The Doll Book : a good start place for CLI beginners

Here is my favorite book for beginners wanting to learn the Linux or Unix command line

“The Unix System” by S R Bourne ISBN 0-201-13791-7 1982

Yes 1982, it is old, written by the original author of the Bourne Shell (sh). Bash is backwards compatible with sh.

Chapters 2 Getting started
3 Editing files
4 The shell
are a really good introduction.
also Chapter 8 Data Manipulation tools awk, cmp, diff, grep, sed, sort, tail, uniq, …

So for those who would like to learn CLI, this is a good place to start. I used it to train many computer technicians.

There are secondhand copies readily available (see abebooks) for less than $10.

And, if you have a favorite Linux book, how about sharing it? Tell us how it helped you .

1 Like

This is one of my favorites:

I knew a lot by the time I was reading it but it’s always good to fill in the blanks of your knowledge.


I think the following place to learn how CLI works is the following.

Use the CLI as much as possible and over the years you will learn it either way. No book required.


Bourne Again Shell

1 Like

Hi @abhishek ,
I purchased a copy of your book “How Linux Works” . I am enjoying reading it. There are indeed always things to be learnt. That is one of the strong points of the open software world.
Your book is more recent than the “Doll Book” and is written for a more experience user. It is a good reference.

Here is another classic book, commonly referred to as “The Goanna Book”. It is about ‘porting’ which means putting software into Linux or Unix, starting from the source code.

It is mostly about porting C code to Unix, but many of the issues are common to other languages.