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0.2. Organization of This Book

Each chapter of this book contains a big chunk of information. It takes you into a world of material that could easily take up several books. But we move quickly through the topics you need to know.

Chapter 1, "Introduction to Linux", tries to draw together many different threads. It explains why Linux came to be and what makes it different from other versions of Unix as well as other operating systems for personal computers.

Chapter 2, "Preparing to Install Linux", describes preliminary tasks that you may have to do before installation, such as partitioning your disk (in case you want to run another operating system as well as Linux).

Chapter 3, "Installation and Initial Configuration", is a comprehensive tutorial on installing and configuring Linux on your system.

Chapter 4, "Basic Unix Commands and Concepts", offers a system administrator's introduction to Unix, for people who need one. It is intended to give you enough tools to perform the basic tasks you'll need to do throughout the book. Basic commands are covered, along with some tips for administrators and some concepts you should know.

Chapter 5, "Essential System Management"; Chapter 6, "Managing Filesystems, Swap, and Devices"; Chapter 7, "Upgrading Software and the Kernel"; and Chapter 8, "Other Administrative Tasks", cover system administration and maintenance. These are perhaps the most important and useful chapters of the book; they cover user account management, backups, software upgrading, building a new kernel, and more.

Chapter 9, "Editors, Text Tools, Graphics, and Printing", introduces you to the most popular and commonly used text tools and editors on Linux--vi and Emacs--and shows you how to print a document and how to use various graphics programs.

Chapter 10, "Installing the X Window System", shows you how to install and configure the X Window System, a powerful GUI for Linux and Unix systems. We show you how to overcome problems you might encounter when your distribution installs the software and how to configure it for the best performance on your video hardware.

Chapter 11, "Customizing Your X Environment", shows you how to set up your own visual environment under the X Window System, covering a wide range of the powerful customizations the system makes available, the KDE desktop, and a few useful programs that run under X.

Chapter 12, "Windows Compatibility and Samba", presents various tools for interfacing with DOS and Windows systems, particularly the Samba server that integrates Linux with other users running PCs.

Chapter 13, "Programming Languages", and Chapter 14, "Tools for Programmers", are for programmers. Compilers, interpreters, debuggers, and many other tools for programming under Linux are presented.

Chapter 15, "TCP/IP and PPP", tells you how to set up your all-important connection to the outside world. It shows you how to configure your system so it can work on a local area network or communicate with an Internet service provider using PPP.

Chapter 16, "The World Wide Web and Electronic Mail", goes beyond basic network configuration and shows you how to configure electronic mail, set up the Elm and Netscape mail readers, and even run your own World Wide Web server.

Appendix A, "Sources of Linux Information", tells you about other useful documentation for Linux and other sources of help.

Appendix B, "The GNOME Project", contains information on the GNOME project.

Appendix C, "Installing Linux on Digital/ Compaq Alpha Systems", shows you how to install Linux on the first non-Intel system that supported it, the 64-bit Digital Alpha machine.

Appendix D, "LinuxPPC: Installing Linux on PowerPC Computers", shows how to install Linux on the popular PowerPC platform.

Appendix E, "Installing Linux/m68k on Motorola 68000-Series Systems", shows how to install Linux on systems using the Motorola 680x0 (m68k) processor, like the Amiga, Atari, and some Apple Macintosh models.

Appendix F, "Installing Linux on Sun SPARC Systems", shows how to install Linux on powerful Sun SPARC systems.

Appendix G, "LILO Boot Options", lists LILO boot options.

Appendix H, "Zmodem File Transfer", describes tools for telecommunication using a modem.

The Bibliography lists a number of books, HOWTOs, and Internet RFCs of interest to Linux users and administrators.

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