Trade in Yours
For a £0.25 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Learning Debian GNU/Linux [Paperback]

Bill McCarty
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback --  
Trade In this Item for up to £0.25
Trade in Learning Debian GNU/Linux for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.25, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

11 Oct 1999

Linux and Open Source are attracting unprecedented attention in the high tech world. Debian GNU/Linux is a remarkable demonstration of what the Open Source model can produce: Debian is an all volunteer organization, and their distribution contains only open-source software.

This exciting new world can be intimidating for those whose primary computing experience is Microsoft Windows. In Learning Debian/GNU Linux, Bill McCarty has written a book for this new audience, aimed at introducing them to a Unix style operating system.

Learning Debian GNU/Linux will guide any new user of Linux through the installing and use of Debian GNU/Linux, the entirely Open Source version of the Linux operating system. It demystifies Linux in terms familiar to Windows users and gives readers only what they need to start being successful users of Linux.

Learning Debian GNU/Linux takes the reader step by step through the process of installing and setting up a Debian system, and provides a thorough but gentle introduction to the basics of using Debian GNU/Linux.

Because the book is written specifically for the included CD, the reader needs nothing else to get started with this exciting new operating system.

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 Oct 1999)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1565927052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565927056
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 789,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Learning Debian GNU/Linux assumes only that its readers have a bit of Windows or Macintosh experience, are willing to learn and aren't afraid to do a bit of experimenting. From there, it provides a complete introductory-level explanation of installing and using Linux and the GNU suite of tools, focusing on the Debian 2.1 distribution to the extent that it differs from other flavours of Linux. Because it ships with a bootable CD-ROM that contains Debian 2.1, this book represents a complete Linux starter kit (and a reasonably priced one, at that).

The author takes a patient and boosterish approach to his subject, explaining key configuration files one line at a time and walking through important procedures, such as setting up a dial-up connection to the Internet. He's also remarkably liberal with troubleshooting ideas, frequently pausing to present lists of what might have gone wrong as a result of a recently explained procedure and suggesting solutions to each. He's also careful to describe aspects of the Unix universe (such as mounting devices and running a windowing system atop a kernel) that might be unfamiliar to people accustomed to more mainstream operating systems. Like any good Linux user, Bill McCarty is quick to share his favourite utilities and explain how to use them. --David Wall

Topics covered: Installing Debian Linux and the GNU suite, installing and using the X windowing system, performing critical administration and management tasks (in graphical programs and via the bashshell), setting up a local area network (LAN), setting up the Apache Web server and using the Debian package-management utilities.

About the Author

Bill McCarty is associate professor of management information systems in the School of Business and Management of Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California, and was previously associate professor of computer science, in which capacity he taught for ten years in Azusa Pacific's Master of Applied Computer Science program. Bill holds a Ph.D. in the management of information systems from the Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, and worked for 15 years as a software developer and manager.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not good enough 13 Sep 2000
By A Customer
I'm an experience Linux user, having tinkered with ever-friendlier distributions of the OS since '95. I am also a fan of O'Reilly publications. I picked up this book with a boxed Debian set and was grateful for its occasional gems, but frustrated by its more frequent irritations---both on my own behalf and on behalf of the many newbies who I am sure will be put off Linux for good by this sketchy volume.
I hope my prejudice against suits isn't colouring my judgement here, but the author's admission that he has a degree in "Management Information Systems" may explain why Learning Debian GNU/Linux is such an inadequate technical primer. I don't mean that it lacks geeky detail, I just mean that it just doesn't tell you enough to get Linux up-and-running easily on a lot of hardware out there and/or adjust the installation in the most basic ways once you have.
Debian has many advantages, but it is not the distribution I would recommend to a newcomer. If (s)he is determined to use Debian and follow the purist, Free Software Foundation route to Linux "Nirvana" this is not the book I would recommend as spiritual guide.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed by this book 8 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I have to say that I was disappointed by this book. In the past, I have always been extremely impressed by the 6 or 7 O'Reilly titles which I've so far purchased. Sure, this book is produced to the same high standards and is, as ever, eminently readable. The book is also well structured and the content superbly explained. However, it appears to have been rushed into print and I get the impression that the adaptation of the content from the other book by the same author, "Leaning Red Hat Linux", has not been done completely. For example, there are references to using features such as the "pico" editor which are provided with other distributions but not on the book's CD Rom.
In fact, all of my disappointment stems from the fact that the CD Rom does not provide the reader with everything he or she needs, as is claimed on the cover. There is software missing which the book discusses installing, most notably the Gnome and WIndow Maker packages, and any new user would be left extremely bewildered as to whether they were themself at fault when they cannot install the graphical desktop interface.
I did check with the publisher that I had received the latest CD Rom, which they duly confirmed. However, to be fair to O'Reilly, they also pointed out that they themselves do not put together the CD Rom. It is, nevertheless, annoying not to be able to complete everything described in the book.
I would still recommend this book as I learned a great deal from it in a very short time. However, do be prepared to have to find some of the source packages from elsewhere unless an updated CD Rom is provided with your copy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars VERY BAD COMPANY TO DEAL WITH THEY ARE CROOK 2 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was supplied without the CD, which I informed to them via you as yet no reply.
Can I have my money back.
Please let me know the outcome.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab this book & start learning Debian Linux! 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
New to Linux? Want to Learn the original GNU/Debian Linux? This book would be the best place to start with! As you learn more from it, you will know the culture of learnig Linux - where to get help and further resources. It will point you to the right direction! One thing I like this book is that its language and context is easy-to-understand, really user friendly! Plain English, well structured, organised and written. An enjoyable read! When you become a more experienced Linux User, you'll probably find yourself spending more time with the Linux box & on-line resources, rather than with a book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point. Easy to follow. Great for Windows users. 2 Nov 1999
By Chuck Huffman - Published on
I have downloaded and installed several Linux distributions (Red Hat 6.1, Caldera 2.3, etc.) in my search to find one that I like. I am also reading the book, "Running Linux, 3rd ed." which is teaching me the ins and outs of Linux. Debian GNU/Linux works for me because the book leads you step by step through the installation, plus it is setup more like traditional (non-commercial) distributions, which I am reading about in "Running Linux". Together, both books and the included CD, have me up on a simple home LAN where I can print from Windows machines, through my Linux server, and share files too. Not only that, but I understand it!
Yes, Linux does require a bit of time on your part to learn some of the Microsoft type things you use to take for granted, but you'll sleep better knowing that pointless lock-ups are a thing of the past.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ FOR FREE ON THE WEB 5 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Learning Debian GNU / Linux is available free on the web: at the following web address.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Seasoned Unix user 25 Sep 2001
By A Customer - Published on
This book is aimed for the very novice Linux user, who comes for
the first time to the world of Unix. From that perspective this book
could deserve one start more, but not more. The starting chapers covers
the installation process with screen prints from the debian installer and
they can't get clearer than that. But, In my opinion they do not add
any value to the book, because the Debian installation dialogs are
almost self explanatory and you don't need a book to show the
The part of the installation could have better server on concentrating
on setting up multi-boot system with various Win32 (Win9x,NT,2000)
combinations. THAT would have certaily deserved a star.
Setting up the X server is not "piece of cake", and the book
should definitely have devoted much more pages on it. You can almost
bet that you can't get X server working properly from Debian
installation with all those varoous video/3D cards and different
monitors (just count how many combinations are there). This chaper
is ESSENTIAL for any new Linux user that wants to see Graphical GUI.
Well, therte is not much information what to do if X fails to start.
(Btw, GNOME window manager is presented, not KDE)
Other Chapters in the book are average, medicode tratment of the
topics wich are by no means specific to Debian system: Use
administration, system services, learnign to use the basic shell
The Networking part may be appropriate in the US market, where
Modem (PPP) connections are in majority, but for European users,
the ISDN, LAN, WAN, Cable Modem are more for hte present. The book
only coves PPP and LAN. Authors should have covered ISDN as well,
because that's much harder than modem PPP.
In short, This is 2 start book. You're better served with something
more in depth book that a) you can refer all the time to get
problems solved b) or goes more deeper on the details of the specific
Linux distribution.
This book does not give you very good overview what is so special
with "debian".
You're much more better served with Michael Kofler's "Linux" book,
which gives in depth discussion and comparision of various Linux
system. It's one of the best Linux books around.
You can use it with Debian as well.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars x86 install only, but very useful nonetheless 28 Jan 2000
By R. Jordan - Published on
The only thing wrong with this book is its assumption that Linux = Intel/X86. I bought it without expectation of getting Alpha-usable software on CD but hoped that the book treatment would be more general. The installation sections are definitely x86 only. Fortunately there is more than enough post-install information to make the book worth it to a Linux starter like me once I located the Alpha-specific instructions on the web. And the CD may save an x86 peecee from windows someday.
One wish: ALL Linux books should state on the cover or back if the information is limited to one processor type... Debian and Linux are multiplatform.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be better... 15 Aug 2000
By T.J. Murphy - Published on
I have to agree with the Reader from New York. I received the book as part of the boxed set from the VALinux CD distribution. So, at a minimum, the price and material can't be beat!
But, in addition to the "xf86config" misnomer, the reader is also told to use the SHIFT-ALT-+ key combination to reduce the size of the virtual desktop. Well, as a newbie to Linux, as well as Debian, I must have looked like a trained monkey hammering away on that key combination, until I thought, "Maybe there was a misprint or misquote." And yes, the CTRL-ALT-+ combination worked just fine. By the way, the monkey was, of course, rewarded immediately with a reduced virtual desktop and a banana.
This is just one of several "small" errors in the book; however, to a Debian system newbie, the errors are annoying.
Also, the flow throughout the book was choppy, at best. Although the book and its flow start out well, providing sufficient detail to install successfully the Debian system without too many problems, by Chapter 5 the book has lost any useful level of specificity. I understand that once you get into the X Window environment, your choices for a window manager are numerous but sticking with two or three window managers, throughout the remainder of the book, would have been beneficial to the reader.
By the book's ending, the flow has jumped around so much that the reader can easily become overwhelmed and confused. Much like the middle of the book, the level of specificity is limited so that you can easily become lost in any LAN, WAN, or web server profile installation. I found myself constantly referring to the Debian "HOW TOs" for additional and more helpful information.
Better-presented books are available at the price level associated with this book. Overall, the book was misleading in that its usefulness began promisingly but ended disappointedly. If the level of specificity and flow found in the first four chapters had been carried throughout the remainder of the book, a higher rating would have been given.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category