Learning Linux, book recommendation

I've been working with various microsoft so and server platforms, but have never touched linux. Basically I'm '0' on linux. Now I like to build my own PBX with Asterisk, it seems as the time to learn Linux arrived finally to my front.
What is the best single book cover all 3 phases (beginner, intermediate,  professional) recommended? I guess there's such single book to live with it from A-Z so that I don't have to jump around different books to study for a while.

Also, there are many different version of Linux os. What is most popular, good and bad for each? For example, for server applications to run such as DHCP, DNS, mail server, database, are there any specialized version of linux to choose? Debian and Red Hat seems to be popular in enterprise and small business environment...

Asterisk seems working fine with Fedora and CentOS
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xeroxzeroxConnect With a Mentor Commented:

You should start with "Linux Administration Handbook"
 written by Evi Nemeth,Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein...That book gives you better knowledge about linux...It's fourth edition on net....That book you find easily and free download on various site in google.

Seth SimmonsConnect With a Mentor Sr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
linux bible might be good
starts by going through what linux is and history then moves on to shells, file systems, installation, user accounts, services, networking, security, nfs - covers broad range of topics at all levels


as far as distributions go, if asterisk is supported on CentOS then go with that unless you want/need to pay for Red Hat subscription

don't recommend fedora in production since the product life cycle is short and you will have to do more frequent updates and upgrades since what's current now will be end-of-life and no longer supported in less than 2 years.  there are some custom distributions out there for things like firewalls that are very light-weight and designed for that one purpose but regular distributions like RHEL, Debian and it's derivatives are designed to be more all-purpose to run different services (dns/dhcp) and applications (mysql/httpd)
Imtiaz HashamConnect With a Mentor Technical Director / IT ConsultantCommented:
I am in the same boat and started with The Linux Command Line by William E. Shots and learnt a lot and as you have been practicing MS Products, spend 10% of your time on Linux every day and you will flourish!

On a separate note, apart from Asterisk, think about looking at www.3cx.com which is a windows based PBX.  I have been using, selling and installing it for the last couple of years :)
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crcsupportAuthor Commented:
is 3cx server takes T1 PRI, then  on client sidec, I can operate via voip phones?
Imtiaz HashamTechnical Director / IT ConsultantCommented:
The 3CX Server will not take any PRI and you need a gateway for ISDN / PSTN lines etc.

So this is what you have:

ISDN Lines ---  Gateway --------    The
VOIP Lines --------------------------   3CX             ------- IP Phones
PSTN Lines ---  Gateway -------- Server --- Gateway --- PSTN Phones
Imtiaz HashamTechnical Director / IT ConsultantCommented:
Always imagine 3CX as a middleman! - For that matter, any PBX.

I would be happy to give you a run through over the phone / Skype, if you prefer!
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