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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.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
» Number of reviews : 17 - viewing 10 Per Page
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 11-19-2006 12:21 PM
I was very interested to read this book. I have had varying levels of results with Fedora Core x and hoped that this would help me to get around the problems I had had.
Unfortunately, it was too general to be of much help. This book faces the same problem every Linux book does: strip away the distro specific trappings and Linux is Linux is Linux.
The install chapter was far too general and didn't actually offer too much advice and guidance on installing the distro. There were excellent sections on Yum and creating RPMs from source, but there were also general Bash programming sections and other sections covered in Rute and other similar books.
If you know of a complete newbie with some computer experience, this book is ideal for them. If you or your friend is an experienced Linux or Fedora user then I would steer clear of this book.
The negative comments aside, the book was very clearly written and the layout was great - every exercise has a lab exercise and an easy to understand "how it works" section.
A good book as an opening to your Linux library, handy to get you over a few hurdles with the distro, less ideal if you already have some Fedora/Red Hat knowledge and a well stocked library.
Product Details: "Fedora Linux: A Complete Guide to Red Hat's Community Distribution" by XavierP - posted: 11-17-2006 - Rating: 9.50
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 11-19-2005 12:21 PM
What is this book not? It is not a book which will take you step-by-step over improving your site to make it more usable.
So what is it? This book is an extremely informative work which will enable you to look at your site with new eyes and see what needs to be done to make it more usable. It's not an instruction manual per se, just an overview.
The author uses real world examples (this is not merely theory - he does this stuff for a living). For example, he discusses how he improved a government site, in part by just verifying where the page hits came from. He found that relatively noone used the front page - most users came in via a search engine or links from elsewhere.
I would not recommend reading this book in isolation, unless you just want a broad overview of the subject. But, as with all O'Reilly books, you will get most out of it by reading it along with other books on the same subject.
As with other Apress books, this book is easy to read - the language is clear and concise and the layout and headings make it easy to find the information required.
The copy I have is from 2001, this means that a few of the details in the book are now out of date. Luckily, this being Linux, information in older books is only really out of date in the case of major changes - as with IPChains/IPTables.
Personally, I would like to see more 'real world' examples in technical books. Abstract commands and situations can be helpful, but to really understand what is happening, it's useful to be able to relate someone else's experiences to your own.
I'd like to give special mention to the Firewalling section of the book - it is very difficult to post a useful IPTables script that is usable: my system is probably very different to your system and so your firewall may not fit my pc. This book discusses firewalling and explains what the commands do so that you can see why you need to do it and what you are doing. Please note though that this book is aimed at the intermediate-advanced user, so if you are a total beginner it's probably best to go with a gui firewall rather than a hand built script.
Debian users are very well covered in this book. At this time of writing, 3.0 has not long been superseded and so you can relate the sections directly to your own system.
This book is not about squeezing extra performance for your system, if that is your sole reason for buying it, you may well have wasted your money. If you want to learn where to install programs and why, this is the book for you.
Overall, I would say that this book should fit very nicely with the other books in your library. As with most Linux books, don't just get one - one book will not fit all. But as an addition to the rest of your books, you will definitely find your knowledge increasing.
Product Details: "Tuning and Customizing a Linux System" by XavierP - posted: 06-26-2005 - Rating: 7.00
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 03-24-2005 01:51 AM
I have to admit, that although I normally enjoy reading books like this one, I do find them heavy going - the subject matter tends not to lend itself to comedy and/or pathos. On the other hand, a funny book is useless if it doesn't allow the reader to pick up the knowledge. This book strikes a very happy medium - it is light, informative and very easy to read.
Roderick Smith is, in my opinion, an excellent writer. He spends a long time explaining basic networking and the history of Samba, this allows you to get used to the concepts introduced before you start to get your hands dirty. He explains how the chapters are broken down and even lets the reader know which chapters will be of most use to more experienced Samba users and administrators.
At this time of writing, the latest stable version is 3.0.13, although Samba 2.x is still available. This means that not only is this book useful to someone who has just downloaded the latest stable version, but is also of use to someone who has just upgraded and wants to know what's new in this version.
He discusses using Samba with Linux, Windows, Mac OSX and other Unix variants. Each section is well laid out, easy to follow and is laden with extra tips and screenshots.
This book is aimed at the Beginner-Advanced user which equates to just about everyone! I would definitely recommend this to anyone using or thinking of using Samba.
Product Details: "The Definitive Guide to Samba 3" by XavierP - posted: 03-24-2005 - Rating: 9.00
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 12-07-2004 04:10 PM
Chapter 1 - Book Knoppix
Chapter 2 - Use Your Knoppix Desktop
Chapter 3 - Tweak Your Desktop
Chapter 4 - Install Linux with Knoppix
Chapter 5 - Put Knoppix in Your Toolbox
Chapter 6 - Repair Linux
Chapter 7 - Rescue Windows
Chapter 8 - Knoppix Reloaded
Chapter 9 - Knoppix Remastered
9 fairly short chapters with a huge amount of info and tips to get you started with Knoppix and take you through it's life cycle.
This book has a foreword by Klaus Knopper, the creator of Knoppix - this foreword gives a short history of Knoppix. In fact, this is so far the only Linux book I have read that doesn't give a history of Linux - and for that I am grateful!
Chapter 1: Boot Knoppix (Hacks 1-9)
Each chapter is broken down into a group of "hacks" to enable you to complete a task. This first chapter introduces us to the cheatcodes under Knoppix and gives a few examples of how to apply them when booting
Chapter 2: Use Your Knoppix Desktop (Hacks 10-20)
This explains and lists just a small handful of the apps available when running the CD - showing us that it's possible to have a fully working desktop very quickly
Chapter 3: Tweak Your Desktop (Hacks 21-31)
This chapter leads us through creating a persistent desktop (saving your settings from one Knoppix boot to use on another), creating a Kiosk pc (very useful) and installing extra programs to your live install.
Chapter 4: Install Linux with Knoppix (Hacks 32 - 36)
This runs us through installing Knoppix to a pc - telling us how Knoppix can become Debian or even Gentoo
Chapter 5: Put Knoppix in Your Toolbox (Hacks 37 - 51)
This chapter explains how a sys admin can use Knoppix to remotely view desktops and servers, audit network security and even use it as a backup server.
Chapter 6: Repair Linux (Hacks 52 - 70)
As the title suggests, this chapter tells us how we can boot from the live cd to repair a damaged Linux install or bootloader
Chapter 7: Rescue Windows (Hacks 71 - 79)
I didn't know one could use Knoppix to recover and change Windows passwords, to make registry fixes, to help apply patches or to recover a non-working Windows install. But I do now.
Chapter 8: Knoppix Reloaded (Hacks 80 - 93)
This chapter explains just a small number of Knoppix-like live CDs, usually based off or using Knoppix. This includes security live CDs (like Knoppix-STD) and clustering live CDs (like ClusterKnoppix). It also describes the live MythTV CD, KnoppMyth.
Chapter 9: Knoppix Remastered
How to create your own live CD.
Knoppix is one of those deceptive distros: it appear very simple, but once you delve into it you discover that it's as powerful and as flexible as any other distro. This book can be read through cover to cover, or "dipped into" when you need a little help.
I enjoyed the learning experience this book provides - it may not be of use to someone who has used Knoppix in it's various incarnations and has used all of it's tools, but for the rest of us it may well become invaluable.
Product Details: "Knoppix Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools" by XavierP - posted: 12-07-2004 - Rating: 9.33
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 10-09-2004 06:03 PM
I am running version 4.3, downloaded from Vector. The installation went very well, it's easy to do, basically a cut down Slackware install. I started X and went into Fluxbox. The tweaks on Fluxbox are: icons on the desktop, a wallpaper and their own styles. The 2.6.7 kernel runs very well.
I have just a couple of niggles: the first is that some things need tweaking: running uname -a showed that I am running Slackware 9.1, I would have expected that to have reported Vector.
The second is that there are too many config tools. That sounds strange, I know, but bear with me. In Slackware, everything is done by manually editing config files, it gets you into the right frame of mind and you can get things working. In Mandrake, for example, menus and wizards are used for everything, which gets you into another frame of mind. In Vector, some things are automatic, some are menus and some are hand configure jobs. IMO this cripples you initially because you are not able to set yourself up to use either. Or maybe it's just me.
I believe this is largely aimed at people who want Slackware, but fear the install process. From that perspective it work extremely well and the team are to be congratulated. I would definitely recommend this distro.
This book is described as a resource you can use to convince your boss to make the switch.
The book is laid out very well, taking you through obtaining and installing Linux and then tells you about installing a variety of useful apps and securing your system. The tone is very light and chatty, making it enjoyable to read. The topics are clearly laid out and a few alternatives to the apps are detailed. The book is aimed at the home user, the small business user and the big business user. All the apps and most of the solutions will work in these different environments.
These topics are all covered by a variety of different books, but it's nice to have them all in one place. My gripe with this well written and interesting book is that it caters too much for the home user and not enough for the business user. Where was the topic on Kickstart to enable you to deploy a pc image to multiple desktops? Where were the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) topics?
The main arguments, as I see them, presented for a switch are that it can do everything that Windows can do and that it can look good. Unless your boss is a techie and knows all about the lower TCO presented by Linux, this will seem to be the usual thing told to him by his admins: it looks neat and it's great.
I would have liked to see a chapter which gives reports (or links to them) about stability, cost, ease of use, etc and less on making it look nice.
And where were the links to LQ?
This is a very good book, nonetheless. It could be used to back up one of your arguments but it doesn't help with the rest. I would definitely say read this book, but don't rely on it when you prepare your business case.
Product Details: "Moving to the Linux Business Desktop" by XavierP - posted: 08-24-2004 - Rating: 7.00
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 08-17-2004 03:59 PM
I have 2 problems with many Linux books: the first is that they all contain a history of Linux section which means that at least one section of the books need never be read, the second is that they all cover the same things, some to a greater extent than others.
All books of this type assume that they are the only one you will ever need, so they have installation sections (which, in this time of more and more easy graphical installs are largely redundant) and they all have the sections on programming - these sections are useless if you don't want to program and useless if you want to learn to program.
Those minor points aside, most Linux books are very very useful. This book, Running Linux, is one of those useful books. It is most useful as a tool for preparing your install and use - you can read it to discover the pitfalls or things you don't understand.
Once you go beyond the basics, there's a section on Essential System Management (incl. Single User Mode, for when you forget the root password), Upgrading Software, Installing the X Window System, Windows Compatibility and Samba (incl. WINE), TCP/IP and PPP, Basic Security and LAMP - all things which need thought laid out for you in easy to read language. There really is something for everyone.
Again, my gripe is that each section is too short - I'd like to see a box set witha book each dedicated to those chapters. Microsoft do it with their MCSE books, why can't Linux?
But definitely add this to your bookshelf.
Product Details: "Running Linux" by jeremy - posted: 02-06-2004 - Rating: 8.70
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 08-17-2004 03:48 PM
As described by the title, this is an excellent Desktop Reference. There is a comprehensive list of command line commands, an explanation of vi, CVS, BASH and others. If you are delving in to the CLI and need assistance, you could do much worse than have this book by your side.
Unfortunately, many distros are focussing more on the GUI than on the CLI. A number of them try actively to keep you in the GUI. For this reason I would have to advise against having this as your only reference - it has to be backed up with other books. Although there are sections on Gnome and KDE, these are short and at the back of the book.
It's a shame that this book can't come with a distro specific book - it would fill a large number of holes. Linux, by it's nature, is too big to easily fill one book and so 2 or more books together would really be useful.
As well, without the large "Linux Commands" section, this book would be half the size. I would find it more useful if the commands were grouped somehow - an alphabetical list is only really helpful if you know the command you are looking for.
Don't let that put you off it though. Despite these (small) shortcomings, this tome will provide you with lots of help.
Product Details: "LINUX in A Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference" by jeremy - posted: 02-06-2004 - Rating: 9.00
Last Review by XavierP - posted: 07-05-2004 10:31 AM
In my opinion, this book is aimed at beginner to intermediate level users and administrators. This does not mean, though, that experienced users are excluded from reading and using this book. There are a huge number of topics covered - everything from your first install through to administering a DNS or mail server. What impressed me most was that rather than write 2 books (one for each distro), the author tags up a section if it is relevant to one distro or the other - this means that all the information is presented in such a way that you can read through the topics without having to find the section relevant to you. In most cases, the difference is as basic as using system-config-printer in Fedora and redhat-config-printer in RHEL.
Also covered are methods of downloading the isos for your distro - wget, ftp, http and bittorrent. Up2Date, YUM and APT4RPM are also covered. This is where this book is valuable - the options it covers are not just applicable to Red Hat. In many cases, the options are not just applicable to rpm based distros - installing from source and other methods are dealt with.
Since there is such a lot of information to go through, do not expect this book to go into great depth on any of the topics, this book should be used as one of many in your library, rather than the only one. Topics covered are: installation, utilities, filesystems, using C, shell scripting, servers (NIS, NFS, mail and others). It weighs in at 28 chapters (plus Appendices) and is a long and weighty tome. If the author were to cover all of the topics in greater detail, the book would have to be retitled to add "Volume 1".
This is an ideal reference guide for all users and administrators: where the chapters cannot cover all details, you are given references to man pages, internet sites and other books. The topics covered are those you would expect to encounter as an administrator and as a user - security topics, set up, troubleshooting and shell scripting among others.
Very handily, at the end of each chapter there are Review Exercises for you to work on to validate what you have just read. If you are working on certification, this will be useful.
This is not written in an overly dry, technical voice. Plain english is used and, where jargon is unavoidable, it is explained. This book comes into it's own when used as a reference for real world tasks - setting up your mail server, for instance.
This book will not turn you into a guru, but it will give you a good base from which to become one. I would definitely recommend this to users of Fedora Core and RHEL. I would also suggest it to users of other distros - the nature of Linux means that the vast majority of the information is applicable to all versions.
Product Details: "A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux-Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux" by XavierP - posted: 07-05-2004 - Rating: 7.67