The Hacker Ways book, a gentle introduction to the command line and the UNIX toolset.
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The Hacker Ways

A gentle introduction to the command line and the UNIX toolset.

The UNIX toolset, like the one you'll find in Linux and OSX, is the work environment of choice of a very large number of programmers and research scientists. If you are interested in a career as a programmer, data analyst, or researcher, you'll need to master it.

This book will teach you all you need to get started. UNIX can be daunting until you understand its logic: by the end of the book you will, and you'll know where to look for more.

Get the book

It is not finished, but you can already buy it from Leanpub. You'll get it in EPUB for the iPad, mobi for the Kindle, and PDF for your computer, all DRM-free. You'll get free updates as I add new chapters and improve the existing ones. You can also read its online version.

Clone the book

In the spirit of making the material as widely available as possible I have made this public repository with the sources of the book, written with Emacs and Orgmode. Feel free to use it as teaching material, as a template for your own book (you can publish to Leanpub with my org to leanpub exporter), or as you see fit. I would appreciate knowing about it, and attribution in the form of a link to or the online version,, with a text that you deem reasonable.

The format

Each file contains a preamble with variable definitions for jekyll. I use them when I convert the org format to html: I find that postprocessing with jekyll makes publishing easier. Also, please note that github does a pretty good job at understanding my org files. What you see at is a rather decent rendering of them, but some things don't work. If you want to read it online you'll be better off at The Hacker Ways.