes for pretty applications, it's difficult (relatively speaking) to roll your own applications without a fair bit of knowledge and packaged tools. Linux, on the other hand, right off the bat gives you all the tools you need to build just about anything in just about any conceivable way you might want to build it.

Part 2 covers configuration of the shell and the environment variables that it keeps track of. Shell variables like DISPLAY, EDITOR, LANG, PS1, TERM and many others are explained and we get to see how simple shell scripts are implemented allow us to access and modify these values. We also get introduced to a variety of test editors, but with an emphasis on vi (and a mellow focus at that). The section is rounded out by learning how to modify the command prompt that we see and make it show us more details (directories, colors, etc.).

Part 3 is a grab bag of all sorts of things that we often look at separately, but when taken together, make a lot of sense. We start with package management and making sure systems are up to date. Next we cover understanding file systems and the variety of commands that helps to mount disks, examine file systems, check and repair systems, get online and check the network for connectivity, copying files over a network and connecting via secure shell, performing archive and backup steps. The section end with a broad discussion on regular expressions, text formatting and processing and, finally, printing out files and compiling applications.

Part 4 ties it all into the true big bad voodoo of the command line, the ability to write shell scripts. The section starts out with a fairly basic script formatting and then moves on to create a program that displays system information in HTML format. Along the way, we get to see how to use the shell and all of its properties and the huge toolkit of Linux commands to structure our work, and get an introduction to "top down design". Subsequent chapters carry us through common development topics such as reading input from the command line, strings, numbers, variables and constants, and the variety of flow control ranging from simple branches to looping and case statements and arrays. The section ends with a grab bag of interesting topics including subshells, traps and error handling, asynchronous execution and named pipes.

Each section starts with the commands it will cover, walks through careful and thorough examples of each command, and then wraps with a simple explanation of the section covered, with sidebars aplenty. Seeing as this is a command line book, you bet that you are seeing a lot of the actual commands, and how they interact, how to apply permissions, manipulate text and manage processes. If you want practice with these things and not their graphical counterparts (and really, what "command line" book worth its salt wouldn't make that its prime focus), well, you get your wish!

Bottom Line:

There are a lot of books that talk about the various Linux Shells, but you'd be hard pressed to find one that does so this entertainingly. Again, it's the less tech (but not so much that the meat of the matter isn't covered well) and more "dude" (but not to the point of being embarrassing or insulting) that makes this book a joy and a treasure. If you're a novice Linux player, or just want to get beyond the pretty graphical wrapper of your MacBook, put this book at the top of your list.
52 von 53 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Essential, practical and well written! 23. Januar 2012
Von ecb999 - Veröffentlicht auf
First of all I am a developer & system admin at a small company in MS world, but have been spending an increasing amount of time in Linux administration for side projects. I realized very quickly the limits of my abilities with bash, vi, etc. and began searching for resources. I'm only about 6 chapters into "The Linux Command Line" so far, and can say that it that anyone wanting to succeed with Linux should begin here. More advanced users could probably also benefit from the second half of the book (which I haven't gotten to yet, but addresses many common system administration tasks such as networking, archiving & backup, ftp transfers, etc.).

Like most people starting off in this topic, I relied heavily on forums and web searches, as well as a fair bit of fumbling around on my own learning how to employ the power of the command line. In hindsight I could benefitted with clarity on the topic and saved an enormous amount of time by reading a book like this, which goes from the most basic level , the function and purpose of the command line, to the more advanced such as creating shell scripts and compiling applications. The chapters which will be most valuable to me include the Introduction to Vi, Regular EXpressions, and Working With Commands.

The most compelling reason for buying this book above others I've looked at is the level of thoroughness which the author grants to each topic. While there are pages that I will probably copy, print out, and hang on my monitor for reference, more than anything the book stands as an exhaustive exposition about a topic that newbies (like myself) must learn if they plan to push their skill set beyond that of a casual user. I've also found that the author's sequenced, tutorial approach to the topic matched with his light-hearted tone made this book far more readable than many other tech books I've come across, and would recommend it to anyone.
32 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen GREAT LEARNING MATERIAL!! 12. Februar 2012
Von R. Cole - Veröffentlicht auf
I will first state that I am a partially blind Linux user. I took some Linux classes in 2006, and I completely migrated to Linux in 2007 due to several reasons which I will not cover here. When I refer to myself as "partially" blind, I say that with the intent that what minimal amount of vision I have left may not lost much longer. Throughout the majority of my 'Linux life", I heavily relied on screen magnification and graphical tools to get things done; as of recently, however, my good eye has not held up so well as it used to. With the possibility of the loss of my remaining vision eminent, I decided that I could better be served by performing many operations under Linux from the command line. I can still use a graphical environment through the use of the Orca screen reader, and there are a number fo screen readers available strictly for the command line side of Linux.

For awhile now I tried to learn the command line through Google searches and different online tutorials, as well as some arcane manpages for command line utilities. I felt kind of overwhelmed because I could not find all of the information I needed in a format for learning. Enter this book!

As mentioned by other reviewers, this book is not necessarily meant to be a reference it is written in such a way that it is like you have a personal Linux trainer. Everything is explained so that the reader can understand it, and the author seems to be very meticulous when it comes to details (by no means a complaint). I have learned more from this one book than I have from the textbooks used by the professor of the Linux class at the college which I attended back in 2006. That is not to say I learned nothing in those classes, as I learned a ton...just not enough to (for the most part) live in the command line. I feel much more confident on a command line than I ever have, and this book is primarily to thank for it.

I am an IT student seeking employment, and I was unable to afford a printed copy of this book. When I get the money, this book will be one which stands on my shelves at home. By no means am I trying to take money away from the publisher, but if you are like me and you are financially unable to purchase a printed copy of this book, this book is also published as a free and legal PDF eBook at the author's site. Just search for "LinuxCommand" "PDF" "Download". The printed version, in my opinion, would well be worth the price.

A big thanks to Mr. Shotts for writing this book. Though it may not have been written with blind users in mind (it doesn't really need to be, as most if not all of the command line is usable by a totally blind user), this book has helped me to feel much more confident in the command line. If my remaining vision does fade away, I now know that I will not have to find a way to pay for ridiculously priced commercial software in order to use an operating system which I do not really own.

If you are looking to learn the command line in order to become more productive as a general Linux user (or even as a future sysadmin), this book is a great place to start.
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Free edition under Creative Commons license... 6. März 2014
Von OneOff - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
If you want this book and don't mind reading it on a computer, kindle, phone, or tablet, it can be had for free under a Creative Commons license.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen FINALLY! 8. Mai 2012
Von CromsFury - Veröffentlicht auf
People, and by "people" I mean "code monkeys," are endlessly going on about how much more user-friendly Linux is, than Windows. "Learning Code is easy," they say. "Just take a weekend with a code book and learn it!" they say. "Well, I am happy to report, "The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction" by William E. Shotts Jr. is such a book.

No, a weekend with this book will not help you code in R, Python, Perl, Ruby, PHP, or even iOS. What this book does is better, at a fundamental level. This book shows the reader the AWESOME functionality of their computer using nothing more than the keyboard. A weekend with this book will improve your computing skills, even when on a non-Linux machine. (if you are into that sort of thing) However, once you are familiar with the lessons taught in this book, learning to code will be infinitely easier.

When I was a kid, maybe 9 or 10, my parents bought me my very first computer which, I believe, came with a BASIC programming manual. (Why is everyone laughing? Yes, my first computer was a PC.) I devoured the book. It was a page-turner. I could not put it down. Ever since, any time I read a "computer" book, I try to reclaim a bit of that 9 year-old self, alone with my computer and that book every waking moment I could, making my computer do stuff. Mr. Shotts Jr.'s book does a little of that.

"Who is this book for?" you ask.

"Do you have Linux on your computer?" This book is for you.

"Are you thinking about getting Linux on your computer, and wonder 'What will Linux do for me?'" This book is for you.

"WHY DON'T YOU HAVE LINUX ON YOUR COMPUTER?" (That was one for the "code monkeys")
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