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Keywords: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP, Python, mod_perl

Title: The Linux Web Server CD Bookshelf

Author: Various

Publisher: O'Reilly

ISBN: 0596005296

Media: CD/Book

Level: All

Verdict: Core reference works in one useful package

This is a collection of books on CD that should need no introduction. The six volumes on CD are core references for anybody building and deploying LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP). That it comes with a hard copy of Linux In A Nutshell, (the 4th edition), is a real bonus, as this is the one most likely to sit on your desk. Trying to do an individual review on all six book is a bit pointless, so here's a quick run down on each of them in turn:

Linux In A Nutshell - a core reference manual. It starts with a sysadmin over view before going straight into a very full listing of Linux commands. From there individual topics are examined: package managers (Red Hat and Debian), Linux shells (bash and tcsh get individual chapters), Emacs, vi, regular expressions, GNOME, KDE and a whole lot more.

Running Linux - Installation, configuration, networking. This is the fourth edition on the CD, and there's expanded material on firewalls, ADSL, sound etc. Together with Linux In A Nutshell these two books cover just about everything you could want, including coverage of programming (C, shell programming, Perl, Java and a quick intro to Python).

Managing and Using MySQL - This is the 2nd edition of the book. Does what it says on the tin. Looks at MySQL from installation to administration to programming. Includes a reference section at the end of the book.

Apache: The Definitive Guide - Comprehensive guide to installing, running and programming Apache. Includes extensive material on developing for the Apache platform.

Programming PHP - This is for PHP 4. Anyone interested in PHP 5 should look at Core PHP instead. In the mean time those of us still on PHP 4 can find a good introduction and reference here. Aside from the usual function reference and language introduction, there are chapters on specific technologies like XML, PDF, Databases, Graphics etc.

Practical mod-perl - Last but not least is the second edition of the mod_perl book. This includes material on mod_perl 2.0 for integration with Apache 2.0.

All of the material on the CD is fully searchable from within your browser, which is a real time-saver at times. The CD also includes a small(ish) selection of articles from the O'Reilly Network. Although these are interesting they don't really add much to the overall content.

In terms of cost and convenience this is a great buy. If you've got a couple of the books already then perhaps the cost/benefit isn't so clear, but there's no doubting the high quality of the books. Overall this is an excellent package.

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