As you have probably guessed, many sources of information about Linux are available, apart from this book.
If you have access to the Internet, you can get many Linux documents via web and anonymous FTP sites all over the world. If you do not have direct Internet access, these documents may still be available to you; many Linux distributions on CD-ROM contain all the documents mentioned here and are often available off the retail shelf. Also, they are distributed on many other networks, such as Fidonet and CompuServe.
A great number of web and FTP archive sites carry Linux software and related documents. Appendix A contains a listing of some of the Linux documents available via the Internet.
Examples of available online documents are the Linux FAQ, a collection of frequently asked questions about Linux; the Linux HOWTO documents, each describing a specific aspect of the system — including the Installation HOWTO, the Printing HOWTO, and the Ethernet HOWTO; and the Linux META-FAQ, a list of other sources of Linux information on the Internet.
Most of these documents are also posted regularly to one or more Linux-related Usenet newsgroups; see Section 1.8.3 later in this chapter.
The Linux Documentation home page is available to web users at http://www.tldp.org. This page contains many HOWTOs and other documents, as well as pointers to other sites of interest to Linux users, including the Linux Documentation Project manuals (see the following section).
The Bibliography at the end of this book points you to a wealth of sources that will help you use your system. There are a number of published works specifically about Linux. In addition, a number of free books are distributed on the Internet by the Linux Documentation Project (LDP), a project carried out over the Internet to write and distribute a bona fide set of “manuals” for Linux. These manuals are analogs to the documentation sets available with commercial versions of Unix: they cover everything from installing Linux to using and running the system, programming, networking, kernel development, and more.
The LDP manuals are available via the Web, as well as via mail order from several sources. The Bibliography lists the manuals that are available and covers the means of obtaining them in detail. O’Reilly & Associates, Inc. has published the Linux Network Administrator’s Guide from the LDP.
Aside from the growing number of Linux books, there are a large number of books about Unix in general that are certainly applicable to Linux — as far as using and programming the system is concerned, Linux doesn’t differ greatly from other implementations of Unix in most respects. In fact, this book is meant to be complemented by the large library of Unix books currently available; here, we present the most important Linux-specific details and hope you will look to other sources for more in-depth information.
Armed with a number of good books about using Unix, as well as the book you hold in your hands, you should be able to tackle just about anything. The Bibliography includes a list of highly recommended Unix books, for Unix newcomers and wizards alike.
There are at least two monthly magazines about Linux: Linux Journal and Linux Magazine. These are an excellent way to keep in touch with the many goings-on in the Linux community.
Usenet is a worldwide electronic news and discussion forum with a heavy contingent of so-called “newsgroups,” or discussion areas devoted to a particular topic. Much of the development of Linux has been done over the waves of the Internet and Usenet, and not surprisingly, a number of Usenet newsgroups are available for discussions about Linux.
There are far too many newsgroups devoted to Linux to list here. The ones dealing directly with Linux are under the comp.os.linux hierarchy, and you’ll find others on related topics like comp.windows.x.
If you have access to Internet electronic mail, you can participate in a number of mailing lists devoted to Linux. These run the gamut from kernel hacking to basic user questions. Many of the popular Linux mailing lists have associated web sites with searchable archives, allowing you to easily find answers to common questions. We list some of these resources in Appendix A.