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How Linux Works - What Every Superuser Should Know

The book provides a near comprehensive review on Linux. I have already used the Linux distribution Ubuntu to some extent on both the GUI and console, but this book both fills in my knowledge gaps and provides a handy reference guide if I forget any details.

My interest particularly focused on the following chapters. Chapter 14 on Samba gave me a handy reference guide when I was setting up an old laptop to act as a printer server, and may prove useful in the future if I decide to make a home backup/media server.

As I also use Windows computers frequently the section on booting (Chapter 3),as well as the section on loading Windows or DOS file systems was interesting to me. I was mildly disappointed that the section looking into dual-booting Linux with another OS was not longer. I recognise, however, this is not really one of the main goals of the book; it being more of Linux as a standalone OS.

Though I mainly use the Synaptic Package Manager and the Software centre, Chapter 9 on compiling software from source code will be useful if I need to use some obscure version. I have some knowledge of C++ myself, so both this and Chapter 8 provided me with info on developing in Linux in case I ever wanted to tweak existing code.

Despite being published in 2004, the book seems to have aged well by focusing on the core command line features of Linux that change relatively little from edition to edition – for example commands from the book were tested in Ubuntu v11with few problems.

To conclude, I feel the book provides good value for money on a comprehensive guide to the workings and administration of Linux, and I would recommend it to anyone as such.

Score: 8/10

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James Walker

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