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Linux Configuration and Installation

Linux Configuration and Installation

by Patrick Volkerding, Kevin Reichard, Eric Foster-Johnson

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Slackware Creator Patrick Volkerding Shows You How to Build Your Own System Harness the power of Linux with step-by-step explanations straight from the creator of one of its most popular distributions. Complete with Slackware 3.5 and new coverage of specific installation and configuration topics, Linux® Configuration and Installation, 4th Edition


Slackware Creator Patrick Volkerding Shows You How to Build Your Own System Harness the power of Linux with step-by-step explanations straight from the creator of one of its most popular distributions. Complete with Slackware 3.5 and new coverage of specific installation and configuration topics, Linux® Configuration and Installation, 4th Edition brings you everything you need, short of a PC, to get you up and running in no time. Inside, You'll Learn How to:

  • Prepare your PC for Linux
  • Install and configure Linux for your system
  • Set up XFree86
  • Master the basic Linux tools and applications
  • Manage your system for maximum performance
  • Leverage resources with a Linux network
  • Expand your system with telecommunications capabilities
  • Connect to the Internet with Linux
  • Develop Linux applications using C, Make, Java, Tcl, Perl, and Gawk
Get Slackware 3.5 Free, including:
  • Kernels for most major PC hardware configurations — including support for IDE/EIDE, SCSI, PCMCIA cards, tape drives, sound boards, network cards, Jaz and Zip drives, and CD-ROMs
  • Full set of installation tools — including easy-to-use menus and tools for upgrading
  • Three installation methods — traditional Linux installation via bootdisks and rootdisks, direct installation onto a Zip drive or other DOS partition, and direct installation from the bootable installation CD-ROM
  • Complete installation of XFree86 3.3.2 system — including installation and configuration utilities, window managers (fvwm, fvwm-95, twm, olvwm), and X servers for most graphics cards
  • Full TCP/IP connectivity for the Internet, corporate networks, and intranets
  • Netscape Communicator, with Web-browsing, electronic-mail, collaborative, and newsgroup capabilities
  • Complete ANSI C and C++ programming suites
  • Various Unix shells — including the Bourne Again Shell (bash), tcsh, and more
  • Tools for connecting your PC to the Internet and to online services with PPP, SLIP, CSLIP, UUCP, dip, mailx, and dialup serial programs
  • Other Internet applications — including electronic mail (pine and elm), Web browsers (Arena and Lynx), Usenet newsreaders (cnews, nn, tin, trn, and inn) and FTP
  • All major GNU commands and applications — including GNU Emacs 20.2
  • Multimedia tools for working with images files and MIME
  • Internet servers — including the Apache HTTP Web server, sendmail, and an FTP server
  • Terminal applications — including Midnight Commander and the sc spreadsheet
  • A full set of programming tools — egcs-1.0.3 (gcc-2.8 based C/C++/f77/Objective-C compiler from egcs.cygnus.com), make (GNU and BSD), byacc and GNU bison, flex, 5.4.44 C libraries, gdb, SVGAlib, ncurses, gcl (LISP), p2c, m4, perl, python, rcs
  • Text-editing and text-formatting tools — including elvis, vm, jed, joe, jove, pico, gross TeX, info) as well as hundreds of fonts
  • Full suite of X Window applications — including Ghostscript, xlock, libgr, seyon, workman, xfilemanager, xv 3.10a, GNU chess and xboard, xfm 1.3.2, ghostview, gnuplot, xpaint, xfractint, and various X games.
  • Support for iBCS, which allow binaries created on other x86 UNIX variants to run under Linux
  • X Window programming and usage tools — X11 server linkkit, static libraries, PEX support, xview3.2p1-X11R6 (XView libraries), the Open Look virtual and nonvirtual window managers for XFree86
  • Various applications and add-ons — the manual pages, groff, ispell, joe, jed, jove, ghostscript, sc, bc, and the quota patches
  • A collection of FAQs and other documentation
  • Tcl, Tk, and TcIX, built with ELF shared libraries and dynamic loading support, as well as the TkDesk file manager
  • The BSD games collection — Koules, Lizards, and Sasteroids
Shareware programs are fully functional, free trial versions of copyrighted programs. If you like particular programs, register with their authors for a nominal fee and receive licenses, enhanced versions, and technical support. Freeware programs are free, copyrighted games, applications, and utilities. You can copy them to as many PCs as you like—free—but they have no technical support.

Editorial Reviews

Bill Carmada
Year after year, Patrick Volkerding's Slackware remains one of the most popular distributions of Linux in the world-and one of the best. In Linux Configuration & Installation, 4th Edition, Volkerding and two colleagues walk you step-by-step through getting Slackware running perfectly. You also get a complete, 2 CD-ROM Slackware 3.5 distribution, including the full Netscape Communicator Web client and a ton of Linux tools for programming, networking, editing, and goofing around.

The book is every bit as authoritative as you'd hope. There's especially thorough coverage of getting your PC ready for Linux. You'll find specific help with each step of the installation process. There's excellent coverage of one of the trickiest aspects: configuring X Windows. (Many Linux books skip this-hey, GUIs aren't a passing fad!)

You'll configure Slackware for networking and the Internet; get it running on a notebook PC; handle the ins and outs of CD-ROM configuration; handle basic sysadmin tasks, and more. All that's missing is a PC.

Bill Carmada @ Cyberian Express

Elizabeth Zinkann

The Linux operating system continues to increase its already significant popularity. More personal-computer users are selecting Linux for a variety of reasons. Whether to learn additional skills (such as TCP/IP configuration, networking, firewalls, and so on), maintain a similar interface on work and home computers, or escape Microsoft's Fatal Exception Errors, users recognize Linux as a viable alternative or companion to existing commercial operating systems. Some of its more obvious advantages include its low cost, the extensive amount of technical support available (at any time) via the Internet, the return of control to the user, and Linux's acceptance of most hardware configurations. The fourth edition of Linux Configuration and Installation may be used with any Linux distribution, but it is tailored to Slackware and, more precisely, to Slackware 3.5. (Because Slackware 3.5 resides on an accompanying CD-ROM, this presents an excellent opportunity for the reader to install and experiment with 3.5's capabilities.)

Volkerding, Reichard, and Foster-Johnson address Slackware Linux installation, technical configuration, individual customization, and applications thoroughly and completely. Each chapter details the concepts and implementation of a Linux feature or process. The authors explore individual procedures such as installing Slackware Linux, Slackware Linux and the Internet, and Linux system administration. The appendices contain a "For More Information" section and "About the CD-ROMs" followed by the index, the End User License Agreement, the GNU General Public License, and the CD-ROM installation instructions. The accompanying CD-ROMs include Slackware 3.5, Linux documentation (how-tos), Linux utilities, and software. Some of the programs provided are the Java Developer's Toolkit for Linux, Perl, Samba, and a variety of communications, e-mail, graphics, multimedia, networking, office, programming, and system-administration selections.

The first chapter itemizes possible hardware choices and how Slackware Linux supports them. (If you have an unsupported device, the authors provide a possible solution or advise on where to locate the device driver.) The authors not only detail which components and peripherals will interface smoothly, but also which combinations may cause difficulties. In the second chapter, "Installing Slackware Linux," the authors demonstrate in a step-by-step manner how to install Slackware Linux. They illustrate an extremely helpful technique in Table 2-7, "Optional Software Installation Packages," which matches the package name (for example, A1, N4, Xap1) with the package contents (for those of us who are not mind-readers), and also provides a software description so the user can intelligently decide whether he or she wants to install it. In addition to the basic configuration guidelines, the fourth edition considers some of the more complex issues, including networking protocols, compiling (and recompiling) the kernel, ISDN, and Year 2000 compliance and support. The authors also survey Slackware Linux functions related to mobile computing devices-specifically laptops, PCMCIA cards, and 3Com's PalmPilot.

Linux Configuration and Installation is an extraordinary book. Volkerding, Reichard, and Foster-Johnson have produced the most complete step-by-step guide to Linux installation I have read. The hardware discussions in the first chapter provide a helpful, if not essential, checklist for evaluating systems and of possible conflicts between software and hardware properties. The authors explain what each element of the operating system is and why the user may (or may not) want or need it. The format of the book is also exceptionally easy to read and reference. New users will understand and experienced users will appreciate the straightforward descriptions of both new and familiar topics.
Electronic Review of Computer Books

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Meet the Author

About the Authors: Patrick Volkerding is the creator of Slackware, the highly praised distribution of Linux. Kevin Reichard and Eric Foster-Johnson are Unix and Internet experts and veteran computer book authors. They have written top-selling books on Unix, including Unix® in Plain English and Teach Yourself® Unix®. Foster-Johnson's Cross-Platform Perl and Graphical Applications with Tcl and Tk have paved the way for many an Internet programmer.

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