Red Hat Fedora Linux 3 Bible represents the continuing development of Red Hat Linux Bible, which I began in 1999. About every six months since Red Hat Linux 6.1, I’ve followed new versions of Red Hat Linux with updates of this book. That tradition continues with what Red Hat is calling Fedora Core 3.
The foundation for Fedora Core 3 and this book both rest on the tradition begun with Red Hat Linux. The enhancements included in this edition reflect that foundation, plus some bold new cutting-edge Linux technology.
As this book, too, is meant to reflect a progression of Red Hat Linux, I have included a variety of enhancements from the previous book in this series, Red Hat Fedora Linux 2 Bible. The following list describes enhancements that have been made to the current book:
Fedora Core 3 on DVD — Instead of including the four-CD installation set of Fedora Core 3, we provide Fedora Core 3 on one DVD with this edition. So, instead of just providing what you need to install the complete Fedora Core 3 distribution, we are also able to give you the entire Fedora Core 3 source code as well.
If you don't have a DVD drive, refer to the coupon in the back of the book that describes how you can get Fedora Core 3 installation CDs.
Using Security Enhanced Linux (really) — Although SELinux was included in Fedora Core 2, only in Fedora Core 3 has SELinux become useful for most people. By default, Fedora Core 3 delivers an SELinux that’s configured to compartmentalize several critical services (Web service, DNS service, and others) in a way that protects your Linux system as a whole. See Chapter 28 for a description of SELinux in Fedora Core 3.
Installing Fedora from other media — When the size of the 2.6 kernel made it so you couldn’t boot the Fedora install process from floppy disk, the Fedora projects added boot images that could be used from a mini–boot CD or USB pen drive. In Chapter 1 I describe how to start a Fedora Core 3 installation from those media, as well as how to do a VNC install (so you can install FC3 from the desktop of another computer).
Resizing to make room for Fedora — In this edition, I dropped descriptions of a tool called FIPS (I moved it to our Web site, www.wiley.com/go/fedora3bible) that is used to resize your hard disk. It worked mostly with older Windows operating systems, such as Windows 95 or 98, that have FAT or VFAT file systems. Because Fedora recently dropped FIPS, and because most people have Windows XP operating systems with NTFS file systems, I described how to resize an NTFS partition using some third-party tools (Fedora doesn’t include the qtparted tool I describe). Read the descriptions (including the cautions) in Chapter 1 before you partake.
Managing removable media — When you insert removable media (CDs, DVDs, or floppy disks) or connect hotpluggable devices (pen drives, USB hard disks, or digital cameras), Fedora is now set up to mount them automatically under the /media directory. Prior to Fedora Core 3, removable media was mostly mounted under the /mnt directory (such as /mnt/cdrom). Chapter 3 describes how to use the GNOME Volume Manager to set how removable media are mounted and, optionally, opened with selected applications.
Using new GNOME panels — Chapter 3 shows and describes the new layout of the default GNOME desktop. Instead of one bottom panel, the GNOME desktop now has thin top and bottom panels. Also, instead of a single red hat menu on the panel, applications are listed under Applications and Actions buttons on the top panel.
Running desktop tools — To keep you safe from having to use too many commands, GNOME and KDE continue to offer more graphical tools for doing common tasks. An example of one such tool, described in Chapter 3, is the GNOME Network Tools window, which lets you graphically run ping, traceroute, DNS lookups, and other common networking procedures commonly done with shell commands.
Switching desktops — For those of you who are using KDE and would like to switch to GNOME (or vice versa), I’ve added to Chapter 3 a short description of the Desktop Switcher tool for changing which desktop environment or window manager you use.
Updating software — I’ve added a short description to Chapter 5 on how to get nightly automatic updates to your Fedora software packages using the yum service.
Running Windows applications with WINE — I’ve added a simplified procedure to use WINE to install a Windows application from that application’s CD (Chapter 5). WINE has improved tremendously in recent years. I describe where to get Fedora RPMs of WINE so you can try it out yourself.
Using Cedega for Windows gaming — I’ve expanded on descriptions of Linux gaming in Chapter 7. In particular, I’ve described the state of Windows gaming using Cedega (a WINE derivative formerly called WineX).
Using multimedia — Descriptions of the Rhythmbox music player were expanded, and the addition of the Helix Player was noted in Chapter 8.
Downloading digital images — I’ve described, in Chapter 8, how to download images from your digital camera using the new GNOME Volume Manager. I’ve also described how to use the gThumb image viewer (which launches automatically when you plug your camera into a USB slot) to view and manipulate images.
Burning CDs and DVDs — The K3b CD/DVD burning facility is an excellent tool for burning ISO images to CD or DVD and creating your own audio and data projects on CD or DVD. Chapter 8 provides an introduction to using K3b.
Browsing the Web with Firefox — Chapter 8 contains a description of the new, popular Firefox browser from the Mozilla projects.
E-mailing with Thunderbird — Chapter 8 also describes the new Thunderbird e-mail client, also from the Mozilla project.
Using wireless LANs — With many wireless LAN cards not supported with Linux drivers, I’ve added a section to Chapter 15 on using the ndiswrapper driver to let you use native Windows drivers for your wireless LAN cards, in Fedora.
Running a DNS server — For Fedora Core 3, the BIND DNS service (named daemon) was configured to run in a chrooted environment. Chapter 25 was updated to describe how the chrooted environment changes how you configure your own DNS server.
Using the 2.6 kernel — To the description of the 2.6 kernel in Chapter 27, I’ve added a description of how to get the kernel source code that is used with Fedora Core 3. (It’s no longer available in the kernel-sources package, as it was in previous Fedora releases.)
Getting into rescue mode — I’ve added to Appendix A a description of how to make and use the Fedora rescue CD from an image contained on the DVD that comes with this book.
Besides new features just described, procedures throughout the book have been tested and corrected to match changes that have occurred to Fedora Core software in this version.