Learn Linux in a Month of Lunches
Steven Ovadia
Foreword by Jim Whitehurst
  • November 2016
  • ISBN 9781617293283
  • 304 pages
  • printed in black & white

Guides readers through Linux basics in a clear and systematic way.

From the Foreword by Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat

Learn Linux in a Month of Lunches shows you how to install and use Linux for all the things you do with your OS, like connecting to a network, installing software, and securing your system. Whether you're just curious about Linux or have to get up and running for your job, you'll appreciate how this book concentrates on the tasks you need to know how to do in 23 easy lessons.

Table of Contents detailed table of contents

Part 1: Getting Linux Up and Running

1. Before You Begin

1.1. Why Linux matters

1.2. Is this book for you?

1.3. Using this book

1.3.1. The Main Chapters

1.3.2. Hands-on Labs

1.3.3. Supplementary Materials

1.3.4. Further Exploration

1.3.5. Above and Beyond

1.4. Setting up your lab environment

1.5. Online resources

1.6. Being immediately effective with Linux

2. Getting to Know Linux

2.1. Distributions

2.1.1. Ubuntu

2.1.2. Debian

2.1.3. Fedora

2.1.4. Linux Mint

2.1.5. Arch

2.1.6. Other distributions

2.2. Choosing a Distribution

2.3. Repositories

2.4. The Linux Kernel

2.5. Wrapping Up

2.5.1. Glossary of Terms

2.6. Lab

3. Installing Linux

3.1. Live versus Installation

3.2. Creating a Linux Boot Image

3.3. Burn the image to DVD

3.4. Install the image to USB

3.5. Boot from the Image

3.5.1. Installation Preparation

3.5.2. Installation Type

3.5.3. Where Are You?

3.5.4. Keyboard Layout

3.5.5. Who Are You?

3.6. Common Issues

3.7. Purchasing hardware with Linux Installed Already

3.8. Wrapping Up

3.8.1. Glossary of Terms

3.9. Lab

4. Getting to Know Your System

4.1. Identifying hardware

4.2. Drivers

4.3. Codecs

4.4. Using log files

4.5. Finding help

4.6. Wrapping Up

4.6.1. Glossary of Terms

4.7. Lab

5. Desktop Environments

5.1. Desktop Environments

5.2. GNOME

5.2.1. Interface

5.2.2. Customizing

5.2.3. Software

5.3. KDE

5.3.1. Interface

5.3.2. Customizing

5.3.3. Software

5.4. Unity

5.4.1. Interface

5.4.2. Customizing

5.4.3. Software

5.5. Xfce

5.5.1. Interface

5.5.2. Customizing

5.5.3. Software

5.6. Choosing a Desktop Environment

5.7. Wrapping Up

5.7.1. Glossary of Terms

5.8. Lab

6. Navigating Your Desktop

6.1. Working with Programs

6.1.1. Finding Programs

6.1.2. Launching Programs

6.1.3. Closing Programs

6.1.4. Top Menu Bars

6.1.5. Customizing Your Dock

6.2. Working with Files and Folders

6.2.1. Creating Folders

6.2.2. Creating Files

6.2.3. Opening Files

6.2.4. Moving Folders and Files

6.2.5. Copying Folders and Files

6.2.6. Deleting Folders and Files

6.2.7. Changing the Look of the Folders and Files

6.3. Wrapping Up

6.3.1. Glossary of Terms

6.4. Lab

Part 2: Home Office On Linux

7. Installing Software

7.1. Package Managers

7.2. Ubuntu Software Center

7.3. Synaptic

7.4. Wrapping Up

7.4.1. Glossary of Terms

7.5. Lab

8. An Introduction to Linux Home/Office Software

8.1. Office/Productivity

8.1.1. LibreOffice

8.1.2. Calligra

8.1.3. Email Clients

8.1.4. Choosing Your Office Program(s)

8.2. Image Editing

8.2.1. The GIMP

8.2.2. LibreOffice Draw

8.2.3. Choosing Your Image Editor

8.3. Multimedia

8.3.1. Movies

8.3.2. Music

8.3.3. Choosing a multimedia player

8.4. Wrapping Up

8.4.1. Glossary of Terms

8.5. Lab

9. Text Files and Editors

9.1. Getting to Know Text Editors

9.1.1. gedit

9.1.2. Vim

9.1.3. Emacs

9.2. Working with Text Editors

9.2.1. Writing with Text Editors

9.2.2. Going Under the Hood with Text Files

9.3. Wrapping Up

9.3.1. Glossary of Terms

9.4. Lab

10. Working with Files and Folders on the Command Line

10.1. Working with Files and Folders

10.1.1. Creating Folders

10.1.2. Creating Files

10.1.3. Copying Folders and Files

10.1.4. Moving Folders and Files

10.1.5. Deleting Folders and Files

10.2. Wrapping Up

10.2.1. Glossary of Terms

10.3. Lab

11. Working with Common Command Line Applications, Part 1

11.1. top

11.2. Kill commands

11.2.1. xkill

11.2.2. killall

11.3. wget

11.4. grep

11.5. Wrapping Up

11.5.1. Glossary of Terms

11.6. Lab

12. Working with Common Command Line Applications, Part 2

12.1. su and sudo for Administrative Tasks

12.1.1. su

12.1.2. sudo

12.2. Installing and Removing Software with the Command Line

12.3. Read the Manual with the man Command

12.4. Grow Commands with Pipes and Redirects

12.5. Wrapping Up

12.5.1. Glossary of Terms

12.6. Lab

13. Using the Command Line Productively

13.1. Alternative Terminal Interfaces

13.1.1. Guake

13.1.2. Terminator

13.2. Customizing the Terminal

13.3. Saving Time in the Terminal

13.3.1. Last command(s)

13.3.2. history

13.3.3. Searching Commands

13.3.4. Autocompleting Commands

13.3.5. Copying and Pasting

13.4. Wrapping Up

13.4.1. Glossary of Terms

13.5. Lab

14. Explaining the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy

14.1. /home

14.2. /

14.3. /usr, /bin, and /sbin

14.4. /etc

14.5. /tmp

14.6. Wrapping Up

14.6.1. Glossary of Terms

14.7. Lab

15. Windows Programs in Linux

15.1. Virtualization

15.2. Wine: Using Windows without full-blown virtual machines

15.2.1. Winetricks

15.3. Wrapping Up

15.3.1. Glossary of Terms

15.4. Lab

16. Establishing a Workflow

16.1. File/application launchers

16.1.1. GNOME Do

16.1.2. Kupfer

16.2. Keyboard Shortcuts

16.2.1. Unity/GNOME

16.2.2. KDE

16.2.3. Xfce

16.3. Wrapping Up

16.3.1. Glossary of Terms

16.4. Lab

Part 3: Home System Admin on Linux

17. An In-Depth Look at Package Management and Maintenance

17.1. Installing software from outside of the repositories

17.1.1. Installing software with package files

17.1.2. Viewing and adding repositories

17.2. Dependencies

17.2.1. Using Advanced Commands to Remove Dependencies

17.3. Wrapping Up

17.3.1. Glossary of Terms

17.4. LAB

18. Updating the Operating System

18.1. Updating Linux

18.1.1. The Update Command

18.2. Upgrading Linux

18.2.1. The Upgrade Command

18.3. Rolling Releases versus Standard Releases

18.3.1. Standard Releases

18.3.2. Rolling Releases

18.3.3. Which is better?

18.4. Wrapping Up

18.4.1. Glossary of Terms

18.5. Lab

19. Linux Security

19.1. Users and Superusers in Linux

19.2. Viruses and Linux

19.2.1. Is Linux immune to viruses?

19.2.2. Linux antiviruses

19.3. Firewalls

19.4. Encryption

19.5. Running commands safely

19.6. Wrap Up

19.6.1. Glossary of Terms

19.7. Lab

20. Connecting to Other Computers

20.1. Connecting to the Internet with NetworkManager

20.1.1. Customizing Your Domain Name System

20.2. Connect to your computer with Secure Shell (SSH)

20.2.1. Configuring your virtual machine

20.2.2. Transferring files with SSH File Transfer Protocol

20.3. Wrapping Up

20.3.1. Glossary of Terms

20.4. Lab

21. Printing

21.1. Installing a printer with Ubuntu's Printer tool

21.1.1. Deleting and configuring printers with the Ubuntu Printer tool

21.2. CUPS

21.3. Tips for Printing with Linux

21.4. Wrap Up

21.4.1. Glossary of Terms

21.5. Lab

22. Version Control for Non-Programmers

22.1. What is version control?

22.2. A quick introduction to Git

22.2.1. Essential Git Commands

22.3. Using GitLab as a Repository

22.3.1. Generating an SSH key for GitLab

22.4. Connecting to your repository with Git

22.4.1. Creating Your Git Identity

22.4.2. Cloning a Repository

22.4.3. Adding files to your web-based repository

22.4.4. Pulling files from your web-based repository

22.4.5. Viewing the history of files

22.4.6. Sharing your repository

22.5. Wrapping up

22.5.1. Glossary of Terms

22.6. Lab

23. Never the End

23.1. Finding help with Linux

23.2. Finding Linux news

23.3. Using Linux professionally

23.3.1. Do you need a certification?

23.3.2. Which certification?

23.4. Wrapping Up

Answer Key

About the Technology

If you've only used Windows or Mac OS X, you may be daunted by the Linux operating system. And yet learning Linux doesn't have to be hard, and the payoff is great. Linux is secure, flexible, and free. It's less susceptible to malicious attacks, and when it is attacked, patches are available quickly. If you don't like the way it looks or behaves, you can change it. And best of all, Linux allows users access to different desktop interfaces and loads of software, almost all of it completely free.

About the book

Learn Linux in a Month of Lunches shows you how to install and use Linux for all the things you do with your OS, like connecting to a network, installing software, and securing your system. Whether you're just curious about Linux or need it for your job, you'll appreciate how this book focuses on just the tasks you need to learn. In easy-to-follow lessons designed to take an hour or less, you'll learn how to use the command line, along with practical topics like installing software, customizing your desktop, printing, and even basic networking. You'll find a road map to the commands and processes you need to be instantly productive.

What's inside

  • Master the command line
  • Learn about file systems
  • Understand desktop environments
  • Go from Linux novice to expert in just one month

About the reader

This book is for anyone looking to learn how to use Linux. No previous Linux experience required.

About the author

Steven Ovadia is a professor and librarian at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. He curates The Linux Setup, a large collection of interviews with desktop Linux users, and writes for assorted library science journals.


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An essential reference for beginners.

Shawn Bolan, New Horizons

Relevant to the tasks you will find yourself doing on a daily basis.

Robert Walsh, Excalibur Solutions

Great beginner's guide to the world of Linux, with plenty of good examples.

Selcuk Beydilli, OTPP