Your editor recently received a review copy of Red Hat Fedora 5
by Paul Hudson and Andrew Hudson, published by Sams. This
book comes with a Fedora Core 5 DVD.
The Fedora Project is a fast-paced distribution, and with Fedora Core 6 due
out soon, why bother with a book about Fedora Core 5? While it is based on
FC5, this book has much useful information that will be applicable to
future versions of Fedora, and to other versions of Linux as well. I
expect this to be a good reference book long after the included DVD becomes
nothing more than drink coaster.
The book strives to be friendly toward new Linux users while presenting
information of interest to seasoned users. It contains over a thousand
pages divided into seven parts, including the appendix. Part I:
Installation and Configuration includes sections on Introducing Fedora,
Preparing to Install Fedora, Installing Fedora, Post-Installation
Configuration, and First Steps with Fedora. Each section is broken down
into sub-sections and contains a reference. Part II covers Desktop Fedora,
with a look at the X Window System, window managers and desktops.
Part II also covers RPM, with a nice section covering the rpm
command line options, and other methods of installing and removing
packages. Once you know how to install packages this section leads you
through various applications: email clients, web browsers, IRC and other
Internet applications, followed by productivity applications, multimedia
applications, graphics, printing and games.
System administration is covered in Part III, with chapters on Managing
Users, Automating Tasks, System Resources, Backup and Recovery, Network
Connectivity, Remote Access with SSH and Telnet, and a chapter on Xen.
Your editor did not delve deeply into the section on Fedora as a Server,
but there is much information there about installing and configuring
Apache, with sub-sections for numerous Apache modules. There a brief look
at some other web server options as well. There are also chapters on
database servers, print and file servers, FTP servers, mail servers, proxy
servers, DNS servers, LDAP servers and news servers.
The Programming section looks at Perl, Python, PHP and C/C++ with
information about development tools and more. That is followed by a
section on housekeeping tasks to keep your Fedora box secure and running at
peak efficiency. This section includes a look at many command line tools
for examining and managing your system.
So should you buy this book? If you are already running Fedora Core 6,
this is not the book for you. If you have a friend that wants to get
started on Linux this is a good reference book. Even if you've been
running Linux for a while, but want to know more, this is good reference
book that will be useful for (at least a few) years to come.
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