|Book Review: The Best of FreeBSD Basics|
|By special contributor PeteHummers on 2008-07-02 16:12:31|
|Dru Lavigne's very useful book turns the arcana of FreeBSD into a comprehensible set of tools.
The Best of FreeBSD Basics by Dru Lavigne
This book is a collection of hands-on tutorials at the basic user level, in both senses. A complete computer newbie should be able to use this information, and, of course, the
Not that she's adverse to a nice GUI — there's lots of information concerning the various window managers and desktop environments.
Dru Lavigne may be the perfect partner for a user who wants to set up a FreeBSD box for the first time. I suspect Dru in print might be close to what you'd get in person (as a tutor), with the added advantage of being able to leave her for breaks, or have her answer a question repeatedly.
Her style here is to sit with the reader at the
She has the ability to condense a world of background and information into a few words:
If you like simplicity, configurability, and a clean look to a desktop, Windowmaker and XFCE are good choices. They also perform well on older video cards and computers with as little as 16MB of RAM.
And beyond almost every conceivable basic task, Dru can show you how to perform really esoteric tasks — tasks thought up perhaps by someone with a drive to learn all she can herself and some extra time on her hands:
And she gets down to it from square one:
Confirm that you have Xnest installed with:
And so on. Whole chapters of the 579-pp. book are devoted to reference, such as
If any of the titles in the last paragraph sound daunting to the new user, not to worry. Dru will be there to explain in exquisitely clear language just what's happening and why.
An updated and expanded collection of Dru's excellent collection of online tutorials on the O'Reilly Network's BSD DevCenter, this book is sure to find a treasured spot on the FreeBSD user's bookshelf. Invaluable for newbies, it still contains something for everyone. I predict every FreeBSD user will find value in it.
Greg Lehey is famous in the UNIX community for his over 30 years in the industry, performing most jobs you can think of, ranging from kernel support to product marketing, systems programming to operating, and processing satellite data to programming gasoline pumps. His foreword includes:
Buy the book: The Best of FreeBSD BasicsAbout the author:
Peter Hummers first installed NetBSD on a Macintosh IIsi in 1996, and never looked back. Since then he's used FreeBSD or variants for his writing.