The 15 best Linux Books of all time for beginner programmers

A data-backed answer

🐧

Methodology

There are countless lists on the internet claiming to be the list of must-read Linux books and it seemed that all those lists always recommended that same books minus two or three odd choices.

Finding good resources for learning programming is always tricky. Every-one has its own opinion about what book is the best to learn, and as we say in french, “Color and tastes should not be argued about”.

However I though it would be interesting to trust the wisdom of the crown and to find the books that appeared the most in those “Best Linux Book” lists.

If you want to jump right on the results go take a look below at the full results. If you want to learn about the methodology, bear with me.

I’ve simply asked Google for a few queries like “Best Linux Books” and its variations of. I have then scrapped all those pages (using ScrapingBee, a web scraping API I’m working on).

I’ve deduplicated the links and ended up with nearly 100 links. Using the title of the pages I was also able to quickly discards:

I ended up with almost 91 HTML files. I went on opening all the files on my browser, open my chrome inspector, found and wrote the CSS selector matching book titles in the article. This took me around 1hours, almost 30 seconds per page.

This also allowed me to discard even more nonrelevant pages, and I discarded a lot. In the end I compiled around 54 lists into this one.

Book titles were then extracted with manuel extraction and some web scraping.

I ended up with a huge list of books, not usable without some post-processing.

To find the most quoted Linux books I needed to normalize my results.

I had to play with all the different variation like “{title} by {author}” or “{title} - {author}”.

Or “{title}:{subtitle}” and “{title}”, or even all the one containing edition number.

And afterquite a bit of manual cleaning.

My list now looked like this:

From there it was easy to compute the most recommended books. You can find all the data used to process this list on this repo. Now let’s take a look at the list:

I've also recently used some data from different book sellers in order to not forget important books and try to give more weight to books with incredible reviews.

Results

15
)

Linux: Linux for Beginners

by
Andy Vickler
2.7
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Have you always used the Windows operating system and want a change? Have you heard the term Linux before and wondered what it is? Have you ever feared implementing Linux as an operating system just because it’s free? Do you also have a misconception that free software is never really what it’s cracked up to be? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. This book will answer everything you want to know about Linux, and make you wonder why you haven’t made the change already.

This book is designed for beginners of the Linux operating system and includes guides to download and install the Ubuntu operating system along with images. Ubuntu is a comfortable distribution of Linux for first-time users.

The book will also introduce you to the Linux operating system's command line, which is essential when using Linux. In this book, you will: Learn the history of Linux and the Ubuntu distribution of Linux Be able to easily follow the steps you need to download and install Ubuntu Linux Discover the many features and applications of Ubuntu Linux Gain a deep knowledge of the Linux command line Investigate Shell Scripting in Linux See examples of the Linux Boot process And so much more… This book has been written so that you can learn Linux from the fundamental level.

With each chapter, you will fall in love with Linux and transition smoothly over from Windows or macOS. The book includes code snippets with images to give you a practical experience of Linux as you progress with each chapter
Amazon.com
14
)

Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Eighth Edition

by
Wale Soyinka
3.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Publisher's Note: Products purchased from Third Party sellers are not guaranteed by the publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product. Gain Essential Linux Administration Skills Easily Effectively set up and manage popular Linux distributions on individual servers and build entire network infrastructures using this practical resource.

Fully updated to cover the latest tools and techniques, Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide, Eighth Edition features clear explanations, step-by-step instructions, and real-world examples. Find out how to configure hardware and software, work from the command line or GUI, maintain Internet and network services, and secure your data.

Performance tuning, virtualization, containers, software management, security, and backup solutions are covered in detail. Install and configure Linux, including the latest distributions from Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS, openSUSE, Debian, and RHEL.

Set up and administer core system services, daemons, users, and groups. Manage software applications from source code or binary packages.

Customize, build, or patch the Linux kernel. Understand and manage the Linux network stack and networking protocols, including TCP/IP, ARP, IPv4, and IPv6.

Minimize security threats and build reliable firewalls and routers with Netfilter (iptables and nftables) and Linux. Create and maintain DNS, FTP, web, e-mail, print, LDAP, VoIP, and SSH servers and services.

Share resources using GlusterFS, NFS, and Samba. Spin-up and manage Linux-based servers in popular cloud environments, such as OpenStack, AWS, Azure, Linode, and GCE.

Explore virtualization and container technologies using KVM, Docker, Kubernetes, and Open Container Initiative (OCI) tooling. Download specially curated Virtual Machine image and containers that replicate various exercises, software, servers, commands, and concepts covered in the book.

Wale Soyinka is a father, system administrator, a DevOps/SecOps aficionado, an open source evangelist, a hacker, and a well-respected world-renowned chef (in his mind). He is the author of Advanced Linux Administration as well as other Linux, Network, and Windows administration training materials.
Amazon.com
13
)

Linux for beginners: The easy beginner’s guide to introduce and use Linux operating system. How to make an easy installation, configuration, learn basics commands, fundamentals and technical overview.

by
Matthew Python
3.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Are you even aware of the fact that you are using Linux almost every day? Are you thinking that you have no inkling of the Linux Operating System? Well… this is not the fact. You use it every day without even realizing it.

The Linux servers are responsible for running Facebook, Twitter and even Google. It is also the operating system on which various other major internet sites run.

Linux is quite synonymous with the cloud. If you intend to work on cloud-based projects, it is always good to learn Linux, especially the essentials.

Following are some of the things that run on Linux: Android tablets and phones. CERN, which is the largest Physics laboratory of the world.

The Japanese high-speed rail. The New York Stock Exchange.

94% of the supercomputers in the world. Air traffic control systems.

Nuclear submarines. The basic system or kernel of all the Linux distributions is the same but the look and feel, besides the software ecosystem are quite different from one another.

The best way one can learn Linux is by using it. Also, with the help of a good eBook, one can understand the basics very well.

A complete guide to start is: “ Linux for beginners: The easy beginner’s guide to introduce and use Linux operating system. How to make an easy installation, configuration, learn basics commands, fundamentals and technical overview ” by Matthew Python .

Linux for Beginners is specially compiled and designed for beginners who want to start learning Linux and perform better in their jobs and organizations. There is a special emphasis on the Linux switches and commands, services and applications, scripting, access control, process control and much more.

Here’s what you’ll learn: What is Linux? History; differences with other operating systems; from Unix to Linux; Linux Distros; etc. Getting started with Linux Download; install; configure; how to add Graphical user interface; how to add additional software; Troubleshooting; etc.

Internet with Linux Choosing an SSH Client; Connecting via SSH with a password from various OS; Importing and generating SSH Keys on various OS; Connecting via Telnet; Connecting Directly. Welcome to Shell Shell history; The bash shell; The Shell commands; assemble shell commands
Amazon.com
12
)

Linux Administration: The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Learn Linux Step by Step

by
David A. Williams & Bob Palmer
3.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Have you ever wanted to become a Linux system administrator? Or did you want to learn more about the operating system? If you answered yes to these questions, you have come to the right place. The motive of this book is to get you well versed with the Linux operating system and the profile known to the world as Linux system administration.

A Linux system admin is basically a superhero who owns the servers of an organization and makes sure that they never go down. Servers in an organization contain user data, which is the most important thing in the modern world.

Loss of data can result in huge losses for an organization and even lawsuits. Over the course of the book, you will gather information about the following: This book will prepare you with the knowledge that is essential to enter the field of Linux system administration.

You will learn about the operating system called Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and how to install it. After installing you will learn about the tasks that are essential for a system in their day-to-day life.

You will learn about the command line in Linux, which is used extensively by system admins to perform tasks using important commands. You will further get to know about the Linux File System hierarchy and how to navigate your way through files and directories in the Linux operating system.

You will also understand how processes work in the Linux system and how you can use commands and signals to manage system processes as well as processes started manually. You will learn about SSH, which is one of the most used tools in Linux systems to create secure connections between two Linux systems on a private network or over the Internet.

You will study how to analyze logs in the Linux system and how to read them to understand errors and how to fix those errors. And much more! All in all, the book is aimed at preparing you to enter the world of Linux system administration such that you can pursue a career in an organization.
Amazon.com
11
)

Linux: Linux For Beginners Guide To Learn Linux Command Line, Linux Operating System And Linux Commands

by
Josh Thompsons
4.1
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Do You Want To Master The Linux Operating System? Would You Like To Start Leveraging The Command Line System Fast and Easily? Yes, if you've ever dabbled with Linux, even if you have no programming experience, then this book will provide the basis and tools you need to become successful with Linux Operating System! Linux is, without a doubt, the best and most often used operating system that is open-source. In “Linux: Linux For Beginners Guide to Learn Linux Command Line, Linux Operating System And Linux Commands” , the author provides proven steps and strategies on learning what Linux is and how to use it.

If you like the idea of having additional security and stability in your system, you should start learning more about this revolutionary operating system by using sites that provide Linux links. This book contains information on the Linux Operating System, especially for beginners.

Programmers and system administrators can also easily benefit from the discussions inside. The Ultimate Beginner's Guide To Linux Operating System And Command Line For Linux System Programming Here Is A Preview Of What You'll Learn: Installing Virtual Machines The Linux Directory Structure All About the Shell Basic Linux Commands Teach Yourself Fish File and Directory Permissions Getting to Grips with Editors Environment Variables and many more! By the end of this book, you will fully understand the most important and fundamental concepts of Linux server administration.

More importantly, you will be able to put those concepts to use in practical real-world situations. You'll be able to configure, maintain, and support a variety of Linux systems
Amazon.com
10
)

Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition

by
Wale Soyinka
4.5
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Publisher's Note: Products purchased from Third Party sellers are not guaranteed by the publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product. Now with a virtual machine showcasing the book's test system configuration, Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, Seventh Edition teaches system administrators how to set-up and configure Linux quickly and easily.

Effectively set up and manage any version of Linux on individual servers or entire networks using this practical resource. Fully updated to cover the latest tools and techniques, Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition features clear explanations, step-by-step instructions, and real-world examples.

Find out how to configure hardware and software, work from the GUI or command line, maintain Internet and network services, and secure your data. Performance tuning, virtualization, containers, software management, and backup solutions are covered in detail
Amazon.com
9
)

Linux for Beginners: Why You're Not Using Linux yet and How to Overcome Command Line Fear

by
Nathan Clark
5.8
% recommend
🛒   Buy
If you have always wanted to try Linux but feel overwhelmed by the complexity of switching to an unknown operating system, then keep reading. Have you tried to install Linux in the past only to get stuck with a broken system, eventually giving up and resorting back to your old Windows or macOS? Or are you overwhelmed by which distribution to choose, using a terminal for the first time, or simply being able to perform the tasks you normally would on your old system? It may take you weeks to adjust to the Linux filesystem, right? Wrong.

Linux is increasingly becoming more popular, with companies like Google, Facebook and IBM using Linux in one form or another. This is due to its superior privacy, reliability and security.

Fortune Business estimates that the Linux market will increase by 402% in the next 7 years, making now the best time to get started with Linux. So if the mythical Linux learning curve is holding you back, don't let it.

We call it a myth, because with the right step-by-step guidance, that is exactly what it is - a myth. Just because you're a beginner, doesn't mean it should be hard.

In this book you will discover: The single biggest mistake a beginner can make, that can ruin your entire Linux experience, and how to avoid it - page 13 How to install Linux step by step (with pictures) in less than 1 hour - page 21 Why getting this simple command line symbol wrong could force you to repair your Linux system - page 45 How to make Linux look and function more like good old familiar Windows or macOS - page 45 What the best distribution is for an experienced Windows user, but who has never used Linux before - page 16 How to find and install apps that work with your specific distribution - page 183 What to do when your Linux system freezes, crashes or has unexpected errors - page 215 How to avoid using the command line to navigate the Linux filesystem, and what we use instead - page 62 A core aspect that Linux runs on, and how mastering it can take your Linux experience to a whole new level - page 75 Why programmers prefer Linux over Windows and macOS, and how Linux can help you become a better programmer - page 67 How to create partitions and mount the correct filesystem for your needs - page 141 A difference between Linux and Windows that you can exploit to potentially save you gigabytes of space - page 169 Where to look for help when you're feeling stuck and getting nowhere - page 221 The areas of your system that are vulnerable to attack, and how to protect yourself from threats - page 197 Why a beginner should not be using Ubuntu and what to use instead - page 15 …and much, much more! Most beginners think it is vastly more complicated to start using Linux than it really is. In fact, if you can copy files and browse the internet on your existing system, you can successfully install and use Linux
Amazon.com
8
)

LINUX: Easy Linux For Beginners, Your Step-By-Step Guide To Learning The Linux Operating System And Command Line (Linux Series Book 1)

by
Felix Alvaro
6.9
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learn The Linux Operating System and Command Line Today With This Step-By-Step Guide!- Linux Ultimate Beginner’s Guide 2018 Updated 2ND Edition: March 2018 Do you want to learn the Linux Operating System and Command Line? Do you want a guide that is easy to follow, detailed and designed to make the process as effortless as possible? If so, “LINUX: Easy Linux For Beginners, Your Step-By-Step Guide To Learning The Linux Operating System And Command Line” by Felix Alvaro is the book for you. It breaks down the fundamental elements that are essential for you to master Linux.

Linux is an extremely powerful operating system that whilst not the most popular among everyday users, 98.8% of the world’s fastest computers and systems use the Linux kernel. If they are using it, then why shouldn’t you? Aside from personally using it on your own computer, the demand for Linux administrators has been characteristically high ever since big companies adopted the open-source operating system for their servers.

What Separates This Book From The Rest? What makes this book unique is how easy it makes it for you to learn. The author brings you a guide that takes you through a natural sequence of lessons, step-by-step, carefully explaining each concept and staying away from technical jargon.

This one-step-at-a-time approach allows anyone from an absolute beginner to a more knowledgeable reader to easily grasp each lesson and become more proficient as they progress through the book. In addition to that this guide also contains images, examples and other tools to give you the assurance you are going in the right direction, as well as exercises that will allow you to retain up to 400% more of what you learn by practicing your exciting new skills! You Will Learn The Following: The history of Linux and Operating Systems How everything works How does Linux compare to other Operating Systems Linux Architecture and Distributions How to install Linux in your PC Get to know Shell, your Desktop and Navigating the File Systems Linux Applications- Office, Multimedia and Imaging Managing Hardware and installing additional Software Using the Linux Command Line Vital Administration and Security Introduction to Scripting And much more! So whether you are getting this book to experience using Linux for the first time, or if you are interested in getting a Linux Professional Certification in the future, we can promise that you have found the book that is going to put you on the right track.

Take the first step to learning Linux by downloading this eBook version now- also readable on your phone, PC or tablet. Alternatively, you can also order the paperback version for an easier read
Amazon.com
7
)

Linux for Beginners: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Learn Linux Operating System and Master Linux Command Line. Contains Self-Evaluation Tests to Verify Your Learning Level

by
Ethem Mining
7.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Are you looking for a complete guide which enables you to use Linux and manage shell Linux like a pro? Are you struggling to navigate among all the Linux distributions out there and finding hard to define the best one for your needs? Do you want to evaluate your learning level step by step? Linux is without doubt the most powerful operating system in the world. Yes, you may think Windows and macOS are powerful operating systems owing to the fact that they control much of the PC market but I have some stats that will change your perspective: As of 2021 100% of the world’s supercomputers run on Linux 23 of the top 25 websites in the world run on Linux 96.3% of the world’s top 1 million servers run on Linux 90% of the world’s cloud infrastructure operates on Linux All the best cloud hosts run on Linux I believe you now appreciate just how Linux is not really given as much credit for running the world behind the scenes and have even greater motivation to learn it.

The book discusses the ins and outs of Linux in a beginner friendly style to make your learning process frustration free, as the book does not assume you know anything about Linux. More precisely, this book will teach you: The basics, including what an operating system is, what Linux is, how it has evolved over the years, how Linux works, the architecture of Linux, files hierarchy in Linux as well as the system architecture in Linux Benefits of using Linux as an operating system Linux distributions, including how to choose a distribution from the different distributions available, depending on your unique needs How to use Linux text editors How to install Linux on Virtual Machines on Windows 10 How to install Linux on Virtual Machines on MacOS The concept of shells in linux, including what is a shell, how to gain access to the shell, the different types of shell, shell scripting along with basic command line editing How to unleash the full power of different commands in Linux to maximize your user experience How to set up access levels and assign users different privileges in Linux, including the different types of users in Linux and more How to make the most use of Linux for network administration Some great Linux alternatives to some of the popular Windows applications And much more Even if you’ve never used Linux before but want to learn it, to add it to your skillset and possibly start using it for networking, programming or even just simple web browsing, you will find this book helpful.

Lucky for you, the book takes an easy to follow, beginner friendly approach to introduce you everything, beginner or advanced, to ensure you start applying what you learn right away. PS: To help you learn even faster, there is a quiz at the end of every chapter along with answers shortly after to help you test your understanding of the concepts you will have learned in that chapter
Amazon.com
6
)

Linux All-in-One For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech))

by
Emmett Dulaney
7.5
% recommend
🛒   Buy
8 mini books chock full of Linux! Inside, over 800 pages of Linux topics are organized into eight task-oriented mini books that help you understand all aspects of the latest OS distributions of the most popular open-source operating system in use today. Topics include getting up and running with basics, desktops, networking, internet services, administration, security, scripting, Linux certification, and more.

This new edition of Linux All-in-One For Dummies has a unique focus on Ubuntu, while still including coverage of Debian, Red Hat, SuSE, and others. The market is looking for administrators, and part of the qualifications needed for job openings is the authentication of skills by vendor-neutral third parties (CompTIA/Linux Professional Institute)―and that’s something other books out there don’t address
Amazon.com
5
)

UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook

by
Evi Nemeth & Garth Snyder & Trent Hein & Ben Whaley & Dan Mackin
13.2
% recommend
🛒   Buy
UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Fifth Edition is today’s definitive guide to installing, configuring and maintaining any Unix or Linux system -- including the systems that provide core Internet and cloud infrastructure. Now fully updated for today’s Linux distributions and cloud environments, it details best practices for every facet of system administration, including storage management, network design and administration, web hosting and scale-out, automation, configuration management, performance analysis, virtualization, DNS, security, management of IT service organizations, and much more
Amazon.com
4
)

How Linux Works, 2nd Edition: What Every Superuser Should Know

by
Brian Ward
17.4
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Unlike some operating systems, Linux doesn’t try to hide the important bits from you—it gives you full control of your computer. But to truly master Linux, you need to understand its internals, like how the system boots, how networking works, and what the kernel actually does.

In this completely revised second edition of the perennial best seller How Linux Works, author Brian Ward makes the concepts behind Linux internals accessible to anyone curious about the inner workings of the operating system. Inside, you’ll find the kind of knowledge that normally comes from years of experience doing things the hard way.

You’ll learn: –How Linux boots, from boot loaders to init implementations (systemd, Upstart, and System V) –How the kernel manages devices, device drivers, and processes –How networking, interfaces, firewalls, and servers work –How development tools work and relate to shared libraries –How to write effective shell scripts You’ll also explore the kernel and examine key system tasks inside user space, including system calls, input and output, and filesystems. With its combination of background, theory, real-world examples, and patient explanations, How Linux Works will teach you what you need to know to solve pesky problems and take control of your operating system.
Amazon.com
3
)

The Linux Command Line, 2nd Edition: A Complete Introduction

by
William Shotts
19.0
% recommend
🛒   Buy
You've experienced the shiny, point-and-click surface of your Linux computer--now dive below and explore its depths with the power of the command line. The Linux Command Line takes you from your very first terminal keystrokes to writing full programs in Bash, the most popular Linux shell (or command line).

Along the way you'll learn the timeless skills handed down by generations of experienced, mouse-shunning gurus: file navigation, environment configuration, command chaining, pattern matching with regular expressions, and more. In addition to that practical knowledge, author William Shotts reveals the philosophy behind these tools and the rich heritage that your desktop Linux machine has inherited from Unix supercomputers of yore.

As you make your way through the book's short, easily-digestible chapters, you'll learn how to: •  Create and delete files, directories, and symlinks •  Administer your system, including networking, package installation, and process management •  Use standard input and output, redirection, and pipelines •  Edit files with Vi, the world's most popular text editor •  Write shell scripts to automate common or boring tasks •  Slice and dice text files with cut, paste, grep, patch, and sed Once you overcome your initial "shell shock," you'll find that the command line is a natural and expressive way to communicate with your computer. Just don't be surprised if your mouse starts to gather dust.
Amazon.com
2
)

Linux Basics for Hackers: Getting Started with Networking, Scripting, and Security in Kali

by
OccupyTheWeb
20.4
% recommend
🛒   Buy
This practical, tutorial-style book uses the Kali Linux distribution to teach Linux basics with a focus on how hackers would use them. Topics include Linux command line basics, filesystems, networking, BASH basics, package management, logging, and the Linux kernel and drivers.

If you're getting started along the exciting path of hacking, cybersecurity, and pentesting, Linux Basics for Hackers is an excellent first step. Using Kali Linux, an advanced penetration testing distribution of Linux, you'll learn the basics of using the Linux operating system and acquire the tools and techniques you'll need to take control of a Linux environment.

First, you'll learn how to install Kali on a virtual machine and get an introduction to basic Linux concepts. Next, you'll tackle broader Linux topics like manipulating text, controlling file and directory permissions, and managing user environment variables.

You'll then focus in on foundational hacking concepts like security and anonymity and learn scripting skills with bash and Python. Practical tutorials and exercises throughout will reinforce and test your skills as you learn how to: - Cover your tracks by changing your network information and manipulating the rsyslog logging utility - Write a tool to scan for network connections, and connect and listen to wireless networks - Keep your internet activity stealthy using Tor, proxy servers, VPNs, and encrypted email - Write a bash script to scan open ports for potential targets - Use and abuse services like MySQL, Apache web server, and OpenSSH - Build your own hacking tools, such as a remote video spy camera and a password cracker Hacking is complex, and there is no single way in
Amazon.com
1
)

Linux Pocket Guide: Essential Commands

by
Daniel J. Barrett
20.7
% recommend
🛒   Buy
If you use Linux in your day to day work, this popular pocket guide is the perfect on the job reference. The third edition features new commands for processing image files and audio files, running and killing programs, reading and modifying the system clipboard, and manipulating PDF files, as well as other commands requested by readers.

You’ll also find powerful command line idioms you might not be familiar with, such as process substitution and piping into bash. Linux Pocket Guide provides an organized learning path to help you gain mastery of the most useful and important commands.

Whether you’re a novice who needs to get up to speed on Linux or an experienced user who wants a concise and functional reference, this guide provides quick answers. Selected topics include: The filesystem and shell File creation and editing Text manipulation and pipelines Backups and remote storage Viewing and controlling processes User account management Becoming the superuser Network connections Audio and video Installing software Programming with shell scripts
Amazon.com

Conclusion

I hope that you liked this list. Please do not hesitate to check out the other ones I've published.

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