Concept and Approach
As a language teacher, I have always preferred programming books, mathematics books, and old-fashioned
because of their straightforward, skill-based orientation, in which each chapter builds upon the skills
in the previous chapter. I have tried to organize this book in that manner so that you will never be called upon to do something that you have not already learned. I also like such books because they not only teach the reader how to do something, but also provide him or her with the chance to put those morsels of knowledge into practice in the form of exercises. I have therefore included several exercises, or projects, in this book, where appropriate, to give the reader opportunities to apply their knowledge. This book will serve as a reference text and will also provide a dynamic learning experience, so that you can learn by doing, as they say.
The projects throughout the book have a secondary purpose as well — to round out your Fedora Core system so that it can do anything you want it to. As you will see when you install Fedora Core, your new system (despite having more software than you will ever know what to do with) lacks certain applications and
support files that you’ll need to get the same or greater functionality as you had in your previous operating system. When you’ve completed all of the projects in the book, that will no longer be the case.
How to Use This Book
It is possible, of course, to use this book as a mere reference text that you only
when you have a problem to solve, but that would negate the basic concept behind the design of the book. Instead, I recommend that you first go through the entire book chapter by chapter, doing the projects along the way. This will give you a much broader understanding of how things are done (and of how you can get things done), and it will reduce the chance for anxiety, confusion, and,
Of course, it is best to read this book and complete its projects when you are
and have time to spare. Nothing makes things go wrong more than doing things in a rush. And keep in mind that Linux and the projects in this book are fun, not just challenging work exercises. The whole point of the Linux world, in my opinion, is that it offers all kinds of fun. So, go ahead and enjoy it.
About the Conventions Used in This Book
There are only a few minor points worth noting about the conventions I have used in the book. Words that you need to pay particular attention to, such as file or folder
that you will actually be called upon to use, I have put in
type. Any words or command strings that you will have to type on the keyboard are shown in
font, while any output from the Linux command terminal, the application you use when you want to type in commands, is indicated by
. I have also
to use the more graphically suggestive
— no doubt the legacy of my many
as a Mac
Version Compatibility and Updates
This book was prepared for use with Fedora Core, the successor to Red Hat Linux 9 Personal Edition. Despite the new
, Fedora Core is really just the evolutionary
step in the Red Hat Linux line. A Red Hat Linux 8 or 9
will feel right at home in Fedora Core — just think of it as a constantly evolving Red Hat Linux 10 with a name change. (I will explain the reasons for the name change and the new features of Fedora Core in Chapter 1.)
For those of you who are still using Red Hat Linux 9 (and who don’t feel the need to upgrade to Fedora Core), I should point out that all of the projects in the book were also
and are compatible with Red Hat Linux 9 Personal Edition; the links and procedures, when different from those for Fedora Core, are noted in the text.
The world of computers is an exceedingly dynamic thing, however, and there may be changes in the software or the links to the files for projects in the book after the book is released. Any such changes, as well as other updated information and cool software finds, will be posted at the Web site for this book: http://www.edgy-