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         Linux Toys II     ¤     Hardware for Projects     ¤    Linux Toys     ¤     Starting with Linux

Starting with Linux

There is a quick tutorial in the back of Linux Toys II to help you get started with Linux. However, if you are new to Linux, it's a good idea to have a strong, basic Linux book you can refer to. There are two books I've written that I would recommend to fill that slot:

Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 Bible

FC-RHEL4 Bible Since 1998, every six months I have revised and rewritten the Red Hat Linux Bible (starting with Red Hat Linux 6.1) to track the latest features of that popular Linux system. That book has now evolved to track Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux as they are released (after Red Hat dropped the Red Hat Linux name and separated its community-supported and commercial Linux systems).

The latest edition Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 Bible (Wiley Publishing, 2005) by Christopher Negus is, I believe, a good book for starting with Linux that will continue to serve you as your Linux experience grows. The book comes with the complete Fedora Core 4 operating system on DVD, as well as a 2-CD set containing a full group of Fedora Core 4 desktop/server software packages. As a bonus, I added KNOPPIX to the DVD, so you can boot up and try Linux (and modify your computer as needed) before you install Fedora to your hard disk.

The Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 Bible takes you through specific steps to install Fedora, use the KDE or GNOME desktops, and work from the shell. It also introduces you to important applications for writing documents, listening to music, browsing the Internet, playing games, and doing everything you would expect a desktop system to do. As you grow beyond the basics, however, this book will also help you learn about Linux security, system administration, and setup for different types of servers (Web, mail, print, file, DNS, DHCP, LDAP and other server types).

All the descriptions are written and updated to match the software that comes with the book. Because the software included with the book tracks the latest Fedora Core release (the cutting edge software distribution sponsored by Red Hat), you can be assured of always having the latest software and descriptions available.

Linux Bible, 2005 Edition

Linux Bible If you want a broader view of what Linux is and how to use it, the Linux Bible, 2005 Edition may suit your needs. This book, updated once a year (the Linux Bible, 2006 Edition is due out in January, 2006), describes dozens of popular Linux distributions and includes an even dozen of them on CD and DVD with the book. You can learn about Debian, SuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware, KNOPPIX, Damn Small Linux, Yellow Dog, Mandriva, and other popular Linux distributions.

You can boot the included CD to Damn Small Linux or the DVD to KNOPPIX. The same CD and DVD can them be used to boot directly to a Debian or Fedora Core hard disk install, respectively. Other distributions can be burned to CD and installed or booted.

Because so much space is devoted to describing how to get started with different Linux distributions, their forums, communities and other attributes, you won't get as much depth of coverage of administrative and server topics as you will get in the Red Hat Fedora and Enterprise Linux 4 Bible. However, the Linux Bible will help you quickly get your hands on a variety of Linux distributions and help you get going with Linux as a basic desktop, programming workstation, and server (file, Web, print, and email server).