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Linux for Dummies
Reviews Views Date of last review
3 64941 10-30-2006
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
33% of reviewers $29.99 4.3

Description: When I was first introduced to Linux I figured it was a complicated OS for geeks and hacks. I learned after awhile though how user friendly Linux was becoming and how easily it was to learn. I learned the advantages of open source and what it had over windows and I loved it. I wanted to learn a lot about it so I bought this book. The book comes with a DVD with six of the most popular Linux distributions: Fedora Core, SuSE, Mandrake, Xandros, Linspire, and Knoppix. I have tried everyone looking for the right distro for me. I ended up picking one I downloaded later but I tried everyone to see what they brought to the table. This book explains how to do everything from install to setting up internet connections with all of the different distros that come with the book. I have read the whole thing now and I learned more than I thought I would. They even teach you how to move around in the linux CLI. If your new to linux and want to learn about all the apps and options this is a good book to start with. I just picked up the "linux programming for Dummies" and I hope its just as good.
Keywords: Linux For Dummies
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
ISBN: 0764579371

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Old 09-30-2005, 02:42 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 794

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: $29.99 | Rating: 4

Pros: Basic help
Cons: Very distro specific and GUI oriented

I bought this book when I first started with Linux a few months ago. I'd installed Mandrake 10.1, and after a while decided a book would would be a good idea for reference. However I wouldn't really recommend this one. It is very simplistic, and although it has some useful information, anyone who has decided to try Linux is not an idiot (although the title perhaps gives the content away), and other than some very basic stuff it really is of very little use.

Furthermore I think it is very distro-specific. Included with the book is a dvd-rom including Fedora Core 3, Mandrake, SUSE, Knoppix, Linspire and Xandros. Most of the examples given refer to Fedora and perhaps the other distros. I was using Mandrake at the time, but even so it is very annoying when books are geared towards a particular distro without claiming to do so by their title.

Thirdly, you will find that it will point you towards GUI applications wherever possible. There is a chapter on the shell, but all other chapters use examples of GUI apps, without even saying that there are alternatives. For example the chapter on web browsing launches straight into Mozilla and then Evolution. It might have been worth mentioning Lynx. Surely one of the interesting things about Linux is that you can do a lot from the command line, and even if you don't intend to use it that much, it's probably the best way to get to know the system. Therefore as an introduction to Linux I would have thought that it at least merited a mention.

Finally I would say that after a few weeks or less of running Linux, this book will be next to useless. It is not really a reference book that you will come back to. It might offer some reassurance at first, but that's about it.
Old 10-05-2005, 04:56 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10.1
Posts: 29

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $29.99 | Rating: 5

Pros: Shows you Windows like GUI Apps for things like "how to get on the internet"
Cons: Actually has a chapter called "hot to get on the internet"

As the previous reviews have stated, after 2 weeks of using Linux, this book is good for nothing.

As with every Linux book, there is a history on linux, file system, yada yada. The Book goes into remedial tasks like installing Fedora. Look, if you cant install RedHat something is already definately wrong.

It does have a decent command list in the back of the book, and certain chapters do delv into more interesting things. But the chances are if you are already here reading this, this book might not be much of a help to you.

If you stumbled here by accident and have no idea what Linux is, get the book. Its only 30 bucks and it comes with a distro.
Old 10-30-2006, 06:18 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,847

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Would you recommend the product? no | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 4

Pros: Comes with a handy DVD with several distros on it
Cons: Too simplistic

Well, not much to add to what's been said before. It's based on GUI teaching, it shows you the basics.

The one thing I did find quite useful about it was the (small) section on how to partition your hard drive for an installation. However, with hindsight, I wish it had suggested I create a separate partition for /home.

I have to say, that once I'd installed the recommended distro (Fedora) and got onto the internet, this book rapidly fell out of use, and hasn't been used since. It did allow me to feel more confident during my first linux installation though.


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