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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
There have been big changes over at the world’s No. 1 Linux distributor, and some of them are already showing up in the product.
Red Hat has opened up its development process, letting third-parties participate more actively in what was formerly a private testing system. It will also gradually become easier for outsiders to get their software into Red Hat now. And, since the company has abandoned the retail “shrinkwrapped box” market (with its inventory issues) -- while also creating a separate, slow-changing “enterprise” distribution -- it can add new goodies to its desktop offerings far more quickly.
The first of these changes are visible in Red Hat Linux 10. It’s worth the upgrade -- especially if you didn’t have time to jump to RHL9. Of course, to make the most of RHL10, you’ll need a great book. Consider Red Hat Linux Bible, Fedora and Enterprise Edition.
Christopher Negus’s RHL Bibles have long stood out for their focus on real-world tasks -- and for their breadth. Inside these pages is all you need to find and run applications, set up a network, connect to the Internet, provide email and other services -- even burn CDs and play networked games.
What’s more, this book also contains a three-CD-ROM copy of the Red Hat 10 distribution. Not just the standard “Publisher’s Edition,” but an enhanced version with hundreds more packages.
As you’d expect, there’s extensive new coverage in this edition. To begin with, Negus’s thorough coverage of installation and configuration now includes new graphical FTP and HTTP installation types; Virtual Network Computing (VNC) installations; and the new rhgb graphical boot. (Negus also offers step-by-step coverage of quick installation on multiple computers, as well as detailed guidance on system rescue.)
This edition’s detailed introductions to both KDE 3.1 and GNOME 2.2 include improved coverage of video cards and a new discussion of switching virtual consoles. Negus shows how to explore Red Hat from the shell; then offers brief introductions to several productivity software packages. There’s a thorough chapter on Linux multimedia, including the latest FireWire support. You’ll find new coverage of configuring RAID disks for high-availability systems; and of running Red Hat on notebook PCs.
Negus introduces administration with Red Hat’s enhanced Web-based tools. Next, he presents systematic coverage of setting up networks and servers -- including Apache 2.0, email with both sendmail and postfix; and Samba file/print sharing (with a handy new table on Samba connectivity to various clients.) You’ll find practical coverage of wireless networking; and more detail than ever on supporting Mac OS X clients.
Regarding security: The book’s iptables firewalls coverage now includes guidance on setting up a DMZ; and there’s more information on using ssh (Secure Shell).
Finally, there’s a new appendix covering software you might want to add to Red Hat -- including projects that have been on the periphery of the Red Hat universe but, thanks to Red Hat’s new development policies, may become far more mainstream.
It’s simple: If you’re ready to do more with Linux, read this book. 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.