[ubuntu-uk] Good general book on Ubuntu/Linux?

Avi Greenbury lists at avi.co
Wed Oct 3 14:53:25 UTC 2012

Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:
>    I'm a reasonable user of Ubuntu - both on my netbook and dual-booting
>    with Windows 7 on my main laptop.
>    I'm looking for a book on either Ubuntu or Linux in general in the
>    "Windows inside out" type of format, i.e. from simple through to fairly
>    technical, suitable for a general user - me!

What sort of use are you looking to be more proficient in? In general,
there's a pretty hefty divide between the server and the desktop, and
each of these is split further (webservers, mailserver, enterprise
desktops, kiosk desktops etc.).

It's worth bearing in mind, though, that in the time it takes to write
a reasonable book Ubuntu's generally put out at least one or two

>    I'm slightly concerned about forking out £34 for the current Ubuntu
>    12.04 bible published by Sams  as the interface could possibly change
>    again in 14.04!

Generally, a good book on the topic will be relatively user-interface
agnostic, since that's just an interface to the interesting bits and
pieces you'll be twiddling. Those change incredibly slowly.

>    Can anyone suggest a good general book, or should I buy a general Linux
>    book and if so what would be the recommendations for that, or should I
>    just look for on-line information, and if so where's the best place to
>    look for the most topics in one place? (I do like big books!)

Linux distributions are split into three camps, generally:

- Red Hat derived ones including RHEL, CentOS, Fedora, Scientific
- Debian derived ones like Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Xandros, DSL
- Others that are doing their own thing, like Arch, Gentoo, Slackware,

Historically, books assumed that by 'Linux' one meant 'Red Hat' and so
ostensibly generic Linux books focussed on that. More recently more
and more are Ubuntuy, but generally anything Debian-flavoured will be
a pretty good match for Ubuntu. As for a *good* one of these, that
depends on what it is that you're looking to learn :) Most that cover
the UI will be at least a little bit out of date before they are
released, though.


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