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Linux and UNIX Resources

There is quite a bit on this page, therefore these links will help you get to the area you're most interested in:

Web Links

Main Linux Distributions

SuSE is a well thought of distribution that comes out of Germany. It enjoys great popularity is in Europe, and is well-regarded by many in the North America. SuSE sells two pre-packaged versions -- a Personal Edition and a Professional Edition, both described below.

Red Hat is a well-known and popular distribution in the United States. As one of the first distributions, and because it is tested extensively internally prior to release, it has traditionally been one of the more stable distributions.

Debian has a more purist open source philosophy behind it and is a contributory effort rather than a corporate effort. Along with a wide variety of software packages, Debian comes with advanced package management tools that make it easier to maintain. Not being a corporate effort, the contributors don't feel they need to release a distribution according to a schedule and can thus afford to wait until everything is right.

Informational

The Linux FAQ

The GNU Home Page, which provides one portion of the GNU/Linux project.

FreshMeat, from which quite a bit of open source software is available for download.

SlashDot is a place where free-wheeling discussion takes place on topics which include Linux, open source software, science, and other "geek" topics. Moderation of postings is handled by the users themselves. It's a nice example of an on-line community.

SourceForge is a place where open source developers can maintain their projects.

History of UNIX and GNU

The Creation of the UNIX Operating System

The Evolution of the Unix Time-sharing System by Dennis Ritchie

Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix: From AT&T-Owned to Freely Redistributable by Marshall Kirk McKusick

The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement by Richard Stallman

Overview of the GNU Project by the Free Software Foundation

Personalities in UNIX

W. Richard Stevens still has a home page, even though he passed away. He has written a number of books that are considered to be pinnacles of superb writing on highly technical and complex topics. Three books on UNIX programming listed below and three more books on TCP/IP are on another resources page.

A Salon.com article about W. Richard Stevens which gives you a wonderful sense of the individual behind his many contributions.

A Salon.com article about John Lions and "The Most Famous Suppressed Manuscript in Computer History". The book is shown and described below.

Usage and System Administration Book Recommendations

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Running Linux (Third Edition)

by Matt Welsh, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, and Lar Kaufman

O'Reilly & Associates

Running Linux is a comprehensive book that discusses all aspects of using Linux and the basics of administering a desktop system. It assumes no prior knowledge of Linux and takes the novice from installation to fundamental competency. With its vast index, novice to intermediate users would do well by keeping this book within arm's reach.

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UNIX System Administration Handbook (Third Edition)

by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, and Trent R. Hein

Prentice Hall

This is the book on UNIX and Linux system administration. Previous editions were referred to as the red book due to the color of its cover. As you can see, the new third edition has a purple cover.

Previous editions focused on UNIX, specifically Solaris, HP-UX, and FreeBSD. The third edition adds Linux, specifically Red Hat Linux, to the mix, adding to the comprehensive nature of this substantial volume. When one of the four systems requires a special note, it is included along with an icon to make it easier to spot.

An exhaustive list of the topics covered would be much too long for this review. Perhaps a few numbers will give you a sense of this book. There are twenty-eight chapter that span over 850 pages. The table of contents is itself twenty-five pages, and the index is seventeen pages, and each of those pages is divided into three columns.

Great care has been taken in preparing this volume. Numerous diagrams, tables, and examples help to make the material, which can at times be dense with useful information, understandable.

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Linux System Administration Handbook

by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, and Trent R. Hein

Prentice Hall

This is a version of UNIX System Administration Handbook reconfigured specifically for Linux, with added content. It focuses on three of the most popular Linux distributions -- Red Hat Linux, SuSE Linux, and Debian GNU/Linux.

Rather than regurgitating the content of the standard manual pages, this book takes an approach derived from experience and focused at in-depth information and practical advice.

Programming Book Recommendations

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Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment

by W. Richard Stevens

Addison-Wesley

This review is not written yet.



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UNIX Network Programming, Volume 1: Networking APIs, Sockets and XTI

by W. Richard Stevens

Prentice Hall

This review is not written yet.



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UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2: Interprocess Communications

by W. Richard Stevens

Prentice Hall

This review is not written yet.



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Lions' Commentary on Unix 6th Edition: With Source Code

by John Lions

Peer to Peer Communications

The back of the book proclaims that this is "The Most Famous Suppressed manuscript in Computer History!" It goes on to say:

"The Lions' book," cherished by UNIX hackers and widely circulated as a photocopied bootleg document since the late 1970's, is finally available in an unrestricted edition. This legendary underground classic, reproduced without modification, is really two works in one:

  • the source code to an early version of the UNIX operating system
  • a brilliant commentary on that code by John Lions

You can read the story of John Lions and his "suppressed manuscript" in a Salon.com article.

Software Recommendations

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SuSE Linux 8.1 Personal Edition

SuSE Inc.

This Linux distribution is designed for a range of users, from those first experimenting with Linux to the experienced home and office user. At its core is the new kernel version 2.4, and it uses an easy graphical installation tool which automatically detects the installed hardware.

Personal Edition comes with quite a bit of software, including StarOffice (a complete office suite), Netscape Navigator, and a host of other powerful office, image processing, and multimedia applications, including a large selection of games -- over 700 applications in all. The included manuals are very highly regarded and provide more software tutorials and configuration walk-throughs than any other distribution.

The package comes with 3 CDs, a set of manuals, and 60 days of installation support.

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SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional Edition

SuSE Inc.

The Professional Edition is designed for both IT professionals and for ambitious home and office users. It contains everything in the Personal Edition plus quite a bit more.

Included you will find a number of servers (e.g., databases, e-mail, e-commerce, web, ftp, and file servers), and many of these server solutions come pre-configured making set up extraordinarily easy. In all, over 2,300 programs are included.

The package comes with 7 CDs, 1 DVD, 5 manuals, and 90 days of installation support.