The Linux Sampler
Editors: Belinda Frazier and Laurie Tucker
Publisher: Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC)
Price: $14.95 (USD)
Reviewer: Harvey Friedman
The Linux Sampler? “What can that be all about?” I asked. After reviewing a copy, I can say that SSC has produced a useful “Linux Resource Guide” of “Resources, Technical Information, and Articles from Linux Journal”, with an emphasis (as we might expect) on Linux Journal articles.
To help demonstrate the organization of the book, I will list the table of contents:
An Introduction to Linux
Linux in the Real World
Talking about Linux
Politics, Opinions and Future of Linux
Linux and Other Operating Systems
Also included are a Glossary and an Appendices. Each of these seven main sections has anywhere from three to six articles, selected mostly from LJ. A nice feature of this organization is that one doesn't have to leaf through seven or eight issues of LJ to read about one of the topics above. For example, two interviews with Linus Torvalds that were published in issue 1 and issue 9 are placed back to back in chapter 3 and Chet Ramey's bash articles from issues 3 & 4 are a single seamless article in chapter 6.
Chapter 1 is comprised of two parts. The first three articles discuss the history—albeit in a broad overview—of Linux and will probably be used as background for many other publications. The next three articles are more of the what-is-available-for-me-now type and will be dated in a few years (I hope not sooner than that).
Chapter 2 has brief case studies of how Linux systems either replaced older mini-computers and improved upon their functionality and—user satisfaction—or how Linux systems solved new problems. These are well-written and should prove useful if one is trying to get a supervisor to authorize using Linux at work.
Chapter 3 has interviews with Linus Torvalds, Slackware's Pat Volkerding, and DOSEmu team leader James MacLean. I enjoyed the interviews, but I already enjoyed them in the various issues of LJ as well.
Chapter 4 seemed lacking to me. Although each of these articles was interesting in LJ, I feel that they lose something when brought together. Perhaps because the content of each article stimulates thinking, dreaming and imagining about the future, the effect is lost when they are read sequentially. I suggest reading them at least a sleep apart.
Chapter 5 is another useful one. An article comparing memory and disk requirements for Linux, Windows NT, and OS/2 appears to be a thorough evaluation. The remaining articles discuss emulators to run other code on Linux—iBCS2, which runs binaries for other Intel-based Unices; mtools, not really an emulator, but a set of tools for accessing MS-DOS file systems (particularly on floppy disk) from Linux; Wine, an MS-Windows emulator that is still in test mode; and SAMBA, an implementation for Linux of the SMB protocol (used by LanManager, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, and OS/2). SAMBA was the only one of these that I had not heard of before I read about it in LJ.
Chapter 6 contains articles on porting other Unix applications to Linux, the GNU C Library, and bash. These are all pithy but meaty articles, yet I do not like this section being called “Technical Articles”. Perhaps something like “Tips for Programmers” would have been a better title.
Chapter 7 barely scratches the surface of system administration, but what is there is well-written.
The Glossary is generally good, but I have a few quibbles: e.g.: “Cisco A brand of router”.
In the Appendix are found “Linux Products and Services Directory”, “Linux User Groups”, and “Linux Resources”. These are fine now, but some of the references have to be updated already. For example, in the list of Usenet usegroups, page 211 doesn't reflect the most recent division of the comp.os.linux newsgroups. Therefore, the newsgroup comp.os.linux.setup, one invaluable for those new to Linux and Unix, is not included.
Overall, this is a worthwhile book, even for those who have been subscribing to LJ since Issue 1. The collection of related topics, the good glossary, and the list of newsgroups, ftp sites, products and services, all together in one volume, make it a source that you want next to the Network Administrator's Guide, Linux Installation & Getting Started, and the HOWTOs. This reference (which could also be named The Linux Journal Sampler) does nothing to tarnish SSC's reputation.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Firefox 46.0 Released
- Ubuntu Online Summit
- Devuan Beta Release
- The Qt Company's Qt Start-Up
- May 2016 Issue of Linux Journal
- The US Government and Open-Source Software
- The Death of RoboVM
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Open-Source Project Secretly Funded by CIA
- New Container Image Standard Promises More Portable Apps
In modern computer systems, privacy and security are mandatory. However, connections from the outside over public networks automatically imply risks. One easily available solution to avoid eavesdroppers’ attempts is SSH. But, its wide adoption during the past 21 years has made it a target for attackers, so hardening your system properly is a must.
Additionally, in highly regulated markets, you must comply with specific operational requirements, proving that you conform to standards and even that you have included new mandatory authentication methods, such as two-factor authentication. In this ebook, I discuss SSH and how to configure and manage it to guarantee that your network is safe, your data is secure and that you comply with relevant regulations.Get the Guide