Top critical review
33 people found this helpful
Seriously misleading title
on 28 August 2008
I bought this book for a colleague on the assumption that it would be a general introduction to Linux for beginners. Earlier reviews had erroneously suggested it was specific to the Suse distribution releases which would have been fine for us as that's what we usually use (with KDE desktop). Unfortunately, for our purposes, it turns out it is based on Ubuntu, this would not be a problem if it was made clear that this was the case and if it pointed out where it was being distribution or desktop environment specific.
If you are just starting with a Linux based system and have already chosen/installed Ubuntu then this is a fine introduction. If you haven't decided on a distribution and/or desktop or have already chosen something else, then half of this book will be at best irrelevant or just plain confusing. The problem for beginners is that they will not know which half is relevant and which isn't.
Regrettably it makes what is becoming a common assumption - that Linux=Ubuntu/Gnome, which is not the case and it is important to point out that one of the advantages of using Linux based systems is having a choice.
Rename it "Ubuntu in easy steps", explain that Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop and that there are other choices and it earns a 5* rating, as it is otherwise well written, clear and concise.
Produce an equivalent version for Suse/Fedora/Mandriva etc focusing on KDE, Give it a truthful title and I'll have one of those thanks.