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Running Linux, Fourth Edition

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.26

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Run with LINUX
Comment: These authors share a passion for LINUX and share that passion though great detail about how this freeware operating system is put together. This book is NOT a "LINUX in 21-days" or "LINUX for Dummies" quick read. What this book is however, is a must add to your library as a LINUX reference. Like the title indicates - it covers everything you need to understand if you want to run the LINUX operating system.
While the core of the book hasn't changed, this edition has updated installation, configuration and security material. Not a UNIX guru or need to brush up? The book covers all the basic UNIX commands and concepts in a simple and clear manner. I found the chapter on upgrading and building a new Kernel one of the best parts as the authors explain not just what to do but how to get a variety of hardware devices to work.
Want to play with X Windows, KDE or GNOME - they cover it. While the book tries to cover programming languages enough to help one understand how gcc, makefiles, perl, and java fit into the LINUX puzzle, to the authors' credit, they quickly point out there are many books covering these subjects and don't try to get into too much detail. They do get into detail about a subject anyone playing with LINUX must learn - security.
There is no wonder why this book is in it's 4th Edition. It's complete. There will likely be more editions to follow in the coming years as the LINUX wave keeps growing. But best to get the book now and learn LINUX, before the lawyers take over this OS.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Very good; perhaps newbies might look at other options too
Comment: I recently migrated from win95 to linux. This is a very good reference book, typical of the high quality of O'Reilly publications. But I agree with the reader from Indiana: Michael Kofler's ``Linux: installation, configuration and use'' (2nd ed) is perhaps a better choice for installing and configuring linux, especially if you're migrating from Windows.

I get the sense that a lot of people who praise this book highly already know linux well, and so find it easier to read. If O'Reilly books have a weakness, it's that they tend to be written for people who already know a good deal about the subject. (Their Perl books are a good example.) The really high praise often comes from advocates who already know the subject, and want you to love it as much as them. But the style can sometimes make it more difficult for a newbie to get a grip on the basic concepts .

That said, though, this is still a great book. I get the feeling that as I get to know linux better I'll rely on this book more than Kofler's. But new users should be aware of Kofler's book -- it's better at getting you through the nuts and bolts of installation and the inevitable early teething problems.

Customer Rating: 1
Summary: If you already know some Unix, forget this book
Comment: If you already know a little bit of Unix or Linux or other Unix-variants, this book is way too "introductory" for you. It covers stuff like how to login and run ls, cp and mv. As another example, see the section on backing your computer. It talks about using find and tar, but nothing about dump and restore and backup strategies.

Overall, too much scratching the surface and not enough in depth information for real Unix users.