Book review: Beginning SUSE Linux
Apress sent me a copy to review. This is an introductory softcover book about how to use SUSE Linux. It includes SUSE 9.1 Professional version on DVD.
It's jam-packed with information that is suitable for the Linux newbie. However, it also offers info I haven't seen in introductory Linux books before about using OpenOffice.org, backing up personal data (command-line and graphically), optimizing your system, using Rekall and security. Sure, these topics are covered in a few texts like O'Reilly but not usually with so many screencaps and step-by-step exercises.
As with most introductory textbooks that try to cover a little of everything, nothing is covered in depth, but I've seen more depth here than most beginning books and more to the point, it's great to see a book for my favorite distro! This book will take the beginner through from installing SUSE Linux to using it as their everyday desktop. Enough is covered about using the shell that it won't be terrifying to newbies but will still give them a solid grounding in the console.
The book is easy to get into and a delight to read. If you've always wondered about SUSE (or just Linux), there is simply no better book that I've seen for becoming an intermediate user.
My only complaint is that the book includes a DVD instead of one or several CDs. I may be wrong here, but I really don't think DVD-ROM drives are so common in systems that everybody can be expected to have one. And seeing as how this is a book that's actually specific to a distro, having the distro on CDs would be handy. Thankfully, you can download a one-CD version of 9.1 Personal from the SUSE website and then use a mirror as a source instead of the CD so you can get professional packages too. To give them credit, the book does mention this for the DVD-challenged amongst us.
More information as well as a sample chapter is available here.