You may not have heard of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) or its professional certifications, but they're becoming an important part of proving professional competence in the Linux operating system. That aside, LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell is a fantastic introductory Linux book, well suited to introducing a curious newcomer to the environment and bringing an intermediate user up to expert status.
The book is organized around the LPI's published standards for two Level 1 exams (exams 101, which deals with key commands and file-system concepts, and 102, which places more emphasis on hardware, networking, and shell scripting). The organization works well even if you're not specifically preparing for either exam.
LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell assumes nothing in early chapters, going so far--to cite one example--as to walk readers through the concept of commands with parameters separately from the concept of commands alone. Later, the pace picks up, and strategic advice is substituted (such as how to partition a disk for maximum speed and reliability) for "type-this" instructions.
Throughout, the book makes effective use of O'Reilly's time-tested and remarkably clear format for presenting Unix commands and configuration files. Each chapter concludes with a series of exercises designed to help you discover behaviors on your own, and includes the practice questions you expect in a test-prep aid. --David Wall
Topics covered: The knowledge that's tested on the Linux Professional Institute's exams 101 and 102, which includes everything from basic Linux commands and concepts to installation of the operating system, essential network configuration, and kernel recompilation.
'The style throughout is friendly yet informative and Dean seems to have an unconscious knack of answering questions just as they are forming in the reader's head. Some of the content, particularly that on networking and system hardware, actually puts other 'definitive' Linux works to shame. Perhaps the most valuable aspect, however, is the frequent 'box-outs' which highlight the most pertinent topics to revise for the examination itself. This is the key buying point, as success in the examination will be dependent on how well you know the material in this syllabus; against that, almost any amount of hands-on experience will pale. Although O'Reilly's Nutshell series are intended as 'Desktop Reference' manuals, I have to recommend this one as a good all-round read; not only as a primer for LPI certification, but as an excellent introductory text on GNU/Linux. In all, this is a valuable addition to O'Reilly's already packed stable of Linux titles and I look forward to more from the author.' Rory Beaton, - http://firstmonday.org/issue7_4/reviews "This is a gem of a book. " - Joe McCool, Cvu, June 2003
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