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Got a friend / next door neighbour who just bought a new computer that came with a linux distro on it (Fedora!). She's been using Windows all the time till now, but now didn't want to pay for new Windows licence, got this for no charge, and she wants to start learning and using it. A bright gal, no doubt about that, but every learning process includes either reading a good book, or asking a lot of questions, or bugging your neighbour.

So, to save her from the process of learning it the hard way, and in hope that the last two can be avoided, can someone reccomend some book that covers in general "linux way of work and thinking" (I swear, I've no idea how to put it better than this) ?

And yes, I also was suprised to see Fedora as an preinstalled OS, but for now I don't want to change that since I'm sure drivers hell will occur.

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closed as off topic by Tom Wijsman, slhck, Nifle, random Jul 11 '12 at 16:51

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Fedora Linux: A Complete Guide to Red Hat's Community Distribution.

Ubuntu for Non-Geeks, 2nd Edition: A Pain-Free, Project-Based, Get-Things-Done Guidebook also seems to have a good buzz and positive reviews though it is Ubuntu based.

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O'Reilly offers a Linux Pocket Guide that is tailored to Fedora:

Linux Pocket Guide gets you up to speed quickly on day-to-day Linux use. The book begins with general concepts like files and directories, the shell, and X windows, and then presents detailed overviews of the most essential commands. You'll learn each command's purpose, usage, options, location on disk, and even the RPM package that installed it. Throw in a host of valuable power user tips and a friendly, accessible style, and you'll find this practical, to-the-point book a small but mighty resource for Linux users.

The Linux Pocket Guide is tailored to Fedora Linux--the latest spin-off of Red Hat Linux--but most of the information applies to any Linux system.

For Ubuntu, I would recommend the Ubuntu Pocket Guide. It helped me start to wade into the world that is Linux-based. They offer the PDF version of the book for free, and the same book for sale (in print) on

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And if she was using Windows, you could recommend her this Windows book ;) But the question says Fedora. – linux_is_for_desktop Aug 11 '09 at 20:35
@ linux_is_for_desktop - the link for that would be cool. – J. Polfer Aug 11 '09 at 20:45
It was rhetorical, just "this Windows book". And the reader imagines that there's really a link to a Windows book ;) – linux_is_for_desktop Aug 11 '09 at 20:51

Not a real answer, but you should know one thing about "Linux books for beginners":

Unlike other beginner books about operating systems, a usual Linux beginners book will in most cases teach you:

  • how to use the command line,
  • how to compile C/C++ programs,
  • how to edit system configuration files,
  • how to start/stop services,
  • how to write scripts in Perl, Bash, ...

so nothing what a usual beginner really wants or needs to know, to be able to USE the operating system.

You have been warned ;)

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No, no. What you say is completely true. I noticed that in books on several computer related subjects. – Rook Aug 11 '09 at 20:42

This is nice web site , which good for beginners to learn to linux

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OpenSUSE guides in PDF and HTML format. These are backed by Novell, and I've found them to be of good quality.

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The Linux Phrasebook by Scott Granneman is a good starter book. Here's the table of contents:

  1. Things to know about your command line
  2. The basics
  3. Learning about commands
  4. Building blocks
  5. Viewing files
  6. Printing and managing print jobs
  7. Ownerships and permissions
  8. Archiving and compression
  9. Finding stuff : easy
  10. The find command
  11. Your shell
  12. Monitoring system resources
  13. Installing software
  14. Connectivity
  15. Working on the network
  16. Windows networking

The chapter on installing software is split between deb based (Debian based) systems and rpm based (Red Hat based) systems, so that should work for Fedora.

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Yep, that sounds okey. I found another book on Fedora mentioned da little lower here, so with those two I should be out in the clear! – Rook Aug 12 '09 at 11:23

When I saw the title, the first thing that came to my mind was rute.

However, as fellow superuser "linux_is_for_desktop" noted in his answer, these books are usually about the command line and the such.

So, to answer your question:

Your best bet is to just explore the system through its menus and various other gui elements. If anything is unclear, you can google or ask on

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Rute is great, but it's not really for someone new to *nix, is it? – Telemachus Aug 12 '09 at 13:03

Books about migration from Windows to Linux would be, from my point of view, most appropriate for a beginner.

Unfortunately, I don't know specific books, but I could find some interesting books searching Amazon and other book stores for

windows linux


windows for linux users
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Tille's guide, Also in Hindi

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