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Linux Links

Although the links on this page represent a very miniscule selection of what is available for Linux, and the number of links will continue to grow in time, I have started the collection with a few that I consider among the most valuable taken from my bookmarks file.

Currently, the links are categorized into the following sections:

If you have a particular link or category that you think should be included, then by all means feel free to send me your suggestion with a brief description and I'll be happy to add it to the page!

Linux Distributions
    Debian GNU/Linux
    The top all-volunteer Linux distribution with goals to provide a pure free and open-source GNU/Linux distribution unencumbered by any patents or restrictive licenses. Debian stable editions of their distributions are well-known for their reliability and solidness, making them a perfect fit for servers in high-workload environments.
    Red Hat Linux
    A top Linux server distribution, and one of the first to go "commercial" successfully. Besides being a major contributer to the development of the kernel, GNOME and numerous software and utility packages, Red Hat has also been at the forefront in driving the acceptance of Linux in the corporate workplace with services and certification offerings. This has proved to be a viable and sound business plan recognized and since adopted by many.
    Fedora Project
    A spin-off of Red Hat Linux when the company wanted to focus on high-end enterprise server and services, Fedora was created as a community distribution with backing by Red Hat and continues to focus on end-user desktop functionality. For many that saw the end-of-life of their standard Red Hat Linux desktop offerings, Fedora has become the defacto successor to upgrade to.
    Slackware Linux
    One of the original Linux distributions, Slackware, first released in April of 1993, is currently the oldest distribution still in active development. The Slackware Linux Project is aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution out there. Although considered (falsely) by some to be an "elitist's" distro, Slackware has always considered simplicity and stability paramount, with the result that it has become a very popular and stable distribution enjoyed and used by many.
    SuSE Linux
    SuSE, now owned by Novell, is another top Linux distribution. After having purchased SuSE, as well as Ximian (a creator of well-known update, cross-platform integration utilities and graphical user interface applications), Novell has become a major player in the commercial Linux distribution and services arena, which fits well with their UNIX and networking heritage.
    Gentoo Linux
    Designed to be modular, portable and extremely optimized for the user's system, Gentoo Linux accomplishes this by building all tools and utilities from source (though some packages, especially large ones, are available as precompiled binaries). By compiling packages from source, options can be passed to the compiler that will take advantage of the system's hardware and processing system to deliver a highly optimized binary.
    Mandrake Linux
    A popular Linux distribution very well suited for desktops, MandrakeSoft has helped to progress the adoption of Linux desktops the world over by putting together a very solid distribution complemented by some very well designed, developed and easy-to-use administration tools and a strong forum of users willing to help, in turn doing a lot to bring the power of Linux to the masses.
    When Klaus Knopper put together a "Live CD" Linux distribution derived from Debian Linux, he helped to easily allow users who had always wanted to give Linux a spin, but were afraid or unable to install it on their system, a chance to see what it was all about. Utilizing excellent hardware recognition and compression algorithms that allowed for packing an unprecedented amount of software onto a single CD, and still allowing for effective real-time decompression and use, KNOPPIX CDs have enabled users to literally take their OS with them wherever they go.

Window Environments
    Established in 1997 and having since become perhaps the most popular graphical desktop windowing environment used with Linux today, GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) has become a solid foundation with strong ties to Linux. Not only have there been truck-loads of software utilities and applications written to take advantage of the GNOME environment, but GNOME, with the backing of major vendors such as Red Hat, have helped set many of the standards for GUI inter-operation in use on the Linux platform.
    Another graphical desktop environment that can be configured to be very "Windows-like". Along the lines of GNOME, KDE has also garnered a majority of developers that have been able to add numerous features, functionality and applications to the KDE environment. One of the benefits of Linux is the wide variety of windowing environments that can be used, and KDE is certainly among the forefront.
    A lightweight desktop environment for various *NIX systems. Although the creator specifies it as being designed for productivity because it loads and executes applications fast and conserves system resources, it's also a perfect candidate for older or slower systems where a GUI windowing environment is desired due to its low overhead. The current version (release 4) embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability, and adheres to the freedesktop.org standards for native interoperability with GNOME and KDE.

Server Software
    Apache Software Foundation
    Not only excellent web servers, but with Apache running over 67% of the Internet's web servers (as of September 2004), by far the most popular. If your web server is connected to the Internet and not running Apache, well... just ask those that weren't and had their site cracked!
    Still the most popular mail transfer agent in use today, handling the majority of email traversing across the Internet. Although other free and open source alternatives exist, Sendmail is still considered the work horse operating behind the scenes in getting that all-important email delived to your client.
    A very fast Microsoft NT/2000/2003 fileserver replacement. For those that wish to decrease the licensing costs of their proprietary Windows network, a Samba server offering file and print services to your network clients is the way to go, hands down (and they won't even know!).
    A popular web cache proxy server. By running the Squid proxy on your network, you can not only decrease the bandwidth used (especially if common sites are visited by your users), but add to the security of your network as well.
    A flexible and strong SQL server. Attributed to the "M" in LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl), utilizing MySQL with your web server allows for some very impressive database-driven dynamic web sites. With over five million active installations, it's no small surprise that it's become the world's most popular open source database!
    A free version of the SSH protocol suite of network connectivity tools, OpenSSH encrypts all traffic (including passwords) to effectively eliminate eavesdropping, connection hijacking, and other network-level attacks. Providing a myriad of secure tunneling capabilities, as well as a variety of authentication methods, this is a "must-have" for secure connections in today's world.

Application & Utility Software
    A very strong Microsoft Office alternative that is file-compatible with it as well. Offers word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing applications, including the ability to mass-convert your documents to an open-standard XML format, preventing your files from becoming locked in to a proprietary format. Being cross-platform, you can start your migration to Linux with the help of this application today!
    Mozilla is an excellent web browser suite with loads of features. If an all-in-one suite with browser, email, news, and IRC chat isn't what you're looking for, you can also find Firefox (web browser) and Thunderbird (email client) here. As the products are cross-platform, you can feel the freedom and realize increased security even if you're stuck running Windows!
    The GIMP
    The GIMP, besides being my imaging editor of choice, is an extremely powerful application with features that rival many commercial applications. An acronym for The GNU Image Manipulation Program, The GIMP can't be beat for creating striking graphics for the web, and includes a wide selection of "Script-Fu's" to create special effects with your work in addition to the numerous textures, patterns, brushes and rubber-stamps included with the package. Being open source, you will find this package grow in its offerings as more and more designers catch on to its usefulness.
    GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) offers users the ability to encrypt and digitally sign files and email using OpenPGP standards. Although I'm biased on this one (being maintainer the FAQ), Werner Koch, David Shaw and a top-notch crew of others bring to you protection for your sensitive or private information with strong dual-key asymetric and symetric encryption. Even without encryption, the ability to digitally sign your files or emails give others confidence in knowing they have not been modified since leaving your hands. To find out more about GnuPG and how to utilize it in your business and personal life, feel free to read an introductory article I authored here.
    Vim, or VIM (short for Vi IMproved), is a powerful text editor modeled after vi, the default editor included with virtually all UNIX variants. Besides being highly configurable, Vim includes key bindings and enhanced code-recognition abilities for a number of programming languages, making it the choice editor for many programmers.
    I wouldn't be able to mention Vim without also paying tribute to Emacs, which holds just as much strength and clout in being ranked as "top editor" with an army of users and programmers as well. Emacs is often considered to have everything, including the kitchen sink, as it contains so many features and extensions (or likely has hooks to those it doesn't).
    Although there is a vast number of email clients (Mail User Agents, or MUAs) for Linux such as Ximian Evolution, Mozilla Mail, KMail, Sylpheed, Balsa and more, Mutt has always been my favorite. It, too, is highly configurable, text-based (so it works great in both console and graphical environments, and allows you to use the console-based text editor of your choice, such as Vim), and provides for excellent message threading abilities, MIME support, key bindings and macros. All this while retaining lightening-fast speed in processing your messages makes Mutt anything but a dog in my book!
    TightVNC is a cross-platform virtual network computing server/client duo similar to pcAnywhere, allowing you to log into and control a server or workstation remotely. Derived from the popular (and also free open source) VNC software originally developed by AT&T Labs, I have found TightVNC invaluable as part of my standard administration "toolkit" that I couldn't do without.
    rdesktop, initially written by Matthew Chapman, is an open source client for Windows NT Terminal Server and Windows 2000/2003 Terminal Services, and is capable of natively speaking Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in order to present the user's NT desktop. Unlike Citrix ICA, no server extensions are required. If your needs include remotely administering Windows servers or clients running Terminal Server/Services, rdesktop answers the call very nicely!

Software Sources
    The Linux Kernel Archives
    The primary site for the Linux kernel source. It's here that you'll find the source for Linux kernels, patches, Changelogs, mailing lists and information on contributing.
    Maintaining the web's largest index of Unix and cross-platform software, themes and related "eye-candy", applications are cataloged with new applications being added daily. Each entry provides a description of the software, links to download it or obtain more information, and a history of the project's releases. freshmeat.net is often the first stop for Linux users seeking software for work or play, and is continuously updated with the latest releases from the open source developer community.
    The world's largest open source software development website, with the largest repository of open source code and applications available on the Internet. SourceForge provides free services to developers of open source software, and it's here that you'll find the homes for large quantities of software for Linux, much of which is already included with most distributions.

Information Sources
    The Linux Documentation Project
    The Linux Documentation Project, or LDP for short, is the place for open-source Linux documentation. With tons of HOWTO documents and free guides, after checking the man pages and the installed docs your first stop should be here for answers to most questions. The documents found on LDP are usually offered in several formats ranging from text to HTML, PostScript, PDF and others.
    An absolutely fantastic source for technical books and articles on Linux (including other operating systems such as the *BSDs, UNIX and even Windows), server and application sofware packages, programming and more. O'Reilly books make up the majority of my technical library, and for good reason. If you've never visited O'Reilly, do yourself a favor and go there now!
    A very popular Linux forum site where newbies and experienced users alike can ask questions or help others with their Linux-related needs. Their motto is "Where Linux users come for help," and many do. If you're new to Linux, you should feel welcome here.

    GNU Project
    Pioneered in 1984 by Richard Stallman, the GNU Project is responsible for the many GNU/Linux commands and utilities, those that put the "GNU" in GNU/Linux. Based on the tools that compliment most UNIX systems (although "GNU's Not UNIX"), without these vast, powerful and wonderful contributions that round out the operating system, there wouldn't be much besides the Linux kernel for you to work with!
    Free Software Foundation
    The "force" behind free open-source software. This is where you'll find not only the GNU Project (see above), but information on the GNU General Public License, Lesser General Public License, the Free Document License and more that has helped make free open-source software evolve into the driving force that it has become today.
    O'Reilly Linux Command Reference
    Although details for Linux commands are usually found already installed on your system as "man pages", when you are away from your Linux box or using a bare-minimum installation or "micro Live CD" that lacks them, this reference can be invaluable. O'Reilly has put together over 375 Linux commands taken directly from their book, "Linux in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition" for your benefit. Bookmark it now, as you're sure to need it eventually!
    The Linux Counter
    First established in 1993 by Harald Tveit Alvestrand, and later handed over to a non-profit organization in 1999 titled the Linux Counter Project, the goal is to encourage, promote and support the counting of Linux users the world over. If you use Linux, especially since the majority of distributions are freely available and aren't recorded through retail sales channels, please consider registering and having yourself counted, as it allows for a semi-accurate estimation of the number of Linux users out there. As Registered User #223283, I thank you if you do.

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