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What is a up-to-date good book that talks about general usage of Ubuntu or Linux in general (but that applies to Ubuntu as well) ? Things like:

  • what are the common commands (man, ls, etc.)
  • basics of bash (including redirection, piping etc.)
  • where files are generally installed (eg. what is difference between /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib; when we to make for a lib like libpng, where does it get installed)

I suppose I want to find some book that is a good starting point for understanding the Linux system/environment.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Well about 99% of all commands are shared between all Distros. This you must have very clear. With this I mean that what you learn in Red Hat, Fedora, Open Suse, Linux Mint, Debian, Gentoo and others, you have a VERY HIGH chance that you can use them in Ubuntu and Vice Versa.

With this said, any place that teaches you some command (Like ls, cat, grep, etc....) will work in any distro.

For common commands I suggest this:

For bash commands I suggest this: and

But you also need to know that the stack Network has 2 sites that dedicate themselves to similar questions, and

For even more in depth to Servers and Security you have and

Lastly a dedicated Ubuntu Help book would be found here: and for 10.10 here:

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Superb! Thanks for all the links. – Zabba Apr 24 '11 at 20:33

Regarding files and directories in Ubuntu/Linux, you'll want to read about the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. As of this post, the current version is 2.3:

You'll find a listing of directories, required files, purposes of each and various options.

IMO it's a great way to learn the layout of Linux.

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