Practical Technology

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Writing a Linux shell book the community way


There are several ways you can learn how to use the Linux command line. The way I took was the traditional one. I read the, ahem, fine manual, RTFM as we like to say, and I used the ‘man’ command a lot. That was well back before O’Reilly started publishing its great Unix and Linux technology books. Now, the FSF (Free Software Foundation), is having a community ‘write-in’ to create a new, free book “Introduction to the Command Line” for Linux beginners.

‘Write-in’ is my phrase for what the FSF and FLOSS Manuals are up to. They’re running a community project “to collaboratively produce a new free software textbook for GNU/Linux users.” This book will be focusing on the BASH shell.

The project is well under way, but in what the FSF is calling a ‘sprint,’ they’re planning on doing a lot of the work during this weekend’s, March 21st-22nd, GNU/Linux conference LibrePlanet. FLOSS Manuals’ Adam Hyde said in a statement that, “This is an exciting opportunity to work with the FSF and help build a sustainable model for the production of more textbooks for free software users. I encourage volunteers to start contributing text and ideas immediately. This new book will be available online for free download immediately after LibrePlanet finishes on Monday, March 23, and two hundred copies will be available for sale in book form from the FSF web site.”

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