With each version, Red Hat Linux gets bigger, more sophisticated, more robust. RHL9 is the best yet. No one book can cover it all. But Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed comes close, illuminating RHL9 from the perspective of users, sysadmins, and developers alike.
Their first 200-page section focuses on Red Hat Linux installation, configuration, and setting up basic user services. You’ll walk through planning for a trouble-free install; partitioning; using RedHat’s KickStart tool for automating installation on multiple systems; configuring audio; even setting up power management and support for PCMCIA cards.
There’s also a full chapter on configuring the X Window System (Red Hat 9 ships with the eagerly awaited and significantly improved XFree86 4.3, discussed in detail here.)
Section I also introduces you to the Linux file system, showing how to browse files, work with shared data, protect the contents of user directories, work with permissions, and much more.
Next, it’s on to the fundamentals of system administration. You’ll learn how to manage services (including controlling the boot process and runlevels; using text-based and GUI-based service configuration tools; and using service management to troubleshoot problems.
The authors introduce Red Hat’s essential RPM package management tool; then offer in-depth coverage of managing users and filesystems -- everything from passwords and disk quotas to CD-ROMs and Logical Volume Management (LVM). You’ll also find up-to-the-minute coverage of CUPS-based printing, which -- with RHL9 -- is finally the default.
Sysadmins will especially appreciate the coverage of backup and recovery, which contains a step-by-step walkthrough of using tar; and detailed system rescue techniques (including restoring your computer’s Master Boot Record and Partition Table).
You’ll find equally detailed coverage of connecting to the Internet, including (new in this edition) setting up broadband access; routing and gateways; and firewalling for small office/home office networks. Ball and his colleagues also walk through configuring crucial Internet and related services, including SMTP, FTP, Apache, Internet news, DNS, DHCP, NIS, NFS, and Samba file/print. Along the way, they also show how to set up IRC, ICQ, and chat clients; even wireless networks.
Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed presents a fairly thorough introduction to Linux's programming facilities, from the latest GNU C/C++ compiler to shell scripting, Python, Perl, and more.
You’ll find a chapter on compatible Office productivity applications, from the latest OpenOffice.org and KOffice to Palm PDA connectivity software, scanner apps, fax clients, and CD-burning tools. There's also a chapter on DOS, Windows, and Mac compatibility and interoperatibility: WINE in all its flavors, Bochs and FreeDOS for running legacy DOSware, even accessing others’ Windows desktops from your Linux box (legally).
Along with a thousand pages of content, there’s a multi-CD Red Hat Linux 9 distribution with everything from the latest Apache and Samba servers to the newest OpenOffice.org.
Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed remains the power resource for power Linux users. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.