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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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I use Libranet as my every day desktop system. Libranet installs and runs very well, and is exceptionally flexible and usable, both for routine desktop tasks and for more involved programming and administration. It has been my preferred environment now for over two years.
Another desktop system has really caught my eye over the past year, and I really like it. Though I still use Libranet most of all, had I started my Linux trek any time in recent months, I may have started with SimplyMEPIS. While it is not a full featured general purpose system out of the box (as Libranet is), it is an exceptionally well designed, very easy to use desktop system that is easily extensible into whatever you want to make it (since like Libranet, it has Debian roots).
I really recommend both Libranet and MEPIS. If you run both a server and a desktop, definitely go with Libranet. If all you generally do is routine desktop tasks, then SimplyMEPIS is very hard to beat. Oh yes, you can run MEPIS without ever installing it if you so desire, it can run either from the hard drive or straight from CD as a Live CD (the same way Knoppix works - only one thing - MEPIS has a much easier installation procedure and a simpler selection of applications than Knoppix).