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A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux with DVD ROMby Mark G. Sobell
Whether you are an end user, a system administrator, or a little of each, this book explains with step-by-step examples how to get the most out of a Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) system. In 28 chapters, this book takes you from installing a Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux system through understanding its inner workings to setting up secure servers that run on the system.
This book is designed for a wide range of readers. It does not require you to have programming experience, but having some experience using a general-purpose computer is helpful. This book is appropriate for
A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, College Edition, gives you a broad understanding of many facets of Linux, from installing Fedora/RHEL through using and customizing it. No matter what your background, this book gives you the knowledge you need to get on with your work. You will come away from this book understanding how to use Linux, and this book will remain a valuable reference for years to come.
If you read A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, you will notice some overlap between that book and the one you are reading now. The first chapter, and the chapters on the utilities, the filesystem, programming tools, and the appendix on regular expressions are very similar in the two books, as are the three chapters on the Bourne Again Shell (bash). Chapters that appear in this book but not in A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming include Chapters 2 and 3 (installation), Chapters 4 and 8 (Fedora/RHEL and the GUI), Chapter 10 (networking), all of the chapters in Part IV (system administration) and Part V (servers), and Appendix C (security).
This Book Includes Fedora 8 on a DVD
A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, College Edition, includes a DVD that you can use to install or upgrade to Fedora 8. Chapter 2 helps you get ready to install Fedora. Chapter 3 provides step-by-step instructions for installing Fedora from this DVD. This book guides you through learning about, using, and administrating Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
What Is New in This Edition?
The college edition of A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® covers Fedora 8 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5. There is a new section on LDAP in Chapter 21. Chapters 2 and 3 cover booting into a live session and installing from live media. All the changes, large and small, that have been made to Fedora/RHEL since the previous edition of this book have been incorporated into the explanations and examples.
Features of This Book
This book is designed and organized so you can get the most out of it in the shortest amount of time. You do not have to read this book straight through in page order. Once you are comfortable using Linux, you can use this book as a reference: Look up a topic of interest in the table of contents or index and read about it. Or think of the book as a catalog of Linux topics: Flip through the pages until a topic catches your eye. The book includes many pointers to Web sites where you can get additional information: Consider the Internet an extension of this book.
A Practical Guide to Fedora™ and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, College Edition, is structured with the following features:
Key Topics Covered in This Book
This book contains a lot of information. This section distills and summarizes its contents. You may want to review the table of contents for more detail. This book covers the following.
Working with Fedora/RHEL
Clients and Servers
Chapter 1 presents a brief history of Linux and explains some of the features that make it a cutting-edge operating system. The “Conventions Used in This Book” (page 16) section details the typefaces and terminology this book uses.
Part I, “Installing Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” discusses how to install Fedora/RHEL. Chapter 2 presents an overview of the process of installing Fedora/RHEL, including hardware requirements, downloading and burning a CD/DVD, and planning the layout of the hard disk. Chapter 3 is a step-by-step guide to installing either Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux and covers installing from a CD/DVD, a live session, a local hard disk, and installing over the network using FTP, NFS, or HTTP. It also shows how to set up the X Window System and customize your graphical user interface (GUI).
Part II, “Getting Started with Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” familiarizes you with Fedora/RHEL, covering logging in, the GUI, utilities, the filesystem, and the shell. Chapter 4 introduces desktop features, including the panel and the Main menu; explains how to use Konqueror to manage files, run programs, and browse the Web; and covers finding documentation, dealing with login problems, and using the window manager. Chapter 5 introduces the shell command line interface, describes more than 30 useful utilities, and presents a tutorial on the vim text editor. Chapter 6 discusses the Linux hierarchical filesystem, covering files, filenames, pathnames, working with directories, access permissions, and hard and symbolic links. Chapter 7 introduces the Bourne Again Shell (bash) and discusses command line arguments and options, redirecting input to and output from commands, running programs in the background, and using the shell to generate and expand filenames.
TIP: Experienced users may want to skim Part II
Part III, “Digging into Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” goes into more detail about working with the system. Chapter 8 discusses the GUI and includes a section on how to run a graphical program on a remote system and have the display appear locally. The section on GNOME describes GNOME utilities and explains how to use the Nautilus file manager, including its spatial view, while the section on KDE explains more about Konqueror and KDE utilities. Chapter 9 extends the bash coverage from Chapter 7, explaining how to redirect error output, avoid overwriting files, and work with job control, processes, startup files, important shell builtin commands, parameters, shell variables, and aliases. Chapter 10 explains networks, network security, and the Internet and discusses types of networks, subnets, protocols, addresses, hostnames, and various network utilities. The section on distributed computing describes the client/server model and some of the servers you can use on a network. Details of setting up and using clients and servers are reserved until Part V.
Part IV covers system administration. Chapter 11 discusses core concepts such as Superuser, SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux), system operation, general information about how to set up a server, DHCP, and PAM. Chapter 12 explains the Linux filesystem, going into detail about types of files, including special and device files, the use of fsck to verify the integrity of and repair filesystems, and the use of tune2fs to change filesystem parameters. Chapter 13 explains how to keep a system up-todate by downloading software from the Internet and installing it, including examples of using yum, BitTorrent, and RHEL’s up2date utility. Chapter 14 explains how to set up the CUPS printing system so you can print on the local system as well as on remote systems. Chapter 15 details customizing and building a Linux kernel. Chapter 16 covers additional administration tasks, including setting up user accounts, backing up files, scheduling automated tasks, tracking disk usage, and solving general problems. Chapter 17 explains how to set up a local area network (LAN), including both hardware (including wireless) and software setup.
Part V goes into detail about setting up and running servers and connecting to them with clients. The chapters in this part of the book cover the following clients/servers:
Part VI covers programming. Chapter 27 discusses programming tools and environments available under Fedora/RHEL, including the C programming language and debugger, make, shared libraries, and source code management using CVS. Chapter 28 goes into greater depth about shell programming using bash, with the discussion being enhanced by extensive examples.
Part VII includes appendixes on regular expressions, helpful Web sites, system security, and free software. This part also includes an extensive glossary with more than 500 entries and a comprehensive index.
The author’s home page (www.sobell.com) contains downloadable listings of the longer programs from this book as well as pointers to many interesting and useful Linux sites on the World Wide Web, a list of corrections to the book, answers to even-numbered exercises, and a solicitation for corrections, comments, and suggestions.
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