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Fedora 7 Unleashed Ebook is organized into seven parts, covering installation and configuration,Fedora on the desktop, system administration, Fedora as a server, programming and housekeeping, and a reference section. A DVD containing the entire distribution is included so that you will have everything you need to get started. This book starts by covering the initial and essential tasks required to get Fedora installed and running on a target system. If you’re new to Linux, and more specifically, Fedora, first read the chapters in Part I, “Installation and Configuration.” You will get valuable information on

Textbook Fedora 7 Unleashed


(Linux Distribution – Publishing 2007)


Andrew Hudson and - Paul Hudson






Part I Installation and Configuration


1 Installing Fedora


2 Fedora Quick Start


3 Working with GNOME


4 Command Line Quickstart


Part II Desktop Fedora


5 On the Internet


6 Productivity Applications


7 Multimedia


8 Printing with Fedora


9 Games


Part III System Administration


10 Managing Users


11 Automating Tasks


12 System-Monitoring Tools


13 Backing Up


14 Networking


15 Remote Access with SSH


16 Xen


Part IV Fedora As a Server


17 Apache Web Server Management


18 Administering Database Services


19 File and Print


20 Remote File Serving with FTP


21 Handling Electronic Mail


22 Setting Up a Proxy Server


23 Managing DNS




Part V Programming Linux


25 Using Perl


26 Working with Python


27 Writing PHP Scripts


28 C/ C++ Programming Tools for Fedora


29 Mono


Part VI Fedora Housekeeping


30 Securing Your Machines


31 Performance Tuning


32 Command Line Masterclass


33 Writing and Executing a Shell Script


34 Advanced Software Management


35 Managing the File System


36 Kernel and Module Management


Part VII Appendices


A The History of Red Hat and Fedora


B Installation Resources


C Fedora and Linux Internet Resources




Changes from Previous Editions




Who This Book Is For


What This Book Contains


Conventions Used in This Book


Part I Installation and Configuration


1 Installing Fedora


Before You Begin the Installation


Planning Partition Strategies


Choosing How to Install Fedora


Installing from CD or DVD


Installing Using a Network


Step-by-Step Installation


Starting the Install


Partitioning Your Hard Drive


Choosing, Configuring, and Installing the Boot Loader


Network Configuration


Setting the Time Zone


Creating a Root Password and User Accounts


Software Selection and Installation


Finishing the Install


Firstboot Configuration


Logging In and Shutting Down




2 Fedora Quick Start


The Fedora Desktop


Getting Around Fedora


The Menu Options


Window Selector


The Computer Icon


The Home Icon


Accessing the Command Line


Available Applications


Office Suite


Internet Workstation






Keeping Your Software Up To Date


Configuring Wireless Networks


3 Working with GNOME


The GNOME Desktop Environment


AIGLX—Eye Candy for the Masses


Basic X Concepts


Using X


Elements of the xorg. conf File


Configuring X


Starting X


Using a Display Manager


Starting X from the Console by Using startx


Using Fedora’s switchdesk Client


KDE—The Other Environment






4 Command Line Quickstart


Understanding the Command Line


Navigating Through the File System


Managing Files with the Shell


Working with Compressed Files


Use Essential Commands from the / bin and / sbin Directories


Use and Edit Files in the / etc Directory


Protect the Contents of User Directories—/ home


Use the Contents of the / proc Directory to Interactwith the Kernel


Work with Shared Data in the / usr Directory


Temporary File Storage in the / tmp Directory


Access Variable Data Files in the / var Directory


Logging In to and Working with Linux


Text-based Console Login


Logging Out


Logging In and Out from a Remote Computer


Using Environment Variables


Using the Text Editors


Working with


Working with emacs


Working with Permissions


Assigning Permissions


Directory Permissions


Understanding Set User ID and Set Group ID Permissions


Working as Root


Creating Users


Deleting Users


Shutting Down the System


Rebooting the System


Reading Documentation


Using Man Pages




Part II Desktop Fedora


5 On the Internet


Browsing the Internet


Mozilla Firefox




Choosing an Email Client




Mozilla Thunderbird




Other Mail Clients


RSS Readers






Instant Messaging with Pidgin


Internet Relay Chat


Usenet Network Newsgroups


The Pan News Client Newsreader


Videoconferencing with Ekiga




6 Productivity Applications


What Is in OpenOffice. org?


Working with OpenOffice. org Writer


Working with OpenOffice. org Calc


Contents viiOffice Suites for Fedora


Working with Gnome Office


Working with KOffice


Productivity Applications Written for Microsoft Windows




7 Multimedia


Listening to Music


Streaming Audio


Graphics Manipulation


The GNU Image Manipulation Program


Using Scanners in Fedora


Working with Graphics Formats


Capturing Screen Images


Using Digital Cameras with Fedora


Handheld Digital Cameras


Using F-Spot


Burning CDs and DVDs in Fedora


Creating CDs and DVDs with Fedora’s Graphical Clients


Creating CDs from the Command Line


Creating DVDs from the Command Line


Sound and Music


Sound Cards


Adjusting Volume


Sound Formats


Viewing Video


TV and Video Hardware


Video Formats


Viewing Video in Linux


Personal Video Recorders


DVD and Video Players




8 Printing with Fedora


Overview of Fedora Printing


Configuring and Managing Print Services


GUI-Based Printer Configuration Quickstart


Managing Printing Services


Creating and Configuring Local Printers


Creating the Print Queue


Editing Printer Settings




Fedora 7 Unleashed viii9 Games


Linux Gaming


Installing Proprietary Video Drivers


Installing Popular Games in Fedora




Unreal Tournament




Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory


Battle for Wesnoth




Playing Windows Games with Cedega




Part III System Administration


10 Managing Users


User Accounts


Adding New Users


User IDs and Group IDs


Managing Groups


Group Management Tools


Managing Users


User Management Tools


Monitoring User Activity on the System


Managing Permissions


Assigning Permissions


Directory Permissions


Understanding Set User ID and Set Group ID Permissions


Managing Passwords


The Password File


Shadow Passwords


Managing Password Security for Users


Changing Passwords in a Batch


Granting System Administrator Privileges to Regular Users


Temporarily Changing User Identity with the su Command


Granting Root Privileges on Occasion—The sudo Command


Disk Quotas


Implementing Quotas


Manually Configuring Quotas




Automating Tasks


Running Services at Bootup


Beginning the Boot Loading Process


Loading the Linux Kernel


System Services and Runlevels


Runlevel Definitions


Booting into the Default Runlevel


Booting to a Nondefault Runlevel with GRUB


Understanding init Scripts and the Final Stage of Initialization


Controlling Services at Boot with Administrative Tools


Running Services Through xinetd


Changing Runlevels


Troubleshooting Runlevel Problems


Starting and Stopping Services Manually


Scheduling Tasks


Using at and batch to Schedule Tasks for Later


Using cron to Run Jobs Repeatedly


Basic Shell Control


The Shell Command Line


Shell Pattern-Matching Support


Piping Data


Background Processing




12 System-Monitoring Tools


Console-Based Monitoring


Using the kill Command to Control Processes


Using Priority Scheduling and Control


Displaying Free and Used Memory with free


Disk Quotas


Graphical Process and System Management Tools


KDE Process- and System-Monitoring Tools




13 Backing Up


Choosing a Backup Strategy


Why Data Loss Occurs


Assessing Your Backup Needs and Resources


Evaluating Backup Strategies


Making the Choice


Removable Storage Media


Network Storage


Tape Drive Backup


Using Backup Softwaretar: The Most Basic Backup Tool


The GNOME File Roller


The KDE Archiving Tools (KDE ark and kdat)


Using the Amanda Backup Application


Alternative Backup Software


Copying Files


Copying Files Using tar


Compressing, Encrypting, and Sending tar Streams


Copying Files Using cp


Using mc to Copy Files


System Rescue


The Fedora Rescue Disc


Backing Up and Restoring the Master Boot Record


Manually Restoring the Partition Table


Booting the System from the Rescue Disc


Booting the System from a Generic Boot Floppy Disk


Using a GRUB Boot Floppy Disk


Using the Recovery Facility from the Installation Disc




14 Networking


Using Network Configuration Tools


Using Graphical Configuration Tools


Command-Line Network Interface Configuration


Network Configuration Files


Laying the Foundation: The localhost Interface


Checking for the Availability of the Loopback Interface


Configuring the Loopback Interface Manually


Networking with TCP/ IP


Advanced Wireless Networking


Support for Wireless Networking in Fedora


TCP/ IP Addressing


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol


How DHCP Works


DHCP Software Installation


Using DHCP to Configure Network Hosts


Contents xiOther Uses for DHCP


Using IP Masquerading in Fedora




Beyond the Network and Onto the Internet


Common Configuration Information


Configuring DSL Access


Understanding Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet


Configuring a PPPoE Connection Manually


Configuring Dial-Up Internet Access


Configuring a Dial-Up Connection Manually


Using the Fedora Internet Configuration Wizard


Troubleshooting Connection Problems












15 Remote Access with SSH


Setting Up a Telnet Server


Setting Up an SSH Server


The SSH Tools


Using scp to Copy Individual Files Between Machines


Using sftp to Copy Many Files Between Machines


Using ssh-keygen to Enable Key-Based Logins


Remote X








16 Xen


Why Virtualization Is a Smart Idea


Virtualization Versus Paravirtualization


How Xen Works


Installing Xen


Setting Up Guest Operating Systems


Runtime Configuration




Apache Web Server Management


About the Apache Web Server


Installing the Apache Server


Installing Through Pirut


Installing from the RPM


Building the Source Yourself


Starting and Stopping Apache


Starting the Apache Server Manually


Using / etc/ rc. d/ init. d/ httpd


Controlling Apache with Fedora’s service Command


Controlling Apache with Fedora’s chkconfig Command


Graphic Interface Configuration of Apache


Configuring Virtual Host Properties


Configuring the Server


Configuring Apache for Peak Performance


Runtime Server Configuration Settings


Runtime Configuration Directives


Editing httpd. conf


Apache Multiprocessing Modules


Using. htaccess Configuration Files


File System Authentication and Access Control


Restricting Access with allow and deny




Final Words on Access Control


Apache Modulesmod_accessmod_aliasmod_asismod_authmod_auth_anonmod_auth_dbmmod

_auth_digestmod_autoindexmod_cgimod_dir and mod_envmod_expiresmod_headers


Contents xiiimod_includemod_info and mod_log_configmod_mime and mod_mime_magicmod_




Virtual Hosting


Address-Based Virtual Hosts


Name-Based Virtual Hosts






18 Administering Database Services


A Brief Review of Database Basics


How Relational Databases Work


Understanding SQL Basics


Choosing a Database: MySQL Versus PostgreSQL




Data Locking


ACID Compliance in Transaction Processing to Protect


Data Integrity


SQL Subqueries


Procedural Languages and Triggers


Configuring MySQL


Setting a Password for the MySQL Root User


Creating a Database in MySQL


Granting and Revoking Privileges in MySQL


Configuring PostgreSQL


Initializing the Data Directory in PostgreSQL


Creating a Database in PostgreSQL


Creating Database Users in PostgreSQL


Deleting Database Users in PostgreSQL


Granting and Revoking Privileges in PostgreSQL


Fedora 7 Unleashed xivDatabase Clients


SSH Access to a Database


Local GUI Client Access to a Database


Web Access to a Database


The MySQL Command-Line Client


The PostgreSQL Command-Line Client


Graphical Clients




19 File and Print


Using the Network File System


NFS Server Configuration


NFS Client Configuration


Putting Samba to Work


Configuring Samba with system-config-samba


Configuring Samba with SWAT


Manually Configuring Samba with / etc/ samba/ smb. conf


Testing Samba with the testparm Command


Starting the smbd Daemon


Mounting Samba Shares


Network and Remote Printing with Fedora


Enabling Network Printing on a LAN


Session Message Block Printing


Network-Attached Printer Configuration and Printing


Using the Common Unix Printing System GUI


Console Print Control


Using Basic Print Commands


Managing Print Jobs


Avoiding Printer Support Problems


All-in-One (Print/ Fax/ Scan) Devices


Using USB and Legacy Printers




20 Remote File Serving with FTP


Choosing an FTP Server


Choosing an Authenticated or Anonymous Server


Fedora FTP Server Packages


Other FTP Servers


Installing FTP Software


The FTP User


Contents xvxinetd Configuration for wu-ftpd


Configuring xinetd for the wu-ftp Server


Starting the Very Secure FTP Server (vsftpd) Package


Configuring the Very Secure FTP Server


Controlling Anonymous Access


Other vsftpd Server Configuration Files


Configuring the wu-ftpd Server


Using Commands in the ftpaccess File to Configure wu-ftpd


Configure Access Control


Configure User Information


Configure System Logging


Configure Permission Control


Configure Commands Directed Toward the cdpath


Structure of the shutdown File


Configuring FTP Server File-Conversion Actions


Strip Prefix


Strip Postfix


Add-On Prefix


Add-On Postfix


External Command


An Example of Conversions in Action


Using ftphosts to Allow or Deny FTP Server Connection


Using Commands for Server Administration


Display Information About Connected Users


Count the Number of Connections


Use / usr/ sbin/ ftpshut to Schedule FTP Server Downtime


Use / var/ log/ xferlog to View a Log of Server Transactions




21 Handling Electronic Mail


How Email Is Sent and Received


The Mail Transport Agent


Choosing an MTA


The Mail Delivery Agent


The Mail User Agent


Basic Sendmail Configuration and Operation


Configuring Masquerading


Using Smart Hosts


Setting Message Delivery Intervals


Building the sendmail. cf File


Fedora 7 Unleashed xviMail Relaying


Forwarding Email with Aliases


Rejecting Email from Specified Sites


Introducing Postfix


Making the Switch


Using Fetchmail to Retrieve Mail


Installing Fetchmail


Configuring Fetchmail


Choosing a Mail Delivery Agent








Virus Scanners


Special Mail Delivery Agents


Mail Daemons


Alternatives to Microsoft Exchange Server


Microsoft Exchange Server/ Outlook Client


CommuniGate Pro


Oracle Collaboration Suite


Open Xchange




Web Resources




What Is a Proxy Server?


Installing Squid


Configuring Clients


Access Control Lists


Specifying Client IP Addresses


Sample Configurations




23 Managing DNS


Configuring DNS for Clients


The / etc/ host. conf File


The / etc/ nsswitch. conf File


The / etc/ hosts File


The / etc/ resolv. conf File


Understanding the Changes Made by DHCP


Contents xviiEssential DNS Concepts


How Nameservers Store DNS Structure Information


How DNS Provides Name Service Information to Users


Name Resolution in Practice


Using DNS Toolsdighostnslookupwhois


Configuring a Local Caching Nameserver


Your Own Domain Name and Third-Party DNS


Providing DNS for a Real Domain with BINDrndc. confnamed. conf




Resolver Configuration


Running the named Nameserver Daemon


Providing DNS for a Real Domain


Forward Zone


Reverse Zone


Registering the Domain


Troubleshooting DNS


Delegation Problems


Reverse Lookup Problems


Maintaining Accurate Serial Numbers


Troubleshooting Problems in Zone Files


Tools for Troubleshooting


Using Fedora’s BIND Configuration Tool


Managing DNS Security


Unix Security Considerations


DNS Security Considerations


Using DNS Security Extensions


Using Split DNS






Configuring the Server


Populating Your Directory


Configuring Clients










Fedora 7 Unleashed xviiiPart V Programming Linux


25 Using Perl


Using Perl with Linux


Perl Versions


A Simple Perl Program


Perl Variables and Data Structures


Perl Variable Types


Special Variables




Comparison Operators


Compound Operators


Arithmetic Operators


Other Operators


Special String Constants


Conditional Statementsif/ elseunless


Loopingforforeachwhileuntillast and nextdo


Regular Expressions


Access to the Shell


Modules and CPAN






26 Working with Python


Python on Linux


Getting Interactive


The Basics of Python




More on Strings






Conditionals and Looping




Contents xixObject Orientation


Class and Object Variables


Constructors and Destructors


Class Inheritance


Multiple Inheritance


The Standard Library and the Vaults of Parnassus




27 Writing PHP Scripts


Introduction to PHP


Entering and Exiting PHP Mode










Escape Sequences


Variable Substitution




Conditional Statements


Special Operators






Including Other Files


Basic Functions










Handling HTML Forms




28 C/ C++ Programming Tools for Fedora


Programming in C/ C++ with Linux


Using the C Programming Project Management Tools


Provided with Fedora Linux


Building Programs with make


Using the autoconf Utility to Configure Code


Managing Software Projects with Subversion


Debugging Tools


Using the GNU C Compiler


Fedora 7 Unleashed xxGraphical Development Tools


Using the KDevelop Client


The Glade Client for Developing in GNOME




29 Mono


Why Use Mono?


Mono on the Command Line


The Structure of a C# Program


Printing Out the Parameters


Creating Your Own Variables


Adding Some Error Checking


Building on Mono’s libraries


Searching with Beagle


Creating a GUI with Gtk#




Part VI Fedora Housekeeping


30 Securing Your Machines


Understanding Computer Attacks


Assessing Your Vulnerability


Protecting Your Machine


Securing a Wireless Network


Passwords and Physical Security


Configuring and Using Tripwire






Configuring Your Firewall


Forming a Disaster Recovery Plan


Keeping Up-to-Date on Linux Security Issues


Understanding SELinux




31 Performance Tuning


Hard Disk


Using the BIOS and Kernel to Tune the Disk Drives


The hdparm Command


File System Tuning


The tune2fs Command


The e2fsck Command


Contents xxiThe badblocks Command


Disabling File Access Time








Measuring Key Buffer Usage


Using the Query Cache


Miscellaneous Tweaks


Query Optimization




32 Command Line Masterclass


Why Use the Shell?


Basic Commands


Printing the Contents of a File with cat


Changing Directories with cd


Changing File Access Permissions with chmod


Copying Files with cp


Printing Disk Usage with du


Finding Files by Searching with find


Searches for a String in Input with grep


Paging Through Output with less


Creating Links Between Files with ln


Finding Files from an Index with locate


Listing Files in the Current Directory with ls


Reading Manual Pages with man


Making Directories with mkdir


Moving Files with mv


Listing Processes with ps


Deleting Files and Directories with rm


Printing the Last Lines of a File with tail


Printing Resource Usage with top


Printing the Location of a Command with which


Combining Commands


Multiple Terminals


Date and Time


Using the date Command


Using the hwclock Command


Capturing Screen Images




Writing and Executing a Shell Script


Running a Shell Program


Interpreting Shell Scripts Through Specific Shells


Using Variables in Shell Scripts


Assigning a Value to a Variable


Accessing Variable Values


Positional Parameters


Using a Simple Script to Automate Tasks


Built-in Variables


Special Characters


Use Double Quotes to Resolve Variables in Stringswith Embedded Spaces


Using Single Quotes to Maintain Unexpanded Variables


Using the Backslash as an Escape Character


Using the Backtick to Replace a String with Output


Comparison of Expressions in pdksh and bash


String Comparison


Number Comparison


File Operators


Logical Operators


Special Statements: for, while, and Others


The for Statement


The while Statement


The until Statement


The shift Statement


The if Statement


The case Statement


The break and exit Statements


Using Functions in Shell Scripts




Advanced Software Management


Using RPM for Software Managementrpm at the Command Line


Two Handy Options


Using rpm on the Command Line


Extracting a Single File from an RPM File


Getting Started with yum


Running yum Noninteractively


Using yum to Remove Packages


Maintaining yum


Contents xxiiiUsing yum to Manage Package Inventory


Configuring yum


Using pirut for Software Management


Using Yum Extender


Creating a Local yum Repository




35 Managing the File System


The Fedora File System Basics


Physical Structure of the File System on the Disk


File System Partitions


Network and Disk File Systems


Viewing Your System’s File Systems


Working with the ext3 File System


Understanding the ext3 File System Structure


Journaling Options in ext


Verifying File Integrity in ext3 File Systems with the fsck Utility


Other File Systems Available to Fedora


The Reiser File System (reiserfs)


JFS and XFS File Systems


DOS File Systems


CD-ROM File Systems


Creating a File System


The Disk as a Storage Device


Creating the Partition Table


Creating the File System on the Partitioned Disk


Creating a DOS File System with mkdosfs


Mounting File Systems


The mount Command


The umount Command


Mounting Automatically with / etc/ fstab


Relocating a File System


Installing the New Drive


Creating the Partition Table and Formatting the Disk


Mounting the New Partition and Populating It withthe Relocated Files


Logical Volume Management


File System Manipulation


Creating a File System for Testing


Mounting a Partition as Read-Only on a Running System


Examine an initrd Image File




Fedora 7 Unleashed xxiv36 Kernel and Module Management


The Linux Kernel


The Linux Source Tree


Types of Kernels


Managing Modules


When to Recompile


Kernel Versions


Obtaining the Kernel Sources


Patching the Kernel


Compiling the Kernel


Using xconfig to Configure the Kernel


Creating an Initial RAM Disk Image


When Something Goes Wrong


Errors During Compile


Runtime Errors, Boot Loader Problems, and Kernel Oops




Part VII Appendices


A The History of Red Hat and Fedora


What Is Fedora?


Fedora for Business


Fedora in Your Home


64-Bit Fedora


Fedora on the PPC Platform


Fedora on Multi-Core Machines


B Installation Resources


Planning Your Fedora Deployment


Business Considerations


System Considerations


User Considerations


A Predeployment Planning Checklist


Planning the Installation


Hardware Requirements


Meeting the Minimum Fedora Hardware Requirements


Using Legacy Hardware


Planning for Hard Drive Storage for Your Fedora Installation


Checking Hardware Compatibility


Preparing for Potential Hardware Problems


Preparing and Using a Hardware Inventory


Contents xxvPreparing for the Install Process


Partitioning Before and During Installation


Choosing a Partitioning Scheme


Hosting Parts of the Linux File System on Separate Partitions


Using Fedora’s kickstart Installation Method




C Fedora and Linux Internet Resources


Websites and Search Engines


Web Search Tips


Google Is Your Friend


Fedora Package Listings




Commercial Support




Linux Guides


The Fedora Project


Red Hat Linux


Mini-CD Linux Distributions


Floppy-Based Linux Distributions


Various Intel-Based Linux Distributions


PowerPC-Based Linux Distributions


Linux on Laptops and PDAs


Usenet Newsgroups


Mailing Lists


Fedora Project Mailing Lists


Red Hat Mailing Lists


Internet Relay Chat


Index 859




It’s good that I am able to say thank you to a number of people. Writing a book is a collaborative effort and requires a lot of coordination, especially as Paul and I are located in the UK whilst our editorial team at Pearson is located across the pond in the U.S. But right now I’d like to thank Damon Jordan, our acquisitions editor, for his persistence and careful management of the many chapters floating to and fro across the Internet.


Vanessa Evans is one of the most organized individuals I know, and her ability to answer nearly any query relating to the publishing of the book is unbelievable. She has been extremely patient with a Brit trying to navigate through the web that is the U.S. tax system and I thank her for all her help and assistance.


A little closer to home and I’d like to thank the Computer Services department at Future Publishing, of which I am a part. They gave me access to many different hardware config- urations, allowing me to thoroughly test a lot of the material in this book. Particular mentions go to Avi Abadi, Jon Moore, and Derek Smith, all of whom have helped me along the way.


My own family has been incredibly supportive of my writing this book. Juggling a book and being a full-time father and husband is no mean feat, but thankfully I have a loving wife in Bernice who has allowed me to shut myself away for days at a time to get this book completed. Our young son John is a constant source of amazement and joy and he keeps me firmly rooted to the ground.


Finally I want to thank God for the many blessings He has given me. My life would not be anything without Him, and I am eternally grateful for His grace.


Paul Hudson


Although only two names appear on the cover of this book, it is the culmination of many years of writing, refining, testing, rewriting, exploration, and passion from many people. I feel lucky to be part of the team and want to thank the others for their enthusiasm and humor—it makes a huge difference to know that everyone who works on this book enjoys the topic!I’m grateful to the entire team at Pearson for their help and feedback, particularly Damon,Dallas, and Mike—it’s great to work with people who really care about free software and want to help others along that same journey. Of course, Andrew and I both owe a huge debt to our good friend Hoyt Duff, who we hope is somewhere sunny buffing up a classic car!


My family’s contribution to this work has been immense. Andrew was brave in accepting the job of co-writing, but it turns out that we work in tandem very well—he has done a marvelous job, and we are both very proud of this end result. My wife, Ildiko, managed to put up with even more months of me doing no housework, although I think that the minute I am finished with this it is back to the grindstone for me (why do you think these acknowledgements are so long?). My parents have been immensely supportive throughout, and I love them dearly.


Finally, none of this work would have been possible without the grace of God. Andrew and I have been blessed to be able to write this book, and I pray it blesses you even more. We Want to Hear from You!


As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we’re doing right, what we could do better, what areas you’d like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you’re willing to pass our way. You can email or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn’t like about this book—as well as what we can do to make our books stronger.


Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message. When you write, please be sure to include this book’s title and author as well as your name and phone or email address. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book.



Welcome to Fedora 7 Unleashed!


This book covers the free Linux distribution named Fedora and includes a fully functional and complete operating system produced by the Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat.


Fedora is directly descended from one of the most popular Linux distributions ever: Red Hat Linux. Those of you who know nothing about Linux might have heard of Red Hat; it is enough to know that it is the largest Linux vendor in North America. Fedora benefits directly from many Red Hat engineers as well as the wider contributions from free soft- ware developers across the world.


If you are new to Linux, you have made a great decision by choosing this book. Sams Publishing’s Unleashed books offer an in-depth look at their subjects, taking in both begin- ner and advanced users and moving them to a new level in knowledge and expertise.


Fedora is a fast-changing distribution that can be updated at least twice a year. We have tracked the development of Fedora from very early on to make sure that the information contained in this book mirrors closely the development of the distribution. A full copy of Fedora is included on the DVD, making it possible for you to install Linux in less than an hour!


This book provides all the information that you need to get up and running with Fedora. It even tells you how to keep Fedora running in top shape, as well as adapt Fedora to changes in your needs and requirements. Fedora can be used at home, in the workplace, or, with permission, at your school and college. In fact, you might want to poke around your school’s computer rooms: You will probably find that someone has already beaten you to the punch—Linux is commonly found in academic institutions. Feel free to make as many copies of the software as you want. No copyright lawyers are going to pound on your door because Fedora is freely distributable all over the world.


After this brief introduction you will get straight into the distribution, learning how to install and configure Fedora and find your way around the Gnome graphical interface, as well as learning about the command line. We will also take you through installing soft- ware, managing users, and other common administrative tasks. For the more technically minded, we cover some starting steps in programming across several languages—why not pick one and give it a go? Through the book you will also find information on multi- media applications, digital graphics, and even gaming for after hours when you are finished tinkering. After you make it through the book, you will be well equipped with the knowledge needed to use Linux successfully. We do assume that you are at least famil- iar with an operating system already (even if it is not with Linux), and have some basic computer knowledge. We round off the book by giving you some reference points for you to access via the web, and also explore the origins of Fedora and Linux.Changes from Previous Editions


Readers who may already own previous editions of Fedora Unleashed may wonder what work has gone into this edition. Well, we’ve overhauled the entire structure of the book, making it far faster for you to get stuck into Fedora.


We have also substantially re-written several chapters and introduced new ones, such as “Command Line Quickstart” and others. This book also looks at the three main ways in which you can obtain Fedora: by using the DVD, Live CD, and KDE Live CD media. There are many changes to this book and it’s taken a long time to come to fruition.


This book is for anyone searching for guidance on using Fedora, and primarily focuses on Intel-based PC platforms. Although the contents are aimed at intermediate to advanced users, even new users with a bit of computer savvy will benefit from the advice, tips, tricks, traps, and techniques presented in each chapter. Pointers to more detailed or related information are also provided at the end of each chapter.


Fedora’s installer program, named Anaconda, makes the job of installing Linux as easy as possible. However, if you are new to Linux, you might need to learn some new computer skills, such as how to research your computer’s hardware, how to partition a hard drive, and occasionally how to use a command line. This book will help you learn these skills and show you how to learn more about your computer, Linux, and the software included with Fedora. System administrators with experience using other operating systems will be able to use the information presented in this book to install, set up, and run common Linux software services, such as the Network File System (NFS), a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server, and a web server (using Apache, among other web servers).


What This Book Contains


Fedora 7 Unleashed is organized into seven parts, covering installation and configuration,Fedora on the desktop, system administration, Fedora as a server, programming and housekeeping, and a reference section. A DVD containing the entire distribution is included so that you will have everything you need to get started. This book starts by covering the initial and essential tasks required to get Fedora installed and running on a target system.


If you’re new to Linux, and more specifically, Fedora, first read the chapters in Part I, “Installation and Configuration.” You will get valuable information on


. Detailed steps that take you by the hand through various types of installations


. Initial steps needed by new users transitioning from other computing environments


. Configuration and use of Gnome and X, the graphical interface for Linux


Part II, “Desktop Fedora,” is aimed at users that want to get productive with Fedora and covers the following:


. Discovering the many productivity applications that come with Fedora


. Surfing the Internet and working with email and newsgroups


. Using Fedora to listen to music and watch video


. Using Fedora to download and manipulate images from digital cameras


. Setting up local printers for Fedora


. A look at the current state of gaming for Linux


Introduction 3Moving beyond the productivity and desktop areas of Fedora,


Part III, “System Administration,” covers


. Managing users and groups


. Automating tasks and using shell scripts


. Monitoring system resources and availability


. Backup strategies and software


. Network connectivity, including sharing folders and securing the network


. Internet connectivity via dial-up and broadband connections


Part IV, “Fedora As a Server,” looks at the opportunities provided by every Fedora system by covering


. Building and deploying web servers


. Database creation, management, and manipulation


. File and print servers


. Using FTP for serving files across the Internet and local networks


. Building and deploying email servers with Postfix as well as managing mailing lists


. Creating remote access gateways and services


. Configuring DNS for your network


. Using LDAP for storing information on users and security


. Configuring a local news server


Part V, “Programming Linux,” provides a great introduction into ways in which you can extend Fedora’s capabilities even further, using the development tools supplied with it. This part covers


. Programming in Perl, using variables and scripting


. An introduction to the Python language


. Writing PHP scripts and linking them to databases


. An introduction to the mono programming language


. C and C++ programming tools available with Fedora, and how to use the GNU C Compiler (gcc)


Part VI, “Fedora Housekeeping,” looks at some of the more advanced skills you need to keep your system running in perfect condition, including


. Securing your machine against attack from outsiders and viruses


. Command-line masterclass


. Advanced yum


. Kernel and module management and compilation


. Managing the file system


There is also an extensive reference in Part VII, “The Appendices,” which gives you an opportunity to explore in even more depth some of the topics covered in this book. It also gives you some history on Fedora and Linux, as well as an installation checklist.


Conventions Used in This Book


A lot of documentation is included with every Linux distribution, and Fedora is certainly no exception. Although the intent of Fedora 7 Unleashed is to be as complete as possible, it is impossible to cover every option of every command included in the distribution.


However, this book offers numerous tables of various options, commands, or keystrokes to help condense, organize, and present information about a variety of subjects.


This edition is also packed full of screenshots to illustrate nearly all Fedora-specific graphi- cal utilities—especially those related to system administration or the configuration and administration of various system and network services.


To help you better understand code listing examples and sample command lines, several formatting techniques are used to show input and ownership. For example, if the command or code listing example shows typed input, the input is formatted in boldface like this:......


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