This page is an adaptation of what used to be the "Books"
section of the FAQ. As a convenience to visitors, you can order these
books online (using the [Order] links), due to our association with Amazon.com. The funds will be used to help support the continued
operation of these pages. You can also get the publisher's
information on most of these books through the [Publisher's Info]
If your local independent bookstore (like Square Books where I live)
carries computer books, I recommend giving them your business (instead
of ordering here).
There are a gazillion Linux books on the market these days. In my
opinion, you can't go wrong with the books published by SSC and O'Reilly: they are two "class
acts" in the Linux and Unix community. The flip side of this is
that Linux users should be wary of books from PC-oriented publishers,
which tend to focus exclusively on PCs. Accordingly, with a few
exceptions, SSC and O'Reilly books dominate this list.
A few particular selections (many of which are on my bookshelf or
- Running Linux (3rd Edition) by Matt Welsh, Kalle
Dalheimer and Lar Kaufman (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-469-X; $34.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This book is probably the definitive book for new Linux users. It
includes extensive coverage of virtually every topic under the sun,
including installation, Unix commands, Emacs, an introduction to
LaTeX, X11, networking (including SLIP, PPP and Ethernet), and much
more. [Financial interest disclaimer: This edition of the book
includes an appendix written by yours truly.]
- Linux Installation and Getting Started by Matt Welsh et
al. (LDP and SSC; ISBN
1-57831-001-6; $20.00 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This book, a revised edition of Matt's original LI&GS, is also
good, and has the advantage of being free (if you get it from the LDP
web site), which helps if you're a starving college student like me;
on the downside it covers a lot less material than Running
- The Linux Network Administrator's Guide by Olaf Kirch (LDP, O'Reilly and SSC; O'Reilly
ISBN 1-56592-087-2, $24.95 US; SSC ISBN 0-916151-75-1, $18.95 US) [Order-O'Reilly] [Order-SSC] [Publisher's Info-O'Reilly]
- The Network Administrator's Guide is a good companion to
Running Linux (or LI&GS). The title is something of
a misnomer, as it is handy even for single-user workstations connected
by Ethernet or a serial link. (The O'Reilly edition is more
professionally presented than the SSC edition, which is why the prices
- Inside Linux by Randolph Bentson (SSC; ISBN
0-916151-89-1; $22.00 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This book is aimed at the Linux user who wants to know more about
the history of Linux and the internals of Unix in general. It is also
interesting because it probably contains the only copy of the
"CREDITS.m68k" file that used to be distributed with the
Linux/m68k kernel tree back in the dark ages.
- The Linux Sampler (SSC; ISBN 0-916151-74-3; $14.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This volume is a selection of articles from the early issues of Linux Journal, including many
of historical interest (nothing really about the Linux/m68k project
- The Linux Bible (Yggdrasil; ISBN 1-883601-20-7; $39.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This book is big; no, correction, it's huge. It includes
hard copies of Linux Installation and Getting Started,
The Linux Network Administrator's Guide, other LDP manuals
and a selection of HOWTO's. An accompanying CD-ROM contains all these
documents and more. A very cost-effective (if intimidating) way to
get started with Linux.
- Linux Undercover edited by Eric S. Raymond (Red Hat; ISBN 1-88172-05-3; $39.95
US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This book is similar in concept to The Linux Bible,
except it's a hardcover and it's newer. That and it was edited by
free software guru Eric S. Raymond (author of fetchmail and
"The Cathedral and the Bazaar").
- The Linux Encyclopedia edited by Robert Keisling (WorkGroup Solutions; ISBN
0-9644309-2-4; $49.00 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- Another LDP compilation.
- Linux Application Development by Michael K. Johnson and
Erik W. Troan (Addison-Wesley; ISBN
0-201-30821-5; $45.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This is a practical guide to programming in C (and other languages
with C bindings) within the Linux environment; it's particularly aimed
at people who already know C and/or Unix programming and want to learn
more about how to get the most out of Linux.
- Developing Linux Applications with GTK+ and GDK by Eric
Harlow (New Riders; ISBN
0-7357-0021-4; $34.99 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A useful guide to programming GUIs in Linux, using the GTK+
toolkit. Particularly valuable if you don't want to slog through
source code to learn how to code for GTK+, although a lot of the book
is filled with source code for the programs (which you can download
from their web site). Probably very useful if you're migrating from
MacOS, TOS or AmigaOS (particularly if you've used MUI on the Amiga,
as a lot of GTK+'s ideas seem to come from there).
- Linux in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition by Ellen Siever et
al. (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-585-8; $24.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This is a desktop handbook that contains a brief reference to
virtually every Linux command, as well as sections on the
bash and tcsh shells and regular expressions.
- The Debian Linux User's Guide (2nd Ed.) by Dale Scheetz
(Linux Press; ISBN
0-9659575-1-9; $38.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A book specific to the Debian distribution; includes the 4 CD set
of Debian 2.1 for Intel (binary and source).
- Debian GNU/Linux: Guide to Installation and Usage by John
Goerzen and Ossama Othman (New Riders; ISBN 0-7357-0914-9; $24.99 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- Another book specific to the Debian distribution; includes disc 1
of Debian 2.1 for Intel (binary only). It is also available in
Debian's unstable branch as the debian-guide package.
- TCP/IP Network Administration, 2nd Edition by Craig Hunt
(O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-322-7; $32.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A useful guide to operating a TCP/IP network of any size. This
edition includes more Linux-specific information.
- DNS and BIND, 3rd Edition by Paul Albitz and Cricket Liu
(O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-512-2; $32.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The most comprehensive guide to running an Internet name server on
a Unix machine.
- sendmail, 2nd Edition by Bryan Costales with
Eric Allman (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-222-0; $39.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The definitive guide to using sendmail, the most
ubiquitous mail program on the planet. You may also find the sendmail Desktop Reference helpful.
- Computer Networks, 3rd Edition by Andrew S. Tanenbaum (Prentice Hall; ISBN
0-13-349945-6; $80.75 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A readable but fairly technical introduction to the intricacies of
computer networking, starting at the hardware level and working up.
- Essential System Administration, 2nd Edition by
Æleen Frisch (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-127-5; $34.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The definitive guide to administering your Unix or Linux system.
- Practical Unix and Internet Security, 2nd Edition by
Simson Garfinkel and Gene Spafford (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-148-8;
$39.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A comprehensive guide to almost all of the security issues facing
Unix system administrators.
- Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
(O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-257-3; $29.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- Regular expressions (regexes) are widely used in text parsing
applications; most languages (including Python, Perl, sed, awk and C)
include ways to use regexes. This book is probably the definitive
guide to regular expressions; I never understood the things until I
read it. An example of what you can do with regexes: I use custom
regexes (in Python scripts) to parse the output of the United States
House of Representatives'
electronic voting machine for use in statistical analysis.
- Programming Python by Mark Lutz (O'Reilly; ISBN
1-56592-197-6; $39.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The comprehensive guide to Python programming, starting from the
ground up. Python is an
object-oriented, interpreted programming language with excellent
bindings to system libraries; it combines clean syntax with the power
of Java, Perl and Tcl.
- Learning Python by Mark Lutz and David Ascher (O'Reilly;
ISBN 1-56592-464-9; $29.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The "little brother" of Programming Python,
this is an ideal book for learning the basics of Python.
- Python Pocket Reference by Mark Lutz (O'Reilly; ISBN
1-56592-500-9; $6.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A useful companion to the online documentation, this little white
book is handy to keep around for quick reference while deep into
- Internet Programming with Python by Aaron Watters, Guido
van Rossum and James C. Ahlstrom (M&T Books; ISBN
1-55851-484-8; $34.95 US) [Order] [Author's Info]
- The granddaddy of all Python books, IPwP is probably a better
introduction to the language than Programming Python.
However, it is slightly more Windows-oriented, and discusses the
WPY GUI package instead of Tkinter, even though the
latter has since become more "standard." Nonetheless a
great Python book.
sed and awk
- sed and awk, 2nd Edition by Dale Dougherty and Arnold
Robbins (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-225-5; $29.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A useful guide to using these two common Unix text processing
- Effective awk Programming, 2nd Edition by Arnold Robbins
(SSC; ISBN 1-57831-000-8; $27.00 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- This is the printed manual for GNU awk, written by the current
maintainer of gawk.
Unfortunately, Camel 1 (the first edition of Programming
Perl) is no longer in print. It was the best Perl book out
there. But here are some others that try to take its place:
- Programming Perl, 2nd Edition by Larry Wall, Tom
Christiansen and Randal L. Schwartz (O'Reilly; ISBN 1-56592-149-6;
$39.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- The new edition of Programming Perl; it's bigger than the
first edition, but a lot of the more useful sections (like the cookbook) have been spun off. Still, if you have to use Perl,
this remains the book to get.
- Advanced Perl Programming by Sriram Srinivasan (O'Reilly;
ISBN 1-56592-220-4; $34.95 US) [Order] [Publisher's Info]
- A useful companion to Programming Perl, this book also
compares Perl's way of doing things with other languages like Python.
Note: Prices are the U.S. list [not discounted] price for the book,
obtained from my personal copies or (in cases where the price wasn't
printed on the cover) Amazon.com.
- An eclectic selection of titles from other fields can be found at
Books (the contents of which I suppose will be moved elsewhere
- If you don't see it here, you can always search for it at Amazon.com.
- Joaquin Menchaca has compiled lists of Amiga
and Mac hardware books.
(31 Oct 2001 at 20:29 CST)