Red Hat Linux Bible Improvements

Red Hat Linux Bible Improvements

Although this edition of Red Hat Linux Bible has Fedora and Enterprise Edition as the subtitle, you can think of it as reflecting a step further in the progression of Red Hat Linux. Until the name of the Linux distribution on the three CDs in this book was changed to Fedora Core, the distribution they reflected was just the next Red Hat Linux (Red Hat Linux 7.3, 8, 9, ... Fedora).

That said, going forward Red Hat, Inc. has made a more definitive split between the Fedora Project and Red Hat Linux Enterprise Product. For that reason, Chapter 1 is devoted to describing the differences between Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Because most of the technologies in Fedora and Enterprise have not drifted so far, most of the descriptions in this book will still work for both (with Enterprise including fewer of the bells, whistles, and toys you get with Fedora and more features that scale up to large servers.)

As this book, too is meant to reflect a progression of Red Hat Linux, I have included a variety of enhancements from the previous Red Hat Linux 9 Bible. Many of those enhancements are detailed below:

  • Installing Red Hat Linux — I adapted the installation procedure to match the Fedora Core CDs that come with this book, and noted where the installation process differs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I also noted that the LILO boot loader was removed from Fedora, although it is still in Enterprise for the time being.

  • Configuring RAID — I noted the ability to configure RAID disks during the installation process (Chapter 2). In Chapter 10, I go into more detail about how, and why, you would set up RAID disks in Red Hat Linux.

  • GNOME 2.4 — Although there are important changes for developers in GNOME 2.4, changes for end users are mostly reflected in a few new applications. In Chapter 9 I describe Epiphany, which replaces Galeon as the default Web browser for GNOME.

  • More text editors — For those who find the vi text editor challenging, in Chapter 4 I noted several other text editors you can try.

  • Using yum to get software — I added a description of the yum command and yum.conf file to Chapter 5. Yum is a great tool for downloading and installing add-on software packages in RPM format that are compiled specifically for each Red Hat Linux distribution (with dependent packages downloaded and installed as well).

  • Shift to ssh tools — Throughout this edition, I've tried to shift from old UNIX networking tools (ftp, rlogin, rsh, and the like) to more recent, more secure commands based on the OpenBSD secure shell protocol (ssh, sftp, and so on). Descriptions of rlogin, rsh, and other "r" commands have moved to the Wiley companion Web site for this book.

  • Using WineX 3.1 Point2Play — In Chapter 7, I added a description of the new Point2Play feature of WineX 3.1. Although not part of Red Hat Linux, this add-on can help you get Windows games running in Linux.

  • Cool Mozilla Web browsing tricks — Because we spend so much time browsing the Web these days, I like to add extra tips on using Mozilla to each edition. For this edition, I added some descriptions of tabbed browsing, the DOM inspector, and keystrokes for resizing Web pages to Chapter 9. Mozilla also has a new Junk Mail feature to help you build your own anti-spam rules in Mozilla Mail.

  • Improving laptop performance — A new section in Chapter 10 describes how to manage power better and generally improve laptop performance with Red Hat Linux.

  • Using up2date for software updates — I added some information on how to configure the new feature of up2date that lets you use apt and yum repositories to do software updates of Red Hat Linux software in the Fedora Core.

  • Removing temp files — I added a description to Chapter 11 about how tmpwatch automatically cleans up temporary files in Red Hat Linux.

  • Writing shell scripts — I pulled in my friend, and shell script expert, Kevin Pedigo to completely overhaul the section on writing shell scripts in Chapter 12. Along with new examples, Kevin added descriptions of how to use grep, cut, tr and sed in scripts.

  • Improving security — For Chapter 14, I had security expert Chuck Wolber add new sections on detecting and responding to denial-of-service, intrusion, and other attacks.

  • Creating certificates — Another major enhancement Chuck made to Chapter 14 was a section on creating and obtaining SSL certificates to enable your Red Hat Linux system to provide secure communications.

  • A few new options — As I go through the book, I try to add new descriptions of options to old commands. A couple of note in this edition are the description of rpm -F in Chapter 5 (a convenient option to update many packages at once without installing new ones) and umount -l in Chapter 10 (to do lazy unmounts when resources are busy).

  • Using Linux NFS file sharing from the MAC — I added a procedure for configuring NFS in Linux (Chapter 26) so that a MAC OS X computer can use a shared NFS directory from the Linux machine.

Besides these sections, procedures throughout the book have been tested and corrected to match changes that have occurred to Red Hat Linux software in this version.

Part IV: Red Hat Linux Network and Server Setup