Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software

Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software


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Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software by Michael Schwarz, Steven Murphy, Peter Curtis, Jeremy D. Anderson

This resource-packed guide delivers pragmatic solutions for real-world Linux development needs—all using open-source software tools. Viewing Linux as a well-stocked toolbox, Multitool Linux shows programmers and sophisticated users how to create a wide variety of exciting and useful applications for business and entertainment, from speech synthesis and video production to network security.

The book begins with a general introduction to Linux and a look at working with its source code. A wide variety of programming projects—encompassing communications, privacy, music and audio, graphics, photography, and much more—are then explored in-depth. Each chapter is filled with examples, helpful screenshots, step-by-step tutorials, lists of open-source tools, and URLs for sites where those tools can be obtained for free.

Many of the tools discussed in the book will work not only with Linux, but with any flavor of UNIX—from FreeBSD up to expensive, proprietary versions of UNIX running on high-speed massively parallel hardware.

Multitool Linux shows you how to:

  • Control your computer remotely, from anywhere, at anytime, with any operating system
  • Run a whole network with one IP address
  • Communicate with Windows networks using Samba (SMB)
  • Extend Apache
  • Build a secure Webmail service supporting IMAP and SSL
  • Secure e-mail with GPG
  • Integrate your palm-connected organizer
  • Process images with GIMP and Imagemagick
  • And much more
  • If you want to learn how to install and operate Linux, look to other books and manuals. But if you havethe software and are asking the question, "Now what?" Multitool Linux provides valuable and entertaining answers.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9780201734201
    Publisher: Pearson Education
    Publication date: 05/07/2002
    Pages: 532
    Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.41(d)

    Table of Contents

    1. Linux as a Tool.


    2. Remote Control Your Computer from Anywhere, Anytime, and Any OS, Even OS/2!
    3. Run a whole network with one IP address.
    4. Soup cans and String: Last Ditch Communication Methods.
    5. Samba clients: Talking to Windows NetworksSamba: Serve Windows Network Clients for Free.
    6. Undernets.
    7. Email as a System Console.
    8. Build a Secure Webmail Service Supporting IMAP and SSL.
    9. Extending Apache.


    10. Secure Your E-mail with GPG.
    11. Sniffing for Idiots (pun intended).
    12. All Along the Watchtower.
    13. All Along the Watchtower, Part Deux.
    14. Securely Logging In, Moving Files, and Digging Tunnels.


    15. Tools You Should Know.
    16. Use your Palm Connected Organizer.
    17. Necessary Evils: Running MS Windows Programs.


    18. Remote CD Burning.
    19. Audio Processing.
    20. Music Production.
    21. Speech Synthesis.
    22. Image Processing.
    23. 3D Graphics Production.
    24. Video Production.
    25. Afterword.
    About the Authors.
    Michael Schwarz.
    Jeremy Anderson.
    Peter Curtis.
    Steven Murphy.


    You've Been Hoodwinked!

    You picked this book up thinking it was about Linux. Hah! We fooled you completely! This book is only tangentially about Linux. It is really about a number of pieces of Free Software (note the capitals--there's more about this in Chapter 1) that are frequently packaged with Linux in common distributions.

    There are quite a few books out there on how to install Linux, how to administer Linux, how to program for Linux, and how to secure Linux. What we believed was lacking, however, was some guide for those who are new to Free Software and Open Source software as to just what you can do with a Linux system once you have one.

    This book is all about things you can do either with a base Linux distribution or with software that is readily available on the Web for the Linux platform. Every single piece of software we cover in this book is available under one or another "open source" license, meaning that you can get the software for free and redistribute it freely. In all cases the source code is available for you to see and modify for your own use. The differences in the licenses tend to govern what you are allowed to do with the modified source code.

    The authors have a definite bias (which you should know about up front) in favor of the GNU Public License (the GPL), which allows you to do anything with the source code except refuse to give away any work derived from it. We cover some of the reasoning behind various source code licenses in Chapter 1.

    Now, how, exactly, did we fool you? Well, although all of the software we cover here runs on Linux on Intel-based PCs, most of it will run on any flavor of Unix, from the BSD-derived systems ofFreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD (all of which are freely available and open source and run on Intel PCs), on up to the most closed and expensive commercial proprietary versions of Unix running on the most expensive high-speed massively parallel hardware.

    Why You Want This Book

    Let's face it: It's a Windows world. If you have an Intel-based PC, the odds are you own a copy of one or another of the dozens of versions of Microsoft Windows. The odds are, also, that you didn't have any choice in the matter. The hardware comes with Windows preinstalled. There are tons of software packages available for from $20 to $20,000 for PCs running that operating system, and they are right there in your local SuperCompuMegaHut. What more could you want?

    In the most selfish sense, you might want all of that software for from $0 to $0. You can do that with the commercial software. This is called "piracy," and it is, quite rightly, against the law. It turns out, however, that those of us who write software also would like to get software for free. So some of us started writing code and giving it away. We get paid back in the form of the other free software written by other programmers.

    At this point, thanks to people like Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel), you can now have a complete multiuser network server operating system and a whole slew of applications for free. You can also, if you are a programmer, get all the source code for all of it and add features or fix bugs yourself, if you are so inclined.

    Even if you are not a programmer, you benefit from this openness because bugs get found and fixed much more rapidly in this model than in the closed, commercial, distributed media model. And you don't have to pay an upgrade price every few months.

    Still, as we said, it is a Windows world. People who are not computer scientists know Windows. They know Microsoft Office. They know only this way of doing things. And Linux is different. So how do I do useful things like I do with my Windows PC? And what can I do with a Linux PC that I never even imagined doing with my Windows PC?

    That's what the rest of this book is about. At one of our darkest hours, we thought of calling this book Hooray! I've installed Linux...Now What? Fortunately, our editors stared at us dumbfounded until we came to our senses. But that is still what the book is about. It is about some of the practical things you can do with Free Software.

    How This Book Is Organized

    This book is organized as follows:

  • An introductory section (which consists of this Preface and Chapter 1).
  • The "toolbox," in which each chapter covers a single application or piece of software at some length. This toolbox is further divided into sections covering:
  •   Networking and Communications (Chapters 2-9)
  •   Privacy and Security (Chapters 10-14)
  •   Miscellaneous Applications (Chapters 15-17)
  •   Music and Audio (Chapters 18-21)
  •   Graphics and Photography (Chapters 22-23)
  •   Video (Chapter 24)
  • Afterword (Chapter 25 and About the Authors)
  • The bulk of the book is the toolbox section. Each chapter begins with a resource box, which includes our "patented" Difficult-o-Meter, a list of the programs being presented, their versions, and URLs where the software may be obtained. Every effort has been made to provide accurate and timely information. But because this book was over a year in the making, there will be newer versions of most of these packages by the time you read this.

    Why You Might Not Want This Book

    If you are looking for a book to help you install or administer Linux, this is not the one for you. There are many such books on the market, frequently on the same shelf where you found this one. This book is meant to show you some interesting things you can do with a Linux box.

    Naturally, we think this is a great book to acquire while you're getting that book on installing and administering Linux.

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