From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 19:13:00 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Linux for Windows Nt/2000 Administrators: The Secret Decoder Ring

   by Mark Minasi / Dan York / Craig Hunt

    Sybex Books
    01 September, 2000


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Editorial description(s):
Too many Linux books shoot themselves in the foot, either by explaining Linux in terms that can't be understood without a grounding in some other Unix flavor or by expecting readers to follow instructions blindly and be satisfied at their completion. Linux for Windows NT/2000 Administrators advertises itself as a "secret decoder ring," which means that it explains Linux phenomena in Windows terms. For example, the book specifies that daemons are to Linux what services are to Windows NT/2000. It might not make any sense to those who are unfamiliar with either environment, but it's perfectly clear to those who know Windows. This sort of approach, which reflects knowledge of the audience, as well as the subject matter, is typical of accomplished author Mark Minasi.

In large part, this book comes across as Linux for the Reader Who Has a Clue. Minasi enumerates the tasks that system administrators typically have to carry out. Examples of these include installing software and manipulating the privileges of users and groups. He explains how to do those jobs in various Linux environments, and addresses himself to Windows experts who'll need a bit of background, but don't require babying. Minasi doesn't explain why you'd want to install applications, but rather explicitly the mechanics of installing RPM packages and tarballed source code. He states flatly that most people will be happy with a precompiled kernel--that's what works for Windows, after all--but shows how to build your own, anyway. The book's full of that kind of material. This fact-rich text is a pleasure to read and learn from. --David Wall

Topics covered: Linux 2.2, explained in terms that Windows adepts can understand easily. Staying rather distribution-neutral, the book explains how to install Linux, use it in single-user workstation mode, and configure it as a network operating system. System administration tasks--software maintenance, user management, network troubleshooting, and so on--get top billing, although an ongoing comparison of Linux and the Wintel platform is important, too.

Reader review(s):

THIS is DA BOOK for NT peple want to learn Linux FAST, October 13, 2000
I am so happy when someone wrote a book about Linux for NT/2000 Administrator, and couldn't be more happier when this person is Mark Minasi-- DA MAN. I have been waiting this book to be out since July.. I got it on Oct 9 and I being reading since then. I read every words, front cover, back cover, Intro.. (I work 10 hrs+ everyday and in 3 days I already on page 87) I'd try to learn linux since beginning of this year, but all the books that I buy about Linux is too hard to understand, It doesn't explain in a NT/2000 term that I understand, so, I finally gave up the ghost, gave up Linux... This book is so easy to understand... It explain everything in NT terms... The book come with a Linux Mandrake CD, and the book does not base on Mandrake, It also talk about other distributions... I know NT/2000 pretty darn well, but I am a newbie on Linux... With this book, I know it can get me up to speed with Linux... THIS is DA BOOK, if you know NT/2000 and TCP/IP and want to learn Linux FAST.

It gets you most of the way, but leaves out some stuff, June 26, 2001
Overall, this book is well worth purchasing. Mark does a good job of keeping the practical information and weeding out the useless .... There's a good, detailed discussion about how to get linux installed and running on your machine, including setting up basic services like www, dns, samba, etc. (I found the samba section especially good)

The chapters are well organized and flow nicely together. Additionally, the index (which is what I use the most) is detailed and easy to navigate -- you can generally find the right page the first time.

However, you'll find it won't suffice as your only linux book. There are too many basic topics that aren't covered, such as:

* How to do basic troubleshooting? What's the linux equivalent of the NT event viewer? What are some basic steps to take if you're having networking problems?

* How do you update drivers? (especially NIC drivers) It talks about configuring NIC properties, but not updating the actual driver.

* What's the linux equivalent of a service pack? Where do you go to get it and how do you install it?

Again, overall, this book is well worth the money and does a good job of preparing you to use linux. It will get you about 70% of the way there. For the remaining 30%, you'll want to pick up a more comprehensive linux book.

Good for Cocktail party bluffing ! Dangerous in reality !, November 28, 2000
At the start of the book the author does actually mention Party talk, but intimates the book will take you deeper if you want, I am afraid it fails badly, and is far too shallow for real world use, it provides just enough info to get you into real trouble, but no mention of the critical word troubleshooting. Linux is a constant state of troubleshooting,this book is only suitable for a casual Desktop user, useless for a real world sys admin, I don't know what the other reviewers saw in it, howerver it was the 5 star ratings that attracted me - more fool me ! the book relies heavily on Craig Hunts book Linux 24/7, which again is a poorly written and confusing attempt to explain a Linux server setup.

Excellent Book well worth the read, only one bad thing, January 28, 2002
This book is excellent. I am a long time Windows NT/2000 programmer / administrator. This book helps in you learn linux in windoze terms.

He starts off with a very nice and informative history on Linux and unix. Then does a fairly decent job of describing open source and how linux can grow and flourish in this environment. I mean, as former M$ guy, I couldnt quite figure out how Linux could thrive and continue to make forward progress in the mehem that seemed to be open source, where any one ant anytime could modify the source and start their own distribution. He answers that question quite nicely.

He then gives a detailed overview of all Linuxes and which one might be best for you.

Bottom line--
This is an excellent started book, that will give any NT admin the basics of learning Linux. The only flaw? The material is dated, Redhat 7.2 is out and he discusses Redhat 6.2, the same with all the other linux distros he talkes about, they are all older versions. None of which has mattered so far, I just wish it was over the newer stuff, maybe he will come out with an updated version? Too, this is only a beginner Linux book, get this with the intention of getting a solid learning foundation in Linux, then you can look elsewhere for a comprehensive book on Linux. I suggest Wrox, they are the best learning books I have ever read.

1) Concise
2) Covers all major versions
3) Does not overload you with Linux only speak
4) Explains linux in NT terms
5) Comes with Mandrake distro
6) Extremely converstional writing style very easy to read

1) Covers dated material
2) A bit thin on setting up servers, could go into a bit more detail, and does not offer any trouble shooting tips when doing so
3) Ugly blue cover (heh, my opinion only :o)) )

Great book! Well written + informative, May 31, 2001
As an experienced NT/2000 developer and administrator, I was having lots of difficulty making the mental transition to Linux/Unix. Minasi manages not only to keep the reading interesting, which has to a challenge in this subject matter, but the book does a great job in spelling out all the steps needed to do things that are second nature in NT/2000.

Something as mundane as setting up a FTP server in Linux required an explanyion of how user rights are managed - Minasi came through. He even has useful tidbits on VI and other tools that come in handy with Linux.

Also, I found it rather interesting that even thought he's known as the NT/2000 guru, he shows no reluctance to point out all the parts where Unix/Linux is superior to NT/2000. He even advises readers that it's a good career move to learn Linux!

One of the very best tech books I've read in years. Great work!

Book for NT admins, January 29, 2002
The overall content of the book is adequate for those new to Linux but is a bit dated (Written for OS versions well over two years ago) With new book available I would recomend buying Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, a great book. This book focuses entirely too much on Windows rather than Linux which is what it is supposed to be about.

Simply Brilliant,, January 17, 2001
This book is just brilliant. Im a Windows NT/2000 administrator and I wanted to get a grasp on Linux,I have looked at other books on Linux, but this book cuts out the waffle and explains it in terms I already know, saving me so much time.

The sections on DNS, Sendmail, Apache and Firewalls are just outstanding.

What I like in a book generally is that the Author should explain it to me like Im a two year old, which really fuels my interest and then load on the technical info, its re-inforced then and so much easier to apply, this book does just that The result - when you pick this book up, you just cannot put it down.

Buy this book you will not be dissapointed.

I get it too!, November 6, 2000
I've been waiting for a book like this for a long time. Every other Linux book that I had tried was either for the newbie or the well experienced. No one has taken the perspective that there are people out there who are familiar with servers and networking and might have a clue or two. I've been an MCSE for over 5 years now so my mind and methods were assimilated by the Microsoft way. Learning Linux was an exercise in futility since I couldn't link the methods of the two operating systems together. This book has changed everything. I got the book about a week ago and have gone through half of it already. The author keeps me interested in the material and presents it in a way that any NT administrator can understand. I can safely say that I have learned more about Linux in the first 6 chapters than I have learned from the 4 other Linux books I have purchased in the past. If you know NT/2000 and want to learn Linux, get this book.

Settles some issues, brings up more, January 11, 2001
I agree that this is a book that has been needed for a while, but is incomplete and somewhat misleading.

For one thing he completely glosses over both the free and commercial versions of the ASP engines (Apache::ASP, mod_perl, ChiliSoft), and spends little time in explaining something as essential to the Open Source and Linux movements as _make_. Also, he completely misses the point of Linux throughout the book, attributing Linux's success to free as in beer, vice free as in speech and the licensing and fair use issues.

The major contribution this book makes is as a bridge to the Windows script kiddies. Linux and Unix admins beware! More of them will know where to go in your file systems now!

Marginally fair to good as an intro, but dangerous.

one more try, February 13, 2001
alright, you guys didn't put my last review in because I made fun of Linux dorks. Well I won't do that this time. The book rules, alright. If you're an NT guy/girl, that is. If your not, then you obviously won't get much out of this book. Buy the freakin book. Mark does a great job of explaining how to set up all the services that you need to know with just the right amount of detail. If you want more detail, go buy one of those thousand page books that Craig Hunt writes. Him and that other guy with Mark made a good team for this project. Good job Mark & Co.

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