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May 4, 2004

"Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, Fourth Edition": All You Need to Get Started with Linux

Sebastopol, CA--They're all around us, their ranks are growing, and they look just like everyone else. Perhaps they don't swear at their computers quite as much as users of some operating systems do. They even smile. In fact, the time when Linux users were a fringe element has receded into the past; now you will find them in organizations of all sizes and in homes, virtually indistinguishable from other computer users. In terms of cost, power, stability, and reliability, Linux presents an attractive alternative to proprietary operating systems. And what was once perceived as the key barrier to adopting Linux--the initial difficulty of learning and configuring the system--is no longer an issue with the new user-friendly distributions available today.

It's true that the first look at a Unix-style operating system can be daunting to users who are grounded in Windows or Macintosh graphical interfaces. The latest edition of Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora (O'Reilly, US $39.95) by Bill McCarty will ease them into the world of Linux with a clear, no-nonsense introduction to the popular Red Hat distribution. The book guides readers through installation and shows them the key parts of the system, always with an eye toward what can go wrong and what they'll need to know to get over the humps.

"Linux is becoming easier to use," observes McCarty. "If you work with Microsoft Windows and have dabbled a bit in MS-DOS or are curious about what happens inside Windows, you already have the skills to install and configure Linux. Thousands of people from all walks of life have already done so."

Red Hat currently provides two distributions of Linux, both documented in this book. The first is their commercial, subscription-based product, called Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is also available through retail channels as Red Hat Professional Workstation. The second is the free Fedora distribution. The Publisher's Edition of Fedora is included in this book on two disks.

Part of Linux's growing acceptance has been based on its reputation as a secure environment and a good platform on which to run a web server. But today, users can also burn CDs, sync their PDAs, and edit slideshow presentations with powerful tools on Linux. Each of these topics is covered in Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora.

New in this edition are installation instructions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, package updating for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, information on the GRUB bootloader, and a guide to the CUPS printer system.

Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora tells readers how to:

  • Prepare a system for installing Linux
  • Install and configure Linux and the two popular desktop environments, GNOME and KDE
  • Run the most popular productivity tools on Linux: mailers, web browsers, OpenOffice, and Evolution
  • Obtain and set up software through the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM)
  • Set up a Linux system for networking, either on your local area network (LAN) or via a dialup connection to the Internet
  • Use the system-administration tools included with Red Hat, GNOME, and KDE, including such valuable utilities as Samba file sharing and the Apache web server
  • Understand and write shell scripts to extend the power of Linux
  • Since the release of its first edition, this book has guided many a PC user into the world of Linux. Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora with the accompanying CDs are all anyone needs to get started.

    Praise for the previous editions:

    "O'Reilly's classic introduction [to Linux]...A well-written manual for new users. It covers the essentials, showing how to install, configure, and use Linux. Recommended to those people who want to try out Linux and who would like to run RH8 alongside MS Windows. A compact, easy-to-handle guide that will sit neatly on a (real-world) desktop as a ready reference to Red Hat Linux."
    --Major Keary, "PC Update," August 2003

    "Here is a book that will give you a helpful and hearty boost in the right direction along the path to creative computing independence...the O'Reilly publications are cream of the Linux reference publications."
    --Rip Yarnall, CCPCUG, November 2002

    "The first thing that impressed me was the way 'Learning Red Hat Linux' was written. It read more like a novel then a technical manual/book, and I found myself excited to see what was on the next page. The book is a quick, get-you-started guide that explains what you need to know, then moves on and does not spend too much time dilly-dallying...Microsoft OS readers should NOT pick up this book, it will make you want to format your OS and install Linux--it did for me!"
    --Ken Wilcox, Boise Software Developers Group, July 2002

    Additional Resources:

    Learning Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, Fourth Edition
    Bill McCarty
    ISBN 0-596-00589-X, 326 pages, $39.95 US, $57.95 CA
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

    About O'Reilly

    O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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