Practical Linux

Practical Linux

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Practical Linux gears itself toward people who don't want to be burdened with technobabble, but just want to use Linux just as they would any other operating system. Most books in this category concentrate mostly on the installation and configuration process, while neglecting content that helps you use Linux for daily tasks. This book covers all the bases, making use of a systematic approach, while providing numerous cross-references. Topics include working with the KDE and Gnome desktops, using the command line, getting help and maintaining your system, connecting to the Web, using browsers, setting up e-mail, setting up printers and adding peripherals, using graphics and multimedia tools, and networking.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 188 x 223.5 x 43.2mm | 1,179.35g
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • United States
  • English
  • w. figs.
  • 0789722518
  • 9780789722515

Table of contents


1. Introducing the Shell.

Welcome to Linux. What Is a Shell? Logging in to Linux. Logging Out of Linux. Getting Help.

2. Entering Commands.

Entering Commands at the Shell Command Line. Creating Shell Commands. Controlling Programs. Using Wildcards. Selecting a Shell.

3. Navigating the Linux File System.

Printing the Current Working Directory. Changing Directories with the cd Command. Listing Directories. Viewing Text Files. Creating Files and Directories. Copying Files and Directories. Moving and Renaming Files and Directories. Creating Symbolic Links. Deleting Files and Directories. Finding Files and Directories. Using the GNOME gmc Client. Using the KDE File Manager kfm. Searching Text Files.

4. Using Text Editors.

Selecting an Editor. Using Linux Dictionaries. Saving Paper with the mpage Command. Creating Formatted Documents.

5. Printing Files.

Adding Printers. Configuring Printers for WordPerfect for Linux. Spooling Files to Your Printer. Controlling Printers and Print Jobs.


6. Configuring Your Environment.

Displaying Environment Variables with the printenv Command. Customizing Your Login. Creating Aliases. Using the linuxconf Utility.

7. Working with Hard Drives.

Determining the Volume Device and Partition. Choosing a File System. Adding a Hard Drive. Partitioning a Hard Drive with the fdisk Command. Manipulating Partitions with the sfdisk Command. Mounting a Hard Drive or Other Device. Mounting and Unmounting Remote NFS Hard Drives Mounting File Systems with linuxconf.

8. Adding Tape and Zip Drives.

Adding a Tape Drive. Adding a Zip Drive.

9. Enabling a PC Card Device.

Enabling PCMCIA Services. Using the cardmgr Command. Using the cardctl Command.

10. Adding a Pointing Device.

Adding a Mouse. Installing a Joystick.

11. Configuring a Modem and Fax Service.

Selecting a Modem for Linux. Creating the /dev/modem Device. Enabling Dial-In Service. Configuring Fax Service.


12. Running and Configuring X.

Configuring XFree86 with XF86Setup. Configuring Xfree86 with XConfigurator. Starting X11. Stopping X. System and X Session Control with Display Managers. Customizing the .xinitrc Startup Script. Customizing Your Workspace. Using X11 Resources.

13. Using a Window Manager.

Window Managers and Desktop Environments. Selecting an X11 Window Manager. Starting a Window Manager.

14. Performing Common X Operations.

Using X11 Toolkit Command-Line Options. Moving, Resizing, and Managing Windows. Viewing X11 Fonts. Using the xfd Client to View Font Character Maps. Copying and Pasting Text. Capturing Windows and the Desktop.

15. Using Graphics and Multimedia Tools.

Selecting a Graphics Program. Translating or Converting Graphics. Previewing Graphics and PostScript Documents. Playing Music CDs. Watching and Listening to Internet TV and Radio. Playing Animations and Movies with the xanim Client.


16. Connecting to Your Internet Service Provider.

Configuring a PPP Connection. Configuring PPP for Your ISP. Configuring Your PPP Connection Scripts. Configuring PPP with kppp. Starting a PPP Connection. Checking Your PPP Connection.

17. Using Electronic Mail.

Retrieving Electronic Mail. Selecting a Mail Program. Managing Electronic Mail.

18. Using FTP.

Using the ncftp Command. Using Netscape to Download Files.

19. Using Web Browsers.

Using Netscape Communicator.

20. Using telnet and Internet Relay Chat.

Using the telnet Command. Chatting with Internet Relay Chat.


21. Basic Shell Programming.

What Shell Scripts Are Used For. Writing Shell Programs. Using Shell Variables. Using Shell Constructs. Writing Shell Functions.

22. Using Basic Programming Tools.

Recompiling Code. Compiling Programs with gcc. Linking Programs with the ld Linker. Building Programs with the make Command. Specifying Different Makefiles. Getting Started Quickly with New Programs. Specifying Different Makefiles. Building X11 Makefiles with the xmkmf Script.

23. Using Boot Managers.

How Linux Boots: LILO/LOADLIN. Configuring LILO. Using LOADLIN.

24. Managing Users and Groups.

Users, Groups, and Their Relation to the System. Using the usercfg Tool. Adding, Editing, and Deleting Users Using the Command Line. Adding, Editing, and Deleting Groups. Changing User and Group Ownership. Changing File Ownership and Permissions. Advanced Concepts: Password Authentication Module.

25. Managing Scheduling Services.

Configuring inittab and rc Files. Configuring crontab Scheduling Service. Configuring the at Command Service.

26. Managing Network Connections.

Configuring Network Connections Manually. Configuring Network Connections with linuxconf. Adding a PLIP Interface. Adding an Ethernet Interface. Enabling the Network File System Service. Enabling Dial-In Service.

27. Managing Daemons.

Editing and Creating Run Levels. Editing inittab. Using chkconfig. Editing Startup and Shutdown Scripts. Customizing the Login Greeting. Enabling and Customizing the MOTD. Using the tksysv Tool. Using the ntsysv Tool. Enabling FTP Access. Enabling a Web Server.

28. Managing the File System.

Mounting and Unmounting File Systems. Setting Up New File Systems. Creating New File Systems. Repairing File Systems. Disaster Recovery.

29. Managing Applications.

Package Management with rpm. Converting Between Different Package Methods.

30. System Maintenance.

Performing System Backups. Performing File System Maintenance. Maximizing Disk Space.

31. Managing the Kernel.

Adding a Module to the Kernel Configuration. Editing the Linux Kernel Configuration Files. Managing Modules. Managing Processes. Recompiling the Kernel.


Appendix A: Resources.

Usenet Resources. World Wide Web Resources.

Appendixes B: Using Linux HOWTO Documents.
Appendixes C: Top 50 Linux Commands and Utilities.

General Guidelines. The List. Summary.

Appendixes D: Glossary.
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About Bill Ball

M. Drew Streib is a senior programmer specializing in Web applications for VA Linux Systems (, the system administrator for Linux International (, and a senior programmer for SourceForge ( He also contributes to many open-source projects in his free time. Drew programs in several languages but now spends most of his time in PHP, C, and Perl. Bill Ball is a technical writer, editor, and magazine journalist and has been working with computers for the past 20 years. He has published Linux PPP network connection guides for ISPs, as well as more than a dozen articles in magazines such as Computer Shopper and MacTech Magazine. Bill is the author of several Linux-related books, including Red Hat Linux Unleashed, How to Use Linux, and the best-selling Sams Teach Yourself Linux in 24 Hours, 2nd Ed.
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