How Linux Works

(No Starch Press, 2004, 347 pages, ISBN 1-59327-035-6)

The secret to mastering Linux is to ignore the fluff on the outside of most distributions and realize that the whole system is just a bunch of files and processes. The difficult part is finding a place to start. After all, those commands that you see so-called "wizards" perform really aren't that cryptic; they consist a few basic building blocks.

This book is a no-frills guide for systems administrators, home users, and Linux enthusiasts that takes you through the essential components of a typical system. One particular highlight is the coverage of software development tools. There is a general tendency in the industry to attempt to keep non-programmers away from these tools. In the case of Linux, I feel that this is counterproductive, because much of the system ties in directly with these tools.

So if you're tired of the GUI and you want to go where the real action is, here's a book that will take you there.

Table of Contents:

  1. The Basics
  2. Devices, Disks, Filesystems, and the Kernel
  3. How Linux Boots
  4. Essential System Files, Servers, and Utilities
  5. Configuring Your Network
  6. Network Services
  7. Introduction to Shell Scripts
  8. Development Tools
  9. Compiling Software from Source Code
  10. Maintaining the Kernel
  11. Configuring and Manipulating Peripheral Devices
  12. Printing
  13. Backups
  14. Sharing Files with Samba
  15. Network File Transfer
  16. User Environments
  17. Buying Hardware for Linux
  18. Further Directions

Brian Ward -