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Linux Newbie Administrator Guide
ver. 0.194 2003-06-04 by Stan, Peter and Marie Klimas

Click on a link below and go directly to the part, or scroll down to the detailed table of content.

Part 0: For the Undecided: Linux Benefit
Part 1. Before Linux Installation
(More after the ads...)

Part 2. Linux Resources, Help and Some Links
Part 3: Basic Operations FAQ
~ 3.1 Basics
~ 3.2 Users, passwords, file permissions, and security
~ 3.3 Job scheduling with "at", "batch", and cron
~ 3.4 Shell
~ 3.5 Package installation and rpm package manager
Part 4: Linux Newbie Administrator FAQ
~ 4.1 Startup issues (LILO and GRUB)
~ 4.2 Accessing my drives
~ 4.3 Working with X-windows
~ 4.4 Basic Configurations
~ 4.5 Networking
Part 5: Linux Shortcuts and Commands
Part 6: Some Essential Linux Applications
Part 7: Learning with Linux
Appendix. How to upgrade your kernel?

Table of Content

Part 0: For the Undecided: Linux Benefits

0.1 Fundamentally, why Linux?
0.2 Is Linux for me?
0.3 Linux is difficult for newbies
0.4 What are the benefits of Linux?
0.5 What are the differences between Linux and UNIX?
0.6 What are the differences between Linux and MS Windows?
0.7 I don't believe in free software, etc.
0.8 "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"
0.9 I need high security. With commercial software, I can sue them if things go wrong.
0.10 I need standards. Big software corporations (Microsoft) provide standards
0.11 I Need MS Windows for Reading Writing MS Word Documents
0.12 MS Windows popularity insures that it is "here to stay"
0.13 But LINUX may fork into many different systems
0.14 Linux is a cult
0.15 The total cost of ownership (TCO) of Linux is high
0.16 Linux is idealistic "dreaming"; it is business that rules the world nowadays
0.17 Linux sux etc.

Part 1. Before Linux Installation

1.1 Which Linux distribution should I use?
1.2 What are the Linux hardware requirements?
1.3 Will my hardware work under Linux?
1.4 How do I download Linux?
1.5 How do I get a Linux CD?
1.6 I have RedHat CD but no install floppy. What do I do?
1.7 What do I need to read before installation?
1.8 Can I have MS Windows and Linux installed on the same computer?
1.9 How to I partition my hard drive?
1.10 The MS Windows partition occupies my whole harddrive. Can I shrink/split it without a re-install?
1.11 How do I start the installation?
1.12 Is the Linux installation difficult?
1.13 Which packages should I install?
1.14 Which GUI desktop should I install, KDE or GNOME?
1.15 I finished the installation. How do I login for the very first time?
1.16 How do I crash Linux?
1.17 Can I use Graphical User Interface (GUI) all the time?
1.18 How do I upgrade a Linux distribution?

Part 2. Linux Resources, Help and Some Links

2.1 Any Linux reading materials?
2.2 Is there a help command?
2.3 Any dictionary of terms?
2.4 Web search
2.5 Newsgroups
2.6 Linux Internet links
2.7 Source code--the ultimate resource

Part 3: Basic Operations FAQ

3.1 Basics

3.1.1 Filenames
3.1.2 What are the different directories for?
3.1.3 How do I run a program?
3.1.4 How can I change the PATH?
3.1.5 How can I shutdown my computer?
3.1.6 How do I deal with a hanged program?
3.1.7 Command options

3.2 Users, passwords, file permissions, and security

3.2.1 Home directories, root, adding user
3.2.2 About password security
3.2.3 I forgot the root password
3.2.4 I forgot my user password
3.2.5 Disabling or removing a user account
3.2.6 I have file permission problems. How do file ownership and permissions work?
3.2.7 My mp3 player chokes. The sound is kind of interrupted (how to set suid)

3.3 Job scheduling with "at", "batch", and cron

3.3.1 How do I execute a command in the "background"?
3.3.2 How do I execute a command at a specified time ( using "at"or "batch")?
3.3.3 How do I set up cron?

3.4 Shell

3.4.1 What's a shell and do I want to use a different one?
3.4.2 How do I customize my shell prompt?
3.4.3 Colour in text terminal
3.4.4 How do I print symbols on the console, in a text mode application, or in X?
3.4.5 How do I write a simple shell script?
3.4.6 Meaning of quotes
3.4.7 Input/output redirection
3.4.8 Shell special characters (metacharacters)

3.5 Package installation and rpm package manager

3.5.1 How do I install a program I downloaded from the Internet?

Part 4: Linux Newbie Administrator FAQ

4.1 Startup issues (LILO and GRUB)

4.1.0 LILO and GRUB
4.1.1 Linux cannot detect all my memory
4.1.2 LILO displays only LI (or LIL) and hangs
4.1.3 How can I change the operating system that LILO boots on default?
4.1.4 The LILO prompt stays too short (or too long) on the screen during the bootup
4.1.5 Uninstalling Linux

4.2 Accessing my drives

4.2.1 Where are my drives?
4.2.2 How can I access my CDROM?
4.2.3 How to mount a floppy, zip drive, dos partition, or a network drive?
4.2.4 How to mount a remote MS Windows filesystem through Samba?
4.2.5 Any quick way to access a file on a DOS/Windows floppy?
4.2.6 Mounting works when I am root. Can a normal user mount?
4.2.7 Mounting command is too long, how can I simplify it with an alias?
4.2.8 Can I mount automatically?
4.2.9 How do I get my zip drive recognized?
4.2.10 Can I set 32-bit hard drive IO?
4.2.11 I reached the limit on the number of opened files (error message)
4.2.12 I attached a new hard drive. What do I do to start using it?
4.2.13 Swap space ( Swap partitions, Swap files)

4.3 Working with X-windows

4.3.1 How to switch between text and graphical consoles?
4.3.2 How do I set up my video card, monitor and mouse for the X-server?
4.3.3 Can I have a GUI login prompt?
4.3.4 How do I install KDE
4.3.5 How can I change my default desktop to KDE (or Gnome or yet another)?
4.3.6 Can I have multiple sessions of X running at the same time?
4.3.7 Can my sister have second GUI login prompt so she does not have to kill my X-session to start hers?
4.3.8 How to X-window remotely?
4.3.9 How do I install TrueType fonts from my MS Windows partition?
4.3.10 How do I copy-paste?
4.3.11 How do I Display and Control a Remote Desktop using VNC?

4.4 Basic Configurations

4.4.1 How to setup my soundcard?
4.4.2 How do I setup my printer?
4.4.3 Word Perfect 8 does not have a driver for my printer
4.4.4 Configuration files
4.4.5 Device files

4.5 Networking

4.5.1 Would it be worth it to set up my home network?
4.5.2 How to set up my home network?
4.5.3 I have problems configuring my ppp dial out
4.5.4 How to browse the net from my networked computer without a modem?
4.5.5 How do I use Samba?
4.5.6 Sendmail
4.5.7 Simple web server (running Apache)
4.5.8 Simple ftp server
4.5.9 How can one access my computer from the outside world when I am on the net using phone connection?
4.5.10 Can my home computer get hacked?

Part 5: Linux Shortcuts and Commands

5.1 Linux essential shortcuts and sanity commands
5.2 Help commands
5.3 System info
5.4 Basic operations
5.5 File management
5.6 Viewing and editing files
5.7 Finding files
5.8 Basics of X-windows
5.9 Network apps
5.10 File (de)compression
5.11 Process control
5.12 Basic administration commands
5.13 Disk Utilities
5.14 Management of user accounts and files permissions
5.15 Program installation
5.16 Accessing drives/partitions
5.17 Network administration tools
5.18 Sound-related commands
5.19 Graphics-related commands
5.20 Small games

Part 6: Some Essential Linux Applications

6.1. Word processing

6.1.1 StarOffice / OpenOffice Suite
6.1.2 abiword
6.1.3 kword
6.1.4 klyx, lyx and latex
6.1.5 WordNet (dictionary / thesaurus /synonym / antonym finder)

6.2 Spreadsheet
6.3 Databases
6.4 CAD
6.5 Web browsers: Mozilla, Konqueror, and Lynx
6.6 Writing CD-Rs: cdrecord and cdparanoia
6.7 Automating graphs with gnuplot

Part 7: Learning with Linux

7.1 Linux Advanced Text Processing Tools: banner; script, emacs, vi, nano, diff, patch, grep, regular expressions, sed, (g)awk, cvs, sort and ascii, gpg (pgp) , ...
7.2 Simple Programming under Linux: perl, python, tcl/tk/wish, c/c++, kdevelop, glade, ruby, g77,...
7.3 Math tools: dc, bc and "regular" calculator, scilab,generation of random characters on the command line...
7.4 Miscellaneous: wine, RAID disk tools, network traffic shaping.

Appendix. How to upgrade your kernel?

A.1 Introduction
A.2 What is kernel?
A.3 Why upgrade?
A.4 Where can I get the new kernel?
A.5 Should I download full source or the patch only?
A.6 Unpacking the download file (A.6.1 Unpacking the patch, A.6.2 Unpacking the full source)
A.7 Compiling new kernel (A.7.1 Using the patch, A.7.2 Using the full source)
A.8 Installing the new kernel
A.9 What about next kernel upgrade?
A.10 Notice for Red Hat users
A.11 About the author
A.12 Changes

Copyright © 1999-2003 by Peter and Stan Klimas.
Distributed under the Open Publication License, V1.0 or later, with the modification noted in the lnag License.
Disclaimer: Open Content is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind.

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