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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
A lot of people are going to use Red Hat Linux 8 in a whole lot of different ways: on the desktop, on the network, and on the Web. And Red Hat Linux All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies® can help all of them.
Think of this book as "eight books in one". There's a book here for every aspect of working with Red Hat Linux -- from newbie navigation to basic C programming. Naba Barkakati, author of the outstanding Red Hat Linux 7.3 Secrets, hasn't just earned his stripes as a Red Hat Linux expert: he also possesses the rare ability to explain Linux in plain English.
Barkakati begins with a walkthrough of what Red Hat Linux does and what it contains. He offers an overview of the core Linux kernel, the surrounding GNU tools, Linux graphical user interfaces (GNOME, KDE, and the underlying X Window System), Linux networking and Internet services, and finally, Red Hat's bundled software development tools. Next, he outlines a "four-step program" for getting comfortable with Red Hat Linux: installation, configuration, exploration, and finally, learning the details of the specific areas you're most interested in.
"Book 1" covers Steps 1 through 3. You'll prepare for installation (including partitioning your hard drive, or making room on it for Linux if you want to keep Windows). You'll create a Red Hat boot disk; establish preliminary network and firewall settings; set your time zone, password, and first user accounts; and choose which optional software to install. If any troubleshooting proves necessary, Barkakati helps you with that, too.
Once you're running, you'll learn how to set up your printers; manage disks and CD-ROMs; get X Window graphics working optimally; and, if need be, add more user accounts. Then, it's on to your first explorations. While Barkakati covers both the command line and GUIs throughout, his overall emphasis is on point-and-click with GNOME and KDE, not typing commands -- making his book especially helpful to folks still getting comfortable with Linux.
"Book 2" drills down further with GNOME, KDE, and several powerful productivity and navigation applications packaged with Red Hat Linux 8 -- including the sophisticated Ximian desktop, KDE's Konqueror file manager, and Red Hat's many database, image, and multimedia applications. There's also a full chapter on text editing in Linux, covering everything from classic vi to GNOME's and KDE's editors.
Barkakati's five-chapter "Book III" introduces the basics of networking. You'll connect to the Internet via cable modem, DSL, or dial-up link; set up a local area network with TCP/IP (even including basic DNS configuration); then learn how to manage, monitor, and troubleshoot your network.
Once you're connected, Barkakati introduces Red Hat's tools for making the most of the Internet. You'll configure and use whichever email software you prefer (including Netscape, GNOME, KDE, and text-mode mail clients); then explore Linux's leading web browsers (including Netscape, Mozilla, and Konqueror). You'll also find concise chapters on reading and searching newsgroups; and on transferring files with FTP. (And if you want to deliver content or Internet services, there's a full "book" on that, too.)
Whether you're in charge of a Linux server or you simply need to perform reliable backups, every Linux user needs some system administration knowledge. Barkakati delivers all you need here, too.
You'll learn how to manage servers and users; control access to files and directories; backup and restore data; compress files; install and remove applications; manage devices; even upgrade the Linux kernel if the need arises. You'll also find four full chapters on security -- everything from GNU Privacy Guard to Secure Shell (SSH) and Linux firewalls.
Simple, clear, and focused on what you really need to know, Red Hat Linux All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies® is Red Hat Linux for the rest of us. 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.