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Last Review by Zuggy - posted: 01-13-2005 03:28 AM [ Post a Review

Views: 20412

Have you ever gotten stuck trying to remember a command? Have you ever tried running Linux in text-only mode and gotten so fricking pissed you gave up? Well here's the book for you. Linux Pocket Guide is by O'Reilly Press and is written especially for Fedora Core users. However, don't let that deter you. It contains many commands that any Linux user would use on a daily basis. Like I mentioned this book especially focused on Fedora Core Users. It gives a quick intro about Fedora Core, but quickly moves to the command line. Here it starts describing the different commands. The layout for commands is very clear. First they are seperated into different sections such as, Basic File Operations, Email, Web Browsing, etc. Then the commands are in alphabetical order from there. When you look at the commands first it shows you the command and how it's used, then below that it will describe what the command does, then gives you the arguments. The only thing I can think of that's bad is that since it is focused on Fedora Core, that some other distro-sepcific software (mostly package managers like apt-get or Pkgtool) aren't explained. I would highly recommend this for any Linux user. It's a cheap reference (the cheapest in-print Linux book I've ever seen), it fits in your pocket for those big wig sysadmins or road warriors and it's very informative. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to it because I can't remember that the arguments for .bz2 are jxvf instead of zxvf (what .gz files use). If you've got $10 laying around go buy this book.

Rating: 9
Product Details: "Linux Pocket Guide" by Zuggy - posted: 01-13-2005 - Rating: ********** 9.50

Last Review by Zuggy - posted: 12-19-2004 11:17 PM [ Post a Review

Views: 26990

Here is my review of Vector Linux. I've been using it for a few months now so I'm over the wow this is cool factor and can write an objective review. Pre-install info Vector Linux is a distro designed for old hardware. It is based on Slackware (the current version, 4.3, is based on Slack 9.1). A major upgrade, however, from Slack 9.1 is that it is built on the 2.6.7 kernel, and it includes ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture). Here is the system it is installed on (my Vector Lappy): Cyrix 200Mhz processor 32MB RAM 2.1 Gb Hard Drive Installation The installation is text, and although it may seem outdated, it is required to run on old hardware. I won't go through the whole process. It is fairly straight forward. The only problem was that it was buggy. Although I have heard of more bugs the only one I encountered was with the Media test. If you opt for the media test I found that the installer would crash when it came time to install Xfree. Besides this I had no other problems. ALSA After the installation, before the reboot, ALSA will start to configure your sound. I had no problem with it detecting my ISA sound card and it works fine. Unlike many distros where ALSA defaults to mute, this isn't the case in Vector. notes for first boot Vector does not set up a password for root or allow you to set up other users during installation. When you start Vector for the first time you have to log in as root, and then set up a password for root and user account(s) GUI's To start X you have to use the command startx, because it doesn't load X on start up by default. You can change this in VASM (more below). Vector includes 3 GUI's, FluxBox, IceWM and XFCE. When use the command, startx, it will take you to a menu so you can pick which one to use. Each one is unique and you can select which one you want. They all work excellently and it's just a matter of taste as to what you use. FluxBox and IceWM have been modified to support icons. Software As was noted above, Vector was designed for older hardware and it really shows. The software packages are all selected with old hardware in mind. My only major complaint is that it includes Mozilla Suite. For lighter browsing I would recommend FireFox, and although it was included in Vector 4.0 it was removed in 4.3. One piece of software that is of great help is VASM (Vector Adminastrator System Mananger). It's a menu that has everything you need to configure the system. The only problem I have with it, is that the printer configuration should start up CUPS, but CUPS isn't installed. Here you can also select to have X start when you boot-up the machine. In this menu you will also find the pkgtool from slackware for installing and removing software packages. Package Managers Vector comes with 2 package managers, vecpkg and pkgtool. I have found that they are basically the same thing except pkgtool has more options. They both do the same thing, install, remove and manage packages. One feature that I love is checkinstall. When your installing from source instead of using the command make install, you use the command checkinstall and it will turn the program into a slackware package and install it from the package. This has a 3 purposes. 1. you can share your packages. 2. It's great for backing up software and 3. you don't need the source code on your computer to use the make uninstall command to remove the software which will save you space. Just use pkgtool or the removepkg command to remove the software. Hardware support. The only thing on my Vector that I'm not sure works is the modem and that's only because I haven't tried it. For a full list of specs go to and click on the ready 120LT. A final note This distro is ideal for a newbie to Linux who has an old computer lying around, but the bugs, lack of full Graphical Enviroment (KDE, GNOME) and programs that are designed for slower hardware and lack some functionality makes it hard to recommend to someone who has a computer that would run some of the more "bloated" distros like Mandrake, Fedora, or MEPIS or to a more experienced who isn't intimidated by the Slackware install. For more info checkout

Rating: 7
Product Details: "4.3" by Zuggy - posted: 12-19-2004 - Rating: ********* 8.50


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