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am 27. Juli 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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am 23. Januar 2006
The 5th edition of Running Linux weighs in, with +900 pages. It basically describes how to install/troubleshoot/administer a linux system from scratch.
If you're new to Linux and want to buy only 1 book that will get you up and running in no time: look no further, this is it.
In 28 chapters it gives an overview of more or less everything, from installation over available games and office software to network configuration and kernel compilation.
My one and only major point of criticism is that it tries to be everything to everyone and that approach is doomed to frustrate readers: anyone with a basic knowledge of software does not need to read in excruciating detail how a document is produced in a WYSIWYG word processor or how games like Tux Racer or Unreal Tournament are played. Yet the book dedicates lots of pages to these seemingly trivial concepts. Anyone who needs to read the topics mentioned above will imho have trouble grasping, let alone implementing the more technical subjects like kernel compilation and running multiple linuxes that are also treated but would have (imho) merited more attention.
Conclusion: A good general overview for beginning Linux enthousiasts. It offers a taste of everything but if you're really hungry after specific technical info or want to go under the hood you'll need to buy additional books.
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am 23. Juni 2000
With its first edition dating back to early 1995, Matt Welsh's book is widely regarded as classic, to the extent this term can be applied to Linux. Mr. Welsh, now continuing his PhD studies at UC Berkeley, is a renowned Linux expert, and was actively involved in Linux development since 1992. In particular, he is known in the Linux community for starting the Linux Documentation Project, for contributing to it with Linux Installation and Getting Started (LIGS) Guide (available freely from the Internet) and, lately, for being the founding editor of the Linux Magazine.

Running Linux grew out of LIGS as its expanded and professionally edited version. This has its pluses and minuses. When it came out, there were hardly any other books on Linux available, so it tried to teach the reader everything, from Linux installation to Unix administration, from the command shell basics to compiling the kernel, and from using the C compiler to configuration of X Windows. Its breadth is thus encyclopedic, and yet it is surprisingly sharp at details. The third edition added all the things that happened since: KDE, GNOME, Samba... It may be my personal feeling only, but the new chapters somewhat stick out, without really growing into the tissue of the text.

More important, the book fails to recognize that the structure of new Linux users changed since 1995. At the time, it was written as a "getting started" guide, and it served its role perfectly. However, nowadays you cannot assume any more that every new Linux user is familiar with command line commands or other Unix systems. Therefore I don't think I could still recommend Running Linux as a beginner's guide.

Being one of the top-selling books on Linux, it doesn't need any particular recommendation, anyway. Still, Running Linux is a book edited to high O'Reilly standards, and written by some of the most knowledgeable people in Linux community - which is to many a definite plus compared to books written by journalists. I would say its best target population are seasoned Unix users wanting to try Linux, technically minded people in general, and CS students in particular. Others might find its learning curve somewhat steep.
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am 21. Dezember 1999
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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am 28. April 2000
This the third edition of the book has been signifigantly updated and now includes an appendix on GNOME, a good addition.
The book is not centred on any one distribution of Linux, as some others seem to be these days.
The book is clean and concise and cuts straight to what users and administrators want to know about GNU/Linux, giving clear direction on installation issues, software upgrade/installation and problems. This allows the reader to step through the issues of problems, solve them quickly and to move on to other things with a minimal time loss.
For those new to Linux and Unix there up topics to take you through the basics of driving your Linux system that are really easy to follow, and for more advanced users there are topics on software development and the use of tools for software development and debugging. I particularly like the treatment on PEARL and TCL/TK.
Another fine book from the Oreilly stable, and should be on your bookshelf, along of course with the relevant HOW-TOs.
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am 4. Februar 2000
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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am 4. Dezember 1999
Amazon - How can I give a book six stars? An exception should be made here.
This book is truly excellent. If you are just starting out, you'll learn enough here to be WELL on your way to being a Linux pro. Matt Welsh et al write wonderfully. Everything is explained in the clearest manner imaginable. No, the book doesn't cover everything, and I don't believe that is the intention of this book. This book is a superb introduction to Linux and a wonderful reference. If you go through the entire book, you'll easily be an advanced user of Linux. The best part is that this book explains it all so well, you'll find nothing is very difficult at all.
I've owned all three editions of this book. Each edition replaces the prior on the same location on the shelf - the closest shelf to my computer.
O'Reilly is truly an amazing book publisher. It's very uncommon to pick up one of their books and find even one error or lack of coverage. This book is NO EXCEPTION. O'Reilly makes a durable book with a clever binding called a RepKover. That's very important, something you'll discover after referring to O'Reilly books over & over & over again. These books are kept on the desktop or very nearby and used continuously.
This is a sure-fire winner! I doubt if Amazon ever sees one of these books show up as a return. It's truly among the very best computer books available today.
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am 21. Dezember 1999
A very good book which succeeds at explaining Linux without focusing on any distribution (even if some distribution particularities are described) or any given detail of some specific version of the OS.
Instead of the kind of fluff you can find in other Linux books such as : " select PPP connection from the menu if you have a PPP connection " Here you find an in-depth description of the OS structure and usual problems which allows you to *understand* and *keep control* of the situation in most cases.
Just one more thing : the author of the book is a developer from the KDE team. As you may know GNOME and KDE compete for the Linux desktop environment. I had the feeling that the coverage of GNOME and GTK (the underlying widget toolkit) was a bit superficial compared to the coverage of KDE and Qt. But this was minor and concerned barely a few pages.
Overall, the book is excellent, well-written and concise (a quite rare distinction in the world of Linux books).
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am 26. Januar 1999
I loved this book in that it's relatively concise. Unlike many Linux books out there, you don't need a trailer to lug it around, and in some respects it's *more* useful than those monster tomes. A previous reviewer criticized its lack of a CD-ROM. Personally, I find this to be a major-league *plus* for the book! I *already* have my Linux OS CD-ROMs, and it's refreshing to find a manual that doesn't have the ubiquituous CD or three. I don't need more Linux CD's cluttering my desktop, and I was relieved to find one good book out there w/o them. Thank you, O'Reilly! On the negative side, as others have pointed out, it really does need to be updated. I'm often shocked at how old some of O'Reilly's Linux/UNIX texts are! This one is relatively new, by comparison (their books on the X Window system are ancient!). Maybe with Linux's increasing popularity they'll get the message and update some of their books. Someone's really gotta get a *good* book out that's devoted to X.
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am 8. Oktober 1999
This is a highly regarded book by most and I agree. The style is clean and to the point. It tells you what you need to know - gets you in and out and on to the next problem.
Anybody comfortable with computers will not have a problem with the book. It doesn't have a lot of fluff and they don't spend half the book on a command reference (just use the man pages). They tell you the main issues in running linux and how to handle them.
I would highly recommend getting a second book with this one "Linux : Installation, Configuration, and Use" by Michael Kofler It is in the exact same style and just as good. Kofler, however, covers many topics that "Running Linux" doesn't and vice-versa. For example, only one covers setting up Samba. Only one covers shell programming in detail, etc.. (sorry, I don't remember which).
If you get both, you will have pretty much all you need.
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