Beginner's Guide to Linux

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The Linux operating system is probably the best environment for serious scientific computing. The way it functions will seem unfamiliar if you have not encountered it before, but it is not hard to learn, and can be quickly harnessed in powerful ways.

Although Linux sports a graphical (Windows-like) user interface, we will be focusing on the Command-Line Interface, where the computer is controlled by issuing commands at a text prompt. We will cover basic commands for handling files and directories, as well as commands that are useful for data-processing. This document is a tutorial on using Linux, and a basic reference for the techniques we'll be covering; the lab sessions will provide an opportunity to practice them.


Selected bibliography

Despite appearances, I wasn't in the pay of O'Reilly when I compiled this list.

  • Barrett DJ (2004) Linux Pocket Guide, O'Reilly.
  • Cameron D, Elliot J and Loy M (2004) Learning GNU Emacs, O'Reilly.
  • Siever E, Weber A, Figgins S, Love R and Robbins A (2005) Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Ed., O'Reilly.