Summary - Linux Pro: Installation and More

Written by Paul Poduska
1st Edition, November 1997
150 pages

Mini-summary:

This book, written in a friendly and conversational style, starts with a discussion of what Linux is, how it came to be, why it is so important, and who can benefit from it. It then thoroughly explores different ways of using Linux Pro, and how your plans for using Linux should affect your choice of hardware. Next, it shows you how to circumvent potential difficulties by covering one of the most important pre-installation steps, the proper partitioning of the hard disk. Only after all of this necessary preparation does it plunge into a step-by-step, illustrated guide to installing Linux Pro, followed by a chapter on testing and exploring the newly installed operating system.

The six chapters are followed by six appendices: Troubleshooting, Linux/DOS Command Equivalents, vi Tutorial, Resources, What's On The CD-ROM, and a Glossary.

Main Summary

"What unites these coders is the drive to create the world's         
greatest operating system..."                                        

                                          Wired Magazine               


1 A New Software Paradigm

During the past six years, a quiet revolution has been taking place that only recently has caught the attention of the mainstream computer and Internet press. The revolution that I'm speaking of is the worldwide participation of talented software engineers in the building of the freely-available world-class operating system called Linux.

This book is one of a series of books being published by WorkGroup Solutions, Inc. (WGS) that is intended to introduce Linux to a broad range of new as well as experienced computer users. It includes the Linux Pro operating system on a CD-ROM as well as the Linux Mall Catalog, both of which are published by WorkGroup Solutions. With the CD-ROM, the catalog and the information in this book, you will have some of the most powerful yet easy-to-use software on this planet! I say "most powerful" because Linux Pro is a very modern operating system deigned from the ground up to take advantage of the latest Intel processors and to build highly reliable small, medium and even enterprise-sized networks of Linux Pro operating systems. I say "easy-to-use" because Linux Pro has been designed by WorkGroup Solutions to be easily installable on almost any PC that will run MS DOS or MS Windows, and has the most complete library of development and application software available on any Linux distribution, including powerful graphical system administration and office productivity tools. And it can be installed on any PC without having to remove other operating systems and software. Indeed, applications running on Linux Pro can even directly use the data in other operating system files!

Linux Pro is truly "world-class software," as we discuss later in this book. But the revolution doesn't stop there. What is just as important to realize is that when you use Linux Pro, you are participating in a world-wide effort to bring the power of computing back into the public's hands, i.e. to bring freedom to software development and use, so that what we call "personal computing" is truly personal. This means that for the first time, you and millions of other computer users can actually own the operating system that you are using and therefore really own your computer. This is a new paradigm in software development and use, because it represents a whole new way of looking at how software is made, how it is acquired, and how it can be used.

As you begin to install and use Linux Pro and then learn more about its history and the effect that it is having on many individuals and organizations, you will begin to really appreciate the software revolution that is taking place. I, and the devoted folks at WorkGroup Solutions, hope that this book provides you with a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Linux and their Linux Pro operating system. I have tried to write the book in a very friendly, almost conversational style in order to have it appeal to a broad range of users. At the same time, I have covered a lot of technical information that will give you the conceptual tools that you need to start to understand why Linux Pro is such an amazing piece of software.

2 Organization Of This Book

This book is essentially organized to make learning about and using Linux Pro as enjoyable as possible, as well as to be an introduction for other books in this series. It answers four basic questions:

1. What is Linux all about?
2. Why is Linux Pro so exceptional?
3. How do I get it up and running?
4. What resources are available to use it?

The answers to these questions are presented in the six chapters plus the appendices as follows:

Chapter 1: Why Linux Is So Important
Chapter 2: Linux Pro 5.0 Overview
Chapter 3: Hardware Requirements
Chapter 4: Preparing to Install Linux Pro
Chapter 5: Installing Linux Pro
Chapter 6: Running Linux Pro
Appendix A: Troubleshooting Guide
Appendix B: Linux/DOS Command Equivalents
Appendix C: Vi Tutorial
Appendix D: Other Resources
Appendix E: What's On the CD-ROM
Appendix F: Glossary
The Linux Mall Catalog

When you have finished reading this book, have installed the Linux Pro operating system, and have read about the very large amount of resources and products available for Linux Pro, you will have acquired an excellent introduction to Linux and the power of this world-class software.

3 How To Use This Book

Linux and Linux Pro have a history that is interesting and important. For this reason, if you are new to Linux or Linux Pro, I recommend that you read the book from start to finish. Even if you have experience with Linux, you might gain interesting insights by reading the introductory chapters on the history of Linux and the features and benefits of Linux Pro.

If you are a teacher or have a specific need to use Linux Pro immediately without installing it, this version of Linux Pro includes a "Live Filesystem" which enables you to run Linux Pro right from a CD-ROM (see section 3.2.1) without copying files to a hard drive.

If you are a previous Linux Pro user and want to immediately upgrade your system, then you can just put the CD-ROM in a drive, answer the first few questions, and then select the Upgrade option from the Installation Source dialog box when you see it.

If you are installing Linux or Linux Pro for the first time, I do recommend that you first read all of Chapters 3 through 6 before actually installing Linux Pro. I also recommend that you take notes regarding information that the installation process will ask you to provide, so that you can have the necessary information ready when you actually start the installation.

Finally, if you are a software developer, system maintainer or other experienced PC user, you may want to jump right in after reading Chapters 1 and 2, because the Linux Pro installation is as easy as it gets… to date.

4 Conventions Used In This Book

The following special notations are used in this book in order to make it as easy to read as possible.

Please note that these conventions, used in the printed edition of Linux Pro: Installation and More, may not carry over perfectly into this HTML document.

Italics are used to indicate the names of programs such as vi and fdisk that are not commercial products in themselves. They are also used for emphasis and for book titles.
Monospaced fonts are used to indicate output from the computer, such as prompts, file contents, and responses to commands.
Bold monospaced indicates commands that the reader is instructed to type exactly as shown.
Bold italic monospaced indicates variables in a command that the reader will replace with specific information, such as a password.

Monospaced underlined

indicates a URL, usually a World Wide Web address.
[Square brackets] indicate a key to be pressed, as in "type your password and press [Enter]."
Sans Serif fonts indicate the name of a commercial product.

5 The Linux Mall Catalog

At the end of the book is software catalog from the Linux Mall, the largest distributor of Linux software in the world! In it you will find all sorts of goodies for using any Linux system including Linux Pro. Please visit the Linux Mall's world wide web site at .

6 What's On The CD-ROM

The CD-ROM contains the latest version of Linux Pro that itself includes over 400MB of software tools and applications. As required by the General Public License, the source code is available; a coupon for the supplemental CD-ROM with source code and contribs is included with the main disk in the back of this book.* In addition, this special Linux Pro CD-ROM provides a huge number of tools, utilities, and applications, including Netscape Navigator Gold, Gimp image editing software, several types of network servers including the famous Apache web server, many programming languages, the Postgresql database language, a full Unix command set, GUI system administration tools, many games including Linux XDoom, complete Java™ development and support, plus firewall software, and much, much more. A complete listing of the CD-ROM's contents is provided in Appendix E.

* Update: As of summer 1998, the Source and Contribs CD is being made one at a time as a CD-R. This is expensive, and we can therefore no longer give it away. Please see /products/00561.html

7 If You Need Help

Linux Pro's installation procedure is carefully designed to be as easy as possible. However, if you should run into difficulty, consult Appendix A for a troubleshooting guide, and Appendix D for an extensive list of available resources for help. And of course, to ensure the smoothest possible installation, you should consult the README file on the CD-ROM before you even begin.

8 Acknowledgements

This book with CD-ROM, Linux Mall Catalog and software is in part the result of a cast of thousands, for Linux itself, upon which Linux Pro is based, has been and continues to be produced by a large international community of devoted engineers and uses. In addition to this group, I must individually thank the staff at WorkGroup Solutions who put in hundreds of hours to make this version of Linux Pro possible:

Mark Bolzern, founder and President of WorkGroup Solutions and the Linux Mall, for not only financing the publication of this book but also for the never-ending amount of time he spent making this book and all else possible. Bonnie Brodsky, for the many hours of editing, preparation of artwork, and long hours spent doing book layout and pre-press work. Mike Hime, for spending time reviewing chapters for technical accuracy. Virginia Lane, for her administrative support and text proofing. Aldo Ramos, for the hundreds of hours that he has spent tweaking the Linux Pro software and for his assistance in the technical editing of this book. The WGS Beta test sites, friends in the industry, and Linux colleagues who all played a part in making this possible.

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