20 Free Books on Linux, Open Source Software & Philosophy

Very often we only need some quick tips and tutorials to solve our problems. Nethertheless it is still great to dive in deeper, get a wider background of knowledge. So, books are still great.

This list is based on three compilation done by Linux Mint tumblr and my bookmarks about books.

All of the book are free, at least free as in free beer. Some of them are licensed under a free and open license. Most of the books are available in various ebook formats and paper versions, please consider to buy one if you like it. Now, enjoy the list:

General Usage & Administration

FLOSS & Philosophy

Creation & Programming

$ learn -cli -bash -o=brain.txt

More Books & Resources

Top 6 from the 30th+31st week: Colours, Javascript MV*, Wordpress, Photography, Adobe Font & Curiosity

  • Stuff print designers should be care about: The ColorHug is an open source display colorimeter. It allows you to calibrate your screen for accurate color matching. The ColorHug is a small accessory that measures displayed colors very accurately. It is held on your display and plugged into a spare USB port on the computer for the duration of the calibration.
  • Developers these days are spoiled with choice when it comes to selecting an MV* framework for structuring and organizing their JavaScript web apps. TodoMVC offers the same Todo application implemented using MV* concepts to compare the most of the popular JavaScript MV* frameworks of today.
  • If you need to administrate various Wordpress installations on different web servers, you may check out Infinite WP, an admin panel to manage multiple Wordpress sites: one single master login, instant backup and restore, one click update to manage plugins and themes.
  • Camerapedia is a free-content encyclopedia of camera information, a repository of information about all still camera brands and models. Check it out if you like analogue or digital photography.
  • Seems that Adobe started to dive into the Open Source movement, now they released Source Sans Pro, their first open source font, under terms of Open Font License. Maybe there is a future Adobe stops that Photoshop stuff and starts contributing to Gimp :)

In the light of current events check out the infographic and video of 7 Minutes of Terror, about the landing of Curiosity on Mars in around 9 hours.

(Source: delicious.com)

Top 15 from the 28th+29th week: Typography, Web Development, Tools, Semantic Web & Data

Last two weeks were full of great links and resources, here you are:


  • Linux Libertine is a community driven Open Fonts project, delivering alternative font families and styles to fonts like Times New Roman, Linux Libertine and its tools are released under GPL/OFL licenses. The fonts cover the codepages of Western Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, IPA and many more. Furthermore, typographical features such as ligatures, small capitals, different number styles, scientific symbols, etc. are implemented in this font. Linux Libertine thus contains more than 2000 characters.

Semantic Web & Data

  • The ESWC discusses the latest scientific results and technology innovations around semantic technologies, some of the ESWC 2012 video lectures and keynotes are available, around the topics Social Web, Linked Data, Machine Learning, Semantic Web in Use, Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval.
  • The Data Hub is a community-run catalogue of useful sets of data on the Internet. You can collect links here to data from around the web for yourself and others to use, or search for data that others have collected. Depending on the type of data (and its conditions of use), the Data Hub may also be able to store a copy of the data or host it in a database, and provide some basic visualisation tools.

Social Web

Web Development

  • Jam is a package manager for JavaScript. It manages library dependencies and it supports automatically optimized custom builds of popular libraries.
  • Yeoman is a robust and opinionated client-side stack, comprised of tools and frameworks to support you to create web applications. It helps in scaffolding, compiling CoffeeScript & Compass, linting your scripts, image optimization, build processing, JS package management and unit testing. It isn’t released currently but you can enter your email to get notified if it gets available. Paul Irish spoke about it on Google’s IO 2012 conference.
  • On YouTube you can find all videos of the talks done at the EuroPython 2012 conference in Italy.
  • Motorola published Montage, a framework for building modern HTML5 web apps by providing modular components, real-time two-way data binding, CommonJS dependency management, and more.

Other Tools

  • If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife. It can convert documents in markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, or LaTeX to HTML formats, Word processor formats (docx, odt), Epub, DocBook, TeX formats, PDF and Lightweight markup formats.
  • The goal of pdf.js is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering Portable Document Format (PDF) without native code assistance. It is community-driven and supported by Mozilla Labs.
  • Some of you read about Svbtle. There is a unofficial Wordpress theme to create the Svbtle feeling on administration/writing and viewing your blog. The theme misses the responsiveness of the original Svbtle layout but as the theme is open source, you can add it and push it back to the project owner.
  • Adobe published Brackets, an open source code editor for the web, written in JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

(Source: delicious.com)

The very Best of the “A List Apart” Summer Reading Issue 2012

A List Apart published a Summer Reading Issue containing 26 articles from their back catalog of 355 ALA issues. Remember that guys are publishing their vision of the web since beginning 1999!

The following selection contains only a few of the 26 articles from that summer reading issue list, it’s my fastly picked list of personal favorits:

  1. A Dao of Web Design — John Allsopp (ALA 58, 2000)
  2. Good Designers Redesign, Great Designers Realign — Cameron Moll (ALA 206, 2005)
  3. Web Standards for E-books — Joe Clark (ALA 302, 2010)
  4. Fluid Grids — Ethan Marcotte (ALA 279, 2009)
  5. Responsive Web Design — Ethan Marcotte (ALA 306, 2010)
  6. On Web Typography — Jason Santa Maria (ALA 296, 2009)
  7. More Meaningful Typography — Tim Brown (ALA 327, 2011)
  8. The Discipline of Content Strategy — Kristina Halvorson (ALA 274, 2008)
  9. The Wisdom of Community — Derek Powazek (ALA 283, 2009)

Top 4 from the 26th+27th week: High Resolution Displays & Performance Optimization

(Source: delicious.com)

Top 9 from the 24th+25th week: Typography, Web Design, Social Web Petitions & Privacy

Typography and Font Stacks

  • Font­Friend is a book­marklet that enables testing of fonts and font styles directly in the browser with­out edit­ing code and refresh­ing pages, mak­ing it the ideal com­pan­ion for cre­at­ing CSS font stacks. Its features are: instant drag-and-drop font pre­view­ing right in the browser in any doc­u­ment, predefined font definitions, Google Webfonts and Typekit integration.
  • The Revised Font Stack is a mix between article, statistical research and testing font stack ingredients.
  • Code Style’s Font Stack Builder tests your font stack for Win, Mac and Linux support and can help to create robust CSS font-family declarations.

Social Media Campaigns

  • SpeakUp! is a plugin to create email petitions within your Wordpress powered campaign website. It comes with a lot of config options like signature goals, CSV export, Social Media integration and expiration dates. You can integrate that petitions simply by a shortcode insertion in your blog posts and pages.

Web Design Development

  • Rainbow is a code syntax highlighting library written in Javascript, lightweight, easy to use, extendable, and themable via CSS. Out-of-the-box supported languages are: Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, C, Shell, Scheme, Lua and C#.
  • jQuery Mobile router is a plugin for jQuery Mobile to enhance the framework with a client side router/controller that works with jQuery Mobile events. In addition, it extends jQM with a client-side parameters in the hash part of the url.
  • CSS3 Media Queries and the 'view mode' feature are now full W3C Recommendations. They let designers adjusting styles according to device capabilities (e.g. screen dimensions) and state (e.g. device orientation, fullscreen, minimized).


  • Ghostery is a browser plugin to increase your privacy. It tracks over 1,000 trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. Ghostery allows zero-tolerance blocking of anything ad related, complete (visible) open communication with ad companies, or countless measures in between.

(Source: delicious.com)

Top 7 from the 23rd week: RDFa, Microdata, PDF obfuscation & skateboarding

The last week’s link roundup digest was planned for Sunday but this post was lost in a space-time continuum. Now it’s here:

Semantic Web

  • RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax was published as W3C working draft, defining the RDF data model, introduces new datatypes for HTML fragments and language-tagged strings, and re-worked the XML datatype.
  • 1 year ago schema.org was launched, Dan Brickley wrote a nice roundup “SemTech, RDFa, Microdata and more” what happened since then, and he is giving a outlook about future developments like schema.org 1.0.
  • RDFa.info added an RDFa playground editor, a helpful tool if you wanna test your RDFa markup, or to learn RDFa. Especially the graphical view could help a lot.

Developers zone

  • in “OMG-WTF-PDF” Julia Wolf talked about PDF obfuscation and critical backdoors, it’s from 2010 but still interesting and importing for your security.
  • gmaps.js allows you to use the potential of Google Maps in a simple way. No more extensive documentation or large amount of code.
  • Anchor CMS is “built for art-directed posts.” Basically it is a very simple blog system, handling posts and pages, using a Wordpress-like API but without all the ballast. Funny that it is licensed under WTFPL.

Now, if you wanna know where skateboarding, innovation, hacking and FLOSS meet then check out Rodney Mullen at TEDxUSC on “How Context Shapes Content”:

(Source: delicious.com)

Top 6 from the 20th+21st week: Underscores, Icons, Destatis Unliked Data & Geek researches

Eclipse, not a picture take by the NASA :)

This link digest is more like a link huddle, fitting the image that is indeed not a picture take by the NASA, some may recognize it from the 360-degree panoramic image of the Milky Way. Back to the links:

Free WebDev resources

  • Underscores starter theme for Wordpress: provied by Automattic — the company behind Wordpress — this theme may be a very good starter to develop own themes or individual templates for your project. I will try it out with my next Wordpress gig.
  • Climacons: 75 climatically categorised pictographs for web and user interface designers

Closed proprietary world

Geek science

Top 2 from the 19th week: Debian administration & RDFa

Spoken in links, it was a poor week. I’ve collected some links but it feels like only 2 of them deserve to be on my weekly top notch link digest list.

  • The Debian Administrator’s Handbook is written by Debian developers Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas, originally it started as a translation of their french book “Cahier de l’admin Debian” (Eyrolles). Traditional editors did not want to take the risk to make this translation, so they did it theirselves backed by a successful crowdfunding campaign. Now “The Debian Administrator’s Handbook” is finished, accessible online for free, and as paperpack and ebook through Lulu.
  • RDFa.info is a new starting point if you want to enrich your website content easily with semantic annotations about the things on your website. RDFa is an extension to HTML5 and HTML-like languages (e.g. XML, HTML4, SVG) that helps you markup things like People, Places, Events, Recipes and Reviews. Search Engines and Web Services use this markup to generate better search listings and give you better visibility on the Web, so that people can find your website more easily.

(Source: delicious.com)

Top 5 from the 17th+18th week: Typography, Data, Javascript

Because of my extended weekend in Berlin and at the seaside I did not put together my Link Digest last week, that’s the reason to look back to my top bookmarks of the last two weeks now.


  • The Golden Ratio Typography Calculator helps you to improve your website’s typography by entering your used font size, line-height, width, or characters per line (CPL). The math behind that tool is explained in The Ultimate Guide to Readable Web Typography.
  • Thinking with Type: Type is the foundation of print and web design. Everything you need to know about thinking with type, you will find here. This richly detailed update to the classic text belongs on the shelf of every designer, writer, editor, publisher, and client. (Jefferey Zeldman)


  • Data Journalism Handbook: This collaborative book coordinated by the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation aims to answer questions like: Where can I find data? How can I request data? What tools can I use? How can I find stories in data? How can I make data journalism sustainable? Provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license you can read it for free as an early beta release, and if you want you may give feedback.
  • Linked Data FAQ: Structured Dynamic put together a document with some of the more prominent enterprise questions and answers regarding linked data. Linked data is the first practical expression of the semantic Web, useful and doable today, and applicable to all forms of data.


  • Addy Osmani worte an article about JavaScript Style Guides And Beautifiers because “Following a consistent style guide both helps enforce this concept and improves the overall quality of the code we write. This facilitates other developers stepping in to assist with maintenance more easily and can certainly save time in the long haul. Readable source code is arguably easier for us to understand as well. It’s easier to browse, locate and fix bugs in and more easy to optimize. It can also give us a clearer picture of how the code fits into a larger body of work.”

(Source: delicious.com)