Free Books from Other Publishers

We have long supported publication of free documentation (free in the sense of freedom—we don't mean gratis). Free software needs free documentation because you must be free to copy, change and redistribute the documentation along with the software. To qualify as free, the documentation must be released under a free documentation license.

We publish a number of free books of documentation ourselves. You can order printed copies of our books, and browse them online. We have been doing this since around 1986.

Some commercial publishers are also publishing free books. (Like ours, these books are free in the sense of freedom; the commercially printed copies are sold.) On this page, we list the ones we have come across. If you find out about a free book that is not listed here, please let us know by writing to <>.

Some of these publishers (e.g., Network Theory Ltd) do not trade directly. Their books can be obtained from many suppliers throughout the world, but please don't order them, or any other book, from Amazon!

Free books in English

Title Author Publisher ISBN 13 License
The Guile 2.0 Reference Manual The Guile Developers Network Theory Ltd 978-1906966157 GNU Free Documentation License
The Org Mode 9.1 Reference Manual (for Org 9.1.6) Carsten Dominik and others 12th Media Services 978-1680921656 GNU Free Documentation License
The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual, in four volumes The PostgreSQL Global Development Group Network Theory Ltd 978-1906966-{041,058,065,072} Modified BSD license
Perl Language Reference Manual (for Perl 5.12.1) Larry Wall and others Network Theory Ltd 978-1906966027 GNU General Public License
GNU Octave 4.0 Reference Manual, in two volumes John W. Eaton, David Bateman, Søren Hauberg, Rik Wehbring Samurai Media Ltd 978-9888381-{050,067} Old GNU manual license
How Wikipedia Works Phoebe Ayers, Charles Matthews, and Ben Yates No Starch Press 978-1593271763 GNU Free Documentation License
Valgrind 3.3 — Advanced Debugging and Profiling for GNU/Linux applications J. Seward, N. Nethercote, J. Weidendorfer and the Valgrind Dev Team Network Theory Ltd 978-0954612054 GNU Free Documentation License
An Introduction to GCC Brian J. Gough Network Theory Ltd 978-0954161798 GNU Free Documentation License
The Python Language Reference Manual (for Python 3.2) Guido van Rossum, Fred L. Jr. Drake (Editor) Network Theory Ltd 978-1906966140 Python license
Python 2.7.10 Tutorial: An Introduction to Python Guido van Rossum, Python Dev team Samurai Media Ltd 978-9888381005 Python license
R Reference Manual — Base Package, in two volumes The R Development Core Team Network Theory Ltd 978-0954612-{009,016} Old GNU manual license
An Introduction to R, 2nd ed. (for R 2.9.0) William N. Venables, David M. Smith and the R Dev Team Network Theory Ltd 978-0954612085 Old GNU manual license
GNU Bash Reference Manual (for Bash 3.2) Chet Ramey, Brian Fox Network Theory Ltd 978-0954161774 Old GNU manual license
Comparing and Merging Files with GNU diff and patch D. MacKenzie, P. Eggert, R. Stallman Network Theory Ltd 978-0954161750 GNU Free Documentation License
Gnu Scientific Library Reference Manual, 3rd ed. (for GSL 1.12) Brian Gough (Editor) Network Theory Ltd 978-0954612078 GNU Free Documentation License
Version Management with CVS (for CVS 1.11.22) Per Cederqvist, et al. Network Theory Ltd 978-0954161712 Old GNU manual license
Dive Into Python 3 Mark Pilgrim aPress 978-1430224150 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License
Think Python, 2nd ed. (for Python 3) Allen Downey O'Reilly Media 978-1491939369 GNU Free Documentation License
Advanced Linux Programming, 1st ed. Mark Mitchell, Jeffery Oldham, Alex Samuel Sams Publishing 978-0735710436 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 (no options exercised) (See note below)
The Zope Book Amos Latteier and Michel Pelletier Sams Publishing 978-0735711372 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 (no options exercised)
Linux Device Drivers, 3rd ed. Jonathan Corbet, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Alessandro Rubini O'Reilly Media 978-0596005900 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License
Effective awk Programming, 4th ed. Arnold Robbins O'Reilly Media 978-1491904619 GNU Free Documentation License
GNU Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool Gary V. Vaughan, Ben Elliston, Tom Tromey, Ian Lance Taylor New Riders 978-1578701902 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 (no options exercised)
Debian GNU/Linux: Guide to Installation and Usage John Goerzen and Ossama Othman New Riders 978-0735709140 GNU General Public License
GTK+/GNOME Application Development Havoc Pennington Sams Publishing 978-0735700789 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 (no options exercised)
Open Source Development with CVS Karl Fogel and Moshe Bar Paraglyph Press 978-1932111811 GNU General Public License
Producing Open Source Software: How to Run a Successful Free Software Project Karl Fogel O'Reilly Media 978-0596007591 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License
Programming from the Ground Up Jonathan Bartlett Orange Grove Texts Plus 978-1616100643 GNU Free Documentation License
Managing Projects with GNU Make, 3rd ed. Robert Mecklenburg O'Reilly Media 978-0596006105 GNU Free Documentation License
Using Samba, 3rd ed. Robert Eckstein, Jay Ts, Gerald Carter O'Reilly Media 978-0596002565 GNU Free Documentation License
Version Control with Subversion Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian W. Fitzpatrick, C. Michael Pilato Independently published 978-1973363538 Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License
Motif Programming Manual (O'Reilly Vol. 6A, for Motif 2.1) Antony Fountain, Jeremy Huxtable, Paula Ferguson, Dan Heller O'Reilly Media 978-1565920163 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 or later
Motif Reference Manual (O'Reilly Vol. 6B, for Motif 2.1) Antony Fountain, Paula Ferguson O'Reilly Media 978-1565926547 Open Publication License, Version 1.0 or later
Git Magic (Also available in other languages) Ben Lynn N/A N/A GNU General Public License version 3 or later

Free books in Spanish

Title Author Publisher ISBN 13 License
Guía Compacta de Org-Mode Carsten Dominik
(translated by David Arroyo Menéndez)
N/A N/A GNU Free Documentation License
Manual de Referencia de Bash, para Bash 5.1
(pdf, html) (source)
Brian Fox, Chet Ramey
(translated by Jorge Maldonado Ventura)
N/A N/A GNU Free Documentation License
Note on Advanced Linux Programming, First Edition:
The June 2001 printing of this book failed to list the license notification properly. This printed edition says it is a proprietary book. The publisher has assured us that this was purely a printing error and that the intended license is “Open Publication License, Version 1.0, No options exercised.” Their errata page confirms this. They have assured us that the next printing will have the corrected license.