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Appendix A. Sources of Linux Information

This appendix contains information on various online sources of Linux information. While all of these documents are available electronically from the Internet or BBS systems, many are also available in printed form. Many Linux distributions also include much of this documentation in the distribution itself, so after you have installed Linux, these files may be present on your system. The Bibliography lists a number of books and other materials that relate to topics we have discussed in this book.

The best place for free documentation on Linux is the Linux Documentation Project site, which Matt Welsh set up. The URL for the main site is:

but there are many mirror sites around the world, one of which may be more convenient for you because it's closer or has less traffic. The site contains all of the online Linux documents, manuals, HOWTOs, and pointers to many other locations.

A.1. Online Documents

These documents should be available on any of the Linux FTP archive sites. If you do not have direct access to FTP, you will probably also find them on any decent Linux distribution CD-ROM.

In particular, the following documents may be found on ftp://metalab.unc.edu in the directory /pub/Linux/docs. Many sites mirror this directory; however, if you're unable to locate a mirror site near you, this is a good one to fall back on. HOWTOs and Linux Documentation Project manuals are listed in the Bibliography, which also lists other useful documents:

The Linux Frequently Asked Questions List

The Linux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list is a list of common questions (and answers!) about Linux. This document is meant to provide a general source of information about Linux, common problems and solutions, and a list of other sources of information. Every new Linux user should read this document. It is available in a number of formats, including plain ASCII, PostScript, and Lout typesetter format. The Linux FAQ is maintained by Robert Kiesling at kiesling@ix.netcom.com.

The Linux META-FAQ

The META-FAQ is a collection of "metaquestions" about Linux--that is, sources of information about the Linux system and other general topics. It is a good starting place for the Internet user wishing to find more information about the system. It is maintained by Michael K. Johnson at johnsonm@redhat.com.


The Linux INFO-SHEET is a technical introduction to the Linux system. It gives an overview of the system's features and available software and also provides a list of other sources of Linux information. The format and content is similar in nature to the META-FAQ; incidentally, it is also maintained by Michael K. Johnson.

The Linux Software Map

The Linux Software Map (LSM) is a list of many applications available for Linux--where to get them, who maintains them, and so forth. The list is far from complete; to compile a complete list of Linux software would be nearly impossible. However, it does include many of the most popular Linux software packages. If you can't find a particular application to suit your needs, the LSM is a good place to start. The LSM is maintained by Aaron Schrab at Aaron.Schrab@execpc.com.

The Linux HOWTO Index

The Linux HOWTOs are a collection of "how to" documents, each describing in detail a certain aspect of the Linux system. They are maintained by the Linux Documentation Project and the current maintainer can be reached through the email alias linux-howto@metalab.unc.edu. The HOWTO Index lists the available HOWTO documents; see the Bibliography for a partial list of HOWTOs.

Other online documents

If you browse the docs subdirectory of any Linux FTP site, you'll see many other documents that are not listed here: a slew of FAQs, interesting tidbits, and other important information. This miscellany is difficult to categorize here; if you don't see what you're looking for on this list, just take a look at one of the Linux archive sites.

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