Recommendation seconded!

Story: Book Review - The Linux Command LineTotal Replies: 4
Author Content

Jul 12, 2012
8:20 AM EDT
I'll say it here, not having an account over at Linux Journal.

While I haven't read the book, I've been recommending Mr. Shotts website,, for years as the premier beginner's introduction to the Linux command line. It is, IMO, without peer as the most painless way to ease into what must eventually become the primary interface for any serious user of Linux. Mr Shotts has an uncanny knack for saying just enough without becoming tedious or off-putting. He adds the right mix of personal humor without becoming a bore. His instruction is simple, easy to understand, and concise. Best of all, he doesn't leave anything out or make any assumptions about what you already know. Nothing I hate more in an instructional book than going merrily along and then, WHAM!.... the author throws in --or worse, leaves out!-- a totally alien term or concept, as if you know perfectly well what (s)he means. Shotts is mercifully free of any such lapses, as if he's suffered such stumbling blocks, himself. I still keep his website bookmarked and occasionally revisit it for for review or a scripting idea. I will probably buy the book, as it claims to have even more great information than the website. At $25, an unbelievable bargain.


Jul 12, 2012
12:31 PM EDT
I would agree. I wrote a blog item that appears on the Amazon review of this book. It's a good one.

Jul 12, 2012
12:35 PM EDT
Linuxcommand along side is the site that helped me teach myself scripting and it is indeed great but "into what must eventually become the primary interface for any serious user of Linux." depends on your idea of what a "serious user" is. HeliOS/Reglue now has clients pursuing their Graduate Degrees and aside from one of them working toward a Masters Degree in Computer Science, I don't think any of them have relied upon the command line to get critical things done. Gleaned from the correspondence we traded through the years.

While you and I find it essential to get things done, many full time users don't even know it exists outside of running into article such as this. It may pique their interest but it's far from necessary in day to day Linux use....from my experience anyway.

Jul 12, 2012
1:09 PM EDT
True, helios -- Many full-time users won't need to know much, if anything, about the command line, and it all comes down to how much folks want to know about their systems (and you and I, of course, know that varies widely).


Jul 12, 2012
3:51 PM EDT
I could see the text-mode interface being used for "critical stuff" if you're talking about coding, or perhaps formatting equations that only TeX and eqn can handle. Beyond that, I don't see "critical stuff" being text-mode only unless it's a serious sysadmin issue that's interfering with the actual "critical stuff."

Of course, I could be wrong...

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