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Ubuntu Linux Toolbox
Reviews Views Date of last review
1 14065 04-23-2013
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated 10.0

Description: "Ubuntu Linux Toolbox" by Christopher Negus and Francois Caen is a uniquely well organized reference book. In general I find the organization of reference books very random from a task point of view which makes this book stand out all the more. The organization is complemented by information that is both complete and understandable. I put a reference book to the test before purchase. I see how well it handles my latest problem. If it's an understandable and usable solution I buy it. Having been an Ubuntu user for a long time I find few new issues. I put "toolbox" to an even harder test. I checked on how well all my past problems were handled. They were all well solved. If I'd come across "Ubuntu Linux Toolbox" early on there would be fewer books on my shelf. My personal test was passed with flying colors.

Linux distributions are all built from the same collection of components. The open source world offers lots of choice and the mix of components in any particular distribution will defer. I can't begin to count the number of text editors or libraries that provide similar functions. Individual distributions pick from these similar components and combine them to create a more cohesive set of tools which they then further refine to operate as a total set of computing tools. As a result the instructions for using these systems varies. A GUI like Gnome masks some of these differences but at the command level the differences become apparent again. Most references that illustrate commands try to be distribution agnostic. What's lost are the all important examples that help a user apply these commands to their specific distributions. The "Ubuntu Linux Toolbox" is written for Ubuntu specifically and the authors made sure that the applicable examples are all there. Further these examples were tested by the authors to insure their accuracy. Given Ubuntu's roots in Debian, Debian power users are also well served by this book.

The authors took the time to point where Ubuntu and other distributions differ. This makes it very easy for users familiar with other Linux distributions to transfer their knowledge. I found the concise and exampled descriptions very clear and complete. I must say I was able to clear a number of areas where my knowledge wasn't as complete as I would like. This book is so well written that I was compelled to read it cover to cover to get every last bit of knowledge out of it.

I recommend this book not only to command line aficionados but also to advanced GUI users who need to go past what GUIs like Gnome and KDE provide to them. I will admit to favoring the Gnome GUI myself. There are still those times when the command line is almost necessary. When it comes to diagnosing problems the command line offers more information and tools than that available with a GUI. "Ubuntu Linux Toolbox" does an excellent job of organizing commands into groups that provide complete configuration and analysis for specific tasks or situations. I've been an Ubuntu user since Dapper and this wonderful book now has a permanent place next to my desktop PC ready for frequent reference. This is a book that I will go back to many times.
Keywords: Ubuntu linux book
Publisher: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-470-08293-5

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Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Oracle Server 7-1511/ Princeton IAS, 7.2
Posts: 82

Rep: Reputation:
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10

Pros: in depth treatment of complex issues perfect for ubuntu/debian newcomers
Cons: disorganized, outdated information applies more to general linux than debian or ubuntu

This a great book that should be added to any user's collection of linux/UNIX books. The information, though very old, is thorough and interesting. Where the book falters in itts lack of any organization. The books is divided into chapters that are labeled and there are several charts that explain important tools such as apt-get.
The book does have a genuine feeling of being slapped together and at times seemed more interested in reaching the 1,000-command quota than in presenting a cohesive and organized series of advice and helps. I definitely recommend any O'Reilly manual over this one, but it is still priceless for what it is and I recommend it to anyone. There is now a second edition of this book but I have not purchased it yet.


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