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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.
Learning Debian GNU/Linux assumes only that its readers have a bit of Windows or Macintosh experience, are willing to learn, and aren't afraid to do a little experimenting. From there, it provides a complete introductory-level explanation of installing and using Linux and the GHU suite of tools, focusing on the Debian 2.1 distribution to the extent that it differs from other flavors of Linux. Because it ships with a bootable CD-ROM that contains Debian 2.1, this book represents a complete Linux starter kit (and a reasonably priced one, at that).
The author takes a patient approach to his subject, explaining key configuration files one line at a time and walking through important procedures, such as setting up a dial-up connection to the Internet. He's also remarkably liberal with troubleshooting ideas, frequently pausing to present lists of what might have gone wrong as a result of a recently explained procedures and suggesting solutions to each. He's also careful to explain aspects of the Unix universe (such as mounting devices and running a windowing system atop a kernel) that might be unfamiliar to people accustomed to more mainstream operating systems. Like any good Linux user, McCarty is quick to share his favorite utilities and explain how to use them. --David Wall
Topics covered: Installing Debian Linux and the GNU suite, installing and using the X windowing system, performing critical administration and management tasks (in graphical programs and via the bash shell), setting up a local area network (LAN), setting up the Apache Web server, and using the Debian package-management utilities.
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