Finding Linux-Related Information

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Distributions of Linux come with reference pages stored online. You can read these documents by using the info (page 32) or man (page 30) utilities. You can read man and info pages to get more information about specific topics while reading this book or to determine which features are available with Linux. You can search for topics by using apropos (see page 62 or give the command man apropos).


Good books are available on various aspects of using and administrating UNIX systems in general and Linux systems in particular. In addition, you may find the sites listed in Table B-1 useful.[1]

[1] The right-hand columns of most of the tables in this appendix show Internet addresses (URLs). All sites have an implicit http:// prefix unless ftp:// or https:// is shown. Refer to "URLs (Web addresses)" on page 23.

Useful Linux Sites

Sometimes the sites listed in Table B-2 are so busy that you cannot log in. When this happens, you are usually given a list of alternative, or mirror, sites to try.

Table B-2. Useful Linux sites


About the site



GNU Project Web server.


A large library and digital archive. Formerly Metalab; formerly Sunsite.

Linux Knowledge Portal

A configurable site that gathers information from other sites and sources and presents it in a well-organized format. Sources include KDE News, GNOME News, Slashdot, and many more. In English and German.

Linux Standard Base (LSB)

A group dedicated to standardizing Linux.


The author's home page contains useful links, errata for this book, code for many of the examples in this book, and answers to selected exercises.


A large, well-established UNIX group. This site has many links, including a list of conferences.


The X Window System home.

Linux Newsgroups

One of the best ways of getting specific information is through a newsgroup. Frequently you can find the answer to your question by reading postings to the newsgroup. Try using Google Groups ( to search through newsgroups to see whether your question has already been asked and answered. Or open a newsreader program and subscribe to appropriate newsgroups. If necessary, you can post your question for someone to answer. Before you do so, make sure you are posting to the correct group and that your question has not been answered. There is an etiquette to posting questions see for a good paper by Eric S. Raymond and Rick Moen titled "How To Ask Questions the Smart Way."

The newsgroup comp.os.linux.answers provides postings of solutions to common problems and periodic postings of the most up-to-date versions of the FAQ and HOWTO documents. The comp.os.linux.misc newsgroup has answers to miscellaneous Linux-related questions.

Mailing Lists

Subscribing to a mailing list allows you to participate in an electronic discussion. With most lists, you can send and receive email dedicated to a specific topic to and from a group of users. Moderated lists do not tend to stray as much as unmoderated lists, assuming the list has a good moderator. The disadvantage of a moderated list is that some discussions may be cut off when they get interesting if the moderator deems that the discussion has gone on for too long. Mailing lists described as bulletins are strictly unidirectional: You cannot post information to these lists but can only receive periodic bulletins. If you have the subscription address for a mailing list but are not sure how to subscribe, put the word help in the body and/or header of email that you send to the address. You will usually receive instructions via return email. You can also use a search engine to search for mailing list linux.


Many dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries are available online. Table B-3 lists a few of them.

Table B-3. Looking up words


About the site



Apt installs, removes, and updates system software packages

ARTFL Project: ROGET'S Thesaurus



BitTorrent efficiently distributes large amounts of static data

Multiple database search for words

Everything related to words

DNS Glossary

DNS Glossary

FOLDOC (The Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing)

Computer terms


English language


Multiple-site word search with a single query

The Jargon File

An online version of The New Hacker's Dictionary


Commercial technical dictionary


An open-source (user-contributed) encyclopedia project


Dictionary and thesaurus

Yahoo Reference

Search multiple sources at the same time


The yum utility installs, removes, and updates system software packages


There are many ways to learn about interesting software packages and where they are available on the Internet. Table B-4 lists sites that you can download software from. Another way to learn about software packages is through a newsgroup (page 841).

Table B-4. Software


About the site



CVS (Concurrent Versions System) is a version control system


The ddd utility is a graphical front end for command line debuggers such as gdb

Free Software Directory

Categorized, searchable lists of free software


A large index of UNIX and cross-platform software, themes, and Palm OS software


The gdb utility is a command line debugger

GNOME Project

Links to all GNOME projects


Categorized, searchable lists of free software


The kdbg utility is a graphical user interface to gdb

Linux Software Map

A database of packages written for, ported to, or compiled for Linux


Categorized, searchable list of free software


A collection of utilities to access DOS floppy diskettes from Linux without mounting the diskettes

Network Calculators

Subnet mask calculator

Searchable list of rpm files for various Linux distributions and versions


A development Web site with a large repository of open-source code and applications


The strace utility is a system call trace debugging tool


Commercial, categorized, searchable list of software


The ups utility is a graphical source-level debugger

Office Suites and Word Processors

Several office suites and many word processors are available for Linux. Table B-5 lists a few of them. If you are exchanging documents with people using Windows, make sure the import from/export to MS Word functionality covers your needs.

Table B-5. Office suites and word processors

Product name

What it does



Word processor (free)


Integrated suite of office applications including the Kword word processing program (free, KDE-based)


An open-source version of StarOffice


A programmer's multiwindow mouse-based editor that runs under X (free)

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    A Practical Guide to LinuxR Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming
    A Practical Guide to LinuxR Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming
    ISBN: 131478230
    EAN: N/A
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 213 © 2008-2017.
    If you may any questions please contact us: