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Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 Unleashed shows you how to install, configure, and manage the latest version of Debian Linux. This book covers the most important topics to the Debian Linux intermediate/advanced user on installation and management of Debian systems. The book also provides wisdom and insights on how to control some of the more difficult to use aspects of Debian, like integrating Debian into Microsoft networks. Advanced topics show you how to set up an Internet server, set up a firewall, and install Linux on notebook computers. Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 Unleashed also has extensive coverage of working with open-source databases, and covers programming in several languages and shells in detail.
Written by several members of the Debian development team, Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 Unleashed does an excellent job of documenting the second most popular Linux distribution (according to most counts, Debian takes second place to Red Hat). The authors know that a large part of their audience (like the Linux user base as a whole) is coming to the operating system with only Microsoft Windows experience. They take plenty of time to explain Unix-isms (such as manually mounting file systems and the concept of interchangeable shells).
This book does a good job of interweaving task-oriented instruction with straight documentation of software, generally emphasizing command-line programs, scripting languages, and kernel options. The companion CD-ROM holds Debian GNU/Linux 2.1, so you're set to go straight out of the box.
As is almost always the case with the operating system books in the Unleashed series, the chapters on programming in big languages (like Java and C++) seem out of place. Though they serve to introduce you to the development tools, they don't teach you much about the languages and shouldn't waste space on the effort. Coverage of relatively simple programming tools (such as Python, Tcl/Tk, and Expect) is better--you can anticipate using this book to learn how to perform useful tasks in those languages. Overall, Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 Unleashed is a very strong power user's guide to a robust and popular distribution of Linux. --David Wall
Topics covered: Debian GNU/Linux 2.1 for novice users, particularly those coming to the operating system from Microsoft Windows. The authors explain installation and initial configuration, and touch on the X Window System before explaining key command-line tools, text editing, and configuration of a TCP/IP network (as well as Apache and other servers to run on it). Scripting languages receive solid coverage, as do administration and security procedures.
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