RedHat Linux For Dummies

As the title suggests, RedHat Linux For Dummies is a beginner's guide that is ideal for people wanting to use Linux for the first time, and it comes with RedHat Linux 6.1. The book comprehensively covers the installation process, including the dos and don'ts of partitioning. Of particular use are the screenshots that accompany the text throughout the book; you always know what you're looking at when you are following directions. Furthermore, all commands are printed in a shaded background, making them more noticeable.

Basic system administration tasks such as configuring a CD-ROM drive and managing the Linux file system are covered, as is using RedHat Package Management (RPM). The section on X windows is very much tailored to GNOME, and other window managers are not covered. Likewise, the section Using Linux as Your Workstation is devoted to Applixware, with StarOffice and Corel WordPerfect only mentioned briefly. The task of connecting to the Internet is gone through step-by-step and is easy to follow.

More technical aspects of the book include an introduction to shell scripting and setting up your own firewall for Internet security. This will not be news for more advanced users, and although it is promoted as a "reference for the rest of us" there is not enough content to justify this claim. Along with the operating system, the source code for distribution is included. The book's appendices are particularly useful and have a hardware compatibility list.

Overall, RedHat Linux For Dummies is worthwhile if you're thinking of using this alternative operating system. More experienced Linux users, however, will not find it much of a reference tool.

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