Book Review - Linux For Dummies (6th Edition) by Dee-Ann LeBlanc
Once you've made the decision to give Linux a try, you face a tough second decision... which distribution do I use? To help you out, you should get a copy of Dee-Ann LeBlanc's Linux For Dummies (6th Edition). There's some good information in there to help you choose...
Part 1 - Getting Your Feet Wet: Getting Acquainted With Linux; Prepping Your Computer for Linux; Installing Fedora Core; Installing Other Linux Distributions; Booting and Stopping Linux; Checking Out Those Desktops; Configuring Linux
Part 2 - Internet Now!: Connecting to the Internet; Using the Internet
Part 3 - Getting Up to Speed with Linux: Manipulating Files and Directories; Checking Out the Linux Filesystem; Adding Software to Linux; A Secure Linux Box Is a Happy Linux Box; Working without the GUI; Gettin' Gooey with the GUIs
Part 4 - Getting Things Done: Putting the X in Text; Word-Processing and More with OpenOffice.org; Multimedia Wow!; Windows-Only Media Formats and Programs
Part 5 - The Part of Tens: Ten Troubleshooting Tips; Ten Cool Uses for Knoppix
Part 6 - Appendixes: Common Linux Commands; About the DVD-ROM
There are obviously a large number of books you can buy that deal with Linux. But before you get too far down the road, you need to figure out which distribution is right for you. The main thing I really like about Dee-Ann's book is that she relates the basics of Linux back to the top six distributions: Fedora Core, SuSE, Knoppix, Linspire, Xandros, and Mandrake. So if you're learning about how the Linux file system works and can be navigated, you'll see that done in all six Linux flavors. Want to know how to install Linux? Once again, you see instructions and tips on all six. Most Linux books pick a single distribution and focus exclusively on that. While that's not bad at all, it may mean that you choose a type of Linux that may not be the best choice given your situation. This book can help you understand the fundamentals before making that commitment. There's even a DVD included that contains the install files for Fedora Core 3, Knoppix 3.6, Linspire 4.5, Mandrake 10.1, SuSE 9.2, and Xandros 2.5. You don't even have to go searching for the latest ISO downloads! You've got it all right here.
Like all Dummies titles, this is written in a very conversational, non-threatening way. It's a perfect "first step" for anyone wanting to join the Linux movement but isn't quite sure where to start. Once you've gone through the book, picked a distribution, and installed it, you'll be ready to push on and start learning even more about Linux. But at least by then, you'll have narrowed down your choice of books based on the distribution you chose.
Good book, and definitely recommended for people looking to get started...