Insert the DVD or CD that comes with this book into a PC. Within five minutes, you’ll be able to try out Linux with a full range of desktop applications. Within an hour, you can have a fullblown Linux desktop or server system installed on your computer. If you are like most of us who have been bitten by the Linux bug, you won’t ever look back.
Linux Bible 2007 Edition is here to open your eyes to what Linux is, where it came from, and where it’s going. But, most of all, the book is here to hand you Linux and help you get started. Because Linux is the operating system of free speech and free choice, Linux Bible gives you choices in selecting the Linux that is right for you.
On the DVD and CD that come with this book are 16 different Linux distributions that you are free to install and try out. You learn how those distributions are alike or different, and the book leads you through the basics of installing and setting up your Linux system as:
A desktop computer—You have a full range of office, music, gaming, graphics, and other applications to use.
A server computer—Using some of the world’s best server software, you can set up your computer to be a Web server, file server, mail server, or print server.
A workstation—You can draw on thousands of open source programming tools to develop your own software applications.
Several of the Linux distributions offered on the DVD and CD that come with this book are live CDs that let you try a Linux distribution without installing. Some of those live CDs include features that let you install the contents of those live CDs to your hard disk. For example, you can try out Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Mandriva as live CDs, and then install those distributions permanently to your hard drive from icons on the desktops of those live CDs.
Unlike other books on Linux, this book doesn’t tie you to one Linux distribution. The book teaches you the essentials of Linux graphical interfaces, shell commands, and basic system administration. Separate chapters break down many of the major Linux distributions available today. Then descriptions of the major software projects in most Linux distributions (KDE and GNOME desktops, Apache Web servers, Samba file and printer sharing, and so on) guide you in setting up and using those features, regardless of which Linux you choose.