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Recommendations for good admin reference book?

I am hunting around for a good desktop reference guide to Linux administration. I can of course use the Internet and man pages, but sometimes I prefer to have a reference book. There are a lot of books out there, but I thought you might have a favorite you'd like to recommend. I want something that's basic but detailed and has useful practical examples that explain common Linux system programs and utilities. My main interest is in managing and optimizing my own personal computer (mainly file system and memory management, not networking). Examples would be how, why, and when best to use programs such as top (htop), ps, vmstat, dstat, grep, bash, vi, apt, etc for analyzing, monitoring and tweaking. I am also very interested in kernel optimization and compiling. Great if I can buy it for less than $30 or so. I will be using Ubuntu and/or Debian on my new laptop which has an i7 quad processor and an SSD drive., if that makes any difference, as well as an old junkie laptop for experimentation. Thanks!


  • ben
    ben Posts: 134
    http://www.tldp.org/ it's a milestone
    Start with it and related HOWTOs, you may even print it if you'd like to have a "physical" reference guide, there're plenty of information gathered in the last 20 years: HOWTOs, man pages, ezine, guides and so on.


  • Hi Ben- Thanks for the tip, I hadn't yet looked at the tldp.org site. I don't want to print out HOWTOs or any other online sources. But the TLDP site does list a few books they recommend- the first being Introduction to Linux - A Beginner's Guide by Machtelt Garrels, which now has a third edition (2010). Anyone familiar with this book or something similar?
  • ben
    ben Posts: 134
    It was one of the first Linux doc sites in the mid '90s as a collection of HOWTOs so I've passed many years on it , intro books for Linux are quite recent (it's a good thing) so unfortunately I've not read them recently. I've heard a lot of good things about:
    "Linux Administration: a beginner's guide"
    "Linux in a nutshell" (just a short look at it)
    "Running Linux " (O'Reilly, I've read it, my favorite)
  • Yes, the O'Reilly books are pretty good. The "Linux Administration: a beginner's guide" looks good though more than half of it deals with networking and internet, not my first interest.

    A new book that is just coming out is "Essential Linux Administration: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners" by Chuck Easttom (2011) looks like it may be what I am looking for.

    BTW- I am using amazon.com for reviews and to see the TOC and indexes of all these books- a great resource.
  • MikeEnIke
    MikeEnIke Posts: 88
    O'Reilly also makes a simple Linux reference manual with most basic commands, what they do, and some examples that's great when you can't think of what would accomplish what you need best.


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