My Book

Why Linux?

Without question, Linux is rapidly becoming the operating system of choice in many core areas of business. It is transforming information technology in many exciting ways from being used in products ranging from cell phones and PDAs to cars and mainframe computers.

Like its many uses, Linux has a variety of printed and electronic guides to show you what to do. The specialist guides are highly detailed focusing on narrow areas of excellence. The encyclopedic guides for beginners focus on Linux fundamentals and then only introduce you to more specialized topics. Unfortunately, there are few practical texts in between that help you to transition from being a beginner to having the confidence of an expert.

Why is this book necessary?

Most Linux “encyclopedias” are split in three sections, an introductory section covering topics such as CD based Linux installation, GUI interfaces and text editors; an intermediate section covering Microsoft Office clone productivity suites; and an advanced section covering the topics most non-desktop-support IT professionals use on a day-to-day basis.

Unfortunately the “advanced sections” in these guides cover the underlying theory reasonably well, but often are short on space to adequately cover detailed configuration instructions. IT professionals frequently have to purchase additional specialist books on each topic.

Linux Quick Fix Notebook takes these “advanced sections” and expands them suf ficiently to provide a practical tutorial guide on how to do basic configuration of many popular Linux back-office applications with command by command instructions.

To avoid confusion between the many flavors of Linux, each with its own GUI interface, this guide exclusively uses the command line to illustrate the tasks needed to be done. It provides all the expected screen output when configuring the most commonly used Linux applications to help assure readers that they are doing the right thing. The Notebook also includes many of the most commonly encountered errors with explanations of their causes and how to fix them.

Prerequisites

The book’s format is aimed at proficient beginners, students and IT professionals who often have to do advanced tasks in which the underlying theory is understood, but the commands to do it are forgotten or at the tips of their tongues. To maintain it’s appeal as a compact guide, only the essential supporting theory is provided to help the end user implement their projects under budget and ahead of schedule.

A great deal of attention has been paid to troubleshooting techniques that are often needed to remedy unexpected behavior, and every chapter has real world practical examples in the form of tutorials.

Because the readers are assumed to be exposed to the theory of Linux, many of the introductory topics are not covered, which provides room for much more coverage of the steps needed to get the more difficult jobs done. Two to three months of hands-on Linux experience is an ideal pre-requisite. Additionally, basic Windows exposure to the concept of sharing directories between servers is needed.

Approach

With this in mind, the persons most likely to be interested in this book would be IT professionals and consultants, power users, computer literate business owners; community college and trade school professors and students; and SOHO workers.

The book creates a typical departmental, small office or home network and shows you how to set up the Linux servers most businesses need. Three sections have been created to make this process easier. The first starts as an introduction to networking and extends into using Linux as a main departmental server. The next section expands upon this knowledge to show you how to create, manage and monitor your own Linux-based Web site running on a simple DSL or cable modem line. Finally, the third section covers more advanced topics that will become invaluable as your Linux administration role expands.

Explanations are given not as a lecturer, but as a trusted and experienced coworker. The chapters have a logical flow of information starting with concise backgrounders and ending with a troubleshooting section.

Many of the topics are covered in Linux certification exams making the book a valuable study guide for those seeking new areas of professional development.

Summary

In summary this book:

  • Shows how to expand inexpensively an existing IT investment in Windows using Linux
  • Shows how to do this command by command.
  • Is highly focused on being task-oriented.
  • Illustrates how to create a simple network for small business, corporate departments and homes.
  • Provides an excellent networking familiarization and troubleshooting guide

As the line between power users and administrators continues to blur, as computers move from the data center to the desktop, and as Linux and Windows gain equal footing in business, it becomes harder to remember and do it all. This is the guide that will give you enough time to eat lunch.

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