According to Business Week (March 3, 2003), Linux is one of the few technology products that s booming in the midst of the lengthy and distressing tech malaise.
Red Hat Linux is the leading Linux distribution. In this book, we give you the help you need to use Red Hat Linux 9 productively in business and in life ”as a server or as a desktop operating system.
Linux is inexpensive. Linux is reliable. Linux is secure. With Linux, you can get the computing applications that you need ”for a fraction of the cost of other operating systems. You need not worry about licensing fees. You can build a custom solution with the tools at hand.
In this time of stagnant budgets in information technology, the corporate world is getting more bang for the buck by moving toward Linux. Leading names in the financial sector, such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley, are moving toward Linux. Big online companies such as Amazon and Google use Linux to power their systems. IBM and Hewlett-Packard are generating billions of dollars of revenue from Linux. The list goes on.
While the heart of Linux is the command-line interface, Red Hat has developed a series of excellent graphical tools to help the administrators of other operating systems make the transition. Linux is built for networking. It is customized for TCP/IP, the language of the Internet.
Red Hat Linux is the most popular Linux distribution. It includes applications such as office suites and specialized services that can easily cost hundreds of dollars per computer.
Linux is about freedom of choice. You can download Red Hat Linux 9 for free. You can get it for a nominal fee from third parties. You can purchase it, with support and documentation from Red Hat. We explain each of these options at the end of this introduction. But no matter which version you are working with, this book will help you get the most from Red Hat Linux.
I ve divided this book into eight parts , each addressing a different set of skills that can help you become productive in Red Hat Linux. You can read this book from cover to cover, or use it as a resource when you need to know more about a specific skill.
Installing Red Hat Linux In Chapter 01 we explain the roles that Linux can play as a desktop, as a small business server, and as a server for the enterprise. If you re planning to install Linux on multiple computers, you ll want to read Chapter 02 carefully , because you need to be sure that your hardware is ready for Linux. While Chapter 03 focuses on installing Red Hat Linux locally using the graphical user interface, Chapter 04 shows you how you can install Linux over a network. In Chapter 05 , we show you how to automate the installation process, which can be a great help if you re going to install Red Hat Linux on a group of computers.
Linux Fundamentals To learn Linux in-depth , you need to know how to use the command-line interface. Once you learn how to navigate the file system in Chapter 06 , the command-line interface can be your friend. In Chapter 07 , we guide you through the skills you need to organize Linux filesystems. Once you ve read Chapter 08 , you ll know how to make the command-line shell work for you.
Basic Linux Administration Because Linux is built for networking, it is also built with a number of administrative tools. Administrators of this multiuser system need to know how to create, organize, and manage users and groups ( Chapter 09 ). We show you how to use the Red Hat Package Manager and up2date to install, upgrade, and manage applications securely ( Chapter 10 ).
As an administrator, you ll need to go under the hood with the boot process ( Chapter 11 ) and the Linux kernel ( Chapter 12 ). You ll also want to know how to automate, manage, and troubleshoot basic services ( Chapter 13 ), as well as back up your system ( Chapter 14 ).
X Window Management Desktop users need the graphical user interface (GUI). While ordinary users should never have to tinker with the basic X Window configuration ( Chapter 15 ), administrators must know how to make it sing. This is the foundation for the two major Linux GUI desktop environments: GNOME ( Chapter 16 ) and KDE ( Chapter 17 ). You can install a number of useful applications, including multiple office suites on either desktop environment ( Chapter 18 ). Administrators who are less comfortable with the command-line interface may appreciate the graphical Red Hat administration tools discussed in Chapter 19 .
Basic Linux Networking Linux is built on TCP/IP, the language of the Internet. We guide you through the basics of TCP/IP as it applies to Linux. You can learn about basic TCP/IP protocols in Chapter 20 , and the commands you need to apply them to your local area network (LAN) in Chapter 21 . And we guide you through the fundamentals of network security in Chapter 22 .
Linux Network Services Linux is built to serve all of the computers on a network. As an administrator, you need to know how to configure remote access ( Chapter 23 ). TCP/IP networks require domain names and IP addresses, which are organized in DNS and DHCP servers ( Chapter 24 ). Users on a network will want to print ( Chapter 25 ) and use e-mail ( Chapter 26 ).
Linux File Sharing Services Users share files between their computers. There are a number of ways to share files in Red Hat Linux. You can set up an FTP server just for files ( Chapter 27 ). If you re administering a network of computers that are running Linux and other Unix-style operating systems, you can share directories and configuration files with NFS and NIS servers ( Chapter 28 ). If your network includes Microsoft Windows computers, you can make your Linux computer look like a client or a server on that network ( Chapter 29 ). Finally, Apache is the most popular web server on the Internet and is optimized for Linux ( Chapter 30 ).
A Bonus Certification Primer On the Sybex website ( www.sybex.com ), you ll find bonus materials on the variety of Linux certifications. Many readers learn Linux to improve their job prospects. Today, that goes hand in hand with Linux certification. The three major distribution-neutral Linux certification programs are CompTIA s Linux+ exams, SAIR s Linux Certified Professional and Administrator exams, and LPI s Level I exams. Web Chapter 1 provides an overview of these exams targeted at Linux users with six months to two years of experience. Web Chapter 2 focuses on the requirements for the Red Hat certifications: the Red Hat Certified Technician and the Red Hat Certified Engineer.
Appendicies This book may be just one part of your journey into the world of Linux. The Appendix in the book details a few of the commands that every administrator should know at the command-line interface. On the Sybex website ( www.sybex.com ), you ll find three appendices of additional bonus material: Web Chapter 3, More Information Online, is a very brief list of available online resources; Web Chapter 4, GNU General Public License, is a copy of the GNU General Public License; and finally, Web Chapter 5, Red Hat Linux Packages By Group, is a detailed look at the comps .xml file, which provides the foundation for Red Hat Linux installations.