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Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.33

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Good intro to Fedora
Comment: My recommendation is, this is a good book for a Linux novice or someone starting with Fedora for the first time.
Those with experience, will probably want to pass on this book. Its not likely you'll pick up anything new
(I didn't). (For those unfamiliar with what Red Hat has done with the split out of Fedora; think of
Fedora Core 1 as Red Hat Linux 9.1 or 10; if Red Hat had continued the product line.)

This book focuses on the "NEW" Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core 1 Linux user. The book is a relatively
easy read. Bill McCarty writes a clear and well organized book. From a novice's perspective, the author gives
you, what you need to get Fedora installed, running and usable. The author does a good job of pointing
the reader at additional information sources on each topic. The book is short, less than 300 pages.
This is nice compared to some of the other 1,000 page plus Linux novice tomes; which try to be a "how to get
started" book and a "general reference" all at they same time; except they don't do either well. Linux should
be friendly, not scary. First timers shouldn't have to read a Encyclopedia to get started in Linux. I agree
with the author's choice of brevity for his book.

One suggestion to the author, would be to include output examples with the CLI (Command Line Interface) examples.
He does it with the GUIs, so why not with the CLIs???

I bought the book because "Red Hat Enterprise" (RHE) was in the title. I was disappointed in the fact there wasn't
more detail about RHE. In retrospect, anyone doing RHE, is probably an experienced Linux person working for a
company, where RHE is deployed and may even have had formal training on RHE. So why would they need this book?

My bona fides; I've been using been using various flavors of Unix for an embarrassing long time, Red Hat Linux
for 8 yrs (from release RH 3.0.3 to 9) and I have been running Fedora Core for about 5 months now.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Great treatment of Red Hat Linux for the desktop market
Comment: For people who are starting to look at Linux as a potential desktop system "Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux & Fedora" will get you onto the right track right from the beginning. These particular distributions are intended for the workstation market and so have many productivity related tools and fewer of the server tools. I particularly appreciated that it does not assume the reader is a high level technician but starts with all the basics and theory behind Linux including things like hard disk organization, hard disk track, sectors, cylinders, etc. Bill McCarthy does an excellent job of explaining what is going on.

The author walks you through the installation and configuration using the graphical interface (by far the only appropriate interface for the non-technical person trying to install Linux by their self). This section includes configuring networking and user accounts, organizing data, the default directory tree, file permissions, and using the X system. It also includes a good description of devices and how they are used in Linux, something you really need to understand to setup Linux correctly.

The two most common graphic user interfaces (GNOME and KDE) are examined in detail including common applications that come with Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora. These applications include OpenOffice, Evolution - an email client and personal scheduler, a PDA tool, and a CD writer.

For the more serious administrator he discusses the Bash shell (the default command interpreter), installing new software using the RPM package manager, and network services like Samba (to share files with Windows systems), Apache (web server), Secure Shell (for secure connections), and firewall configuration.

The authors also include a complete copy of Fedora on CD so you can actually install the operating system and configure it while you learn. "Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux & Fedora" is highly recommended for anyone looking to make Linux their desktop operating system.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Migrate to this?
Comment: Of all the companies that arose to make a business around linux, Red Hat is perhaps the most successful, at least in the US. Many people wanting to install linux on their machines, or those buying machines with linux pre-installed, often encounter Red Hat's version. Accordingly, this book is in its 4th edition, updated in part because linux keeps expanding its functionality. But another change from previous editions is due to Red Hat replacing Red Hat Linux with an Enterprise and Professional versions. Plus, a group of volunteers, independent of, but supported by, Red Hat, split off a version called Fedora. The reason for Red Hat's actions seems to be a search for higher margins. Anyway, McCarty describes both the Enterprise and Fedora. As he explains, currently there is in fact little difference. Mostly due to the recent divergence.

If you are currently using an earlier Red Hat Linux, and feel quite comfortable with it, then you might want to just glance at this book to decide if you find enough need to upgrade now.

But if you have never used linux, of any ilk, then perhaps this book might be more useful. If you are going to migrate, you might as well do so to as recent a stable version as possible. McCarty presupposes no prior knowledge of linux or unix on your part. He explains clearly the salient features. The numerous screen captures are well chosen, in support of the text.

But you should be aware that McCarty does assume some prior acquaintance with computers. Most commonly Microsoft or Apple. In keeping with the O'Reilly tradition, the book does not start from scratch.