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O'Reilly Publishes McCarty's Learning Debian/GNU Linux

Press release: October 27, 1999

SEBASTOPOL, CA--Constructed by volunteers adhering to strict Open Source guidelines, the Debian distribution of Linux is a remarkable software achievement.

Bill McCarty, a university professor who has taught Linux to hundreds of students, wrote a book specifically for users new to Linux and Unix systems. McCarty's book, Learning Debian/GNU Linux (O'Reilly, $34.95) is now available in bookstores.

Unabashedly for beginners, this new book includes the full Debian distrubution on the accompanying CD. McCarty takes the mystery out of Linux and reveals it for the robust, flexible operating system that it is. "At one time, one had to know a good bit about computers to get a Linux system up and running. But, that's much less true today. Essentially every modern operating system--including MS Windows--is based on Unix," says McCarty. "Writing for those unfamiliar with Unix involves helping the reader see that Unix lives inside MS Windows. That's what I've tried to do in this book: to build a bridge between the familiar world of MS Windows and the seemingly unfamiliar world of Unix."

In the spirit of the Open Source Movement, and following in the footsteps of Open Sources: Voices from the Revolution, "Learning Debian GNU/Linux will be downloadable over the Internet," said Mark Stone, executive editor for the open-source group at O'Reilly & Associates. "The book text will be available under the Open Publication License, which allows the text to be freely modified and redistributed."

"Debian is more than an engineering project. It's a social project as well," said Stone. "Debian follows the principles of the Open Source Movement very closely, coming only with software that is completely open-source."

McCarty's newest book will also be available in a new distribution package put together by O'Reilly, VA Linux Systems, and SGI. Together, VA Linux, SGI and O'Reilly are sponsoring the introduction of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system to major retail stores. The package will include a CD of 1440 open-source software packages, along with Bill McCarty's Learning Debian GNU/Linux. In addition, the package will include a demo CD version of Loki Entertainment's "Myth II: Soulblighter" game software. Proceeds from Debian GNU/Linux sales will be donated to Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization for open-source projects including Debian. This Debian package will be available direct from, and through major retail and online stores.

"Debian's developer community is already the largest in the Linux world; all that it has needed to make it more accessible to new users is better documentation, packaging, and distribution," said Tim O'Reilly, CEO of O'Reilly & Associates. "This distribution will jump Debian into the first rank, not just for hard core Linux developers, but for everyone."

Online Resources

Learning Debian/GNU Linux
By Bill McCarty
Includes Debian GNU/Linux on CD-ROM
1st Edition, October 1999 (US)
ISBN: 1-56592-705-2, 344 pages, $34.95 ($US), Includes CD-ROM

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