Book Review - Linux Bible (2005 Edition) by Christopher Negus
It seems like a lot of the Linux books out there right now pick a single distribution and teach you that one. Wiley's Linux Bible (2005 Edition) by Christopher Negus takes a different approach that may be valuable to you.
Part 1 - Linux First Steps: Starting With Linux; Running Commands from the Shell; Getting into the Desktop
Part 2 - Running The Show: Learning Basic Administration; Getting on the Internet; Securing Linux
Part 3 - Choosing and Installing a Linux Distribution: Installing Linux; Running Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux; Running Debian GNU/Linux; Running SUSE Linux; Running KNOPPIX; Running Yellow Dog Linux; Running Gentoo Linux; Running Slackware Linux; Running Linspire; Running Mandrakelinux; Running a Linux Firewall/Router; Running Bootable Linux Distribution
Part 4 - Running Applications: Paying Music and Video; Working with Words and Images; E-Mailing and Web Browsing; Gaming Alone and Online
Part 5 - Running Servers: Running a Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (LAMP) Server; Running a Mail Server; Running a Print Server; Running a File Server
Part 6 - Programming in Linux: Programming Environments and Interfaces; Programming Tools and Utilities
Appendix A: Media; Appendix B: Entering the Linux Community; Index
The main difference I see in this book is the lack of focus on a particular distribution. The different chapters (with the exception of Part 3) are all designed to teach you the basics of Linux apart from any flavor. This allows you to learn core skills that can transfer between whatever distribution you might be using at any given time. Part 3 gives a short coverage of each major distribution available on the market. If you're wondering about the pros and cons of each, this section of the book will help you decide where you want to start your specific distribution-specific learning.
Like all Bible titles, this is pretty big (800+ pages). While there's a lot of useful information, I don't know that I'd recommend this to be your *only* Linux book. 200+ pages deal with the distribution information, which leaves considerably less room for core Linux information. The other chapters cover the gamut of Linux software (server, desktop, productivity, internet, games, etc.), so there's not a lot in in-depth coverage on any one particular area. I'd probably position this as a very good entry level book to teach the reader about Linux and help them decide what distribution to pick. From there, I'd pick a book specific to my distribution of choice and continue my learning.
If your the right audience and in the right situation, this book will work well for you...