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This book is aimed at folks who want to know what button to push. Understanding the underlying theory is useful, but if you can't make the darn thing work, not very helpful. So it's light on theory and heavy on how-to-make-this-go, with detailed, step-by-step instructions. I've included many references to additional resources.

Readers should have a bit of Linux experience. You don't need to be a guru, but you should have some familiarity with the basics of booting up and shutting down, starting applications, Web surfing, and poking around the filesystem. You should know how to find and use the command line, as well as work in a graphical environment. You should understand that Linux is a true multi-user system, and that you use an ordinary unprivileged user account as much as possible, and that you only invoke root when you really need to.

This book assumes that you are in charge of a PC or LAN, and can acquire rootly powers when the occasion calls for them. You might be a power user who wants complete control of your Linux box, or a home user who wants to run a personal web or mail server, or set up a small LAN. Perhaps you are a Windows system admininstrator who has suddenly been ordered to "do Linux," and you need to know how to set up Linux servers for Windows clients. Maybe you want to add Linux servers to an existing network. You might need to integrate Linux and Windows desktop users on a LAN.

Or you have no need for Windows at all, and just want to learn Linux system administration.

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