One of the biggest complaints that many people have about open source software is that there isn’t adequate documentation. On the Linux front, though, there is surprisingly rich information available for free online on moving from being a beginner to an advanced user. Whether you’re new to Linux, or a seasoned Linux administrator, you can find hugely helpful resources online, without paying anything. Here is our most recently updated collection of top free resources for Linux.
ZDNet has a good collection of 10 lessons to learn for those just starting out with Linux. It’s a visual tour and presents solid groundwork for getting up to speed.
Linuxaria has a really in-depth collection of resources collected for Linux administrators. It includes documentation resources, downloadable tools, online sites and advice on specific commands that administrators should know about.
We’ve covered Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference before here, and you can download it for free here. The online book is mostly identical to the fee-based print version, and the author, Keir Thomas, has written a number of books on Linux. There are seven chapters in the reference guide, with many screenshots, and information on how to move from installation to advanced steps such as securing your Ubuntu system. In the appendix, you’ll find a lot of reference information and documentation.
Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds is a free online book that can get you started with both Linux and several open source programs. Beginners will find it approachable, and it covers everything from basic Linux commands to user interface conventions that differ between Linux and Windows.
Linuxtopia has a huge number of online manuals available for particular Linux distros, as we covered here. There are reference guides on OpenSuse, Fedora, and many more titles. There are also reference guides available for many non-Linux open source applications.
Among educational Linux sites, my favorite remains Unix-Tutorials.com. Check out the long list of Linux topics you can dig into down the left rail of the home page, with content aggregated from around the web. These include nearly every popular Linux distro, in addition to other Unix-based titles such as Solaris. The site also includes tutorials on advanced topics such as integrating KVM virtualization with Linux server deployments. A little time spent with this site can pay big dividends.
Finally, check out FLOSS Manuals for documentation on many cool applications you can use with Linux, from browsers to more exotic applications.