Running Linux - Fifth Edition

Posted by bstadil on Dec 17, 2005 2:12 PM EDT
LXer.com; By Tom Adelstein
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O'Reilly & Associates greatly expanded the fifth edition of Running Linux. It reflects the maturity of the operating system and the wealth of software available for it. The book now covers consumer topics such as audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality, and spam filtering, along with the basics in configuration and management that always made this perhaps the most popular book for Linux.

OK, so I have a bias about this book. I contributed to it. No, I'm not the author, just a contributor, a writer-for-hire. Does that mean I don't know the difference between a good book and a great book?

I consider the Fourth Edition one of the best Linux books available. O'Reilly managed to keep it down to 672 pages. Aside from updating those pages, the new edition has another 300 pages of excellent material. That's how much increased capability Linux has acquired over a two and a half year period.

When I heard the rumors that Adam Oram had started pulling the team together for the latest edition, I wondered about that. I had just read a review of the Fourth edition lauding its relevance to Linux users.

Then Andy gave me a call and asked if I would have an interest in filling in some specialized areas. That's when I realized O'Reilly planned to update Running Linux again. I felt honored to be a part of it.



A little History



O'Reilly & Associates began publishing Linux books early. Andy joined the company back in 1992. One of his first projects involved publishing The Linux Network Administrator's Guide which Olaf Kirche began writing for the Linux Documentation Project in 1992.





Looking back, one has to admit that printing a book that anyone could read or download from the Internet seems somewhat bold. But, the good people at O'Reilly & Associates published The Linux Network Administrator's Guide back in 1993 and released the Third edition this year. I have always considered such moves remarkable considering how other publishers operate.



Running Linux came out in May 1995 and got another update in August 1996. I thought the Third edition published in August 1999 provided some major insights. I had just started a pay-per-incident Linux call center and finding Linux books at that time was not that easy. Most of the books people published seemed like compilations of materials already on the Internet.



The Fourth Edition seemed like a fitting culmination of the previous work. It continues to sell and people continue to use it. So, preparing a Fifth edition seems like another O'Reilly commitment to excellence and Linux to me. I think they could lay back and let the book continue to just sell.



Available in Early January



Writing a book for O'Reilly requires more than a monetary commitment. The editors, production staff, reviewers and contributors work hard. Sometimes I feel like a kid in a factory watching people build complex machinery when I observe Andy Oram putting a book together. Writing an O'Reilly book requires a team effort and lots and lots of work, especially by the editor.



Knowing the magnitude of effort required in writing any O'Reilly book allows me to know that their commitment to Running Linux means people will get a great book. If you want a glimpse, you can see Chapter 6: Electronic Mail Clients. You can also see the catalog page on the O'Reilly web site.



Give it a Look



If you have a passing interesting Linux or if you're a seasoned veteran, you like Running Linux Fifth Edition . It's not only a good book to read, it's an excellent reference. Linux will continue to grow at exponential rates. If you work for a company that wants you to have Linux experience, I suggest you pick Running Linux as your guide. You'll find it worth the wait.



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