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OpenSuSE 11.1 Quick Start Guide
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12.5 For More Information

Apart from the product-specific help resources, there is a broad range of information available for Linux topics.

12.5.1 Online Resources for openSUSE

The openSUSE community are helpful people. If you have a specific question you can write to several mailing lists, communicate with Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or browse through Web Forums. Find more information at

12.5.2 The Linux Documentation Project

The Linux Documentation Project (TLDP) is run by a team of volunteers who write Linux-related documentation (see The set of documents contains tutorials for beginners, but is mainly focused on experienced users and professional system administrators. TLDP publishes HOWTOs, FAQs, and guides (handbooks) under a free license.


HOWTOs are usually a short, informal, step-by-step guides to accomplishing specific tasks. HOWTOs can be found in the package howto and are installed under /usr/share/doc/howto

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs (frequently asked questions) are a series of questions and answers. They originate from Usenet newsgroups where the purpose was to reduce continuous reposting of the same basic questions.


Manuals and guides for various topics or programs can be found at They range from Bash Guide for Beginners to Linux Filesystem Hierarchy to Linux Administrator's Security Guide . Generally, guides are more detailed and exhaustive than a HOWTO or FAQ. They are usually written by experts for experts. Some of these books are old but still valid and ship with openSUSE. Search and install these books and guides with YaST.

12.5.3 Usenet

Created in 1979 before the rise of the Internet, Usenet is one of the oldest computer networks and still in active use. The format and transmission of Usenet articles is very similar to e-mail, but is developed for a many-to-many communication.

Usenet is organized into seven topical categories: comp.* for computer-related discussions, misc.* for miscellaneous topics, news.* for newsgroup-related matters, rec.* for recreation and entertainment, sci.* for science-related discussions, soc.* for social discussions, and talk.* for various controversial topics. The top levels are split in subgroups. For instance, comp.os.linux.hardware is a newsgroup for Linux-specific hardware issues.

Before you can post an article, have your client connect to a news server and subscribe to a specific newsgroup. News clients include Knode or Evolution. Each news server communicates to other news servers and exchanges articles with them. Not all newsgroups may be available on your news server.

Interesting newsgroups for Linux users are comp.os.linux.apps, comp.os.linux.questions, and comp.os.linux.hardware. If you cannot find a specific newsgroup, go to Follow the general Usenet rules available online at

12.5.4 Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia

Wikipedia is a multilingual encyclopedia designed to be read and edited by anyone (see The content of Wikipedia is created by its users and is published under a free license (GFDL). Any visitor can edit articles.

12.5.5 Standards and Specifications

There are various sources that provide information about standards or specifications.

The Linux Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the distribution of free software and open source software. The organization endeavors to achieve this by defining distribution-independent standards. The maintenance of several standards, such as the important LSB (Linux Standard Base), is supervised by this organization.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is one of the best-known standards organizations. It was founded in October 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee and concentrates on standardizing Web technologies. W3C promotes the dissemination of open, license-free, and manufacturer-independent specifications, such as HTML, XHTML, and XML. These Web standards are developed in a four-stage process in working groups and are presented to the public as W3C recommendations (REC).

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is an international consortium specializing in the development of standards for Web security, e-business, business transactions, logistics, and interoperability between various markets.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is an internationally active cooperative of researchers, network designers, suppliers, and users. It concentrates on the development of Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet by means of protocols.

Every IETF standard is published as an RFC (Request for Comments) and is available free-of-charge. There are six types of RFC: proposed standards, draft standards, Internet standards, experimental protocols, information documents, and historic standards. Only the first three (proposed, draft, and full) are IETF standards in the narrower sense (see

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is an organization that draws up standards in the areas of information technology, telecommunication, medicine and health care, transport, and others. IEEE standards are subject to a fee.

The ISO Committee (International Organization for Standards) is the world's largest developer of standards and maintains a network of national standardization institutes in over 140 countries. ISO standards are subject to a fee. ,

The Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) is a registered technical and scientific association. It was founded in 1917. According to DIN, the organization is the institution responsible for standards in Germany and represents German interests in worldwide and European standards organizations.

The association brings together manufacturers, consumers, trade professionals, service companies, scientists and others who have an interest in the establishment of standards. The standards are subject to a fee and can be ordered using the DIN home page.

OpenSuSE 11.1 Quick Start Guide
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