So, you’ve staked out your homestead on the Linux frontier, and installed and configured your system. What’s next? Eventually you’ll want to communicate with other systems — Linux and otherwise — and the Pony Express isn’t going to suffice.
Fortunately, Linux supports a number of methods for data communication and networking. This includes serial communications, TCP/IP, and UUCP. In this chapter and the next, we will discuss how to configure your system to communicate with the world.
The Linux Network Administrator’s Guide, available from the Linux Documentation Project (See Linux Documentation Project in the Bibliography) and also published by O’Reilly & Associates, is a complete guide to configuring TCP/IP and UUCP networking under Linux. For a detailed account of the information presented here, we refer you to that book.
Linux supports a full implementation of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networking protocols. TCP/IP has become the most successful mechanism for networking computers worldwide. With Linux and an Ethernet card, you can network your machine to a local area network (LAN) or (with the proper network connections) to the Internet — the worldwide TCP/IP network.
Hooking up a small LAN of Unix machines is easy. It simply requires an Ethernet controller in each machine and the appropriate Ethernet cables and other hardware. Or if your business or university provides access to the Internet, ...