Learn Raspberry Pi with Linux (Technology in Action)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I believe that this excellent handbook is intended for two sorts of people: 1. Those who have purchased and gone through the basic exercises with Raspberry Pi and are unfamiliar with Linux from other use. 2. Those who wish to manage a Raspberry as a systems administrator and require Linux tools such as editors, the BASH Shell. The Lamp Stack (Linux, Apache, MySql) and Network Administration (Ethernet or Wireless). I believe those who have criticized this excellent
handbook are unaware of its intended audience--those who have acquired the popular and inexpensive Pi as an educational PC and need to find their way around the operating system, or alternatively and just as valuable, those who need to manage tasks such as a webserver, or for home automation and need to find their way around the shell and systems administration functions such as "dmesg" and network management.

The audience for this book those who have a Pi and need more than a 5 command introduction to Linux are well served by this excellent handbook and having examined other introductions to the Pi I have found no other that is as Linux-Centric. I highly recommend this clear explanation of Linux to those who own a Pi and need wider exposure to Linux.

--Ira Laefsky MS Engineering/MBA IT Consultant
and former Senior Member of the Consulting Staff of Arthur D. Little, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corporation
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This book doesn't cover everything about the Raspberry Pi, but what it does cover, it covers well.
If you are looking for a book on programming in Python, or low-level hardware interfacing using the Raspberry Pi's GPIO ports, you'll need another book. But to understand where this book fits in well, compare the Raspberry Pi to the Arduino. Both are low-cost, open platforms that include hardware interfacing pins and encourage the user to create what they will with them. But while the Arduino has been based on 8-bit processors with very limited memory, the Raspberry Pi has a 32-bit processor (plus a graphics processor) with more memory and computing horsepower than many PCs of just a few years ago, and a Linux operating system.

Some projects could easily be done with either platform. But others are better suited to one or the other.
You can start with an Arduino and develop an application that can later be pared down from an Arduino board to a single chip running off truly tiny amounts of power, small enough and light enough including a battery to become part of a flowing skirt. But there are many projects you might want to create that are too big or complex to shoehorn into an Arduino. If you need to handle images, or communicate with the internet, you can do so less expensively and more flexibly with a Raspberry Pi than an Arduino. Some of these projects require knitting together whole software applications as building blocks, something Linux is good at. Linux has a very rich ecosystem of tools and building blocks developed over many years for creating applications tying computers together as part of bigger systems. This book does a good job of covering much of this ecosystem of Linux tools, in the context of the Raspberry Pi. It shows you how to take advantage of these tools to make your Raspberry Pi a more flexible platform, and how to get it communicating in meaningful ways with other computers and email systems. And it covers the material in an accessible way. It shows you how to use these building blocks together with a few off-the-shelf accessories to create a wireless sPi-cam, capable of detecting movement and sending you email when the movement is detected. It also covers media center uses of the Raspberry Pi.

If want to write games for your Raspberry Pi, or talk to sensors or control motors via the Pi's GPIO ports, you'll want to pick up another book or two as well. But I consider this one a nice addition to my library.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
I decided that I would get myself a Pi to learn Linux, but didn't want a pre-installed SD card as this would be a bit of a cheat. I bought this book because it starts right at the beginning, covering how to download the Raspberian distro and put it on an SD card, and gradually progresses to building your own fully fledged LAMP environment. The good thing about the Pi is that it is crazy cheap, but not so good is the documentation. I found that this book helped to fill that hole.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2013
I read some other reviews, blasting this book because it doesn't talk much about the I/O ports. True, I suspect most people purchase a Raspberry Pi to control other electronic devices. But as the book title suggests, this book is "Learn Raspberry Pi with Linux". So the book is, not surprisingly, a lot about Linux on the Raspberry Pi. In that sense, this book is excellent. I have more of a networking rather than programming/electronic background, so I wanted to use the Raspberry as a Linux server. If you've played with Ubuntu's command line, it pretty much works the same as on the Raspberry Pi (using their Wheezy operating system). So I was able to set up (perfectly silent and energy efficient) Web servers and a few other services on the Raspberry. Incidentally, even though you can use the Pi as a Linux GUI desktop, I wouldn't suggest it, as it's painfully slow. But as a simple CLI server, it's cool.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2013
I do sympathize with the reviewer who complained that there was too much about Linux (Raspbian in particular), and not enough about the GPIO pins, for example. But that's exactly the kind of book I was looking for, having developed Windows-only software for years, and done plenty of microcontroller projects before. The electronics side of the Pi is very well covered elsewhere, especially by Adafruit and RaspberryPi.org itself.

The authors guide you through the exact commands to, for example, install the LAMP stack for setting up a web server. The devil's always in the details, and I shudder at the thought of trying to dig all this myself from the web, since that can give you TOO much information (not all of which is true).

This was exactly right for what I needed - a bit of help with the Linux side of things.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
I returned this book because all of the illustrations are blurry. Text in the illustrations is very difficult to read. This book is mostly an introduction to Linux rather than offering information about the Raspberry Pi. It doesn't even provide a description of the ports and chips on the Raspberry Pi. I didn't see any mention of the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. I'd recommend purchasing the Raspberry Pi User Guide instead, because it contains more information about the Raspberry Pi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2013
This is one of the best computer books I have ever read. I've used Linux for years, but the subject really opened up for me with this book -- and that was all before I purchased a Raspberry Pi!

It is more of an OS and software book than a hardware book, and is certainly not a 'quick start' guide. A couple drawbacks are the small print and poor print quality of some of the photos. But these are minor issues. I recommend this book as a thorough and enjoyable introduction to Linux, with or without the Pi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
This book is a "Happy Path" introduction to the Raspberry Pi and Linux. It leads you through basic setup and an introduction to Linux assuming you know nothing about Linux or computers in general. It gives the syntax of commands and a simple introduction to how to use them but contains little explanation beyond the most simple usage. There is very little in this book that isn't available in better forms on Linux and Pi websites. Its main virtue is that it brings this information together in one easy to carry around form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
Out of the four Raspberry Pi books I have this one is my favorite. If you are trying to decide on your first or only RPi book I would recommend this book. If you know Linux fairly well and know how to configure the RPi this book is still a good reference but may not be as valuable to you as someone with little Linux knowledge. It does not waste too much time configuring the Pi or flashing the SD card as some books, which is easy enough information to come by on the web anyways, but it does point out some helpful and important tips on Raspi-config. It does have some errors in the example code which is my reason for 4 instead of five stars. I purchased the Kindel edition and am happy with the functionality(links table of contents etc) and the formatting. If you already have some Pi books this is a must have edition to your library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
Having purchased a Raspberry Pi, I wanted to do as much as I can with it. This book helps a lot. As I teach Linux for a small university, I was looking for something to catch the attention of my students. I like this book so much, I'm considering adopting it as the course text and having each of the students use a Pi for the semester.
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