This post is sent weekly to the comp.os.linux newsgroup after numerous
people suggested I make it a regular thing. Any comments? Contact me...
------- *** Linux Documents Explained for Newbies (like me 8-) *** --------
Have any of you (relatively) new Linux users felt rather intimidated
by all the *** READ THE FAQ BEFORE YOU BOTHER US GURUS *** type posts,
then gone out and retrieved the numerous FAQ's (after wasting a lot of
time filtering through all the docs etc), read them, then still been
flamed for not finding something in the FAQ? Well, I kinda felt that
way, so I am compiling a very brief (and hopefully understandable) list
of what the various docs are that you may need and why.
Here it is:
I. Where to find them:
- most of the docs are posted to comp.os.linux (c.o.l) every
couple of weeks. If you are patient you'll see them.
- By ftp try:
tsx-11.mit.edu (220.127.116.11) in /pub/linux
sunsite.unc.edu (18.104.22.168) in /pub/Linux
nic.funet.fi (22.214.171.124) in /pub/OS/Linux
- By mail server try:
- If none of those work then try asking Ian Jackson (who's post
*** READ THIS BEFORE POSTING *** should also be read) by
II. What document files are available and should you get:
- INFO-SHEET - This file explains what Linux is, its features,
hardware supported, some software ported, and
(very important) where to get Linux via ftp or
snail mail. (in docs/)
- META-FAQ - Lots of useful information on where to find more
information about Linux (get this one for sure).
- faq.p1.mmmyy - The FAQ itself comes in 4 parts. This is the
- faq.p2.mmmyy mother of all Linux documentation. These four
- faq.p3.mmmyy files are a *must* if you plan to use Linux.
- faq.p4.mmmyy (The FAQ is updated regularly, hence the date
extension. e.g. mmmyy = feb93) (in docs/FAQ)
- faq.toc.mmmyy - Table of Contents for the FAQ. A must-get in
order to avoid massive amounts of time waste
picking through the four FAQ volumes.
- NET-FAQ - Documentation on networking Linux. This is in
addition to Chapter XI of the FAQ. (in docs/)
- LILO-QUICKSTART-1.1 - How to install LILO (the disk booting
program). (in docs/)
- FAQ - GCC FAQ (rather poorly named IMHO). (in packages/GCC)
- ext2fs.faq - FAQ regarding the ext2fs utility (i.e. the second
version of the extended filesystem program).
- drivers.doc.z - a gzipped file containing all the information you
you should need to know for writing a driver for
Linux. Read this before you even think about writing
your own driver. (in ALPHA/drv_guide)
- bbs.list - List of various BBS and ftp sites where you can find
iii. Information for SLS!!! (every newbie needs this 8-)
- DOWNLOADING - Information on how to get the SLS disks.
- NOTICE - Information on warranty, restrictions, etc for SLS.
Check this one out. (in packages/SLS)
- COPYING - The GNU General Public License document. (in packages/SLS)
- RELEASE - Information on what is in the latest release of SLS.
- ChangeLog - History of changes to Linux and SLS. (in packages/SLS)
- README - Most important document on SLS installation etc. You
*will* need this for installing SLS. (in packages/SLS)
- SLS.FAQ - The real thing. Two pages of questions you will come
come across (complete with answers, too 8-).
iv. Comp.os.linux.announce (c.o.l.a) information:
- The newsgroup comp.os.linux.announce is a moderated newsgroup where
the *latest, greatest* stuff regarding Linux is posted.
- C.o.l.a [I love that acronym for this group 8-)] is archived in
- nic.funet.fi: /pub/OS/Linux/doc/news/COLA
From what I've seen so far there is a lot of information contained
in these documents. Also examine every README type file you find (e.g
README.tapes explained all I needed to know to get my SCSI tape stuff
going). A nice trick for finding these files is to get the find-ls
file from the archives then grep it for README, FAQ, DOC, etc.
i.e. grep README find-ls | more
For information on non Linux specific stuff check the corresponding
newsgroup for FAQ information (e.g. comp.unix.questions, comp.lang.c,
etc). Also, all the Internet FAQs are archived on rtfm.mit.edu. Check
it out if you have questions about other subjects.
BTW, for those of you with ftp access, here's a neat little trick you
may not know about. To view a file on the archive without first
transfering it to your machine type:
ftp>get filename |more
NOTE: NO SPACE BETWEEN THE | AND more!!! This is really handy for looking
at README files etc, and general file browsing.
HINT: The unix grep command is *REALLY* useful when looking for specific
information in the documents! 8-)
Jay MacDonald <- Linux convert
P.S. If I've missed any obvious docs or docs that anybody thinks should
be included, please let me know.
[newbies.autopost - last changed April 8th, '93]