Author/s : Matthew Helmke, Ryan Troy, Andrew Hudson, Paul Hudson Publisher : Sams
Category : Other Review by : Rob Spoor
Rating : 7 horseshoes
According to the book, it presents "advanced coverage" of Ubuntu. After reading the book I have to disagree. It does handle a lot of topics (in no less than 36 chapters), but in just 681 pages; that's an average of 19 pages per chapter. The result of this is that the book is like a freight train at times - going through subjects in high speed without many details. Especially the two chapters on the command line suffer from this problem. The second one, "Command Line Masterclass", doesn't even mention using && and || or error stream redirecting. The book tries to tell it all, but because of this actually says little about a lot.
Another main problem is a poor editing job. There are still quite a bit of errors in the book, ranging from formatting errors to images being out of order to incorrect forward references to typos in commands. A few commands that I copied from the book don't even run on my Ubuntu 10.10 installation because of missing / incorrect parameters, and even a missing : in a PATH variable. The instructions also seem to be wrong at time; I could get neither SWAT nor PostgreSQL running properly using the instructions in the book.
And what's up with the promise of a "Free Upgrade to Ubuntu 11.04"? The DVD is only available to US and Canada residents, but of course you can also download it for free from the Ubuntu website.
In the end, I'm not saying it's a bad book; it did teach me a new trick or two. I just wouldn't recommend it.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.