Linux META-FAQ (part 1/1)

Linux META-FAQ (part 1/1)

Post by Michael K. Johnso » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00

Archive-name: linux/meta-faq
Last-modified: 20 Aug 95


*** 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,
  v4.1, 9 August 1995

  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 (john-  Mail me if you have any questions about this

  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.  It has no proprietary code
        in it.  Linux is freely distributable under the GNU Public
        License.  It only 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, or 68040.
        An FPU is also required, and will be until someone writes an FPU
        emulator.  See the /pub/linux/680x0 directory at

        Support for the DEC Alpha is now in the current development
        kernels, and DEC has released a distribution called "BLADE"
        which is available from in /pub/DEC/Linux-Alpha/.
        Commercial support is now becoming available.

        Support for ARM, PowerPC, and MIPS is in the works, 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
        ( 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

     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 Matt Welsh and Lars
        Wirzenius.  To make submissions to the newsgroup, send mail to  You may direct questions about
        comp.os.linux.announce to Matt Welsh,

        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.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.admin is an unmoderated newsgroup
        for discussing Linux-related administration questions.

        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
        Matt Welsh,, maintains the home WWW page for
        the Linux project.  The URL is

     Linux Journal
        A magazine called Linux Journal was launched over a year 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.  Please do not send credit card
        numbers via email; the internet is not secure, and it is
        entirely possible that a technologically adept thief may steal
        your credit card number and cost you a large sum of money if you

     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/OS/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, including floppies, CD-ROM,
  and tape, 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.

  Also check advertisements/* at for advertisements of
  other ways to get linux, including a list of people that will make
  copies for you at low prices.  Also available there are advertisements
  for other commercial services related to Linux.

  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
  has only very limited very old Linux archives.

  3.5.  Mailservers and such

  Sunsite offers ftp-mail service --- mail

  4.  Linux distributions (aka ``releases'')

  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 recommended distributions are
  Slackware, MCC, and soon, Debian.  These are all available for free
  over the internet, and some are also sold on floppies and CD-ROM's.

  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 800 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

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

  9.  This Document

  The latest version of this document should always be available from in /pub/linux/docs in the file META-FAQ.  A DVI version
  should be available in the same directory as META-FAQ.dvi, and a
  PostScript version as

  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