Lately it seems that two topics crop up in conversation
after conversation: the stock market and Linux. As for the stock
market, I'm something of a pessimist. When friends and even
perfect strangers continually recount their recent
financial successes, I conclude that a stock market correction
is overdue. (I've shifted my investments to bonds.)
As for Linux, I'm considerably more - perhaps
wildly - optimistic. When my realtor tells me about the TV
feature on Linux she saw on CNN, I see it as a harbinger of
Linux Spring. Like her, my cable TV repairman, and my colleague
in the next office, you've probably heard about Linux from a
magazine, radio or TV program, or a friend. You're
wondering what Linux is about and whether you should give it a
try. If so, particularly if you currently use Microsoft Windows,
this book was written for you.
Not long ago, Linux was the plaything of the technical
elite. Today, however, Linux is much easier to use. Every day
brings a new tool or feature designed for ease of use. If you
work with Microsoft Windows and have dabbled a bit in MS-DOS, or
are curious about what happens inside Windows, you can install
and configure Linux. Thousands of people from all walks of
life - even journalists, who are notorious for their
technical ineptitude - have already done so.
This book will make your Linux journey easier, by giving you
the big picture, providing you with step-by-step procedures,
and getting you started doing useful or fun activities, such as
word processing or games. This book focuses on the needs of the
new Linux user and on desktop Linux applications. You'll
learn about networks and servers, but the details of those
topics are left for more advanced books.
This book includes a CD-ROM that contains Debian GNU/Linux,
so you have in your hand all you need to get started using
Linux. Much of the material in this book applies to Linux
generally and not merely to Debian GNU/Linux; so, even if you
prefer to use another Linux distribution, you'll probably find
this book useful.
Why Run Linux?, is designed to introduce you
to Linux and help you determine whether Linux is appropriate
Preparing to Install Linux, helps you understand what's
involved in installing Linux and guides you through a
procedure to gather information needed to successfully
Installing Linux, takes you step-by-step
through the installation of Linux.
Issuing Linux Commands, describes the basics of how
to use the Linux command-line interface, which resembles
MS-DOS but is much more powerful and sophisticated.
Installing and Configuring the X Window System, shows you how to install and
Using the X Window System, shows you how to use X, the
graphical user interface included with Debian GNU/Linux. If
you've used Microsoft Windows, you'll find X familiar and easy
Configuring and Administering Linux, shows you how to configure
your Linux system. Administering a multi-user operating system
such as Linux is somewhat more complicated than administering
a single-user operating system, but Linux includes tools that
simplify the work.
Using Linux Applications and Clients, describes several of the most
popular applications available for Linux, including desktop
suites and word processors.
Playing Linux Games, describes several of the most
popular games available for Linux. The chapter also shows you
how to run your favorite Microsoft Windows games under
Setting Up a Linux-Based LAN, shows you how to connect your
Linux system to other systems on your local area
Getting Connected to the Internet, shows you how to connect via
your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the Internet. Once
connected, you can use your Linux system to surf the Web and
access other familiar Internet services.
Setting Up a Linux-Based WAN, shows you how to set up
servers that users around the world can access via the
Internet. For example, you'll learn how to install and
configure Apache, the world's most popular web server.
Conquering the BASH Shell, digs deeper into the BASH
shell, the Linux command-line interface first introduced in
Chapter 4. Here you'll see firsthand just
how powerful and easy to use Linux can be.
Linux Directory Tree, describes the structure of
the principal Debian GNU/Linux directories.
Principal Linux Files, describes the principal Debian
GNU/Linux configuration files.
The Debian Package Management Utilities, describes the utilities
provided by Debian GNU/Linux for working with packages. These
utilities let you install applications, uninstall
applications, and query a database that describes installed
applications. This appendix also includes commands for
installing the applications described in this book.
Managing the Boot Process, explains how PCs boot and
describes how to configure your system to conveniently boot
Linux Command Quick Reference, briefly describes the most
useful Linux commands. It also presents Linux equivalents for
common MS-DOS commands.
Open Publication License, describes the Open Publication
License this book is distributed under.
The glossary defines terms used in the
book. Use it to spare yourself the effort of searching the
index to discover the page on which a term is defined.