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Running Linux [Paperback]

by Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Matt Welsh
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 2006 0596007604 978-0596007607 5th

You may be contemplating your first Linux installation. Or you may have been using Linux for years and need to know more about adding a network printer or setting up an FTP server. Running Linux, now in its fifth edition, is the book you'll want on hand in either case. Widely recognized in the Linux community as the ultimate getting-started and problem-solving book, it answers the questions and tackles the configuration issues that frequently plague users, but are seldom addressed in other books.

This fifth edition of Running Linux is greatly expanded, reflecting the maturity of the operating system and the teeming wealth of software available for it. Hot consumer topics suchas audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality, and spam filtering are covered, along with the basics in configuration and management that always have made the book popular.

Running Linux covers basic communications such as mail, web surfing, and instant messaging, but also delves into the subtleties of network configuration--including dial-up, ADSL, and cable modems--in case you need to set up your network manually. The book canmake you proficient on office suites and personal productivity applications--and also tells you what programming tools are available if you're interested in contributing to these applications.

Other new topics in the fifth edition include encrypted email and filesystems, advanced shell techniques, and remote login applications. Classic discussions on booting, package management, kernel recompilation, and X configuration have also been updated.

The authors of Running Linux have anticipated problem areas, selected stable and popular solutions, and provided clear instructions to ensure that you'll have a satisfying experience using Linux. The discussion is direct and complete enough to guide novice users, while still providing the additional information experienced users will need to progress in their mastery of Linux.

Whether you're using Linux on a home workstation or maintaining a network server, Running Linux will provide expert advice just when you need it.

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Running Linux + Linux in a Nutshell
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Editorial Reviews Review

Earlier editions of O'Reilly's Running Linux served as central guides on installing, configuring, and using the OS. The third edition of this guide covers the kernel through version 2.2.1 and will prove especially useful to those with high technical aptitudes and a well-tested willingness to experiment with their computing environments.

The explanation of how to rebuild the kernel--a particularly daunting task for many--deserves special praise, as do the sections on configuring network links and servers. Users will find that the informative, prose-heavy style packs maximum information into this book's pages. For example, the purpose of a Linux element is described and then the reader is shown various ways of using it, complete with explicit statements of what you type and what you get in response. Back this book up with a good command reference (Linux in a Nutshell is solid), and you'll be well on your way to Linux mastery. --David Wall

Topics covered: KDE and Gnome windowing systems; Samba, file, and system management; shells; windowing systems and networking; installation on Alpha, PowerPC, Motorola 680x0, and Sparc boxes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Read the full review for this book.

Switching to Linux is like moving to a new city -- you don't know where things are, what they are called, or how to get there. In short, you don't know enough to ask the right questions, and probably have a job or some work you want to get done. Running Linux, by Matt Welsh and Lar Kaufman, is a gentle welcome to Linux that shows you around, points out some places where you may want to spend some time, and tells you where to find good detailed guides. I read the first six chapters, and every article in print or on the Web I could get my hands on, before installing Linux on its own partition. (I had started with Dragon Linux's IronWing, an eight-floppy distribution that uses the MS-DOS file system. It is a low impact way to try out Linux.) --Jeff Taylor, Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books -- Dr. Dobb's Electronic Review of Computer Books --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 974 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 5th edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596007604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596007607
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
140 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dissappointed: much dated material and not enough depth February 25, 2001
By A Customer
After reading all the glorious reviews I could only believe this was the book I needed, being a relative newbie. Although I have found much usefullness in the book, I am disappointed nevertheless and will be looking for another.
My main complaints with this book are:
1) The back cover states that, "_Running Linux_ explains everything you need to understand, install, and start using the Linux operating system." Then the author states several times in the book that if you are new to unix/linux you may want to buy a book on the subject!
2) This Third Edition, published in 1999, reads like an older edition at times. For example, I doubt that Chapters 2 and 3 regarding installation are useful to anyone installing a modern ditro, except maybe Debian. In fact these chapters would probably only be confusing - with their descriptions of installing from floppy, etc.
3) The book also goes to great length to point out Linux's superiority over all things Microsoft, and it's not always accurate in this dubious endeavour. Sometimes it seems hardly a page goes by without one of those petty, unprofessional jabs at MS that are unfortunately so common in Linux writing. If I thought Microsoft were god, I wouldn't be Running Linux.
As an example of 2) and 3) consider paes 49-50. The author describes that in a dual boot situation with W95 it's better to install W95 first because W95 has a nasty habit of overwriting the MBR. He then goes on to say, "We don't know whether Windows 98 will demonstrate the same cavalier behavior as as Windows 95." This book was published in 1999 so why doesn't he know? He then conveniently fails to mention that many Linux distros will not only overwrite the MBR, they will also erase the entire hard drive including other OS's partitions.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beginners Guide to Workstations February 3, 2000
By A Customer
First, if you're setting up a Linux Server then this book is not your best choice. If you're completely new to Linux and want to learn as much as possible about all of it's functionality in general then this book is for you. This guide takes you through the paces and shows you all the bells and whistles that come with Linux but really only touches on network administration tasks. Great book for workstation users (i.e. if your NOT the sysadmin!) but if you're looking for more specific networking information then I suggest other books such as DNS and BIND, Linux Network Toolkit, TCP/IP Administration and others specific to sendmail and apache and linux networking!
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Linux users July 27, 2000
I was very impressed by Running Linux. Like many other computer professionals, I have always been a fan of O'Reilly Publishing.
"Running Linux" claims on its cover to be "One-Stop Shopping Guide to Linux." They aren't far off. With information ranging from installation to programming tips to TCP/IP, it packs a lot of information into a rather compact binding.
I have only one complaint about "Running Linux." Unfortunately, the book really glosses over some basic Unix system administration and commands that are absolutely necessary for the beginner to be able to be productive with the book and the operating system. If this is your first book on Linux, I strongly recommend getting a companion volume such as a command reference or novice Unix System Administration tutorial. Use "Running Linux" to get concepts, then consult the companion volume when you sit down at the computer to make things work. You will have a lot more fun and a lot less frustration in the long term.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about the book. I found it extremely helpful. The text is very readable and well organized. I highly recommend it for all Linux users!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
I recently migrated from win95 to linux. This is a very good reference book, typical of the high quality of O'Reilly publications. But I agree with the reader from Indiana: Michael Kofler's ``Linux: installation, configuration and use'' (2nd ed) is perhaps a better choice for installing and configuring linux, especially if you're migrating from Windows.
I get the sense that a lot of people who praise this book highly already know linux well, and so find it easier to read. If O'Reilly books have a weakness, it's that they tend to be written for people who already know a good deal about the subject. (Their Perl books are a good example.) The really high praise often comes from advocates who already know the subject, and want you to love it as much as them. But the style can sometimes make it more difficult for a newbie to get a grip on the basic concepts .
That said, though, this is still a great book. I get the feeling that as I get to know linux better I'll rely on this book more than Kofler's. But new users should be aware of Kofler's book -- it's better at getting you through the nuts and bolts of installation and the inevitable early teething problems.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You want this one on your bookshelf! May 23, 1999
By A Customer
This was the first Linux book that I bought, which I found to be useful, but often a little too advanced. I therefore ended up buying several other books (Linux Secrets and Red Hat 5.2 Unleashed - these contained a lot of immediately practical info I needed). However, now that I've been using Linux for a while I find myself continually coming back to Running Linux for additional info often not found in other books. People complain about it being out of date and not having a CDROM. These are the resons this book is so good - it doesn't deal with all the distribution specific issues - these can be found in the documentation that comes with your distribution. Instead it supplies a plethora of information on a wide range of Linux topics that don't chage much over time. In addition, Matt Welsh is perhaps the best technical writer I've come across.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Purchased with Condern
I wanted to see a little more of the book than just the first chapter that you get with most samples, which generally ends up being the why I wrote this book and how to use it and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Charles Ridgway
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
I got this book to brush my skills on Linux and install Linux in my laptop as well, to make ti a dual boot os. Read more
Published 16 months ago by prefersAnon
3.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary
I got this book after a friend of mine highly recommended. Unfortunately I feel buying a book on Linux makes little sense giving that Linux constantly changes and the book is never... Read more
Published on February 26, 2010 by Domel
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking for better
There is a new edition of this book out now.
Not a book to recommend for basic users of today's Linux.
Published on January 13, 2010 by M. Al-dhaen
5.0 out of 5 stars THe best Linux Book on the Market
This is hands-down, the best Linux book on the Market today...It navigates you easily through an ocean of knowledge when dealing with this operating system. Read more
Published on August 15, 2009 by Steven K. Elmore
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good...
BEWARE: Many of these customer reviews are dated. For example, the best and worst cited by Amazon are from 1999 and 2001, respectively. Read more
Published on June 15, 2008 by Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars My GoTo Book
I love this book; I recommend it to people at least twice a day when I visit [...]. This book covers every aspect of installing and booting a GNU/Linux operating system, from... Read more
Published on May 16, 2008 by Joel Adamson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful
The back of the book says "widely recognized in the linux community as the ultimate getting started and problem-solving book", "will provide expert advice when you need it" and... Read more
Published on December 16, 2007 by abeppu
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful intro to Linux all around.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is new to Linux and attempting to figure their way around. Read more
Published on August 31, 2007 by T. Visher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I was in a urgent need of some fairly serious Linux bootcamp. This book worked, and this is how:

I hadn't had any significant Linux experience prior to buying this book. Read more
Published on July 15, 2007 by E. Kontsevoy
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