The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction lives up to its name and covers a wide range of command line topics (disclaimer). There are a lot of subtleties with how the bash shell behaves that are more clear to me after reading this book. I didn’t learn as much as I did from How Linux Works (review), but I wish I’d read The Linux Command Line when I first starting working with linux systems.
The last part of the book deals with writing shell scripts and covers more about shell scripting than I ever wanted to know. Reading and writing nontrivial shell scripts is sometimes a reality, so overall it was good to pick up a few useful tips and tricks along with a generally increased understanding of bash programming.
How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know is an excellent book that gives a well organized introduction to what’s going on behind the scenes of a linux system (disclaimer). While doing data science I learned linux piece by piece, after reading this book I was able to better understand how all the pieces fit together. I also learned a lot about subjects I hadn’t really touched, for example how the network stack translates information to and from physical bits on a wire.
Most data science happens on linux or unix based systems. Just as knowing a lot about farming will help make you a better chef, knowing a lot about linux will make you a better data scientist. Since I work at a small startup my role often extends from data science to data engineering to operations support for data science and engineering to general operations support. Reading How Linux Works helped make me more effective at all of these roles.