Running Linux

Matt Welsh + Lar Kaufman

O'Reilly & Associates 1995
A book review by Danny Yee © 1995
Running Linux is an introductory book on Linux. It begins by describing what Linux is, where to get it, and how to install it (a souped-up version of the first author's Linux Installation and Getting Started). This is followed by an introduction to Unix for beginners (it even explains how to use ls) and a guide to the essentials of system administration. The remaining chapters include very brief introductions to some major tools (X, vi, emacs, TeX) and programming languages (C, perl, make, shell), and some starting information on the most commonly used networking packages (basic TCP/IP, kermit, elm, WWW browsers and UUCP). The appendices provide information about on-line Linux resources and the GNU copyright, and there is an annotated bibliography.

What can one say about such a collection? Almost all this material is available elsewhere, but it's nice to have it all in the one volume: having to wade through printouts of manuals or HOWTOs is likely to be off-putting for the beginner, and the existing books on Unix system administration are aimed more at people running large time-sharing systems than home users.

While one can quibble about the choice of material (arguably introducing troff and TeX in an introductory book is unnecessary, and I would like to have seen a guide to the Linux file-system modeled on that in the Linux File-system Structure Standard), it is obviously based on the likely needs of the majority of users. The presentation is clear and easy to follow, and Running Linux is recommended for anyone without Unix system administration experience who is running (or wants to run) Linux. It contains enough information for a smart user to bootstrap themselves into a capable Linux user, so if you're converting a friend from DOS be sure to give them a copy! Running Linux will do much to assist the spread of Linux.

May 1995

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%T Running Linux
%A Welsh, Matt
%A Kaufman, Lar
%I O'Reilly & Associates
%D 1995
%O paperback, index
%G ISBN 1565921003
%P xxii,575pp