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"Mastering Linux" is the book for anyone who wants to get up and running with this increasingly popular and respected operating system. Whatever you want to achieve with Lunix - desktop or network OS; Web, file, or print server - this book delivers, providing the clear instruction and unique insight of a Linux expert who understands the needs of the non-Unix world.
Mastering Linux's informed, well-written prose and deliberate pacing gets you up to speed on Red Hat Linux 5.1. The book begins with installation of the Linux kernel and then quickly gets into the installation and use of XFree86. In talking about applications, the author is always very careful to explain exactly how to run and configure each--valuable advice for those not used to the Unix way of doing things. Other chapters explain file management and hardware configuration, and some especially excellent chapters address Linux networking. (The author covers TCP/IP networks, as well as networks based on Microsoft and Novell standards.) A set of hardware compatibility lists and a command reference are also included.
A word of criticism: this book tries a bit too hard to make Linux into a turnkey solution. It isn't like that yet, and any Linux author writing for Unix novices needs to recognize that fact. Danesh should impart more information about working at the Linux command line before jumping into XFree86. But aside from that, this book is a great introduction to Red Hat Linux 5.1. The operating system appears on the accompanying CD-ROM (which, in turn, includes disk images you can use to make boot floppies for a fresh installation). --David Wall
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