Welcome to Fedora Linux: A Complete Guide to Red Hat's Community Distribution. I've based this book on the premise that the best way to learn Linux is to use it; each lab deals with a specific task or problem and starts with solutions. It then expands the discussion to explain the principles underlying the solutions and shows you where you can learn more about the topic if you want to dig deeper. Although the labs do build on each other in some small ways, I expect that most readers will jump from lab to lab according to their needs and interests rather than read the book linearly from front to back. Where appropriate, I have have included both graphical user interface and command-line techniques; use whichever approach suits your needs and style.
This book is written for experienced computer users, regardless of their previous experience with Linux. It covers both desktop and server configurations, and is ideally suited to an administrator or power user migrating to Fedora Linux from another environment, such as Windows, Mac OS X, or Unix.
This book is targeted at Fedora Core 6 but will also be useful to users of Fedora Core 5 and Fedora Core 7. Fedora is more than an operating system; it includes a wide range of applications, programming languages, and tools, and many of these packages are the subject of their own books. This book does not cover each topic in exhaustive detail; instead, it is designed to give you the most critical information in an accessible format and show you how the packages work within the context of Fedora.
How This Book Is Organized
Each chapter in this book contains a number of labs. Each lab covers a task or problem and contains four sections:
The labs are grouped into 10 chapters:
What You Need to Use This Book
Since this is a hands-on book, you'll want to have a computer available on which to run Fedora. Although you can use these labs with a production system, it's a good idea to use a noncritical machine so that you can freely experiment. And although it's not required, a good Internet connection is very helpful because it makes it easy to obtain software updates.
If you have Fedora installed, that's greatbut if you don't, Chapter 1 will take you through the process.
Conventions Used in This Book
The following typographical conventions are used in this book:
Using Code Examples
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Thank you to the open source community and to Red Hat and the Fedora community in particular for developing, integrating, and supporting such a powerful collection of software.
I'd like to thank my editor, Brian Jepson, for his patient and skillful work and many suggestions; to David Brickner for getting me started on this project; and to Behdad Esfahbod for his thoughtful and detailed technical review.
My deep gratitude to my loving wife Diane and my girls Saralyn and Laura, who have patiently kept the family going without me for the past eight months. And above all, my humble thanks to God for the skills and understanding he has given memay they be used to His glory.