posted by Will Senn on Wed 13th Oct 2004 19:41 UTC
IconThis is Marcel Gagné's third book with Addison-Wesley following, Linux System Administration: A User's Guide and Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!. Marcel is also the well-respected author of Linux Journal's, Cooking with Linux. The author has written this excellent book with near-perfect timing.

Many businesses are now seriously contemplating replacing their existing desktop systems with Linux. For the last several years Linux has been making steady progress in eroding Unix and Microsoft Windows market share in the server market, but in the desktop market, Linux has made little headway. The adoption of Linux as a viable replacement of the enormously popular Microsoft Windows system in particular, has been slow. This is beginning to change. In todays competitive business environment, every dollar counts and businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about paying exorbitant prices for proprietary software. As a result, Linux is beginning to be adopted by businesses for desktop use with ever increasing frequency. The logical progression of corporate adoption of Linux as a desktop system is more and more users will be switching to Linux as they become familiar and comfortable with it through daily use. The author has seized the moment and written a comprehensive guide to efficiently and effectively switching to Linux that targets the corporate user.

Moving to the Linux Business Desktop serves as a practical, hands on, guide to making the switch to Linux. It is divided into three parts:

Part 1 - Getting to Know Linux
Part 2 - Administration and Deployment
Part 3 - The Linux Business Desktop

In Part 1 - Getting to Know Linux, the author gives the reader a succinct overview of Linux. Deployment, installation, configuration, desktop customization, and file management are covered in this section - briefly and yet, practically. In six short chapters the user will be given enough information to choose a distribution, deploy it and begin to work productively with it.

In Part 2 - Administration and Deployment, the true depth of the author's understanding of Linux administration is made apparent. Years of writing on the subject has given him a unique gift of explaining this complex topic in a way that allows the ordinary user to understand. This section constitutes half of the pages of the book and covers most aspects of the administrative tasks related to a corporate desktop. Application administration, device management, services, networks, internet connectivity, the shell, web administration (webmin), users and groups, backups, printer management, email services, LDAP, web services, Samba, NFS, thin clients, remote control and security are covered in great detail. Administrators looking for help in administering a newly converted business environment will find this part of the book invaluable.

In Part 3 - The Linux Business Desktop, the second largest section of the book, the author lays out Linux's "killer apps" - the actual workhorse applications required by corporate users to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Email clients, organizers, PIMS, sticky notes, browsers, word processors, spreadsheet applications, presentation applications, scanning, digital camera applications, graphics suites, IM, even video conferencing applications are discussed in detail. If you are a Linux user who has been wanting to shed your dependence on one application or another that you have been using from another operating system, this is the section you should look at first. This is the heart of the book and provides much needed information about the tools necessary to actually make the move to Linux.

Some of the applications and technologies covered in the book, just to name a few:

* Apache
* eGroupWare
* Emacs
* Evolution
* GQ
* Gimp
* Gnome
* GnomeMeeting
* Jabber
* K3b
* KAdressBook
* KDE Remote Desktop
* KMail
* KMyFirewall
* KOrganizer
* KUser
* Kate
* Konquerer
* Kooka
* Kopete
* Mozilla
* NEdit
* (Writer, Spreadsheet, Impress, etc.)
* OpenSSH
* Pico
* Postfix
* PostgreSQL
* rdesktop
* Samba
* SquirellMail
* rdesktop
* vi
* VMware
* Webmin
* Win4Lin

Table of contents
  1. "Moving to the Linux Desktop, Page 1/2"
  2. "Moving to the Linux Desktop, Page 2/2"
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