Skip to content.
The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques The Debian System -- Concepts and Techniques
Martin F. Krafft Open Source Press / No Starch Press ISBN 3-937514-07-4 / 1-593270-69-0
Personal tools

Voices & Feedback

Document Actions

Below is a list of quotes from readers of my book. If you would like to have your opinion included, please email me. Entries may be anonymised.

I'm gobsmacked. The whole Debian System in one definitive guide. I recommend it warmly to all experienced administrators. -- Andreas John (CTO, net-lab GmbH)

Quite an accomplishment! Exactly what Debian needed. A must-get for anyone who uses Debian professionally. Thank you, Martin! -- Jörg Fendrich

... one of the most concise and resourceful computer books I've seen. This is not a Debian reference, I would call this the Debian Bible. -- Piet Vroon

"The Debian System" is exactly the one I'd been looking for. It's an excellent discussion of sarge (3.1), and it's full of useful information: theory, philosophy, HOWTO, and why. [...] And the best thing about it is that when it's lying open by the keyboard, the book doesn't try to close itself -- the pages lie flat. [...] Kudos to the publisher! And you, too. This is a marvelous piece of work. -- Glenn English

This is the best book I've seen in many years. It does not only cover the technical details I needed to understand as a Debian user, but it also shows clearly the quality of the Debian system and project. -- Jan Colpaert

The book is for beginners with an interest in the technical aspects, just as much as it is for seasoned Debian users: not everyone is familiar with the diversity of configuration mechanisms and tools of the free distribution. Notwithstanding its distinctly theoretical approach, this tome excels with a substantial quantity of practical examples which illustrate the coherences [of the distribution] further. -- Andreas Bohle (Linux Magazin 08/2005, p. V)

Krafft manages to illustrate topics such as APT pinning, which have a reputation of being complicated and daunting, in an accessible way. [...] Even long-time users will most certainly find new and interesting stuff between the covers. [...] The book has the potential to become the future Debian Bible. -- Nico Golde

Wow! I was not going to buy this book. Really not. And then an hour later I was still standing in the store, still holding it in my hands, and still reading. [The author] has put together the most complete and definitive collection of advanced Debian knowledge I've seen, it is an outstanding book. -- Hans Gustav Feller

This is probably the best book about Debian ever written, but it has a specific target audience: those who are already familiar with GNU/Linux, or at least other unices. [...] Martin F. Krafft explains [Debian GNU/Linux] with clarity in a thorough and very well written book. [...] For those with already a basic understanding of GNU/Linux and interested in debian Kraffts book will be THE indispensable companion. [...] This is definitely the best written and most intelligent IT book I have ever read. --

For an overview of how and why Debian is different from other distributions, The Debian System: Concepts and Techniques by Martin Krafft explains it all. -- Tutorus Maximus "Dave"

This is one of the most comprehensive and detailed accounts of the largest Linux distribution in existence. [...] All technical aspects of this distribution are explained with remarkable clarity of a person who is rather familiar with the system. -- Ladislav Bodnar, Distrowatch

I liked this book because, finally, an author has had the presence of mind to write a book that did not regurgitate Unix commands like 'ls' and 'vi' for the gazillionth time. [...] In summary, raise the quality of your Linux reading a few notches by purchasing this book, and raise the quality of your personal computer usage by installing debian or its derivatives. -- Jagadeesh K. Venugopal

This book is unusual in that it is much more than a technical discussion - it delves into the philosophy of the system, explains how someone becomes a recognized Debian developer and details the way that Debian is licensed. That's not to say the book doesn't get technical. It provides a very well-written, soup-to-nuts explanation of how Debian is organized; how to install, configure and modify the system; and how to administer and secure it. Excellent and highly recommended. -- Mark Gibbs, Network World (28 Nov 2005)

I did note that you are not a native speaker on numerous occasions. However, never was I thrown off your detailed discussion of Debian's guts. [...] Future computer book authors will have quite some difficulty reaching up to your standards. I am glad you concentrated on content, not prose. [...] Your book is a pleasure to read. Thank you! -- Claudia Jones

[...] it was clear that whatever Martin had set out to achieve with his book, it had found a very receptive and appreciative audience. -- Stephen Grady, Redmonk

Charles Darwin would “get” the beauty Debian if he were alive today. Martin Krafft certainly “gets” the beauty of Debian, and he wants you to get it too, so he has written a very detailed exposition of the Debian code and community. [...] If there was one word that I would use to describe Martin's book, that word would be “meticulous.” -- Christian Einfeldt, MadPenguin

He does not come through as a person strongly advocating his preferred operating system - in fact, he freely admits that Debian might not be for everyone and other Linux distributions (or even other operating systems) might sometimes be more suitable for certain users and tasks. -- Ladislav Bodnar, Distrowatch

Martin's interesting 37-page chapter on how Debian is structured [...] will probably become a small, but important and enduring part of the stories that Debian developers will tell about themselves. [...] Martin's thorough, but succinct, summary of the Debian project will be one of the features that will cause Debian fans to keep Martin's book in a well-thumbed condition on their shelves. -- Christian Einfeldt, MadPenguin

No matter how skilled you are in administrating a Debian box and irrespective of how confident you are running the multitude of Debian commands at 4 o'clock in the morning, you are bound to learn something new. There is so much amazing information packed in this book that it is impossible for any one person to know it all. A great reference material [...]. -- Ladislav Bodnar, Distrowatch

I have always enjoyed computer books [...] The Debian System - Concepts And Techniques will go down as one of the greatest of them all - the one that I will certainly keep on the table for a long time before I put it up on the shelf, but even then, it will never be far from reach. An absolute must for all users of Debian and Debian derivatives, and a proud addition to any Linux user's book collection. Highly recommended. -- Ladislav Bodnar, Distrowatch

Martin follows [a] general pedagogic method throughout all of the technical chapters of his book: policy; concept; techniques; and examples. I say pedagogic, not pendantic. Martin is not going to talk down to you, but he will give you puh-lenty of deep info about the Debian utilities and fundamental code structures [...]. In fact, this text certainly is suitable for a college-level course on computer system administration. -- Christian Einfeldt, MadPenguin

The book is amazing, [... the] level of quality assurance is fantastic. -- Javier Candeira,

It's the best book that I ever read about the subject. -- Gustavo Franco

If you're going to be running Debian, here's your Bible. -- Peter H. Salus, UNIX Review

Kudos to Martin F. Krafft for putting together one excellent book about the concepts and techniques for the Debian Linux distribution. [...] This is one of those books that goes into complete detail about every aspect of the Debian project. A very well written book with examples and lots of information for any user that wants to learn more about the Debian project or use it as a resource alongside a standard Linux reference book to bootstrap your Linux experience with Debian. I give The Debian System - Concepts and Techniques a big two thumbs up and two toes up!! -- Chad Laity, Cariboo Computer Magazine

This 600-plus-page tome['s ...] coverage of Debian's software management system and administration concepts, and of the way the Debian development project itself is organized, is impressive. -- Jason Brooks, eWEEK Labs

Great book, sorely needed. It's "zen" sets it apart. -- Geoff Sheppard

I was extremely impressed by Martin Krafft's The Debian System. -- Richard Bejtlich, Tao Security

Can you imagine a book about Debian GNU/Linux stretching to 600 pages? No, not covering any of the applications that ship with Debian, nor delving into general configuration of, say, X or Samba. Just pure Debian; that is to say, the book covers Debian-specific utilities only, in densely printed pages with hardly any screenshots. Yup, a book like that has just been published under the name of The Debian System - Concept and Techniques. Written by Martin Krafft, this is one of the most comprehensive and detailed accounts of the largest Linux distribution in existence. -- Noel Davis,

From fundamental concepts to advanced techniques, most topics in this book are covered in great depth, so it is likely to have a long shelf-life on most readers' bookshelves. -- Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.

The book certainly should appeal to seasoned Debian users, who will enjoy exploring the advanced topics. -- Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.

The book also provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how a GNU/Linux distribution is developed -- Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.

I liked Krafft's precise, straight-to-the-point writing style. He makes basic as well as advanced topics readable without coming across as either condescending or cryptic. The terse footnotes are useful and supplement the text with interesting tips and resources. This is a technical book for sure, without fluff or off-topic detours, and it's packed with information. Still, Krafft manages to impart a personal feel by sharing his observations and balanced opinions. He delivers frank assessments of the strengths, weaknesses and eccentricities of a Debian system. In fact, the book even includes an appendix on how to decide if Debian is the right GNU/Linux distribution for you. -- Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.

Krafft's explanations about the reasoning and motivation behind Debian's design and implementation have been invaluable. With the help of this book, I have discovered utilities I had no idea existed. In short, it has helped me become a more informed Debian user. The Debian System is essential reading for all Debian users. -- Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.

Prospective TDS readers should understand that this book is unlike any I have read on operating systems. Readers will not have to skip pages on setting up Apache or configuring BIND, thankfully! Instead, TDS covers core system administration subjects to a degree I have not seen elsewhere. [...] Krafft takes readers on an inside tour of the how and why of Debian. Rather than just explaining a technique or tool, the author discusses the overall problem, possible ways to approach it, and Debian's solutions. He presents pros and cons for each, and then demonstrates usage with command line syntax and sample output. -- Richard Bejtlich, Tao Security

Krafft is obviously a Debian enthusiast, but he is not a zealot blind to any flaws Debian might possess. He is also not afraid to praise other OS' (like NetBSD) or declare that certain misconceptions (think debconf) are invalid. When necessary he compares Debian tools or syntax to other Linux distributions, such as a chart on pp 200-201 on apt, yum, up2date, and urpmi. The book also contains a large number of footnotes with URLs for more research and additional commentary. -- Richard Bejtlich, Tao Security

It is fair to say that Krafft's book has helped me decide to stay with Debian for systems that need to run Linux. I am confident that I can return to TDS when I need to solve problems, and be armed with a variety of options for doing so. I would love to see an equivalent book for FreeBSD! -- Richard Bejtlich, Tao Security

This excellent book has done an excellent job of targeting people familiar with Unix who are looking to understand what makes Debian different, and how to best put Debian's paradigms and tools to use. In other words, this book is intended to be a reference for the Debian system, as well as a guide for those that want to go further with the system. -- John Vacca

The Debian System is not just a manual. It's a philosophy tome. It's a bible. It's a love letter. And whereas this should not be one's first Linux book, it should be on every Linux enthusiast's reading list, whether one is a Debian user or not. -- Kristin Shoemaker,

I highly recommend The Debian System to anyone interested in how free/open source software works. I especially recommend it to intermediate Linux users, whether or not they're running a Debian-based system (though I imagine they'll want to try one by the time they're done with the book). -- Kristin Shoemaker,

The Debian System is probably one of the most complete works covering any distribution or indeed operating system, embracing the culture of the active community, key technologies and the development model itself. It's a total introduction to the Debian way [...] -- Linux User & Developer, February 2006, p. 93f.

The Debian System does a great job in sticking very closely to a tight remit, and only covering generic areas such as networking and security where the Debian way impacts on configuration. -- Linux User & Developer, February 2006, p. 93f.

[The book] is comprehensive and well written by someone who clearly knows what they are talking about. -- John Havey,

This book will have something new in store for all but the most advanced Debian users. While reading [it], I was surprised to find out how much I did not know about Debian GNU/Linux, the very operating system I use [...], especially about Debian's community orientation and about some powerful Debian tools that I never knew existed. -- Aric Campling, MozillaQuest

[The author] approaches [the text] from a very practical stance. He writes with a very down-to-earth methodology that neither condescends to nor speaks over the heads of its intended readers. -- Aric Campling, MozillaQuest

[The book] can provide you with a wealth of knowledge to make any Debian task easier, more efficient, and relatively painless. [...] Krafft details a set of additional Debian software management tools that aid the user or administrator in maintaining a clean, streamlined system. -- Aric Campling, MozillaQuest

This is the definitive Debian manual, and I wish it had been written years ago. Mr. Krafft's affection and enthusiasm for Debian is apparent, and makes this book a pleasurable read. -- Carla Schroder, Groklaw

There isn't anything about this book I don't like. Except I wish it had been published years ago. -- Carla Schroder, Groklaw

This book truly rocks. [...] This is probably the single best Linux book I own. -- angrykeyboarder "Scott"

I believe this book is the perfect book for anyone switching from another GNU w/Linux distro to Debian GNU w/Linux. -- Jon T. Stokkeland

[...] an outstanding book that is based on Debian using Linux as the kernel. [...] This excellent book has done an excellent job of targeting people familiar with Unix who are looking to understand what makes Debian different. -- John R. Vacca


Abhijeet Chavan, Urban Insight, Inc.: The book also provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how a GNU/Linux distribution is developed


Powered by Plone

This site conforms to the following standards: