Linux Frequently Asked Questions with Answers: Network sources and resources.

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2.1 Where can I get the HOWTOs and other documentation?

Look in the following places, and on sites that mirror them. For a complete list of Linux FTP sites, «  Where can I get Linux material by FTP? »

If you don’t have access to FTP, try the FTP-by-mail servers at <>, <> or <>.

A complete list of HOWTO’s and Mini-HOWTO’s is available in the file HOWTO.INDEX in the docs/HOWTO directory at the FTP sites, or on the Web at, but here is a (possibly incomplete) list:

AX25-HOWTO                             Access-HOWTO
Assembly-HOWTO                         Benchmarking-HOWTO
BootPrompt-HOWTO                       Bootdisk-HOWTO
CD-Writing-HOWTO                       CDROM-HOWTO
Chinese-HOWTO                          Commercial-HOWTO
Consultants-HOWTO                      Cyrillic-HOWTO
DNS-HOWTO                              DOS-to-Linux-HOWTO
DOSEMU-HOWTO                           Danish-HOWTO
Distribution-HOWTO                     ELF-HOWTO
Emacspeak-HOWTO                        Ethernet-HOWTO
Finnish-HOWTO                          Firewall-HOWTO
Ftape-HOWTO                            GCC-HOWTO
German-HOWTO                           HAM-HOWTO
HOWTO-INDEX                            Hardware-HOWTO
Hebrew-HOWTO                           IPX-HOWTO
ISP-Hookup-HOWTO                       Installation-HOWTO
Intranet-Server-HOWTO                  Italian-HOWTO
Java-CGI-HOWTO                         Kernel-HOWTO
Keyboard-and-Console-HOWTO             MGR-HOWTO
MILO-HOWTO                             Mail-HOWTO
NET-3-HOWTO                            NFS-HOWTO
NIS-HOWTO                              News-HOWTO
Optical-Disk-HOWTO                     PCI-HOWTO
PCMCIA-HOWTO                           PPP-HOWTO
Pilot-HOWTO                            Polish-HOWTO
Printing-HOWTO                         Printing-Usage-HOWTO
RPM-HOWTO                              Reading-List-HOWTO
SCSI-HOWTO                             SCSI-Programming-HOWTO
SMB-HOWTO                              Serial-HOWTO
Serial-Programming-HOWTO               Shadow-Password-HOWTO
Slovenian-HOWTO                        Sound-HOWTO
Sound-Playing-HOWTO                    Spanish-HOWTO
TeTeX-HOWTO                            Thai-HOWTO
Tips-HOWTO                             UMSDOS-HOWTO
UPS-HOWTO                              UUCP-HOWTO
User-Group-HOWTO                       VAR-HOWTO
VMS-to-Linux-HOWTO                     XFree86-HOWTO

The following Mini-HOWTO’s are available from

ADSM-Backup                            AI-Alife
Advocacy                               Backup-With-MSDOS
Battery-Powered                        Boca
BogoMips                               Bridge
Bridge+Firewall                        Clock
Colour-ls                              Comeau-C++
DHCPd                                  Dial-On-Demand
Diald                                  Dip+SLiRP+CSLIP
Diskless                               Dynamic-IP-Hacks
Ext2fs-Undeletion                      GTEK-BBS-550
HTML-Validation                        IO-Port-Programming
IP-Alias                               IP-Masquerade
IP-Subnetworking                       JE
Jaz-Drive                              Kerneld
Key-Setup                              LBX
LILO                                   Large-Disk
Linux+DOS+Win95                        Linux+DOS+Win95+OS2
Linux+NT-Loader                        Linux+OS2+DOS
Linux+Win95                            Loadlin+Win95
Locales                                MIDI+SB
Mail-Queue                             Mail2News
Man-Page                               Multiple-Disks-Layout
Multiple-Ethernet                      NFS-Root
NFS-Root-Client                        Netscape+Proxy
Offline-Mailing                        Online-Support
PLIP                                   PPP-over-minicom
Pager                                  Partition
Print2Win                              Process-Accounting
Proxy-ARP                              Public-Web-Browser
Qmail+MH                               Quota
RCS                                    Remote-Boot
Remote-X-Apps                          SLIP+proxyARP
SLIP-PPP-Emulator                      Sendmail+UUCP
Software-Building                      Software-RAID
Soundblaster-16                        Soundblaster-AWE64
StarOffice                             Swap-Space
Term-Firewall                          Tiny-News
Token-Ring                             Upgrade
VPN                                    Virtual-wu-ftpd
Visual-Bell                            Win95+Win+Linux
Windows-Modem-Sharing                  WordPerfect
X-Big-Cursor                           XFree86-XInside
Xterm-Title                            Xterminal
ZIP-Drive                              ZIP-Install

In addition, translations of the HOWTO’s are available from and mirrors worldwide. Translations in the following languages are available:

French (fr)                       German (de)
Italian (it)                      Japanese (jp)
Polish (pl)                       Spanish (es)
Swedish (sv)                      Turkish (tr)

The HOWTO’s are also on the Web, at the Linux Documentation Project’s home page, http://sunsite.unc./edu/LDP, and are posted monthly to the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.linux.answers.

More of these documents are always in preparation. Please get in touch with Greg Hankins, <>, the HOWTO coordinator, if you are interested in writing one. The file contains guidelines for writing a HOWTO.

The Guide Series produced by the Linux Documentation Project is available from Please read them if you are new to Unix and Linux. Here is a list of those available so far:

  • The Linux Documentation Project Manifesto, by Matt Welsh.
  • Installation and Getting Started Guide, by Matt Welsh.
  • The Linux Kernel, by David Rusling.
  • The Network Administrator’s Guide, by Olaf Kirch.
  • The Linux Programmer’s Guide, by Sven Goldt, Sven van der Meer, Scott Burkett, and Matt Welsh.
  • The Linux System Administrator’s Guide, Version 0.5, by Lars Wirzenius.


2.2 Where should I look on the World Wide Web for Linux stuff?

Greg Hankins,, maintains the Linux Documentation Project Home Page, at

This page refers to all the FAQs and HOWTOs, both those which are available in HTML (WWW) format, and those which aren’t.


2.3 What newsgroups are there for Linux?

There are ten international Usenet newsgroups devoted to Linux.

comp.os.linux.announce is the moderated announcements group; you should read this if you intend to use Linux. Submissions for that group should be emailed to <>.

comp.os.linux.answers contains all the FAQs, HOWTOs and other important documentation. You should subscribe to this too.

Also worth reading are the other groups in the comp.os.linux.* hierarchy — you may find that many common problems are too recent to find in this FAQ but are answered in the newsgroups. These groups are


Remember that since Linux is a Unix clone, most all of the material in comp.unix.* and* groups will be relevant. Apart from hardware considerations, and some obscure or very technical low-level issues, you’ll find that these groups are the right place to start.

Please read «  You still haven’t answered my question! » before posting, and make sure you post to the right newsgroup — see `Welcome to the comp.os.linux.* hierarchy’ which is posted every two weeks to comp.os.linux.announce, comp.os.linux.answers, and other groups.

Crossposting between different comp.os.linux.* groups is rarely a good idea.

There may well be Linux groups local to your institution or area — check there first.

Lire aussi...  Configuring procmail with TDG #23

The groups comp.os.linux.development, comp.os.linux.admin, and were superseded in a recent newsgroup reorganisation. You should no longer use them.

See also «  I don’t have Usenet access. Where do I get information? »

Other regional and local newsgroups also exist — you may find the traffic more manageable there. The French Linux newsgroup is fr.comp.os.linux. The German one is de.comp.os.linux. In Australia, try aus.computers.linux. In Croatia there is the moderated group hr.comp.linux.m. In Italy, it.comp.linux.


2.4 How do I install Linux?

There are several pre-packaged releases of Linux available, including Debian, Red Hat and Slackware. Each contains the software you need to run Linux, ready to install and use. The exact details of which software is included and how to install them vary from release to release.

You should read the Installation-HOWTO for more details on how to go about installing Slackware. Red Hat and Debian are both more recent and less buggy, and have more sophisticated installation schemes, but they are less widely used and don’t contain quite as wide a range of software.

All of those releases are available via anonymous FTP from various Linux archive sites. See «  Where can I get Linux material by FTP? » There are also a large number of other releases which are distributed less globally, which suit special local and national requirements (for example, better internationalisation support).


2.5 Where can I get Linux material by FTP?

There are three main archive sites for Linux: The best place to get the Linux kernel is Linus Torvalds uploads the most recent kernel versions to this site.

The Debian distribution is available at, and the Red Hat distribution at

The contents of these sites is mirrored (copied, usually approximately daily) by a number of other sites. Please use one close to you — that will be faster for you and easier on the network.

Not all of these mirror all of the other `source’ sites, and some have material not available on the `source’ sites.


2.6 I don’t have FTP access. Where do I get Linux?

The easiest thing is probably to find a friend with FTP access. If there is a Linux users group near you, they may be able to help.

If you have a reasonably good email connection you could try the FTP-by-mail servers at <>, <> or <>.

Linux is also available via traditional mail on diskette, CD-ROM and tape. The file, and the file contain information on these distributions.


2.7 I don’t have Usenet access. Where do I get information?

A digest of comp.os.linux.announce is available by mailing the word « subscribe » (without the quotes) as the body of a message to <>. You are strongly advised to subscribe to this list, as it carries important information and documentation about Linux.

Please remember to use the *-request addresses for your subscription and unsubscription messages; mail to the other address is posted to the newsgroup!


2.8 What mailing lists are there?

The Linux developers now mainly use the Majordomo server at <>. Send a message with the word « lists » (without the quotes) in the body to get a list of the lists there; add a line with the word « help » to get the standard Majordomo help file which has instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing.

Note that most of these lists are used by the developers of Linux to talk about technical issues and future developments. These are not intended for new users’ questions.

There is a linux-newbie list where « no question is too stupid »; unfortunately it seems that few of the experienced users read that channel. It does have very low volume.

There used to be a multi-channel Linux mailing list server on This shut down during the summer of 1995.


2.9 Are the newsgroups archived anywhere? contains archives of comp.os.linux.announce. These are mirrored from, which also archives comp.os.linux, comp.os.linux.development.apps, and comp.os.linux.development.system.

There is an « easy to access » archive of comp.os.linux.announce on the World Wide Web at It supports searching and browsing.


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