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Appendix A. Sources of Linux Information

This appendix lists various online sources of Linux information. While all these documents are available electronically on the Internet, many are also available in printed form.

Linux distributions often include some of this documentation in the distribution itself and make them available on the runtime system. As mentioned in the text, documentation on a Linux system can be found in a number of places, including Unix manual pages, GNU info pages, and HTML help documentation (such as that displayed by the KDE Help Center).

Most Linux distributions store documentation on individual programs, such as README files and release notes under the /usr/share/doc directory, and if you have the kernel source installed, the documentation included with the kernel will usually be found in the directory /usr/src/linux/Documentation.

For information of a more interactive nature, the following sources are commonly used by Linux users:

Usenet newsgroups
Most newsgroups relevant to Linux are under the comp.os.linux hierarchy, but many also are regional, distribution-specific, or dedicated to open source projects.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is the traditional Unix chat system, and is often used for getting immediate answers to questions from other users.

Mailing Lists
Most Linux and open source projects, from the kernel to KDE, use mailing lists as the primary means for project developers to communicate. Many Linux user groups have mailing lists that can provide a local perspective.

A.1. Linux Documentation Project

The primary source of free documentation on Linux is the Linux Documentation Project (LDP). The main LDP web site is http://www.tldp.org, but there are many mirror sites around the world, one of which may be closer to you or less busy.

The documentation in the Linux Documentation Project is organized into several types. The Guides are long, often book-length, manuals covering in detail such larger topics as networking,. The HOWTOs are medium-length documents covering specific tasks, such as configuring a sound card. For smaller tasks on specialized topics that don't justify a full HOWTO, there are mini-HOWTOs. Finally, there are a number of FAQs that answer frequently asked questions on Linux.

The LDP documents are provided in a number of different formats, including HTML, plain text, PDF, and PostScript. Many of the documents have also been translated into different languages by a team of volunteer translators.

The bibliography lists a number of the LDP documents in more detail.

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