desktop of Ubuntu with text that says best ubuntu books from linux newbies to advanced users

7 Best Ubuntu Books for 2023 [Plus Linux Bonus Books]

Today we’re looking at the best Ubuntu books of this year.

🧠 Did you know? According to It’s FOSS, over 20% of the web runs on Ubuntu?

What is Ubuntu?

Based on Debian, Ubuntu is a Linux-based distribution comprised mostly of open-source software. All editions of Ubuntu can run on a physical computer or in a virtual machine.

One of the best parts? Ubuntu is 100% free (free as in libre, not as in beer 🍺).

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TLDR: Best Ubuntu Books

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Official Ubuntu Book

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials

💸 Best Value 💸
Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

Best Ubuntu Books

In this list of best Ubuntu books, you’ll discover their:

  • features
  • major topics
  • layout
  • comparisons
  • and more.

We’ve also included a few Linux books that we love near the end of this post if you need to brush up on your Linux skills.

Let’s dive into it.

1. Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

First on our list of best Ubuntu books is Ubuntu Linux Unleashed.

Simply stated, we love this book by Matthew Helmke.

It’s modern and it’s newbie friendly, yet it covers a wide variety of Ubuntu-centric Linux topics.

➡️ In our opinion, Ubuntu Linux Unleashed is one of the best Ubuntu books for developers on a budget.

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

✅ configuration

✅ productivity

✅ command line usage

✅ systems administration

✅ cloud computing

And the list goes on.

Ubuntu installation instructions in Ubuntu Linux Unleashed

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.

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

Marshall Gray, Customer

Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 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 about programming languages like Python, PHP, Golang and Rust.

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.

➡️ We think Ubuntu Linux Bible is one of the best Ubuntu books for learning the ins and outs of Ubuntu.

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.

Managing Disks and Filesystems in Ubuntu Linux Bible

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 is another Ubuntu book by Matthew Helmke, but this time with the help of Elizabeth Jospeh and Jose Antonio Rey.

This one is meant to be a one-stop shop for Linux newbies as well as users upgrading from older Linux distributions.

➡️ The Official Ubuntu Book is arguably one of the best Ubuntu books overall.

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.

What readers are saying about The Official Ubuntu Book:

This is a great for learning how to use, install, update and manage the Ubuntu Linux Operating System…


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

Next on our list of best Ubuntu books is Ubuntu Linux Toolbox, a best-seller by Christopher Negus.

Unlike the other books above, this one is very command-centric.

So much, in fact, that you’ll learn over 1000 of them.

➡️ We believe Ubuntu Linux Toolbox is one of the best Ubuntu books for learning Ubuntu commands.

This new, expanded edition covers:

✅ tools for managing file systems

✅ connecting to networks

✅ Ubuntu systems security

Conventions in Ubuntu Linux Toolbox

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.

➡️ Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials is arguably one of the best Ubuntu books for newbies.

You’ll learn about topics such as:

✅ operating system installation

✅ installing packages

GNOME basics

✅ system updates

✅ configuring email and web servers

And beyond.

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

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

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.

6. The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide

Next on our list of best Ubuntu books is The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide.

Written by Jonathan Moeller, this one meant to give newbies a general overview of the Ubuntu operating system.

➡️ The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide might be one of the best Ubuntu books for learning how Ubuntu works.

Sure, the cover may be a tad..salacious…but the content is legit.

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.

Page from The Ubuntu Beginner’s Guide

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

Finally on our list of best Ubuntu books is Mastering Ubuntu Server.

Written by Jay LaCroix and published by Packt, it touts itself as a one-stop shop for learning Ubuntu 20.04.

And unlike the other books on our list, it’s geared towards sysadmins and DevOps professionals.

➡️ Mastering Ubuntu Server is one of the best Ubuntu books for navigating advanced Ubuntu concepts.

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.

ansible flow chart
Ansible flow chart courtesy of O’Reilly

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.

Regular expressions in The Linux Command Line

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.

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.

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 including:

📌 Best Overall
The Official Ubuntu Book

📌 Best for Newbies
Ubuntu 20.04 Essentials

📌 Best Value
Ubuntu Linux Unleashed 2021 Edition

So whether you’re a Linux newbie or want to take your Ubuntu game to the next level, we think there’s an Ubuntu book for just everyone.

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