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Linux in Easy Steps Paperback – May 1, 2008


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Paperback, May 1, 2008
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Linux in Easy Steps
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Product Details

  • Series: In Easy Steps
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: In Easy Steps Limited; 4th edition (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840783516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840783513
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,117,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dupagne on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a university instructor, I was looking for a simple introduction to Linux for possible classroom use. Mike McGrath's Linux in Easy Steps is the best book I have found to address these needs. It is not perfect, but it is quite good. The book includes 10 chapters:

1. Getting started.
2. Exploring the desktop.
3. Touring the filesystem.
4. Running office applications.
5. Running media applications.
6. Command the shell.
7. Handling files in the shell.
8. Performing shell operations.
9. Networking with the shell.
10 Command references.

This book has the double advantage of introducing the reader to both Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions, and to Linux command lines. The style is clear and practical with a lot of steps and visuals. Chapters 1-5 cover Ubuntu and GUI applications. Chapters 6-10 cover Linux commands.

It is a short book (192 pages), and sometimes I wish that the author would spend more time explaining specific terms (e.g., swap partition, logical partition). In addition, I would have hoped that he explains how to install fonts on page 63, use Skype as an example on page 84, and use Windows Media streaming on page 89.

But, on balance, the author focuses primarily on what a new Ubuntu/Linux user needs to know to use the OS. The "Hot tip" and "Don't forget" items in the margins provide valuable additional information (e.g., what is the ext3 file system). The chapter about the Linux file system clearly explains with nice Windows parallels the different Linux directories. I have not seen a better explanation than McGrath's in my other Linux books. The description of the sudo command is outstanding for new Linux users.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who wanted to get started learning about Linux, I'm finding this book informative and enjoyable to read. It is well laid out and includes handy lists of symbols and commands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I first installed Linux on my computer back in the late 1990s the whole experience pushed me to the limits of my understanding of computers and operating systems. Were it not for advices from a few of my ueber-geek friends, I would have probably thrown my hands in despair and stayed well within the Windows realm. Fortunately, I persisted with improving my Linux skills, and have benefited tremendously from several powerful software tools that are still best when used within the Linux environment.

This book aims to take out as much of a pain as possible from switching to Linux for those who are not necessarily tech savvy. The book is very nicely formatted on a glossy paper with many useful images and screen-shots. It covers most of the basic Linux functionality and focuses almost exclusively on Ubuntu distribution. Nonetheless, most of the material is applicable for most distributions of Linux or Unix.

Despite this book's accessible style and easy to follow step-by-step instructions, the fact remains that Linux (especially in its command-line mode) is not the most user-friendly operating system environment. This book manages to simplify things as much as possible, but there are still many pieces of background information that need to be understood well before one becomes more comfortable with working in Linux. However, if you are willing to expand your knowledge on an ongoing basis, then this book would be a perfect first steps on that journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark McCarty on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
While I like the book, "Linux In Easy Steps", it left some things to be desired. One big gripe I have with the book is that certain concepts aren't explored in sufficient detail, e.g. swap partitions. Another gripe I had was the lack of practice files to match some of the lessons, which is what I'll focus on now.

In some lessons, the author, Mike McGrath, has you type up simple text files for the lesson. If we had been able to do that for all the lessons, it would have been something! Yeah, it would have been a bummer to set up and type the practice files by hand, but at least the reader would have had a practice file! He doesn't have you do this, so when you go to do a lesson, e.g. on handling archives on pp. 134-135, there is no practice file to use for the lesson. He has you perform these operations, yet there's NO FILE ON WHICH TO PERFORM THEM!

There is no companion CD with the book, a la` the Microsoft Step by Step series. There is no companion website for the book, a la` the excellent Exploring MS Office Series by Robert Barber and Maryann Grauer, which provides downloadable practice files for the lessons. If either one of those options had been available, it would have been something! Unfortunately, the reader has neither option available to him. How is one supposed to learn the material without practicing it first? Learning computers and their applications is like swimming; the only way to learn them is to DO them. Without practice files to match many of the lessons, the book loses its value.

Another thing I didn't like was how the 'hot tips' were incomplete. For example, on the exercise pertaining to root passwords, one of the hot tips shows you how to lock down root access; what they don't show you is how to UNLOCK, i.e.
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