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Old August 18th, 2013, 04:20 PM   #768 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zuben el genub View Post
I complained about a book I bought on Ubuntu when I first installed it. It was nothing but how to use the damn social programs, and other utilities. I can use those, usually with NO help. Any help with terminal commands was missing. It wasn't a For Dummies book.

The only other books available were for those who wished to code.
I was going to say that there are a ton of great books available...but then I realized that what *I* consider perfectly usable may not strike a non-coder that way.

This one was written in 2006, but at least they explain which command does what and why. Commands aren't strange to me, I started with DOS. The terms are different, and some work differently.
Keep in mind that DOS basically copied UNIX, but did it badly. For example, they used the same concept of a root directory, from which all other directories sprang, so DOS had the same tree-like file structure *nix did. And a lot of DOS commands, such as cd, had the same basic purpose of their *nix counterparts but, again, imitated *nix badly. What I'm talking about is the vast difference in functionality between any DOS command and its UNIX lookalike. In *nix, that command might have 20, 30, 40 or more options, while the DOS version might have none or 3. With the *nix command, mixed with other *nix commands, and the ability to chain output (by piping, by using sed or grep, by redirecting, etc.), the *nix version would actually have infinite possibilities while the DOS version didn't. Also, the sheer difference in number of commands and their options was shocking--just compare an old DOS manual to a same-year UNIX manual and note the difference in thickness!

Back to books. Unless you're really intent on having *buntu specific books, I actually recommend just buying generic Linux books. This one, for example, does a good job of covering a lot of essential stuff, A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, by Mark G Sobell. Again, I'm saying that from the only perspective I have--mine!--but I think a non-coder could plunge in and find it very useful. Ubuntu specific books would be good if you're more interested in Ubuntu specific features, but when it comes to commands, Linux is Linux is Linux (for the most part!).

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