The Linux Cookbook, 2nd Edition: Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use by Michael Stutz

A great reference for new Linux users who want quick tips for using various command-line features.

Publisher: No Starch Press, Inc.

ISBN: 1-59327-031-3

Price: $39.95

When my wife and I got married, we received a copy of a classic Puerto Rican cookbook Cocine Conmigo (Cook With Me), by Dora R. Romano. It was a nice gift for us because it helped us explore a wide variety of typical Puerto Rican dishes. Similarly, I think Michael Stutz's The Linux Cookbook, 2nd Edition: Tips and Techniques would be a nice gift for anyone, including yourself, who wants to explore the wide variety of features and capabilities available from the Linux operating system.

The Linux Cookbook offers the Linux newcomer a wide selection of recipes. With collections of files, text, images, sound and productivity recipes, the reader is bound to find something that suits his or her need. Although the book has a dash of X recipes, the majority of the recipes focus on command-line features available in the bash shell.

Overall, I believe that Michael Stutz succeeds in providing a handy reference for those who still are exploring Linux or who have difficulty remembering the correct command-line options for a specific command. I find myself reaching for this collection of recipes when I get stuck, so I keep it close to my desk.

On the other hand, although the author hopes that The Linux Cookbook appeals to experienced Linux users, I don't believe this was achieved. Some useful yet obscure information is offered here, but I don't think it is enough for daily reference by an experienced user. In addition, I disagree with the author's choice to leave out the basic commands for network administration. More than once I needed some networking help only to find nothing about ifconfig or route. Although I'm sure the commands for administrating different Linux distributions can vary, I think some basic networking commands are essential for any Linux cookbook.

Through the years, my wife and I repeatedly have enjoyed Romano's recipes for Flan de Queso con Leche Condensada (Cheese Custard with Evaporated Milk) and Pastela de Platanos Maduros (Puerto Rican Lasagna with Ripe Plantains). Readers of The Linux Cookbook undoubtedly will find some favorite recipes of their own. With over 500 different programs referenced and organized conveniently in the Program Index, The Linux Cookbook is sure to satisfy any Linux newcomer's craving for Linux tips and techniques.