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The Linux Problem Solver (with CD-ROM)

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List Price: $34.95
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 4.67

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: A great practical book...
Comment: The Linux Problem Solver is that and more. As a new Linux user, I am developing an appreciation of this book in a hurry! The organization of this book is straightforward and logical, each chapter covering an essential topic of making Linux work and how to return it to working order when it stops working right, or getting it to work right after you've made an incorrect change. The author spends a chapter discussing things such as client networking, file systems, networking with Windows and Apples, printing, kernel upgrades, backups and crash recovery, and user environments. One chapter I feel deserves special praise is Chapter 6, installing software from source code, something I haven't found in other Linux books, at least not yet. Since I'm coming from a Windows environment, I'm relieved that someone out there realized new Linux users don't all automatically know how to install software in this environment.
As far as subject coverage, the author tells you the basics of what you need to know and how it works before he starts talking about what can go wrong and how to fix it. Granted, sometimes the information can be sketchy or shallow in places, but there is still a great deal of information packed into 239 pages.
The one small complaint I have with this book is that it doesn't really talk about the initial Linux installation. In fact, I haven't found a really good book that does talk about it in detail, frustratingly enough. Other than that, I can see this book getting frequent use as I explore Linux further and start to do more with it. If you can only buy one book for Linux, this is not the book to have unless you're already conversant with Linux. If you're not, this is a great companion book to have along with a Linux primer for troubleshooting when you do something wrong.

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Nice piece of work, but needed a little more
Comment: I initially felt the title was a little misleading. However, it might be more an interpretation issue of what a "problem solver" is. I initially interpreted that as "trouble shooter". This books does not cover that aspect of administering a Linux system. Still, the format of "what to do when this occurs" is extremely useful, especially for Linux newbies. If you want the nuts and bolts of administering a Linux system, look elsewhere. However, this has a lot of places where I said, "Hey, what didn't I think of that?"...

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Job Handbook
Comment: It's no coincidence I use this book as the authoritative reference when I'm at work: I'm lucky enough to claim the author as our local unix god.

Anytime something on our network of several hundred linux boxes causes me to scratch my head, I ask Mr. Ward what to do and he replies "It's in the book." Invariably, it is, and he's already covered the specific problems I'm encountering.

The Linux Problem Solver is blunt about which programs are horrible and should be avoided, and which will really make your life easier. The advice it offers is always backed by lots of experience.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who's in charge of taking care of one or more linux machines. If you want to keep your machine(s) secure, get printing to work, or fix your X configuration, you'll find out how in The Linux Problem Solver.

Also makes a great gift for any System Administrator; I've given several myself!