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Linux Journal: Running Linux in a New World

Feb 19, 2003, 03:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russell J.T. Dyer)

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"With O'Reilly having sold over 200,000 copies of its most popular Linux book, Running Linux, most of Linux Journal's readers probably either own or have access to an earlier edition. Nevertheless, there are some differences of note between the previous editions and the new, 4th edition of this Linux staple. These differences not only make replacing your old copy of Running Linux worthwhile, but they indicate some interesting developments in the Linux community.

"The 4th edition has a subtle but important shift in attitude that is evident in its language. Whereas in earlier editions, Linux was referred to as 'a free Unix clone' (3rd Ed., pg. 1), the 4th edition refers to Linux as 'a free, open source operating system.' This simple change in word usage--seen throughout the book--suggests that the Linux community views Linux quite differently from a mere 18 months ago, when the 3rd edition was published. We have come to see Linux as separate and distinct; we no longer rely on the various manifestations of UNIX to define it. 'People are not viewing Linux as just another Unix any longer; it's viewed as an operating system in its own right,' says one of the authors, Kalle Dalheimer. In essence, it has reached adulthood.

"Linux is not in isolation and independent, however. Certainly, it has ceased to be dependent on the UNIX operating systems out of which it originally grew. Instead, as the new Running Linux's opening line suggests, it has become interdependent with the GNU Open Source community..."

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