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Learning Debian GNU/Linux

Linux and Open Source are attracting unprecedented attention in the high tech world. Debian GNU/Linux is a remarkable demonstration of what the Open Source model can produce: Debian is an all volunteer organization, and their distribution contains only open-source software.This exciting new world can be intimidating for those whose primary computing experience is Microsoft Windows. In Learning Debian/GNU Linux, Bill McCarty has written a book for this new audience, aimed at introducing them to a Unix style operating system.Learning Debian GNU/Linux will guide any new user of Linux through the installing and use of Debian GNU/Linux, the entirely Open Source version of the Linux operating system. It demystifies Linux in terms familiar to Windows users and gives readers only what they need to start being successful users of Linux.Learning Debian GNU/Linux takes the reader step by step through the process of installing and setting up a Debian system, and provides a thorough but gentle introduction to the basics of using Debian GNU/Linux.Because the book is written specifically for the included CD, the reader needs nothing else to get started with this exciting new operating system.

Paperback: 360 pages

Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 11, 1999)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1565927052

ISBN-13: 978-1565927056

Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #18 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Linux > Applications #1442 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Operating Systems #10411 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software

This book is aimed for the very novice Linux user, who comes forthe first time to the world of Unix. From that perspective this bookcould deserve one start more, but not more. The starting chapers coversthe installation process with screen prints from the debian installer andthey can't get clearer than that. But, In my opinion they do not addany value to the book, because the Debian installation dialogs arealmost self explanatory and you don't need a book to show thepictures.The part of the installation could have better server on concentratingon setting up multi-boot system with various Win32 (Win9x,NT,2000)combinations. THAT would have certaily deserved a star.Setting up the X server is not "piece of cake", and the bookshould definitely have devoted much more pages on it. You can almostbet that you can't get X server working properly from Debianinstallation with all those varoous video/3D cards and differentmonitors (just count how many combinations are there). This chaperis ESSENTIAL for any new Linux user that wants to see Graphical GUI.Well, therte is not much information what to do if X fails to start.(Btw, GNOME window manager is presented, not KDE)Other Chapters in the book are average, medicode tratment of thetopics wich are by no means specific to Debian system: Useadministration, system services, learnign to use the basic shellcommands.The Networking part may be appropriate in the US market, whereModem (PPP) connections are in majority, but for European users,the ISDN, LAN, WAN, Cable Modem are more for hte present. The bookonly coves PPP and LAN.

I have to agree with the Reader from New York. I received the book as part of the boxed set from the VALinux CD distribution. So, at a minimum, the price and material can't be beat!But, in addition to the "xf86config" misnomer, the reader is also told to use the SHIFT-ALT-+ key combination to reduce the size of the virtual desktop. Well, as a newbie to Linux, as well as Debian, I must have looked like a trained monkey hammering away on that key combination, until I thought, "Maybe there was a misprint or misquote." And yes, the CTRL-ALT-+ combination worked just fine. By the way, the monkey was, of course, rewarded immediately with a reduced virtual desktop and a banana.This is just one of several "small" errors in the book; however, to a Debian system newbie, the errors are annoying.Also, the flow throughout the book was choppy, at best. Although the book and its flow start out well, providing sufficient detail to install successfully the Debian system without too many problems, by Chapter 5 the book has lost any useful level of specificity. I understand that once you get into the X Window environment, your choices for a window manager are numerous but sticking with two or three window managers, throughout the remainder of the book, would have been beneficial to the reader.By the book's ending, the flow has jumped around so much that the reader can easily become overwhelmed and confused. Much like the middle of the book, the level of specificity is limited so that you can easily become lost in any LAN, WAN, or web server profile installation. I found myself constantly referring to the Debian "HOW TOs" for additional and more helpful information.

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