Kuro5hin.org: The Essential Linux Bookshelf, Part II: Linux Installation and Getting Started

[ Thanks to Paul
for this link. ]

“After our look at a true Unix classic the week before last (or
was it the week before last before last?!), I thought we’d get a
bit closer to the Unix-like system most of us are no doubt using.
Walk into any big bookstore today, and you’ll like as not find a
whole Linux section, a shelf or more of big fat books all about
Linux. Only a few years ago, it wasn’t that way. Indeed, there
weren’t any books about Linux at all. I started with Linux in those
“bad old days”, back in 1994, and the book that was my steadfast
guide throughout my first six months of wrestling with this strange
new world was “Linux Installation and Getting Started”, by Matt
Welsh. I say “book”, but it would be more exact to say file;
although it was book-length, it wasn’t printed, nor even
“published” on the web to begin with. The book has gone through
numerous revisions, and editions have also been printed by SSC and

The motiviation for Walsh’s book stems from the days before
“distributions”, when the “standard” way of installing Linux was to
grab whatever others had kindly made available
— Walsh
mentions H.J. Lu’s diskettes — and set to work getting the thing
up and running on your system. Not only were distributions on
CD-ROM not available; Linux couldn’t read from a CD-ROM drive in
any case! In his own words:”

“I downloaded a slew of files and read pages upon
pages of loosely-organised installation notes. Somehow, I managed
to install this basic system and get everything working

“This book, however, does not expect you to go to such

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