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by Michael Tobler
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The author of Inside Linux acknowledges that adequately teaching how to use Linux involves more than communicating a series of recipes. For that reason, he goes to considerable effort to explain what's going on when the user executes various commands. He uses procedures to expose facts about Linux's innards, rather than as mere strategies for achieving desired effects. Therefore, his prose--particularly his extended coverage of the bash shell--reads like a scientist's journal: If we do this, here's what happens (and by the way, here's why). The approach is more leisurely than that of many introductory Linux books, and it leads to a deeper understanding of what's going on under the shell.
The author shows how to configure and use XFree86, the K Desktop Environment (KDE), and GNOME. These are handy skills to have, even if most distributions will more or less automate those processes and some readers may wish instead for information on more obscure aspects of the operating system. Coverage of network configuration, where an intimate knowledge of the command line and configuration files is critical, suits this book's experiment-and-observe format very well. The reader gets to see lots of important pieces of software in action. There's nothing about Apache, but the sections on setting up FTP and Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol (UUCP) services are particularly detailed. --David Wall
Topics covered: Linux for those unfamiliar with the operating system, with particular focus on the Caldera OpenLinux 2.2, Red Hat Linux 6, Slackware Linux 4, and SuSE Linux 6.1 distributions. Installation of XFree86, KDE, and GNOME are covered, as are the mechanics of setting up a TCP/IP network at the command line. Coverage of FTP and UUCP services conclude this book.
With in-depth complete coverage on the installation process, editing and typesetting, graphical user interfaces, programming system administration, and managing Internet sites, Inside Linux is the only book "smart users" new to Linux will need. Many of the users new to Linux have an understanding of computer technology and will be looking for just the right reference to fit their sophisticated needs. This book guides users to a high level of proficiency with all the flavors of Linux, and help them with crucial system administration chores. Inside Linux is different than other books available because it's a unique blend of a how-to and a reference guide.
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