7 best ubuntu books for 2021 [plus linux bonus books] with faded black background

7 Best Ubuntu Books for 2021 [Plus Linux Bonus Books]

Ubuntu books are hard to find, and finding good ones is even harder.

And did you know that over 20% of the web runs on Ubuntu?

So we’re looking at the best Ubuntu books on the market so you can start your Ubuntu journey.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Ubuntu Books for 2021

We picked the best Ubuntu books based on the following criteria:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Official Ubuntu Book

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials

💸 Best Value 💸
Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

Ubuntu Books

Read on for the best Ubuntu books of 2021.

And if you want to know more about Linux, scroll down to see some of the best Linux books out there.

1. Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

Ubuntu Linux Unleashed is another banger written by Matthew Helmke.

You’ll start with the basics like how to install Ubuntu. Then you’ll get into the meat:

  • configuration
  • productivity
  • command line usage
  • systems administration
  • cloud computing

And the list goes on.

Then you’ll learn how to use shell scripting and automate tasks. In addition, you’ll learn how to manage kernels and modules.

Plus there’s plenty of information on working with databases and NoSQL alternatives.

You’ll also find an introduction to Docker and Kubernetes.

Ubuntu Linux Unleashed also has an online portion which highlights the updates of LTS before its next release.

One unique feature of this book is that it also teaches the basics of programming languages such as Python, PHP, Golang and Rust.

This is a very good Ubuntu Linux reference. Easy to understand and accurate instructions. Highly recommended

Marshall Gray, Customer

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

If you’re looking for the most up-to-date book on Ubuntu, you won’t find one fresher than Ubuntu Linux Unleashed.

Heck, it covers versions of Linux that aren’t even out yet!

The author’s got a great reputation, and this book series is in constant update mode.


2. Ubuntu Linux Bible

Ubuntu Linux Bible by David Clinton and Christopher Negus is geared towards Linux newbies, desktop users and system administrators. It’s formatted so more experienced users can skip ahead.

It covers up to and including Ubuntu 20.04 Long Term Support (LTS).

It’s organized into four parts:

  • Getting Started with Ubuntu Linux
  • Ubuntu for Desktop Users
  • Ubuntu for System Administrators
  • Configuring Servers on Ubuntu

Here is where you’ll learn how to plan and execute Ubuntu workloads. In addition, you’ll be able to navigate and understand use-cases.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of Linux administration such as:

  • creating and managing users
  • backing up the system
  • network configuration

And more.


3. The Official Ubuntu Book

The Official Ubuntu Book by Matthew Helmke, et al. is meant to be a one-stop shop for Linux newbies as well as users upgrading from older Linux distributions.

You’ll focus on:

  • installation
  • software applications
  • administration

And beyond.

You’ll also learn about Unity desktop improvements you can use to make Ubuntu even more user-friendly.

Plus you’ll connect with the Ubuntu community.

In addition to installing Ubuntu, you’ll learn how to update it for any environment (home, school, business). You’ll then learn how to customize Ubuntu to suit your needs.

And if you’re able, you can contribute to Ubuntu by way of building, promoting or distributing it. 🤓


4. Ubuntu Linux Toolbox

Ubuntu Linux Toolbox is a best-seller by Christopher Negus that contains over 1000 commands for Ubuntu users.

This new, expanded edition covers:

  • tools for managing file systems
  • connecting to networks
  • Ubuntu systems security

And helps you get Ubuntu running quickly and efficiently. So you’ll learn about Ubuntu installation, configuration, and beyond.

You’ll also learn about popular web applications, email and productivity suites.

You’ll even learn how to set up a server such as Apache or CUPS.


5. Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials

Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials by Neil Smyth was written to teach readers about installation and administration of Ubuntu 20.04. It’s designed for beginners with no prior experience with Ubuntu.

You’ll learn about topics such as:

  • operating system installation
  • GNOME basics
  • configuring email and web servers
  • installing packages
  • system updates

And beyond.

You’ll also learn about things like dual booting with Microsoft Windows. Then you’ll learn about group administration and building firewalls.

There are also topics for more experienced users such as:

  • remote desktop access
  • logical volume management (LVM)
  • disk partitioning
  • Secure Shell (SSH)
  • file sharing with SAMBA and NFS

And much, much more.

As a long time user of Ubuntu I find this book on the current version extremely informative and it confirms my plan to stop using Windows 10.

Horsetrader, Customer


6. The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide

The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide by Jonathan Moeller is intended to give newbies a general overview of the Ubuntu operating system.

You’ll start by learning how to use the command line. Then you’ll learn how to manage users, groups and file permissions.

After that, you’ll learn how to install software on Ubuntu. This includes the command line, the GUI and more.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • configure network settings
  • use the Vi text editor
  • install web applications
  • convert digital media
  • manage and configure the GNOME shell

And much, much more.


7. Mastering Ubuntu Server, 3rd Edition

Mastering Ubuntu Server (Packt) by Jay LaCroix touts itself as a one-stop shop for learning Ubuntu 20.04. It’s geared towards sysadmins and DevOps professionals.

This hands-on book will teach you how to navigate and troubleshoot the Ubuntu server. You’ll learn everything from initial deployment up to creating production-ready resources.

You’ll start by learning concepts like:

  • user management
  • group management
  • file system permissions

And beyond.

Then you’ll work up to managing storage volumes and formatting storage devices.

After that, you’ll learn how to use Ansible to automate configuration.

Finally, you’ll learn best practices and troubleshooting techniques as they apply to real-world scenarios.

By the end of the book, you’ll be familiar with both basic and advanced Ubuntu concepts.

You should have some Linux and shell scripting experience before reading Mastering Ubuntu Server.


Linux Books

If you want to learn about the Linux ecosystem, we’ve thrown in some quality bonus books.

8. The Linux Command Line, 2nd Edition

best linux books The Linux Command Line with robot eating code

We believe No Starch Press hasn’t published a bad book yet.

The Linux Command Line by William Shotts is no exception. While it doesn’t cater specifically to Ubuntu, but you will get an overview of Linux basics that you can apply to Ubuntu.

You’ll start by learning the absolute basics of Linux. And by the end, you’ll be to write full programs in Bash.

You’ll also learn about:

  • file navigation
  • environment configuration
  • command chaining
  • pattern matching with regular expressions

And beyond.

In addition to learning the practicalities of Linux, you’ll learn about the philosophy behind the tools you use every day.

Some other things you’ll learn in The Linux Command Line include administering your system and writing shell scripts to automate tasks.

You’ll also learn how to edit files in Vi, which is one of the most widely used text editors today.

Regular expressions in The Linux Command Line

9. Linux Bible

best linux books Linux Bible book cover with gears

Linux Bible by Christopher Negus is idea for both new and seasoned Linux users. It covers RHEL 8, Fedora 30 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

You’ll learn about everything from installing Linux up to cloud computing, and everything in between. So after you master the basics, you’ll work on more advanced tasks:

  • managing storage and users
  • security
  • Ansible automation
  • containerization

And much more.

In addition, you’ll learn how to use Cloudforms and Openstack so you can bring Linux to the cloud.

5-star review of Linux Bible

Solutions to the age old Linux question “WTF?” are found here.

Paul McDowell, Customer


10. Linux Pocket Guide: Essential Commands

Linux Pocket Guide cover with drawing of old cowboy

Linux Pocket Guide: Essential Commands by Daniel J. Barrett is meant to be an on-the-job pocket reference. So while it’s not for absolute Linux newbies, it can be a useful guide to have on hand as you continue to learn.

This latest edition includes new commands for:

  • processing audio and video files
  • running and killing programs
  • manipulating PDF files

And much more.

In addition, you’ll learn about process substitution and piping into Bash.

Some other topics include the filesystem and shell, backups and remote storage, and user account management.

You’ll also learn about network connections, installing software, and programming with shell scripts.


Ubuntu Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best Ubuntu books for 2021:

Best Overall
The Official Ubuntu Book

Best for Newbies
Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials

Best Value
Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

So whether you’re just getting started, are on a budget, or want the best there is, we think there’s an Ubuntu book for everyone.


Up Next:

  1. What are the best Ubuntu books for 2021?

    We picked the best Ubuntu books based on the following criteria. For best overall, we think The Official Ubuntu book is the way to go. For newbies, we chose Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials. And for best value, we think Ubuntu LInux Unleashed 2021 Edition is the clear winner.

  2. Is Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition worth it?

    Ubuntu Linux Unleashed is another banger written by Matthew Helmke. You'll start with the basics like how to install Ubuntu. Then you'll get into the meat like configuration, productivity, command line usage, and so on. Then you'll learn how to use shell scripting and automate tasks. In addition, you'll learn how to manage kernels and modules. Plus there's plenty of information on working with databases and NoSQL alternatives. You'll also find an introduction to Docker and Kubernetes. Ubuntu Linux Unleashed also has an online portion which highlights the updates of LTS before its next release. One unique feature of this book is that it also teaches the basics of programming languages such as Python, PHP, Golang and Rust.

  3. Is The Official Ubuntu Book worth it?

    The Official Ubuntu Book by Matthew Helmke, et al. is meant to be a one-stop shop for Linux newbies as well as users upgrading from older Linux distributions. You'll focus on installation, applications, software applications, administration and beyond. You'll also learn about Unity desktop improvements you can use to make Ubuntu even more user-friendly. Plus you'll connect with the Ubuntu community. In addition to installing Ubuntu, you'll learn how to update it for any environment (home, school, business). You'll then learn how to customize Ubuntu to suit your needs. And if you're able, you can contribute to Ubuntu by way of building, promoting or distributing it.