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How Linux Works

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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 5

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Excellent teaching guide
Comment: This is one of the best basic books on learning Linux and is written with the power user in mind. It takes a different approach to learning Linux than most other books. Other books typically focus on a section of Linux and go over it in detail. For example, it may cover the file system from selecting an appropriate one to how to mount disks, security, directories, links, and similar information until it has presented all the information on the file system. Instead this one divides the learning task up into basic stuff you need to know, intermediate knowledge, and more advanced levels. This is actually more consistent with the knowledge expected in the real world. While I would expect even a basic administrator to understand how to mount and unmount a drive I would not necessarily expect them to know how to interpret and change an fstab configuration file. To go over the whole file system from beginning to advanced levels leaving the student unknowledgeable in other basic tasks doesn't make as much senses. I would rather hire someone who knows the basics of the system including adding users and other administration than one who knows everything about one area. So, I really like the way it teaches basic knowledge in all areas, then intermediate knowledge in all areas, then advanced.

The focus is on the user or the person who has been assigned to administer an existing Linux system. If you need to add a peripheral device, setup or change printing, mount a CD for access by Windows based machines, or pretty much anything else that an administrator of a Linux file server needs to know its covered. There are better books for other type of servers like setting up a web server, MySQL, or other items. However, if you are completely new to Linux or a fairly novice Linux user and need to be able to administer a file server type system you will enjoy this book. Designed for the person who wants to really learn about Linux from the ground up "How Linux Works" is a recommended read.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Excellent Tech Oriented Guide to Linux
Comment: This is a good techie overview of Linux. This is not the book you hand to Grandma (unless Grandma is a system admin), but it is a very well done Linux guide/introduction.

The first couple of chapters are old hat to any Unix user, being just basic overviews of how Unix in gneral works, but Brian quickly gets into the real meat of Linux with chapter 3 "How Linux Boots" and goes on from there with coverage of networking, printing and everything else you'd expect. If that were all there was, I'd be impressed and would recommend this book, but there is more. There are two excellent chapters on programming tools and compiling source code. These include troubleshooting compilation problems, an often ignored aspect of our Open Source world. A third related chapter covers kernel compilation specifically and again goes beyond the usual treatment.

Throughout the book, Brian gives useful hints and suggestions. He has obviously used and administered real Linux systems and has good experience and advice to share.

I like Brian's writing style and the definite techie orientation. If you are a tech person investigating Linux, this is a good book to read.