The CTDP Linux User's Guide Version 0.6.2 November 6, 2000



This guide and associated documents comes with no warranty af any kind. The Computer Technology Documentation Project nor the respective authors of any of these documents are or can be held liable for any damages of any kind due to use of this documentation. The users of this documentation assume all liability and must use this documentation at their own risk. Although every effort has been made to assure accurate documentation, the accuracy of this documentation cannot be guaranteed. This documentation is copyright of The Computer Technology Documentation Project and each document's respective author(s). This version of The Linux User's Guide is granted for use under the GNU licencing agreement. You are free to distribute it as long as it is not modified and credit is given to the Computer Technology Documentation Project.

Where to Find Help and Information

Refer to the "Linux Help" section of this document for a complete description of available help. You should be aware that there are many available detailed Linux howtos that document various subjects based on the function or program users may be performing or using. The Linux Documentation Project or Metalab's Index of Linux publications will have copies if these howtos. You may access the howtos from one of the weblinks listed in the Linux websites section. From the Linux Section, click on "Weblinks", then "Documentation" and you will see these weblinks. Also the howto files are likely to be located on your system in the /usr/doc/HOWTO directory.


This documentation is not meant as a replacement for the Linux Howtos or other Linux documentation but a complement to them by giving an overview of what must be done. Much of this documentation will not only explain required instructions, but why a certain set of instructions is performed in order to enhance the reader's understanding.

This Linux documentation revolves around the Redhat 6.x series of Linux. Although it is written with the Redhat version of Linux in mind, much of the documentation and associated instructions will work for many versions of Linux. This documentation attempts not only to explain methodologies for accomplishing goals such as setting up various services, but gives fundamentals on how the various services and the operating system itself works.

Much of the problem with learning Linux is that there are so many available commands and tools along with a variety of ways to accomplish each task. The main goal of this documentation is to help the reader more quickly discover what those tools and commands are and thereby learn faster. This is done by categorizing capabilities into various sections which describe various operating system functions. This document attempts to give examples and reasonably full explanations about the various tools involved, but more emphasis has been placed on having a reasonable listing of tools. As this documentation is upgraded, where it is helpful, additional examples and explanations will be added. One of the greatest problems in writing this documentation is that many functional areas run over into other functional areas. For instance filesystems and user quotas both deal with filesystems. Therefore some information may be repeated in various sections or documents in order to avoid the necessity of looking in many areas for complete information.


Planned improvements include the sections:

  1. Sound Configuration
  2. Telnet and FTP
  3. Identd
  4. Apache
  5. Kerberos
  6. VPN
  7. PPP
  8. Mail
  9. UUCP
  10. News
  11. NIS
  12. Network Security
  13. Shell programming
  14. VI
  15. Emacs
  16. Text Processing (addition of SGML)

Associated Documentation

This documentation is designed to be an excellent reference manual and learning tool. It is designed to eliminate extra reading by being as brief as possible while giving the reader enough detail to fully grasp each concept. The users of this documentation will save much time both in learning the subjects and in using this document as a handy reference. The documentation is logically organized to better enable the reader to learn various sections. This document, although is a good reference document by itself, is designed to best be used with the following series of documents in order to better enable the user to more fully understand the overall concepts involved. This document is free as a contribution to the Linux community.

  1. The CTDP Linux User's Guide - This document gives the user a good organized overview of Linux including basic commands, file structure, file systems, system configuration, managing users and processes, networking and the respective services, including the configuration of X. It explains how to set up filesystems, how to set LILO and the kernel up, working with the init process, setting up system logging, CRON, user accounting, user limits, printing, setting up the network, Samba services, DNS, DHCP, BOOTP, IP masquerading, and more.
  2. How Linux Works CTDP Guide - This document explains in detail, how the system operates from the kernel operation, and how it locates the root filesystem to how many system and network services work. This document explains the inner workings from the BIOS, through the operation of the boot loader (LILO), loading the kernel, and more. It continues with explanations of the various system runlevels, the init process, and how the startup script files are structured and operates. It explains the login process, the shell, and system environment, filesystems, devices, keymapping, system configuration, X, and various daemons, system and networking services. This guide is an essential key in a complete understanding of Linux.
  3. CTDP Linux Files and Command Reference - This manual explains in more detail the Linux file system and Linux configuration file details. It also lists many commands by category available in Linux giving a brief description of each one.
  4. Linux Brief CTDP How-tos - This document contains a multitude of handy brief how-tos. The how-tos are organized by category and they include, how to install and run a recent version of the JAVA environment, how to perform diskless boots from client computers using Linux as a server, and some tips on script writing.
  5. The CTDP Linux Startup Manual - This manual documents in great detail how linux boots from the operation of BIOS, the LILO boot loader, the kernel, to intricate detail on each startup script and beyond.
  6. The CTDP Linux Programmer's Guide - This guide documents much about programming on the Linux operating system, from script writing, to C and more. This document is under development. Currently it includes information about script writing in Linux, with information about Linux structures and signals required for programming. It includes script and C code examples. This document will be expanded to include C++, and GUI tools as time permits.
  7. The CTDP Networking Guide - An excellent guide to learn networking for beginners and a handy reference for experts. This guide, although not specifically for beginners, explains the various networking levels and protocols in simple terms. It explains how the various data packets are wrapped inside others and goes into detail explaining routing, IP masquerading, firewalls, DNS, and VPN along with simple explanations on how to do most of this on a Linux system using tools such as route and ipchains. It then continues with Samba, WINS, RPC, DHCP, dynamic routing, network management, broadcasting, multicasting, mail, and much more.
  8. The CTDP HTML Guide - This guide explains the structure of HTML including how to use tables, lists, block quotes, and more. It explains the various options allowed with each HTML structure. This guide gives several examples to illustrate the use of the various HTML structures and is a good learning tool and handy reference.