Kevin Kinsey wrote:
Michael M. wrote:
I've been using various Linux distros and OS X for a while now, and
Windows before those, and am interested in trying out FreeBSD. Call
me old fashioned, but as an engaged-but-non-technical user, I find it
really useful to have at least some accompanying documentation in book
form when embarking on something like this. Okay, forget
"old-fashioned," just call me "old." :-) Book-learnin' was the only
thing we had when I was a yung-un, and it's what I'm used to.
I understand that the be-all-and-end-all of authoritative FreeBSD
reference is the online handbook (and, of course, the man pages and
docs included with the OS itself). I was wondering if more
experienced users could give me a few pointers about the best book
supplements for delving into this OS. Specifically, I'm looking for
advice about what might be too outdated to be useful (or worse, might
end up being more confusing than helpful) and what isn't. From
looking around and lurking here for a while, the books that look most
promising to me are:
"The Complete FreeBSD, 4th Ed." by Greg Lehey
"FreeBSD 6 Unleashed" by Brian Tiemann
"Absolute BSD" by Michael Lucas
"BSD Hacks" by Dru Lavigne
The latter, at least, seems like something best left for later, if I
really stick with it,. Of the first three -- well, the first is the
most appealing to me, but it's somewhat more dated than the others (I
have seen the regularly posted reminders about online updates). I'm
certainly not averse to buying two books; however, I don't want to
drown myself -- keeping in mind that I'm not the most technically
inclined person and my purpose is to learn to use FreeBSD as a
general-purpose desktop system. I've no special or advanced uses in
mind, though I am hoping that ultimately learning more about FreeBSD
will also have the benefit of teaching me more about making use of the
Darwin subsystem of OS X.
Any thoughts, advice, pointers? Anything I missed, especially any
general UNIX books that might go well with one of the above?
Well, I can understand, to some extent, where you're coming from.
It's much easier to justify throwing the book down beside the bed
when you're about to doze off, as opposed to, say, a new laptop.
Recently, "Grog" Lehey released "The Complete FreeBSD" under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 license.
Source is available, as well as a PDF document.
I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you buy a paper copy, but you
could print your own, also:
I would much prefer to buy a paper copy, I was really wondering if the
paper copy is too outdated to be of use or so outdated that it might get
me in trouble. I imagine there's lots of things that haven't changed
much at all -- more in the vein of "concepts" and "principles" if not
There are many things I would know to watch out for, mostly userland/GUI
apps and software. I'm not worried, for example, about instructions for
configuring the X server being out of date. I've already gone through
the transition to X.org 7.0 from X.org 6.9 on a couple of Linux distros,
and I don't think FreeBSD 6.1 is using X.org 7.0 yet. So if the book
goes into detail about configuring XFree86, that's not a big deal. I'm
more concerned about messing up on things about which I don't know any
better, but even there I can always check the updates and the current
handbook online before I monkey around too much. It's just that if
there's *too* much of that, then the usefulness of the printed book is
Michael M. ++ Portland, OR ++ USA
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions
of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to
dream." --S. Jackson
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