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Linux META-FAQ (part 1/1)

A listing of Linux sources of information
Archive-name: linux/meta-faq
Last-modified: 2 Jan 97


*** The `Linux META-FAQ' is posted automatically by the
*** Linux HOWTO coordinator, Greg Hankins <>.  Please
*** direct any comments or questions about this HOWTO to the author,
*** Michael K. Johnson <>.

- --- BEGIN Linux META-FAQ part 1/1 ---

  Linux Meta-FAQ
  Michael K. Johnson, johnsonm@redhat.comm
  v4.6, 20 December 1996

  This is the Meta-FAQ for Linux.  It is mainly a list of valuable
  sources of information.  Check these sources out if you want to learn
  more about Linux, or have problems and need help.  Lars Wirzenius
  ( wrote the first version of this document,
  and it is now maintained by Michael K. Johnson (
  Mail me if you have any questions about this document.

  1.  Introduction

     What is Linux?
        Linux is an independent implementation of the POSIX operating
        system specification, with SYSV and BSD extensions, that has
        been written entirely from scratch (this means it looks and acts
        just like Unix).  It has no proprietary code in it.  Linux is
        freely distributable under the GNU Public License.  It works on
        IBM PC compatibles with an ISA or EISA bus (including local bus
        variants VLB and PCI) and a 386 or higher processor.

        In addition, it also runs on some Amiga and Atari computers with
        MMU's.  This means 68020 with an external MMU, 68030, 68040, or
        68060.  See the /pub/linux/680x0 directory at

        Support for the Digital Alpha is now stable.  Red Hat and
        Craftworks have Alpha distributions of Linux.

        Support for Sparc is stable, and Red Hat Linux is available for

        Support for PowerPC is in development for multiple platforms,
        including Nubus and PCI Macintosh, Motorola Powerstack, IBM 830
        and 850, and other platforms.

        Support for ARM and MIPS is in various stages of completion, but
        don't hold your breath.  Read comp.os.linux.announce instead.

        See the FAQ for more exact hardware requirements.  The Linux
        kernel is written by Linus Torvalds
        (Linus.Torvalds@.Helsinki.FI) from Finland, and by other
        volunteers.  Most of the programs running under Linux are
        generic Unix freeware, many of them from the GNU project.

     The Linux FAQ
        A collection of common problems and their solutions.  Answers
        many questions faster than the net.  Stored on many Linux ftp
        sites (including /pub/linux/docs on and, the general archive site for all FAQs.

     The Linux HOWTO's
        These are somewhat like FAQ's, but instead of answering common
        questions, they explain how to do common tasks, like ordering a
        release of Linux, setting up print services under Linux, setting
        up a basic UUCP feed, etc.  See, directory
        /pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/ for the definitive versions of all the
        HOWTO's.  Other sites with up-to-date copies of the HOWTOs are and

        In addition, there are many short, free-form documents called
        "mini-HOWTOs".  These documents cover very specific subjects,
        such as BogoMIPS or Color-ls.  These are available in the
        directory /pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/mini/

     Linux newsgroups
        There are several Usenet newsgroups for Linux.  It is a good
        idea to follow at least comp.os.linux.announce if you use Linux.
        Comp.os.linux.announce is moderated by Lars Wirzenius.  To make
        submissions to the newsgroup, send mail to linux-  You may direct questions about
        comp.os.linux.announce to Lars Wirzenius,

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.announce is a moderated newsgroup
        for announcements about Linux (new programs, bug fixes, etc).

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.answers is a moderated newsgroup to
        which the Linux FAQ, HOWTO documents, and other documentation
        postings are made.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.setup is an unmoderated newsgroup
        for discussion of issues and problems involved in setting up
        Linux systems.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.admin is an unmoderated newsgroup
        for discussion of administration of Linux systems.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.development.system is an unmoderated
        newsgroup specifically for discussion of Linux kernel
        development.  The only application development questions that
        should be discussed here are those that are intimately
        associated with the kernel.  All other development questions are
        probably generic Unix development questions and should be
        directed to a comp.unix group instead, unless they are very
        Linux-specific applications questions, in which case they should
        be directed at comp.os.linux.development.apps.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.development.apps is an unmoderated
        newsgroup specifically for discussion of Linux-related
        applications development.  It is not for discussion of where to
        get applications for Linux, nor a discussion forum for those who
        would like to see applications for Linux.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.hardware is for Linux-specific
        hardware questions.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.networking is for Linux-specific
        networking development and setup questions.

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.x is for Linux-specific X Windows

        The newsgroup comp.os.linux.misc is an unmoderated newsgroup for
        any Linux discussion that doesn't belong anywhere else.

        In general, do not crosspost between the Linux newsgroups.  The
        only crossposting that is appropriate is an occasional posting
        between one unmoderated group and comp.os.linux.announce.  The
        whole point of splitting comp.os.linux into many groups is to
        reduce traffic in each.  Those that do not follow this rule will
        be flamed without mercy...

     Other newsgroups
        Do not assume that all your questions are appropriate for a
        Linux newsgroup just because you are running Linux.  Is your
        question really about shell programming under any unix or unix
        clone?  Then ask in  Is it about GNU Emacs?
        Then try asking in  Also, if you don't know
        another group to ask in, but think there might be, politely ask
        in your post if there is another group that would be more
        appropriate for your question.  At least the groups
        comp.unix.{questions,shell,programming,bsd,admin}, and should be useful for a Linux user.

     The World-Wide Web
        Greg Hankins,, maintains the home WWW page
        for the Linux project.  The URL is

     Linux Journal
        A magazine called Linux Journal was launched several years ago.
        It includes articles intended for almost all skill levels, and
        is intended to be helpful to all Linux users.  Subscriptions are
        $22 in the U.S., $27 in Canada and Mexico, and $32 elsewhere
        around the world, all payable in U.S. funds. Subscription
        inquiries can be sent via email to or faxed to
        (U.S.)  1-206-782-7191 or mailed to Linux Journal, PO Box 85867,
        Seattle, WA 98145-1867 USA.  SSC has a PGP public key if you
        wish to send your credit card number via encrypted email: finger

     The Maps
        Information on free software available for Linux can be found in
        the Linux Software Map, which can be found on in

        Information on non-commercial projects can be found in the
        Projects Map, which is posted occasionally to
        comp.os.linux.announce and is stored at in

        Information on commercial products can be found in the Linux
        Commercial Products Map, which is posted occasionally to

  2.  Getting Linux

  3.  Linux FTP sites

  A more complete list of Linux FTP sites is in the Linux INFO-SHEET,
  which can always be found at in the directory
  /pub/linux/docs/.  A DVI version is in INFO-SHEET.dvi, and a
  PostScript version is in  The most important sites are
  listed here; please see the INFO-SHEET for a site nearer to you (there
  are many mirrors).

       textual name             numeric addr    Linux directory
       =======================  ==============  ===============       /pub/linux     /pub/Linux      /pub/Linux

  These sites are the main ``home'' sites for Linux where most uploads
  take place. There are many mirror sites; please use the closest
  (network-wise) site to you.

  3.1.  Linux on BBS's

  Occasionally, someone posts a list of BBS's that have Linux available
  for download.  Try them if you can't FTP.  This list is available by
  ftp from as /pub/linux/docs/bbs.list.  You may use
  ftpmail (described elsewhere in this document) to get this list if you
  have mail access, or ask a friend with internet access to get it for

  3.2.  Linux on physical media

  Linux is distributed on physical media, mainly CD-ROM, by several
  commercial vendors.  Please read the distribution HOWTO, posted
  regularily to comp.os.linux.announce, and available for ftp at as /pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO/distribution-HOWTO.

  3.3.  AFS

  Linux is available over AFS by mounting the volume project.linux from

  3.4.  Commercial networks

  GEnie mirrors most of and  Compu$erve
  also has some Linux archives.

  3.5.  Mailservers and such

  Sunsite offers ftp-mail service --- mail

  4.  Linux distributions

  Linux is distributed by its author only as a kernel.  Other people
  have put together ``distributions'' that can be used.  These
  distributions pair the kernel as released by the author with software,
  to make a complete working package.  Most releases include application
  programs as well as system software, providing ``one stop shopping''
  for Linux.

  There are several distributions of Linux, which are available at
  various sites.  Sunsite mirrors almost all the distributions in
  /pub/Linux/distributions.  The most commonly-recommended freely-
  available distributions are Red Hat, Debian, and Slackware.  These are
  all available for free over the internet, and are also sold on
  floppies and CD-ROM's.

  There are other distributions of Linux as well. Most commercial
  distributors of Linux advertise in Linux Journal as well.

  5.  Linux mailing-lists

  Used mostly for discussion between developers of new features and
  testers of pre-release versions.  See addresses in the FAQ.  Send mail
  to with the single word help in the body of
  the message , and you will get mail explaining how to subscribe to the
  many Linux mailing lists there.  Save this mail, as it tells you how
  to unsubscribe from the lists, and if you post annoying messages to
  the list complaining about not being able to get off the list (because
  you didn't follow instructions and save the mail telling you how to
  unsubscribe), you will likely be flamed for wasting international
  bandwidth and money.

  6.  Documentation for various programs

  Many programs come with some sort of documentation, often in a file
  called README or something similar.  It is a VERY good idea to read
  them with care.  It is boring to see (and answer) questions that are
  answered in the documentation.

  7.  More Documentation

  The Linux Documentation Project is working on a lot of documentation.
  Already, over 1600 pages of book-style documentation has been released
  to the general public, and a large set of man pages has also been
  released, with more to follow.  Check for documents written by the LDP.
  The LDP also provides the HOWTO's, described above.

  8.  Keeping track of current releases

  Important new releases, programs, and ports are usually announced in
  comp.os.linux.announce.  finger or finger to get some information about the current

  9.  This Document

  The latest version of this document should always be available from

  10.  Legalese

  Trademarks are owned by their owners.  Satisfaction not guaranteed.
  No warranties about this document. Void where prohibited.

  The content of this document is placed in the public domain, but if
  you quote it, please be polite and attribute your source.

- --- END Linux META-FAQ part 1/1 ---

Version: 2.6.2
Comment: finger for public key


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