- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (September 29, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1593270690
- ISBN-13: 978-1593270698
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques 1st Edition
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"I was extremely impressed . . . strongly recommend for . . . anyone who wants to get the most out of Debian." -- TaoSecurity, January 21, 2006
"Likely to have a long shelf-life . . . a technical book for sure, without fluff or off-topic detours, and packed with information." -- Linux Journal, February 1, 2006
"One of the most complete works covering any distribution or, indeed, operating system, embracing the culture of the active community." -- Linux User & Developer
"This book will have something new in store for all but the most advanced Debian users." -- MozillaQuest Magazine, February 24, 2006
"This is the definitive Debian manual . . . There isn't anything about this book I don't like." -- Groklaw, June 15, 2006
This book has the potential to become the future Debian Bible. -- Freshmeat, September 10, 2005
About the Author
Martin Krafft has been a faithful supporter of Debian since 1997, working as a developer and a PR person, and fielding user questions on mailing lists. He has experience administering mid-sized networks and providing user support, and is responsible for numerous university servers and a 40-node cluster of Debian machines. Krafft is currently working on his Ph.D. at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich.
Top customer reviews
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I believe this book is the perfect book for anyone switching from another GNU w/Linux distro to Debian GNU w/Linux (Very little Hurd info), for me it is the most valuable on things like working with X and the advanced details of the packing system and how to Debianize (or GNU'ify) your own software.
It also introduces you very well to the Debian community and development process.
Personally I would like to see a bit less beginner stuff, little less "how to install" stuff, and more on the corporate side of things like managing multiple systems and automating stuff without breaking other stuff. I think it would be a good idea to split it in two or three, the beginners/basics stuff, perhaps one devoted to using X (and the X apps) on Debian, and one on the more advanced topics...
1. Add ingredient A to the mixture.
2. Add ingredient B.
3. Before you add ingredient B, be sure to let the mixture sit for 10 minutes!
4. By the way, ingredient B should be added before ingredient A for best results.
Here is are two short exerps as examples:
"When init is invoked by the kernel, it reads /etc/inittab and processes the file top to bottom, according to the rules described in inittab (5). Before anything else, init calls /etc/init.d/rcS..."
"...Before iterating through the files, the /etc/default/rcS file is sourced; the file parameterizes some aspects of the boot process. The files in /etc/rcS.d are actually just symlinks to corresponding files in /etc/init.d"
This kind of writing makes it very unclear what the actual process order is, to readers not already familiar with it.
In places he also states, in a 'by the way' style, critical information you could have used half a chapter ago. In other places he'll give you just enough information on a topic to get yourself into trouble only to inform you that "we'll cover this in a later chapter." While some of this is to be expected, it happens quite frequently.
The book packs a great deal of useful information, if you have the patience to break it down and re-construct it into a more logical order or are already familiar with the topics being covered. Due to these shortcomings, the book reads extremely slowly; Don't expect to whip through it in a week.
I liked this book because, finally, an author has had the presence of mind to write a book that did not regurgitate Unix commands like 'ls' and 'vi' for the gazillionth time. The focus is on debian, and only on those parts that make debian unique -- the culture of the "debian project", the notoriety for its alleged difficulty of installation (which I have not experienced), the speed and timeliness of its releases (not!), and homage to that supreme program -- apt-get and its close relatives.
Those new to Linux may do well to first read a general Unix/Linux book before delving into this one. They will also be well served by first playing around with Knoppix (...) which is a debian derivative that does not require a hard-disk install. This is especially useful if you are not (yet) prepared to wipe your hard disk clean of Windows.
If you're not a rank beginner, buy this book, and install Debian 3.1 which is on the accompanying DVD. People wanting a more polished and up-to-date debian might want to try its close cousin, Ubuntu (...). While individual packages might vary somewhat, the concepts presented in this book are applicable across debian and its progeny (including Knoppix and Ubuntu).
In summary, raise the quality of your Linux reading a few notches by purchasing this book, and raise the quality of your personal computer usage by installing debian or its derivatives.