Red Hat Linux 8 for Dummies
||Author: Jon 'maddog' Hall, Paul G. Sery|
List Price: $29.99
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Publisher: For Dummies (02 October, 2002)
Sales Rank: 114,079
Average Customer Rating: 2.82 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
A Good Book...For Somebody
I bought Red Hat Linux 8 for Dummies in the hope that it would give me some basic tools to use to administer my system. I was a little disappointed. The book is chock full of good information, but I found that I was only able to use a little bit of it. I think the book is full of quality information, but I really can't tell whom it's a good fit for.
The book features install and setup instructions. It can help you figure out how to install the OS and configure it on your PC, establish internet access (modem, broadband or LAN), and set up some useful tools, like a firewall and streaming media. It has nominal, but not great, coverage of the graphical OS environments, like GNOME. This is all great, but the installation and configuration process for Red Hat 8 isn't that difficult, and excellent instructions are available from many sources. The book includes CDs with the OS. But the OS is available for free from many download sites, so that's a matter of only small convenience. Also, the book is of very little use if you have an application in mind for your Red Hat installation. For example, if you want to run a web server or email server, or want to use your computer for any number of other specific purposes, this book will give you little or no help with that.
The book does provide a number of tips and some good problem-solving advice. And, it has a handy tear-out sheet of common commands in the front, which turns out to be more useful than you might imagine. The writing is clear, understandable by the layman, and it's well indexed so that you can find information you're looking for quickly.
The content that is there is great, but I frankly don't know who its target audience is; I'm not sure to whom to recommend it. It might serve adequately as a first reference book, but if you buy it for that, you will likely need another more detailed reference soon, as it doesn't really go all that far. This book is fine, so far as it goes, but a reader might be better off looking at one of the more comprehensive manuals out there (eg, Red Hat Linux 8 Unleashed), as many of them also cover the basics, including installation, but in better detail.
Rating: 3 out of 5
A good, though not great, starter kit
I found the book to be just what I needed. The book's focus is to get you started, either from scratch with a clean hard drive or with (or over) an existing OS (Windows or otherwise). I found the information sufficient to get all components of my PC operational, including setting up a cable modem connection via ethernet card. I'm not sure I understand some of the criticism some previous reviewers give, other than to think that despite the obvious title they were expecting a detailed non-introductory book.
I did find a few technical errors, and agree that not all topics covered where on target. In particular (and for instance), the coverage of the installation utility rpm was lacking. If you want to use the GUI provided to add additional packages from the CD that you didn't do during the basic installation you are fine, but if you are trying to install packages found from other sources you may have trouble.
However, for the price, including the CDs with a complete distribution, it is not a bad buy. After working your way though the book you'll have a solid understanding of what Linux is, how it works, how to use it, and, more importantly, how to decide if Red Hat or another distribution is the Linux version you want.
Rating: 2 out of 5
A very very limited introduction
I am new to Linux and was hoping that this book would help me with the basics and leave me more knowledgeable than I was when I started. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Basics, like installing applications or networking a Linux PC with a Windows PC are entirely left out. On the other hand, the author spends a great deal of time explaining the applets that come with Redhat, even though they are really self explanatory if you've ever used their Windows equivalents. The book makes a very poor reference source, and was virtually no help to me. Perhaps they can leave out the lame humor and include more info in the next version.
· Red Hat® Linux® 8: The Complete Reference DVD Edition
· Red Hat Linux 8 Bible
· Red Hat Linux Internet Server
· Red Hat Linux All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies