Slashdot: Review: The Linux Cookbook

“The Linux Cookbook is a collection of “recipes” for
doing various tasks with your Linux machine. Where the Cookbook
shines, though is the sheer number and variety of these recipes.
There are plenty of varied tasks covered in the book, from the
simple ‘How do I copy a file?’ to the more complex ‘How do I
archive a web site?’, Six chapters deal with the various aspects of
text: analyzing, searching and replacing, grammar checking, and
formatting. There are even chapters dealing with the less-explored
topics of customizing X, setting up reminders, and editing sound

The recipe format is both the book’s strongest feature and its
weakest point. The recipes make for a well-organized and logical
structure to find information. Each point and sub-point is clearly
marked, and makes for a very quick and enjoyable read.
Unfortunately, topics that could benefit from a different approach
are just not covered thoroughly. In the section for listing files,
ls is well covered, while Midnight Commander is briefly introduced.
This wouldn’t bother me as much, except Midnight Commander and
Mozilla URLs are given at the beginning of the section. This
presentation could also lead people to think the material presented
is the only way, or the best way to do these commands. There is
only one method mentioned for shutting down a Linux machine; the
venerable CTRL-ALT-DEL. No mention is made in the book of the
shutdown command. Granted, CTRL-ALT-DEL will get the job done, but
I’m not sure I would have presented it as the best, or only way to
shut down a Linux machine. [T – Especially when on many distros,
CTRL-ALT-DELETE is configured to restart rather than shut down the
machine; this behavior, though, is configurable through

As I’ve mentioned in the previous section, some of the commands
the author chose as his answers are quite curious to me. In the
section to find hostnames from IP addresses, the author has chosen
to use the command “dig” rather than the command I generally use
“nslookup”. Granted, “dig” gives other useful information aside
from the IP and hostname, but the author doesn’t seem to care about
the additional information when presenting the output of the

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