Using Caldera OpenLinux, Special Edition
Author: Allan Smart, Erik Ratcliffe, Tim Bird, David Bandel
Price: $39.99 US
Reviewer Ben Crowder
If you've ever wanted a thick, massive reference to Linux—particularly for OpenLinux—then Using Caldera OpenLinux is the book for you. This 1200-page book covers almost everything you would need to know about Linux. Granted, in only 1200 pages there are some things that aren't covered, but this book does an excellent job on the things it does go over.
The first couple of chapters introduce Linux and OpenLinux and explain how to install OpenLinux (the book comes with an OpenLinux 2.2 CD). There are distribution comparisons, an explanation of the Linux Standard Base project and a complete guide to LIZARD (the Caldera installation program).
The second section, “Using OpenLinux”, introduces KDE, shows you how to navigate the desktop and tweak KDE to your tastes, explains KDM and how to get it set up, briefly covers the hordes of applications that come with KDE and has a chapter on KOffice. In case you were wondering, there is virtually nothing on GNOME—but that makes sense, since Caldera's default desktop is KDE (and when you already have 1200 pages, you don't want yet another chapter). This is a marvelous introduction to KDE, one I would suggest for any KDE user.
“OpenLinux System Administration”, the third section, explains the Linux file-system structure, users, groups and permissions, DOSEMU, the boot process (inittab and friends), how to customize your shell environment (with a few pages on shell programming), printing, RPMs and other types of package management and how to build your own RPMs. Other topics include building your own kernel and the kernel modules, partitioning your hard drive, mounting and unmounting file systems and LILO. This section is for the most part true for all Linux distributions, not just OpenLinux. For example, take the chapters on recompiling your kernel; these apply to any Linux box.
Section four, “Networking with OpenLinux”, is the meat of the book. Three hundred pages are devoted to networking and rightly so, considering Linux is basically a networking operating system. There are chapters on TCP/IP fundamentals, network administration, IP aliasing, PPP, e-mail, BIND and DNS, FTP, Apache, IP masquerading and firewalling, TCP wrappers, NFS, NetWare, Samba and other Windows connectivity tools. If you want to learn Linux networking, you should definitely read this section. Even if you aren't using OpenLinux (like section three, this section applies to most Linux distributions), you'll find the information in these chapters highly relevant and useful.
There are a hundred pages on X: setting it up, the beautiful XF86Config file, customizing X and X resources. The final section is for miscellaneous topics, with two chapters on encryption and multimedia. The appendices include a list of commonly used commands, a hardware compatibility list, Linux module information and other Linux resources.
So is this book a must-buy? Yes, yes, yes, ten times over. I was very impressed with it, even though I'm not running OpenLinux (most of what I read, I was able to use on my Red Hat machines). This is one of the best Linux books—in fact, make that computer books—I've read in a long time. It's clear and concise, and (perhaps most importantly) humorous at appropriate points. It's geared more toward intermediate and advanced users, but beginners can learn much from it as well.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide