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Below is a list of books I personally recommend for Bookshare members who are Cavi students. I've selected them based on how clear they explain concepts and how little they cover the mostly inaccessible graphical user interface.

Unix Power Tools

If I could take only one Linux book to a desert island, this one, which does not even have Linux in its title, would be it. Considered an advanced book for sighted users, it is essential for any blind person who wants to seriously work with Linux, because nearly every topic covered is based on using the command line.

Learning the Unix Operating System, 5th Edition

No, it's not a Linux book, but for beginners, that actually makes it better. Because this book does not asume you have a graphical environment at your disposal, it covers the elements of command line interfaces in greater detail than a typical modern Linux tutorial for beginners. Though it won't teach you system administration, it will give you a good grounding in working from the command line that will ease your transition to the more complex material in the administration books.

Running Linux, 5th Edition

This is the latest edition, detailing how to use a modern Linux system. It has some user and some administrator material, and is beginner-oriented. Its disadvantage, is that when a graphical tool exists to accomplish a task, that is favored over an equivalent command-line tool.

Linux in a Nutshell

Also somewhat dated, this is still a good reference, especially for common command-line user options. The graphical stuff is in its own chapters, making it easier to skip.

Learning the bash Shell

Everything in this book is command-line, and working through the examples will have you operating lightning-fast. competent command-line user can outdo anyone handicapped by the need to mouse around and click. I recommend this book for any would-be command-line warriors out there!

Essential System Administration, 3rd Edition

Though the exact procedures in this book can be dated, it makes for good background reading with its clear explanations and its generic approach.

Linux System Administration

More current than other bookshare offerings on System administration, this book's main downfall is its simplicity. If you need a superficial look at the subject that does not delve in to exhausting, and often confusing detail, this is the book for you.

Linux Network Administrator's Guide, 3rd Edition

Though dated, this is still a good read for the intermediat user. One advantage of reading a slightly dated book on system administration is that it is more likely to cover command-line tools rather than the modern graphical equivalents. Unfortunately, some of these tools have changed, so though it makes for great background reading, you might be disappointed that some of the procedures it spells out will not work properly on a modern system.

Linux Pocket Guide

A great small book to keep on your notetaker or iDevice: it's a quick reference for commands whose options you may have forgotten.

Linux Cookbook


Linux Networking Cookbook

The "cookbook" series has "recipes", instructions for performing a small, specific task. These are great references for looking up how to do something particular. Be aware that some of the information is depricated. The series is based on Debian.

Linux Server Hacks


Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two

Don't be put off by the title. This wonderful series details all sorts of tips, tricks and work-arounds including great how-to explanations on how to accomplish a myriad of things. It takes a problem-solution approach and covers many command-line tools that are especially helpful for the visually impaired system administrator. Linux Kernel in a Nutshell

Not the advanced level book you might have thought, this is necessary reading for anyone building their own kernel or just trying to get some funky hardware working on Linux. If you use virtual machines, or don't care about building kernels, you can safely skip this book.

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Page last modified on March 02, 2012, at 12:05 PM