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Running Linux (Essential Guide to Linux)

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • School & Library Binding
  • Publisher: San Val (Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061391175X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613911757
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Earlier editions of O'Reilly's Running Linux served as central guides on installing, configuring and using the OS. The third edition of this guide covers the kernel through version 2.2.1 and will prove especially useful to those with high technical aptitudes and a well-tested willingness to experiment with their computing environments.

The explanation of how to rebuild the kernel--a particularly daunting task for many--deserves special praise, as do the sections on configuring network links and servers. Users will find that the informative, prose- heavy style packs maximum information into this book's pages. For example, the purpose of a Linux element is described and then the reader is shown various ways of using it, complete with explicit statements of what you type and what you get in response. Back this book up with a good command reference (Linux in a Nutshell is solid), and you'll be well on your way to Linux mastery. --David Wall, Amazon.com

Topics covered: KDE and Gnome windowing systems; Samba, file, and system management; shells; windowing systems and networking; installation on Alpha, PowerPC, Motorola 680x0 and Sparc boxes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Running Linux' really is one of the ultimate Linux manuals. -- Russell J.T. Dyer, Linux Journal, February 09, 2003

This 730 page manual does an excellent job of making the rather complex world of Linux very understandable for an average user. -- Mary Ann Panevska, Southeastern Wisconsin Windows User Group, August 2002 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book got me up to speed with Linux in a day...!
This is an excellent general introduction to Linux covering all the basics, no matter what distribution you are using. I have specific texts on Red Hat, Caldera and Debian distributions, but if you are just starting out and don't need to know the esoteric differences between Distributions, buy this book as a general getting started guide and reference.
As I am learning Linux for work, I did find some of the information lacked detail on specific subjects, i.e. the detailed nut and bolts of FTP, Apache and Samba, but in fairness, this information is easy to come by on the WWW and where this book really excells is in getting you started.
I also suggest you consider Linux in a Nutshell by the same publishers as a command reference guide to accompany Running Linux
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Format: Paperback
Unlike the previous reader, I found this very useful as a newbie. It's a surprisingly easy book to read for an O'Reilly book (they usually tend to write very "dry" books that are easier to understand when you already have a good grounding in a subject)...
The book tackles installtion, system maintenance, file systems, commands etc etc with clarity, making it both a book to read in an idle moment and a fine reference book.I'd hate to be without this book now, so I'm going to have to return the copy I have to my friend and buy my own!
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Format: Paperback
With its first edition dating back to early 1995, Matt Welsh's book is widely regarded as classic, to the extent this term can be applied to Linux. Mr. Welsh, now continuing his PhD studies at UC Berkeley, is a renowned Linux expert, and was actively involved in Linux development since 1992. In particular, he is known in the Linux community for starting the Linux Documentation Project, for contributing to it with Linux Installation and Getting Started (LIGS) Guide (available freely from the Internet) and, lately, for being the founding editor of the Linux Magazine.

Running Linux grew out of LIGS as its expanded and professionally edited version. This has its pluses and minuses. When it came out, there were hardly any other books on Linux available, so it tried to teach the reader everything, from Linux installation to Unix administration, from the command shell basics to compiling the kernel, and from using the C compiler to configuration of X Windows. Its breadth is thus encyclopedic, and yet it is surprisingly sharp at details. The third edition added all the things that happened since: KDE, GNOME, Samba... It may be my personal feeling only, but the new chapters somewhat stick out, without really growing into the tissue of the text.

More important, the book fails to recognize that the structure of new Linux users changed since 1995. At the time, it was written as a "getting started" guide, and it served its role perfectly. However, nowadays you cannot assume any more that every new Linux user is familiar with command line commands or other Unix systems. Therefore I don't think I could still recommend Running Linux as a beginners' guide.
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Format: Paperback
I'll start off by saying that I like this book. It's the book that I often reach for when I need to know the location of a specific file or the correct order for executing certain commands. I recommend it thouroghly.
Now the problems:
I don't particuarly like he way it starts explaining a certain topic but doesn't really cover the possible pitalls one might face. it seems to refer the reader to the distribution vendor just a little too often for me. It does however still go into plenty of detail on the various options available for various parts of the Linux OS. Setting up X, recompiling the kernel, navigating the file system and many more are all done in a well laid out and effective manner.
It also explains things which with modern distributions (Fedora/Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake etc...) you don't need to do. Using Fdisk for instance. I think this is good as it explains the industry standard tools which get the job done, and which at some point you may well need to fall back on. It also carries on the tradition of O'Reilly books by being accessable for the new user but not treating them like an idiot. It assumes you want to go further and allows you to do so by giving a good grounding as well as introducing advanced topics.
All in all, a very good book which I would say is suited to the person who wants to learn the way things are done and really access the power of Linux. If you just want to write letters in Red Hat, get "Red Hat for Dummies" or "Red Hat in 24 hours". If, however, you want to learn how to properly reconfigure the kernel in Slackware then go for this.
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Format: Paperback
Installing and getting Linux running on even straightforward hardware is notoriously problematic. Even when it’s up and running and you’ve got KDE or GNOME installed, things are still far from obvious.
This book covers every practical aspect of Linux you could possibly wish for: installation, post install, all those yucky UNIX commands you’ll have to learn, managing your system and how to avoid breaking things. Once you’ve got some confidence, Running Linux will then show you how to get the best out of your system: recompiling the kernel, security, some programming. “Running Linux” covers a lot of the history of Linux and not only explains *how* things work, but *why* they are that way in the first place – it’s an important view that helps learning.
If you’re new to Linux, or experienced and need a handbook, this book is indispensable. Not only is it very sound technically but it’s written in a readable and accessible style and is actually funny in places.
Highly recommended.
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