Linux: The Complete Reference

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9780078824616: Linux: The Complete Reference

This is a guide to Linux, the UNIX-variant operating system. The book is revised to address important changes to Linux, including: growth in the number of desktops and windows managers, new X-Windows chapters, and new programming tools and utilities. The CD-ROM contains a free full version of OpenLinux Lite by Caldera, the leading vendor of Linux software. Created in 1991, Linux is a UNIX clone, free of any commercially copyrighted software, developed for Intel-based PCs. The operating system was designed to bring UNIX power and flexibility to PCs and mainframes. Linux has grown to become a popular OS choice for PC workstations. Due to the corporate world's tendency to not "admit" running mission-critical applications on any "free" operating systems, the exact number of Linux users cannot be confirmed. However, estimates and acknowledgements of use from some major corporations, have placed the installed base of Linux between three-to-five million. It has even been suggested by industry experts to be as high as nine million. Well-known corporations on Linux's "open" list includes NASA, Disney, Lockheed Martin and General Electric. The industry is openly betting on Linux to have an impact in the next decade's transformation into using the Network Computing Architecture. Many are also saying that the OS will give Microsoft's flag-ship, Windows NT, still some competition in the years to come. Richard Petersen is the author of "Introductory C: Pointers, Functions, and files.

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Review:

Weighing in at just over 1000 pages and complete with a CD-based version of Caldera's OpenLinux software, Linux The Complete Reference does a sterling job of introducing a vast subject.

From the grass roots of installing the system through examinations of how the file system works, typesetting with LaTeX to using your Linux machine as a World Wide Web server there's a little of everything in here. Clear and functional diagrams rub shoulders with helpful explanatory text and a plethora of tables outlining useful commands in all areas.

Well worth a mention is the treatment given to setting up X-Windows--a wonderful graphical front-end for Linux which behaves in much the same way as Microsoft's Windows, but which can be considerably more difficult to set up. Thanks to author Richard Petersen's step-by-step approach, the operation loses much of its complexity and even becomes a joy! Also welcome are chapters devoted to introducing the Perl programming language, a primer for gcc, the freeware C compiler, Tcl/Tk and a beginners guide to the powerful, yet often confusing vi and Emacs text editors. A useful reference and learning aid for beginners and experts alike, this is one of the better Linux reference works around.

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