If you are new to the world of Linux, there are a number of resources to explore and become familiar with. Having access to the Internet is helpful, but not essential.
Your primary resource for information on Red Hat Linux is Red Hat’s web site at http://www.redhat.com. Red Hat’s web site includes more resources than can be mentioned here. Among the most important are:
- The Red Hat Linux 7.2 support page
At this site, you’ll find:
The Official Red Hat Linux Installation Guide
Hardware Compatibility Lists
The Official Red Hat Linux Getting Started Guide
Red Hat Linux 7.2 Gotchas and Workarounds
Red Hat Linux 7.2 All Errata
Red Hat Linux FAQ
Red Hat Linux 7.2 Reference Guide
Red Hat Linux 7.2 Customization Guide
- The redhat-install-list mailing list
On this list, you can obtain installation assistance from members of the Red Hat Linux community.
Bugzilla is a database that lists possible bugs affecting Red Hat Linux. The database often gives fixes or workarounds for bugs.
The Linux Documentation Project (LDP) is a group of volunteers who have worked to produce books (guides), HOWTO documents, and manual pages on topics ranging from installation to kernel programming. The LDP works include:
- Linux Installation and Getting Started
By Matt Welsh et al. This book describes how to obtain, install, and use Linux. It includes an introductory Unix tutorial and information on systems administration, the X Window System, and networking.
- Linux System Administrators Guide
By Lars Wirzenius and Joanna Oja. This book is a guide to general Linux system administration and covers topics such as creating and configuring users, performing system backups, configuring major software packages, and installing and upgrading software.
- Linux System Adminstration Made Easy
By Steve Frampton. This book describes day-to-day administration and maintenance issues of relevance to Linux users.
- Linux Programmers Guide
By B. Scott Burkett, Sven Goldt, John D. Harper, Sven van der Meer, and Matt Welsh. This book covers topics of interest to people who wish to develop application software for Linux.
- The Linux Kernel
By David A. Rusling. This book provides an introduction to the Linux kernel, how it is constructed, and how it works. Take a tour of your kernel.
- The Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide
By Ori Pomerantz. This guide explains how to write Linux kernel modules.
More manuals are in development. For more information about the LDP, consult their World Wide Web server at http://www.linuxdoc.org or one of its many mirrors.
- HOWTO documents
The Linux HOWTOs are a comprehensive series of papers detailing various aspects of the system, such as installation and configuration of the X Window System software or how to write in assembly language programming under Linux. These are generally located in the
HOWTOsubdirectory of the FTP sites listed later, or they are available on the World Wide Web at one of the many Linux Documentation Project mirror sites. See the file
HOWTO-INDEXfor a list of what’s available.
You might want to obtain the
Installation HOWTO, which describes how to install Linux on your system; the
Hardware Compatibility HOWTO, which contains a list of hardware known to work with Linux; and the
Distribution HOWTO, which lists software vendors selling Linux on diskette and CD-ROM.
- Linux Frequently Asked Questions
If you have access to anonymous FTP, you can obtain all the previously listed Linux documentation from various sites, including http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/docs and ftp://tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/docs.
These sites are mirrored by a number of sites around the world.
There are many Linux-based WWW sites available. The home site for the Linux Documentation Project can be accessed at http://www.linuxdoc.org.
The Open Source Writers Guild (OSWG) is a project whose scope extends beyond Linux. The OSWG, like this book, is committed to advocating and facilitating the production of open source (http://www.opensource.org) documentation. The OSWG home site is at http://www.oswg.org:8080/oswg.
Both of these sites contain hypertext (and other) versions of many Linux-related documents.
A number of publishing companies and software vendors publish the works of the Linux Documentation Project. Two such vendors are:
- Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC)
http://www.ssc.com P.O. Box 55549 Seattle, WA 98155-0549 Phone: (206) 782-7733 Fax: (206) 782-7191 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Linux Systems Labs
http://www.lsl.com 18300 Tara Drive Clinton Township, MI 48036 Phone: (810) 987-8807 Fax: (810) 987-3562 Email: email@example.com
Both companies sell compendiums of Linux HOWTO documents and other Linux documentation in printed and bound form. O’Reilly & Associates, Inc., publishes a series of Linux books, including:
- Running Linux
This installation and user guide to the system describes how to get the most out of personal computing with Linux.
- Linux in a Nutshell
Another in the successful “in a Nutshell” series, this book focuses on providing a broad reference text for Linux.
- LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell
While this book is geared toward junior-level system administrators who want to take the Linux Professional Institute’s exams for Level 1 Certification (LPIC-1), this book is also a great resource for new users, such as yourself.
Linux Journal and Linux Magazine are monthly magazines for the Linux community, written and published by a number of Linux activists. They contain articles ranging from novice questions and answers to kernel programming internals. Even if you have Usenet access, these magazines are a good way to stay in touch with the Linux community.
Linux Journal is the older magazine and is published by SSC, Inc., for which details were listed previously. You can also find the magazine on the World Wide Web at http://www.linuxjournal.com.
Linux Magazine is a newer, independent publication. The home web site for the magazine is http://www.linuxmagazine.com.
If you have access to Usenet news, the following Linux-related newsgroups are available:
Announcements by Red Hat.
For software developers using Red Hat Linux.
Issues related to installation of Red Hat Linux.
General Red Hat Linux issues.
General Red Hat Linux issues and advocacy.
For Red Hat Package Manager (RPM).
- comp.os.linux.redhat, linux.redhat
Dedicated to addressing general questions related to Red Hat Linux.
Administering Linux systems.
Arguing the benefits of Linux in comparison to other operating systems.
Moderated. Announcements of new software, distributions, bug reports, and goings-on in the Linux community. All Linux users should read this group. Submissions may be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discussions about developing the Linux kernel and system itself.
Writing Linux applications and porting applications to Linux.
Linux kernels, device drivers, and modules.
Writing embedded systems using Linux.
Hardware compatibility with the Linux operating system.
Help in installing and using Linux.
Topics not covered by other groups.
Networking and communication.
Linux on laptops and other portable computers.
Questions and answers concerning Linux.
Security issues concerning Linux.
Linux installation and system administration.
X servers, clients, libraries, and fonts.
There are a large number of specialist Linux mailing lists on which you can find many people willing to help with questions you might have.
The best known of these are the lists hosted by Rutgers University. You may subscribe to these lists by sending an email message formatted as follows:
To: email@example.com Subject: anything at all Body: subscribe
Some of the available lists related to Linux networking are:
Discussion relating to Linux networking
Discussion relating to the Linux PPP implementation
Discussion relating to Linux kernel development
There are many ways of obtaining help online, where volunteers from around the world offer expertise and services to assist users with questions and problems.
The OpenProjects IRC Network is an IRC network devoted entirely to open projects—open source and open hardware alike. Some of its channels are designed to provide online Linux support services. IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, a network service that allows you to talk interactively on the Internet to other users. IRC networks support multiple channels on which groups of people talk. Whatever you type in a channel is seen by all other users of that channel.
There are a number of active channels on the OpenProjects IRC network
where you will find users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week who are
willing and able to help you solve any Linux problems you may have or
just chat. You can use this service by installing an IRC client like
irc-II, connecting to
irc.openprojects.org:6667, and joining the
Many Linux user groups around the world offer direct support to users, and many engage in activities such as installation days, talks and seminars, demonstration nights, and other completely social events. Linux user groups are a great way of meeting other Linux users in your area. There are a number of published lists of Linux user groups. Some of the better-known ones are:
The following are useful Linux-related web sites. Check them out to get the latest information about Linux. Perhaps the most useful is the home page of the Linux Documentation Project (LDP). There, you can find almost anything you want to know about Linux. The Linux Documentation Project web site includes a search engine that makes it easy to find what you need.
- Eric S. Raymond’s Linux Reading List HOWTO
- Linux Documentation Project
- Linux Gazette
- Linux Today
- Linux Web Ring
The Linux Web Ring offers a convenient way to explore a variety of Linux-related web sites. Participating web sites present links to one another; by following these links, you can circumnavigate the entire ring or you can use the Web Ring’s home page to seek exactly the sort of page you’re interested in.
- Linux Weekly News
- O’Reilly & Associates Linux DevCenter
The motto of the Slashdot web site is “News for nerds. Stuff that matters.” You’ll find a great deal of interesting news and information there, concerning not only Linux, but the open source community and computing generally.