Shelving Category: COMPUTERS/ Operating Systems/Linux Reader Level: Beginning to Advanced www.wiley.com/go/linuxbible2009 $59.99 USA $65.99 Canada Start up a Linux desktop or server computer Migrate easily from Windows® or Mac OS ® Try tons of Linux apps, then install to hard disk Negus The book you need to succeed! Run the world’s most popular free operating system on your own computer Get in on the Linux phenomenon! Play music and games, publish on paper or on the Web, and communicate over the Internet. Ā is comprehensive book includes step-by-step instructions and software for 18 diff erent Linux distributions. Whether you are an enterprising do-it-yourselfer or an aspiring Linux professional, you can start here on your path to software freedom. • Master Linux for desktops, servers, and workstations • Find, install, and use loads of free and open source software • Create your own cool apps with useful programming tools • Launch all your music, video, images, and documents in Linux • Browse, e-mail, or chat over the Internet from a Linux desktop • Set up your own e-mail and Web (LAMP) servers • Make safe connections with fi rewalls and other security tools DVD and CD-ROM Included Linux ® What’s on the DVD and CD-ROM? DVD Includes • Ubuntu Linux (live/install) • Fedora Linux (install) • openSUSE (live/install) • KNOPPIX (live/install) • Freespire (live/install) • Gentoo Linux (live/install) • Slackware® Linux (install) • BackTrack (live) • Mandriva One (live/install) • Mepis (live/install) • AntiX (live/install) • Puppy Linux (live/install) CD-ROM Includes • Debian GNU/Linux (live/install) • Damn Small Linux (live/install) • SLAX (live) • SystemRescueCd (live) • INSERT (live) • Coyote Linux (fl oppy fi rewall) System Requirements: • All software built for x86 computers • See chapters on each distribution for system requirements Spine: 1.776″ A total of 18 different Linux distributions are included on the DVD and CD-ROM. • To try out Linux, boot directly KNOPPIX, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, BackTrack, and other live Linux distributions • To keep Linux permanently, install Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian GNU, Damn Small Linux, Slackware Linux, and other distributions to your hard disk 2009 Edition Christopher Negus DVD and CD-ROM Included Run or install 18 different Linux distributions from the multi-boot DVD and CD-ROM! Boot up to Ubuntu®, Fedora® , KNOPPIX, Debian® , openSUSE® , and 13 Other Distributions Linux ® 2009 Edition73675ffirs.indd ii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMLinux® Bible 2009 Edition 73675ffirs.indd i 11/25/08 6:49:03 PM73675ffirs.indd ii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMLinux® Bible 2009 Edition Boot Up to Ubuntu® , Fedora® , KNOPPIX, Debian® , SUSE® , and 13 Other Distributions Christopher Negus 73675ffirs.indd iii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMLinux® Bible 2009 Edition Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 10475 Crosspoint Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46256 www.wiley.com Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada ISBN: 978-0-470-37367-5 Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available from the publisher. 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All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. 73675ffirs.indd iv 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMAs always, I dedicate this book to my wife, Sheree. 73675ffirs.indd v 11/25/08 6:49:03 PM73675ffirs.indd vi 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMAbout the Author Chris Negus has written or co-written dozens of books on Linux and UNIX, including Red Hat Linux Bible (all editions), Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Bible, Linux Troubleshooting Bible, Linux Toys, and Linux Toys II. Last year, Chris co-authored four books for the new Toolbox series for power users: Fedora Linux Toolbox, SUSE Linux Toolbox, Ubuntu Linux Toolbox, and BSD UNIX Toolbox. For eight years, Chris worked with the organization at AT&T that developed UNIX before moving to Utah to help contribute to Novell’s UnixWare project in the early 1990s. When not writing about Linux, Chris enjoys playing soccer and just hanging out with his family. 73675ffirs.indd vii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMCredits Acquisitions Editor Jenny Watson Development Editor Sara Shlaer Technical Editor Emmett Dulaney Production Editor Liz Britten Copy Editor Nancy Rapoport Editorial Manager Mary Beth Wakefi eld Production Manager Tim Tate Vice President and Executive Group Publisher Richard Swadley Vice President and Executive Publisher Joseph B. Wikert Project Coordinator, Cover Lynsey Stanford Compositor Chris Gillespie, Happenstance Type-O-Rama Proofreader Kathryn Duggan Indexer Jack Lewis Media Development Project Manager Laura Moss-Hollister Media Development Associate Producer Shawn Patrick Cover Image Joyce Haughey Cover Designer Michael Trent 73675ffirs.indd viii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMAcknowledgments I consider anyone who has contributed to the free and open source software community to be a contributor to the book you are holding. The backbone of any Linux distribution is formed by the organizations that produce the distributions, the major projects included in Linux, and the thousands of people who give their time and code to support Linux. So, thanks to you all! I’d like to acknowledge several contributors for their participation in previous editions. Wayne Tucker wrote and then updated the chapters on Debian, LAMP servers, and mail servers. Bill von Hagen contributed updates to the SUSE, Yellow Dog, and Ubuntu chapters. Emmett Dulaney served as technical editor to this edition. Thanks to the folks at Wiley for helping me press through the project. Jenny Watson helped me schedule the project so I could do the major rewrite needed to get all the latest Linux innovations in the book. Sara Shlaer did her usual great job keeping the project moving under a very challenging schedule. Liz Britten shepherded the book through the production process. Thanks to Margot Maley Hutchison and Maureen Maloney from Waterside Productions for contracting the book for me with Wiley. And finally, special thanks to my wife, Sheree. There’s no way I could do the work I do without the solid support I get on the home front. I love you, and thanks for taking such good care of Seth, Caleb, and me. 73675ffirs.indd ix 11/25/08 6:49:03 PM73675ffirs.indd x 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMxi Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..xxvii Part I: Getting off the Ground with Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chapter 1: Starting with Linux …………………………………………………………………………………………3 Chapter 2: Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers ……………………………………………………………..15 Part II: Running a Linux Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Chapter 3: Getting into the Desktop ………………………………………………………………………………..35 Chapter 4: Playing Music and Video ………………………………………………………………………………..81 Chapter 5: Working with Words and Images ………………………………………………………………….. 117 Chapter 6: E-Mailing and Web Browsing ……………………………………………………………………….. 147 Chapter 7: Gaming with Linux …………………………………………………………………………………….. 179 Part III: Learning System Administration Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 Chapter 8: Installing Linux …………………………………………………………………………………………..207 Chapter 9: Running Commands from the Shell ……………………………………………………………….237 Chapter 10: Learning Basic Administration …………………………………………………………………….285 Chapter 11: Getting on the Internet ……………………………………………………………………………….335 Chapter 12: Securing Linux ………………………………………………………………………………………….359 Part IV: Setting Up Linux Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407 Chapter 13: Running a Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (LAMP) Server ……………………………409 Chapter 14: Running a Mail Server ……………………………………………………………………………….. 431 Chapter 15: Running a Print Server ……………………………………………………………………………….447 Chapter 16: Running a File Server …………………………………………………………………………………469 Part V: Choosing and Installing Different Linux Distributions . . 503 Chapter 17: Running Ubuntu Linux ……………………………………………………………………………….505 Chapter 18: Running Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ………………………………………………523 Chapter 19: Running Debian GNU/Linux ……………………………………………………………………….547 Chapter 20: Running SUSE and openSUSE Linux ……………………………………………………………571 Chapter 21: Running KNOPPIX …………………………………………………………………………………….585 Chapter 22: Running Yellow Dog Linux ………………………………………………………………………….607 Chapter 23: Running Gentoo Linux ………………………………………………………………………………. 619 Chapter 24: Running Slackware Linux ……………………………………………………………………………641 73675ffirs.indd xi 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMxii Contents at a Glance Chapter 25: Running Freespire and Xandros …………………………………………………………………..657 Chapter 26: Running Mandriva……………………………………………………………………………………..667 Chapter 27: Running a Linux Firewall/Router …………………………………………………………………681 Chapter 28: Running Bootable Linux Distributions ………………………………………………………….707 Part VI: Programming in Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 727 Chapter 29: Programming Environments and Interfaces …………………………………………………..729 Chapter 30: Programming Tools and Utilities ………………………………………………………………….759 Appendix A: Media ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..789 Appendix B: Linux History and Background……………………………………………………………………799 Index ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 819 73675ffirs.indd xii 11/25/08 6:49:03 PMxiii Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvii Part I: Getting off the Ground with Linux 1 Chapter 1: Starting with Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Taking Your First Step …………………………………………………………………………………………….4 What Comes in Linux Systems? ……………………………………………………………………….4 What Do You Need to Get Started? …………………………………………………………………..5 Starting Right Now ………………………………………………………………………………………..6 Understanding Linux ……………………………………………………………………………………………10 What’s So Great About Linux? ………………………………………………………………………………..13 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….14 Chapter 2: Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Making Things with Linux …………………………………………………………………………………….16 Linux in Outer Space ……………………………………………………………………………………16 Linux in Gadgets ………………………………………………………………………………………… 17 Linux in Projects ………………………………………………………………………………………….19 Getting Involved with Linux ………………………………………………………………………………….21 Joining a Linux User Group …………………………………………………………………………..21 Joining Linux Communities ………………………………………………………………………….22 Companies and Groups Supporting Linux ………………………………………………………22 Keeping Up with Linux …………………………………………………………………………………………23 Major Linux Projects …………………………………………………………………………………….24 Exploring Linux Distributions ……………………………………………………………………….25 Linux in the Real World ………………………………………………………………………………………..27 Linux in Schools ………………………………………………………………………………………….27 Linux in Small Business ………………………………………………………………………………..28 Linux in the Enterprise …………………………………………………………………………………29 Becoming a Linux Professional ……………………………………………………………………………….30 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….31 73675ftoc.indd xiii 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxiv Contents Part II: Running a Linux Desktop 33 Chapter 3: Getting into the Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Understanding Your Desktop …………………………………………………………………………………35 Starting the Desktop ……………………………………………………………………………………………..36 Boot to the Desktop ……………………………………………………………………………………..36 Boot to a Graphical Login ……………………………………………………………………………..37 Boot to a Text Prompt …………………………………………………………………………………..39 K Desktop Environment ………………………………………………………………………………………..39 Using the KDE Desktop ………………………………………………………………………………..40 Managing Files with the Dolphin and Konqueror ……………………………………………..44 Using the Dolphin File Manager …………………………………………………………………….44 Using the Konqueror Web Browser/File Manager ……………………………………………..49 Managing the KDE Desktop ………………………………………………………………………….52 Confi guring the Desktop ………………………………………………………………………………54 The GNOME Desktop …………………………………………………………………………………………..56 Using the Metacity Window Manager ……………………………………………………………..58 Using the GNOME Panels ……………………………………………………………………………..60 Using the Nautilus File Manager …………………………………………………………………….64 3D Effects with AIGLX …………………………………………………………………………………67 Changing GNOME Preferences ……………………………………………………………………..69 Exiting GNOME ………………………………………………………………………………………….70 Confi guring a GNOME Online Desktop…………………………………………………………………..71 Confi guring Your Own Desktop ……………………………………………………………………………..73 Confi guring X ……………………………………………………………………………………………..73 Choosing a Window Manager ………………………………………………………………………..77 Choosing Your Personal Window Manager ………………………………………………………79 Getting More Information ……………………………………………………………………………………..79 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….80 Chapter 4: Playing Music and Video. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81 Playing Digital Media and Obeying the Law …………………………………………………………….82 Copyright Protection Issues …………………………………………………………………………..82 Exploring Codecs ………………………………………………………………………………………..84 Playing Music ………………………………………………………………………………………………………85 Using Sound Systems in Linux ………………………………………………………………………86 Adjusting Sound with PulseAudio ………………………………………………………………….86 Setting Up Audio Cards ………………………………………………………………………………..88 Choosing an Audio CD Player ……………………………………………………………………….89 Using MIDI Audio Players……………………………………………………………………………..96 Performing Audio File Conversion and Compression ………………………………………..96 Recording and Ripping Music ………………………………………………………………………………..99 Creating an Audio CD with cdrecord ……………………………………………………………100 Ripping CDs with Grip ………………………………………………………………………………. 101 Creating CD Labels with cdlabelgen ……………………………………………………………..103 73675ftoc.indd xiv 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxv Contents Working with TV, Video, and Digital Imaging ………………………………………………………..104 Watching TV with tvtime ……………………………………………………………………………104 Video Conferencing with Ekiga ……………………………………………………………………106 Watching Movies and Video …………………………………………………………………………………108 Watching Video with xine …………………………………………………………………………..108 Using Totem Movie Player …………………………………………………………………………..112 Using a Digital Camera ……………………………………………………………………………………….113 Displaying Images in gThumb ……………………………………………………………………..113 Using Your Camera as a Storage Device ………………………………………………………… 114 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..115 Chapter 5: Working with Words and Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Desktop Publishing in Linux ……………………………………………………………………………….. 117 Using Text Editors and Notepads …………………………………………………………………. 118 Using Word Processors ………………………………………………………………………………. 119 Transitioning Documents from Windows ………………………………………………………124 Converting Documents ……………………………………………………………………………….126 Building Structured Documents …………………………………………………………………..128 Doing Page Layout with Scribus …………………………………………………………………..132 Working with Graphics ……………………………………………………………………………………….134 Manipulating Images with GIMP ………………………………………………………………….134 Creating Vector Graphic Images with Inkscape ………………………………………………136 Acquiring Screen Captures ………………………………………………………………………….138 Viewing Images …………………………………………………………………………………………139 Displaying PDF and PostScript Documents …………………………………………………………… 141 Using the ghostscript and gv Commands ……………………………………………………… 141 Using Adobe Reader ………………………………………………………………………………….. 141 Using Scanners with SANE …………………………………………………………………………………. 143 Web Publishing ………………………………………………………………………………………………….144 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 145 Chapter 6: E-Mailing and Web Browsing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Using E-Mail ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 147 Choosing an E-Mail Client………………………………………………………………………….. 147 Getting Here from Windows ………………………………………………………………………..149 Getting Started with E-Mail …………………………………………………………………………150 Tuning Up E-Mail ………………………………………………………………………………………151 Reading E-Mail with Thunderbird ………………………………………………………………..152 Managing E-Mail in Evolution ……………………………………………………………………..158 Reading E-Mail with SeaMonkey Mail ………………………………………………………….. 162 Working with Text-Based E-Mail Readers …………………………………………………….. 162 Choosing a Web Browser ……………………………………………………………………………………..164 Exploring the SeaMonkey Suite ……………………………………………………………………………. 165 Using Firefox ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..166 Setting Up Firefox ………………………………………………………………………………………168 Securing Firefox………………………………………………………………………………………… 172 73675ftoc.indd xv 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxvi Contents Tips for Using Firefox ………………………………………………………………………………… 173 Using Firefox Controls ……………………………………………………………………………….. 174 Improving Firefox Browsing ……………………………………………………………………….. 175 Doing Cool Things with Firefox ………………………………………………………………….. 176 Using Text-Based Web Browsers ……………………………………………………………………………177 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 178 Chapter 7: Gaming with Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 Jumping into Linux Gaming ………………………………………………………………………………… 179 Overview of Linux Gaming …………………………………………………………………………………. 181 Basic Linux Gaming Information ………………………………………………………………………….182 Choosing Gaming Hardware for Linux ………………………………………………………………….184 Running Open Source Linux Games ……………………………………………………………………..185 GNOME Games …………………………………………………………………………………………186 KDE Games ………………………………………………………………………………………………187 Games in Fedora ………………………………………………………………………………………..188 Commercial Linux Games ……………………………………………………………………………………195 Getting Started with Commercial Games in Linux ………………………………………….195 Playing Commercial Linux Games ………………………………………………………………196 id Software Games ……………………………………………………………………………………..197 Playing TransGaming and Cedega Games ……………………………………………………..198 Loki Software Game Demos …………………………………………………………………………200 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..204 Part III: Learning System Administration Skills 205 Chapter 8: Installing Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207 Choosing a Linux Distribution ……………………………………………………………………………..208 Linux at Work ……………………………………………………………………………………………208 Other Distributions ……………………………………………………………………………………209 Getting Your Own Linux Distribution ……………………………………………………………………209 Finding Another Linux Distribution …………………………………………………………….. 210 Understanding What You Need …………………………………………………………………… 210 Downloading the Distribution …………………………………………………………………….. 211 Burning the Distribution to CD ……………………………………………………………………212 Exploring Common Installation Topics ………………………………………………………………….213 Knowing Your Computer Hardware ……………………………………………………………..213 Upgrading or Installing from Scratch ……………………………………………………………215 Dual Booting with Windows or Just Linux? …………………………………………………..215 Using Installation Boot Options ………………………………………………………………….. 217 Partitioning Hard Drives…………………………………………………………………………….. 217 Using LILO or GRUB Boot Loaders ……………………………………………………………….225 Confi guring Networking …………………………………………………………………………….235 Confi guring Other Administrative Features …………………………………………………..235 Installing from the Linux Bible CD or DVD …………………………………………………………….236 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..236 73675ftoc.indd xvi 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxvii Contents Chapter 9: Running Commands from the Shell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 Starting a Shell …………………………………………………………………………………………………..238 Using the Shell Prompt ……………………………………………………………………………….238 Using a Terminal Window …………………………………………………………………………..239 Using Virtual Terminals ……………………………………………………………………………..240 Choosing Your Shell ……………………………………………………………………………………………240 Using bash (and Earlier sh) Shells ………………………………………………………………… 241 Using tcsh (and Earlier csh) Shells ……………………………………………………………….. 241 Using ash …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 242 Using ksh …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 242 Using zsh …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 242 Exploring the Shell …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 242 Checking Your Login Session ……………………………………………………………………… 242 Checking Directories and Permissions …………………………………………………………. 243 Checking System Activity ……………………………………………………………………………245 Exiting the Shell ………………………………………………………………………………………..246 Using the Shell in Linux ……………………………………………………………………………………… 247 Locating Commands ………………………………………………………………………………….248 Rerunning Commands ……………………………………………………………………………….250 Connecting and Expanding Commands ………………………………………………………..256 Creating Your Shell Environment ………………………………………………………………………….259 Confi guring Your Shell ……………………………………………………………………………….259 Using Shell Environment Variables ……………………………………………………………….263 Managing Background and Foreground Processes ………………………………………….266 Working with the Linux File System ……………………………………………………………………..268 Creating Files and Directories …………………………………………………………………….. 270 Moving, Copying, and Deleting Files …………………………………………………………….278 Using the vi Text Editor ……………………………………………………………………………………….278 Starting with vi ………………………………………………………………………………………….279 Moving Around the File ………………………………………………………………………………282 Searching for Text ………………………………………………………………………………………282 Using Numbers with Commands …………………………………………………………………283 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..283 Chapter 10: Learning Basic Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285 Graphical Administration Tools ……………………………………………………………………………286 Using Web-Based Administration …………………………………………………………………286 Graphical Administration with Different Distributions ……………………………………287 Using the root Login …………………………………………………………………………………………… 291 Becoming Root from the Shell (su Command) ………………………………………………..292 Allowing Limited Administrative Access ……………………………………………………….293 Exploring Administrative Commands, Confi guration Files, and Log Files ………………….294 Administrative Commands ………………………………………………………………………….294 Administrative Confi guration Files……………………………………………………………….295 Administrative Log Files ……………………………………………………………………………..299 73675ftoc.indd xvii 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxviii Contents Using sudo and Other Administrative Logins ………………………………………………………..300 Administering Your Linux System …………………………………………………………………………303 Creating User Accounts ……………………………………………………………………………………….303 Adding Users with useradd …………………………………………………………………………303 Setting User Defaults ………………………………………………………………………………….307 Modifying Users with usermod ……………………………………………………………………309 Deleting Users with userdel ………………………………………………………………………… 310 Confi guring Hardware ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 310 Managing Removable Hardware ………………………………………………………………….. 311 Working with Loadable Modules …………………………………………………………………. 314 Managing File Systems and Disk Space …………………………………………………………………. 317 Mounting File Systems ……………………………………………………………………………….. 319 Using the mkfs Command to Create a File System ………………………………………….326 Adding a Hard Disk ……………………………………………………………………………………327 Checking System Space ………………………………………………………………………………330 Monitoring System Performance ……………………………………………………………………………332 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..333 Chapter 11: Getting on the Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335 Connecting to the Network ………………………………………………………………………………….336 Connecting via Dial-Up Service …………………………………………………………………..336 Connecting a Single Computer to Broadband …………………………………………………337 Connecting Multiple Computers to Broadband ………………………………………………338 Connecting Servers …………………………………………………………………………………….339 Connecting Other Equipment ……………………………………………………………………..341 Using Ethernet Connections to the Internet ……………………………………………………………342 Confi guring Ethernet During Installation ……………………………………………………..342 Confi guring Ethernet from the Desktop ………………………………………………………..342 Using Network Confi guration GUI in Fedora …………………………………………………344 Identifying Other Computers (Hosts and DNS) ………………………………………………345 Using the Network Settings GUI in Ubuntu …………………………………………………..347 Understanding Your Internet Connection ………………………………………………………348 Using Dial-Up Connections to the Internet ……………………………………………………………. 351 Getting Information …………………………………………………………………………………… 351 Setting Up Dial-Up PPP ………………………………………………………………………………352 Creating a Dial-Up Connection with the Internet Confi guration Wizard ……………353 Launching Your PPP Connection …………………………………………………………………. 355 Launching Your PPP Connection on Demand………………………………………………… 355 Checking Your PPP Connection ……………………………………………………………………356 Checking That Your Modem Was Detected ……………………………………………………356 Connecting to the Internet with Wireless ……………………………………………………………….357 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..358 Chapter 12: Securing Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359 Linux Security Checklist ……………………………………………………………………………………..360 Finding Distribution-Specifi c Security Resources ……………………………………………363 Finding General Security Resources ……………………………………………………………..364 73675ftoc.indd xviii 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxix Contents Using Linux Securely ………………………………………………………………………………………….365 Using Password Protection ………………………………………………………………………….365 Choosing Good Passwords ………………………………………………………………………….365 Using a Shadow Password File ……………………………………………………………………..367 Using Log Files …………………………………………………………………………………………………..369 The Role of syslogd …………………………………………………………………………………….372 Redirecting Logs to a Loghost with syslogd ……………………………………………………372 Understanding the messages Log File …………………………………………………………… 374 Using Secure Shell Tools ……………………………………………………………………………………… 374 Starting the SSH Service ……………………………………………………………………………..375 Using the ssh, sftp, and scp Commands ………………………………………………………..375 Using ssh, scp, and sftp without Passwords ……………………………………………………377 Securing Linux Servers………………………………………………………………………………………..378 Controlling Access to Services with TCP Wrappers…………………………………………378 Understanding Attack Techniques ………………………………………………………………..381 Protecting Against Denial-of-Service Attacks …………………………………………………382 Protecting Against Distributed DoS Attacks …………………………………………………..385 Protecting Against Intrusion Attacks …………………………………………………………….389 Securing Servers with SELinux ……………………………………………………………………392 Protecting Web Servers with Certifi cates and Encryption ……………………………….393 Using Linux Live CD Security Tools ………………………………………………………………………403 Advantages of Security Live CDs ………………………………………………………………….403 Using INSERT to Check for Rootkits …………………………………………………………….403 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..405 Part IV: Setting Up Linux Servers 407 Chapter 13: Running a Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (LAMP) Server . . .409 Components of a LAMP Server …………………………………………………………………………….. 410 Apache …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 410 MySQL …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 410 PHP…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 411 Setting Up Your LAMP Server ……………………………………………………………………………… 411 Installing Apache ………………………………………………………………………………………. 412 Installing PHP…………………………………………………………………………………………… 412 Installing MySQL ………………………………………………………………………………………. 414 Operating Your LAMP Server ………………………………………………………………………………. 414 Editing Your Apache Confi guration Files ………………………………………………………. 415 Adding a Virtual Host to Apache …………………………………………………………………. 417 User Content and the userdir Setting ……………………………………………………………. 418 Installing a Web Application: Coppermine Photo Gallery ……………………………….. 419 Troubleshooting …………………………………………………………………………………………………422 Confi guration Errors…………………………………………………………………………………..422 Access Forbidden and Server Internal Errors …………………………………………………. 424 73675ftoc.indd xix 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxx Contents Securing Your Web Traffi c with SSL/TLS ……………………………………………………………….425 Generating Your Keys ………………………………………………………………………………… 427 Confi guring Apache to Support SSL/TLS ………………………………………………………428 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..429 Chapter 14: Running a Mail Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431 Internet E-Mail’s Inner Workings …………………………………………………………………………. 431 About the System and the Software Used ……………………………………………………………….433 Preparing Your System ………………………………………………………………………………………..433 Confi guring DNS for Direct Delivery …………………………………………………………….434 Confi guring for Retrieval from a Mail Host …………………………………………………… 435 Installing and Confi guring the Mail Server Software ………………………………………………. 435 Installing Exim and Courier ……………………………………………………………………….. 435 Installing ClamAV and SpamAssassin …………………………………………………………..438 Testing and Troubleshooting ………………………………………………………………………………..440 Checking Logs …………………………………………………………………………………………..440 Common Errors (and How to Fix Them) ……………………………………………………….441 Confi guring Mail Clients ……………………………………………………………………………………..444 Confi guring Fetchmail ……………………………………………………………………………….444 Confi guring Web-Based Mail ………………………………………………………………………445 Securing Communications with SSL/TLS ………………………………………………………………445 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..446 Chapter 15: Running a Print Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447 Common UNIX Printing Service ………………………………………………………………………….448 Setting Up Printers ……………………………………………………………………………………………..449 Using Web-Based CUPS Administration ……………………………………………………….449 Using the Printer Confi guration Window ………………………………………………………452 Working with CUPS Printing ……………………………………………………………………………….459 Confi guring the CUPS Server (cupsd.conf) ……………………………………………………460 Starting the CUPS Server …………………………………………………………………………….461 Confi guring CUPS Printer Options Manually ………………………………………………..462 Using Printing Commands …………………………………………………………………………………..463 Printing with lpr ………………………………………………………………………………………..463 Listing Printer Status with lpc ……………………………………………………………………..464 Removing Print Jobs with lprm ……………………………………………………………………464 Confi guring Print Servers…………………………………………………………………………………….465 Confi guring a Shared CUPS Printer ……………………………………………………………..465 Confi guring a Shared Samba Printer …………………………………………………………….467 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..468 Chapter 16: Running a File Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469 Setting Up an NFS File Server ……………………………………………………………………………… 470 Getting NFS ………………………………………………………………………………………………472 Sharing NFS File Systems ……………………………………………………………………………472 Using NFS File Systems ………………………………………………………………………………477 Unmounting NFS File Systems …………………………………………………………………….482 Other Cool Things to Do with NFS ………………………………………………………………483 73675ftoc.indd xx 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxxi Contents Setting Up a Samba File Server ……………………………………………………………………………..484 Getting and Installing Samba ………………………………………………………………………485 Confi guring Samba with SWAT ……………………………………………………………………486 Working with Samba Files and Commands ……………………………………………………495 Using Samba Shared Directories …………………………………………………………………..498 Troubleshooting Your Samba Server ……………………………………………………………..499 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..501 Part V: Choosing and Installing Different Linux Distributions 503 Chapter 17: Running Ubuntu Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .505 Overview of Ubuntu ……………………………………………………………………………………………506 Ubuntu Releases ………………………………………………………………………………………..506 Ubuntu Installer ………………………………………………………………………………………..507 Ubuntu as a Desktop ………………………………………………………………………………….508 Ubuntu as a Server …………………………………………………………………………………….508 Ubuntu Spin-Offs ……………………………………………………………………………………… 510 Challenges Facing Ubuntu ………………………………………………………………………….. 510 Installing Ubuntu ……………………………………………………………………………………………….512 Starting with Ubuntu …………………………………………………………………………………………. 516 Trying Out the Desktop ……………………………………………………………………………… 517 Adding More Software ……………………………………………………………………………….. 518 Getting More Information about Ubuntu ……………………………………………………………….521 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..521 Chapter 18: Running Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523 Digging into Features ………………………………………………………………………………………….525 Red Hat Installer (Anaconda) ………………………………………………………………………525 Custom Spins, Install Sets, and Live CDs ………………………………………………………526 RPM Package Management ………………………………………………………………………….526 Latest Desktop Technology ………………………………………………………………………….527 System Confi guration Tools …………………………………………………………………………528 Going Forward with Fedora …………………………………………………………………………………529 Growing Community Support for Fedora ………………………………………………………530 Joining Fedora Special Interest Groups ………………………………………………………….530 Forums and Mailing Lists …………………………………………………………………………… 531 Fedora Comes of Age ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 531 Installing Fedora ………………………………………………………………………………………………..533 Choosing Computer Hardware …………………………………………………………………….533 Choosing an Installation Method………………………………………………………………….534 Choosing to Install or Upgrade …………………………………………………………………….535 Beginning the Installation …………………………………………………………………………..537 Running the Fedora Firstboot ………………………………………………………………………545 Adding Cool Stuff to Your Fedora Desktop …………………………………………………….545 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..546 73675ftoc.indd xxi 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxxii Contents Chapter 19: Running Debian GNU/Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 547 Inside Debian GNU/Linux …………………………………………………………………………………..548 Debian Packages ………………………………………………………………………………………..548 Debian Package Management Tools ………………………………………………………………549 Debian Releases ………………………………………………………………………………………… 551 Getting Help with Debian …………………………………………………………………………………… 551 Installing Debian GNU/Linux ………………………………………………………………………………552 Hardware Requirements and Installation Planning …………………………………………552 Running the Installer ………………………………………………………………………………….553 Managing Your Debian System ……………………………………………………………………………..557 Confi guring Network Connections ……………………………………………………………….558 Package Management Using APT ………………………………………………………………….561 Package Management Using dpkg …………………………………………………………………564 Installing Package Sets (Tasks) with tasksel ……………………………………………………567 Alternatives, Diversions, and Stat Overrides …………………………………………………..567 Managing Package Confi guration with debconf ……………………………………………..569 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..569 Chapter 20: Running SUSE and openSUSE Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571 Understanding SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE …………………………………………….572 What’s in SUSE Distributions ……………………………………………………………………………….573 Installation and Confi guration with YaST ……………………………………………………… 574 RPM Package Management ………………………………………………………………………….576 Automated Software Updates ……………………………………………………………………….577 Managing Software with zypper ………………………………………………………………….578 Getting Support for SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE ………………………………………578 Installing openSUSE ……………………………………………………………………………………………579 Before You Begin ………………………………………………………………………………………..579 Starting Installation ……………………………………………………………………………………580 Starting with openSUSE ………………………………………………………………………………………584 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..584 Chapter 21: Running KNOPPIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .585 KNOPPIX Features ……………………………………………………………………………………………..586 Understanding KNOPPIX …………………………………………………………………………………….586 Looking Inside KNOPPIX ……………………………………………………………………………586 What’s Cool About KNOPPIX ………………………………………………………………………588 Examining Challenges with KNOPPIX ………………………………………………………….589 Seeing Where KNOPPIX Comes From …………………………………………………………..590 Exploring Uses for KNOPPIX ………………………………………………………………………591 Starting KNOPPIX ………………………………………………………………………………………………592 Getting a Computer ……………………………………………………………………………………592 Booting KNOPPIX ……………………………………………………………………………………..593 Correcting Boot Problems ……………………………………………………………………………593 73675ftoc.indd xxii 11/25/08 6:50:12 PMxxiii Contents Using KNOPPIX …………………………………………………………………………………………………598 Getting on the Network ………………………………………………………………………………599 Installing Software in KNOPPIX …………………………………………………………………..600 Saving Files in KNOPPIX…………………………………………………………………………….601 Keeping Your KNOPPIX Confi guration …………………………………………………………603 Restarting KNOPPIX ………………………………………………………………………………….604 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..605 Chapter 22: Running Yellow Dog Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .607 Understanding Yellow Dog Linux ………………………………………………………………………….608 Going Forward with Yellow Dog …………………………………………………………………………..609 Digging into Yellow Dog ……………………………………………………………………………………… 610 Installing Yellow Dog Linux ………………………………………………………………………………… 611 Hardware Support ……………………………………………………………………………………..612 Installing Yellow Dog Linux on a PowerStation ………………………………………………613 Updating Yellow Dog Linux ………………………………………………………………………………… 614 Running Mac Applications with Mac-on-Linux ………………………………………………………. 616 Support Options ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 616 Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 617 Chapter 23: Running Gentoo Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 619 Understanding Gentoo ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 619 Gentoo’s Open Source Spirit ………………………………………………………………………..620 The Gentoo Community ……………………………………………………………………………..621 Building, Tuning, and Tweaking Linux …………………………………………………………621 Where Gentoo Is Used ………………………………………………………………………………..622 What’s in Gentoo ………………………………………………………………………………………………..623 Managing Software with Portage ………………………………………………………………….624 Finding Software Packages ………………………………………………………………………….624 New Gentoo Features ………………………………………………………………………………..625 Installing Gentoo ………………………………………………………………………………………………..626 Getting Gentoo ………………………………………………………………………………………….626 Starting Gentoo Installation from a Live CD…………………………………………………..627 Starting Gentoo Installation from a Minimal CD …………………………………………….629 Getting Software with emerge ………………………………………………………………………638 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..639 Chapter 24: Running Slackware Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 641 Getting into Slackware ………………………………………………………………………………………..641 Characterizing the Slackware Community ……………………………………………………………..643 The Slackware Creator ………………………………………………………………………………..643 Slackware Users …………………………………………………………………………………………645 Slackware Internet Sites ………………………………………………………………………………645 Challenges of Using Slackware ……………………………………………………………………………..646 Using Slackware as a Development Platform …………………………………………………………..646 73675ftoc.indd xxiii 11/25/08 6:50:13 PMxxiv Contents Installing Slackware ……………………………………………………………………………………………647 Getting Slackware ………………………………………………………………………………………647 New Features in Slackware 12.1 …………………………………………………………………..648 Hardware Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………..648 Starting Installation ……………………………………………………………………………………649 Starting with Slackware ……………………………………………………………………………………….653 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..655 Chapter 25: Running Freespire and Xandros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 657 Understanding Freespire ……………………………………………………………………………………..658 Freespire’s Roots in Linspire ………………………………………………………………………..658 Installing Software with Click-N-Run …………………………………………………………..660 Freespire Support ……………………………………………………………………………………..661 Installing Freespire …………………………………………………………………………………………….661 Hardware Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………..661 Trying Out Freespire ………………………………………………………………………………….662 Starting a Freespire Install …………………………………………………………………………..662 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..666 Chapter 26: Running Mandriva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 667 Mandriva Features ………………………………………………………………………………………………667 Exploring Mandriva ……………………………………………………………………………………………669 Mandriva Installer (DrakX) …………………………………………………………………………670 RPM Package Management with RPMDrake …………………………………………………..671 Mandriva Linux Control Center …………………………………………………………………..672 The Mandriva Community …………………………………………………………………………………..673 RPM Repository on Mandriva Club ……………………………………………………………… 674 Mandriva Forums ……………………………………………………………………………………… 674 Installing Mandriva Limited Edition ……………………………………………………………………. 674 The Right Hardware for Mandriva ………………………………………………………………..675 Installing Mandriva with the DrakX Installer …………………………………………………676 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..679 Chapter 27: Running a Linux Firewall/Router . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681 Understanding Firewalls ……………………………………………………………………………………..682 Protecting Desktops with Firewalls ……………………………………………………………………….683 Starting Your Firewall in Fedora …………………………………………………………………..683 Confi guring a Firewall in Mandriva ……………………………………………………………..685 Using Firewalls with iptables………………………………………………………………………………..686 Starting with iptables ………………………………………………………………………………….687 Using iptables to Do SNAT or IP Masquerading ……………………………………………..692 Adding Modules with iptables ……………………………………………………………………..693 Using iptables as a Transparent Proxy …………………………………………………………..693 Using iptables for Port Forwarding ……………………………………………………………….694 Making a Coyote Linux Bootable Floppy Firewall ……………………………………………………695 Creating a Coyote Linux Firewall …………………………………………………………………695 Building the Coyote Linux Floppy ………………………………………………………………..696 73675ftoc.indd xxiv 11/25/08 6:50:13 PMxxv Contents Running the Coyote Linux Floppy Firewall ……………………………………………………702 Managing the Coyote Linux Floppy Firewall ………………………………………………….703 Using Other Firewall Distributions ……………………………………………………………………….704 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..706 Chapter 28: Running Bootable Linux Distributions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 707 Overview of Bootable Linux Distributions ……………………………………………………………..708 Trying a Bootable Linux ………………………………………………………………………………………709 Showcasing Linux from a live CD …………………………………………………………………710 Security and Rescue Bootables …………………………………………………………………….711 Demonstration Bootables …………………………………………………………………………….716 Multimedia Bootables …………………………………………………………………………………716 Tiny Desktops ……………………………………………………………………………………………719 Special-Purpose Bootables ……………………………………………………………………………………722 Customizing a Bootable Linux………………………………………………………………………………723 Building a Live CD with Fedora ……………………………………………………………………725 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..726 Part VI: Programming in Linux 727 Chapter 29: Programming Environments and Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 729 Understanding Programming Environments …………………………………………………………..729 Using Linux Programming Environments ………………………………………………………………730 The Linux Development Environment ………………………………………………………….. 731 Graphical Programming Environments …………………………………………………………739 The Command-Line Programming Environment ……………………………………………744 Linux Programming Interfaces …………………………………………………………………………….. 745 Creating Command-Line Interfaces ………………………………………………………………746 Creating Graphical Interfaces ………………………………………………………………………752 Application Programming Interfaces …………………………………………………………….753 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..758 Chapter 30: Programming Tools and Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 759 The Well-Stocked Toolkit …………………………………………………………………………………….759 Using the GCC Compiler ……………………………………………………………………………………..760 Compiling Multiple Source Code Files …………………………………………………………. 762 GCC Command-Line Options ……………………………………………………………………..764 Automating Builds with make ………………………………………………………………………………766 Library Utilities ………………………………………………………………………………………………….768 The nm Command……………………………………………………………………………………..770 The ar Command ……………………………………………………………………………………….771 The ldd Command ……………………………………………………………………………………..771 The ldconfi g Command ………………………………………………………………………………772 Environment Variables and Confi guration Files ……………………………………………..772 73675ftoc.indd xxv 11/25/08 6:50:13 PMxxvi Contents Source Code Control …………………………………………………………………………………………..773 Source Code Control Using RCS …………………………………………………………………..773 Source Code Control with CVS ……………………………………………………………………777 Debugging with GNU Debugger …………………………………………………………………………..780 Starting GDB…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 781 Inspecting Code in the Debugger …………………………………………………………………784 Examining Data …………………………………………………………………………………………785 Setting Breakpoints …………………………………………………………………………………….786 Working with Source Code …………………………………………………………………………788 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..788 Appendix A: Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 789 Appendix B: Linux History and Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 799 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 819 73675ftoc.indd xxvi 11/25/08 6:50:13 PMxxvii I nsert the DVD or CD that comes with this book into a PC. Within five minutes, you’ll be able to try out Linux with a full range of desktop applications. Within an hour, you can have a full-blown Linux desktop or server system installed on your computer. If you are like most of us who have been bitten by the Linux bug, you won’t ever look back. Linux Bible 2009 Edition is here to open your eyes to what Linux is, where it came from, and where it’s going. But, most of all, the book is here to hand you Linux and help you get started. Because Linux is the operating system of free speech and free choice, Linux Bible gives you choices in selecting the Linux that is right for you. On the DVD and CD that come with this book are 18 different Linux distributions that you are free to install, try out, and keep. You learn how those distributions are alike or different, and the book leads you through the basics of installing and setting up your Linux system as a: ■ Desktop computer user — You have a full range of office, music, gaming, graphics, and other applications to use. ■ Linux system administrator — Learn how to install software, use shell commands, configure system services, and secure your computers and networks. ■ Linux server administrator — Using some of the world’s best server software, you can set up your computer to be a Web server, file server, mail server, or print server. ■ Software developer — You can draw on thousands of open source programming tools to develop your own software applications. The Linux systems you have in your hand don’t contain trialware or otherwise hobbled software. On the contrary, they feature software created by world-class development projects, the same teams that build the software that powers many professional businesses, schools, home desktops, and Internet service providers. In other words, this is truly first-rate software from developers who have made a commitment to producing software that can be used in the ways that you choose to use it. Most of the Linux distributions offered on the DVD and CD that come with this book are live CDs that let you try a Linux distribution without installing. Almost all of those live CDs include features that let you install the contents of those live CDs to your hard disk. For example, you can try out Fedora, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and Mandriva as live CDs, and then install those distributions permanently to your hard drive from icons on the desktops of those live CDs. Unlike some other books on Linux, this book doesn’t tie you to one Linux distribution. The book teaches you the essentials of Linux graphical desktop interfaces, shell commands, and basic system administration. Separate chapters break down many of the major Linux distributions 73675flast.indd xxvii 11/25/08 6:50:27 PMxxviii Introduction available today. Then descriptions of the major software projects in most Linux distributions (KDE and GNOME desktops, Apache Web servers, Samba file and printer sharing, and so on) guide you in setting up and using those features, regardless of which Linux you choose. Understanding the Linux Mystique This book is designed to spark your imagination about what is possible with Linux, and then give you the software and instructions to jump right into Linux. From there, the approach is to help you learn by using it. In the first two chapters, you’ll learn a lot of exciting ways Linux is being used today and see who many of the major players are in the free and open source software (FOSS) world. You will see how people are adapting Linux to run on handhelds, mini laptops, 32- and 64-bit PCs, Macs, mainframes, and super computers. Linux is truly everywhere! However, if you are concerned that somehow “free” software is too good to be true, skip ahead for the moment to the brief history of Linux in Appendix B, which guides you through the strange and circuitous path of open source software development that led to the Linux phenomenon. If you are intrigued by what you learn, Chapter 2 tells you how you can become part of the open source and free software communities, whose stars are known by a single name (such as Linus) or a few initials (such as rms). You’ll find a staggering number of open source projects, forums, and mailing lists that are thriving today (and always looking for more people to get involved). How This Book Is Organized Learn the basics of what goes into Linux and you will be able to use all sorts of devices and computers in the future. The book is organized in a way that enables you to start off at the very beginning with Linux, but still grow to the point where you can get going with some powerful server and programming features, if you care to. Part I includes two short chapters designed to open your eyes to what you can do with Linux, and then get your hands on it quickly. Those two chapters describe: ■ How others use Linux, how to transition to Linux from Windows, and how to start with Linux using the CD and DVD inside this book (Chapter 1). ■ What you can do, what you can make, and what you can become with Linux (Chapter 2). In Part II, you start with details on how to use Linux desktops and associated applications. Chapters 3–7 describe: ■ The KDE, GNOME, and other desktop interfaces (Chapter 3) ■ Tools for playing music and video (Chapter 4) 73675flast.indd xxviii 11/25/08 6:50:27 PMxxix Introduction ■ Desktop publishing and Web publishing using word processing, layout, drawing, and image manipulation tools, plus tools such as wikis, blogs, and content management systems for managing content online (Chapter 5) ■ Applications for e-mail and Web browsing (Chapter 6) ■ Desktop gaming applications (Chapter 7) In Part III, you learn how to administer Linux systems, including: ■ Installing Linux systems (Chapter 8) ■ Using the shell (Chapter 9) ■ Doing basic administration (Chapter 10) ■ Connecting to the Internet (Chapter 11) ■ Securing your Linux system (Chapter 12) Linux creates powerful servers, and in Part IV you learn to: ■ Set up a Web server using Apache, MySQL, and PHP in Linux (Chapter 13) ■ Run a mail server (Chapter 14) ■ Share printers with a CUPS print server (Chapter 15) ■ Share files with a Samba or NFS file server (Chapter 16) If you don’t have Linux installed yet, this book helps you understand the different Linux distributions, and then install the systems you want from the DVD and CD included with this book. Part V (Chapters 17 through 28) describes each of those distributions and how to run them live or install them. If you are coming to Linux for its programming environment, Part VI provides chapters that describe: ■ Programming environments and interfaces (Chapter 29) ■ Programming tools and utilities (Chapter 30) In addition, Appendix A tells you what’s on the DVD and CD, how to install from the DVD or CD, and how to burn additional installation CDs from the software that comes with this book. Appendix B provides history and background information about Linux. What You Will Get from This Book By the time you finish this book, you’ll have a good basic understanding of many of the major features in Linux and how you can use them. If you decide then that you want to go a bit deeper into any Red Hat-sponsored distribution, Fedora 9 and Enterprise Linux Bible (Wiley, 2008) is a good next step, with content that includes how to set up many different types of Linux servers. You can find similar books for other distributions. 73675flast.indd xxix 11/25/08 6:50:27 PMxxx Introduction If you are more technically oriented, Linux Troubleshooting Bible (Wiley, 2004) can be a good way to learn more advanced skills for securing and troubleshooting Linux systems. Or a Linux Toolbox book for Fedora, Ubuntu, BSD, or SUSE (Wiley, 2007 and 2008) can provide you with over 1000 Linux commands to help you become a Linux power user. If you are looking for some fun, try out some projects with an old PC and free software from Linux Toys II (Wiley, 2005). Conventions Used in This Book Throughout the book, special typography indicates code and commands. Commands and code are shown in a monospaced font: This is how code looks. In the event that an example includes both input and output, the monospaced font is still used, but input is presented in bold type to distinguish the two. Here’s an example: $ ftp ftp.handsonhistory.com Name (home:jake): jake Password: ****** As for styles in the text: ■ We highlight new terms and important words with italics when we introduce them. ■ We show keyboard strokes like this: Ctrl+A. ■ We show filenames, URLs, and code within the text like so: persistence.properties. The following items are used to call your attention to points that are particularly important. A Note box provides extra information to which you need to pay special attention. A Tip box shows a special way of performing a particular task. A Caution box alerts you to take special care when executing a procedure, or damage to your computer hardware or software could result. A Cross-Reference box refers you to further information on a subject that you can fi nd outside the current chapter. A Coming from Windows box provides tips to help you transfer your knowledge of Windows systems to the Linux world. The On the CD and On the DVD icons point out features related to the media that accompany the book. NOTE TIP CAUTION CAUTION CROSS-REF CROSS-REF COMING FROM WINDOWS ON ON the the CD-ROM ON the ON the DVD-ROM 73675flast.indd xxx 11/25/08 6:50:27 PMIN THIS PART Chapter 1 Starting with Linux Chapter 2 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers Getting off the Ground with Linux 73675c01.indd 1 11/25/08 6:51:49 PM73675c01.indd 2 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM3 I n only a few years, Linux has advanced from being considered a specialty operating system into the mainstream. Precompiled and configured Linux systems can be installed with no technical expertise. Versions of Linux run on all kinds of devices, from PCs to handhelds (see www.linuxdevices.com) to game consoles (such as PlayStation 3) to supercomputers. In short, Linux has become a system that can be run almost anywhere by almost anyone. On both desktop and server computers Linux has become a formidable operating system across a variety of business applications. Today, large enterprises can deploy thousands of systems using Linux distributions from companies such as Red Hat, Inc. and Novell, Inc. Small businesses can put together the mixture of office and Internet services they need to keep their costs down. The free and open source software (FOSS) development model that espoused sharing, freedom, and openness is now on a trajectory to surpass the quality of other operating systems outside of the traditional Linux servers and technical workstations. What were once weak components of Linux, such as easyto-use desktops and personal productivity applications, have improved at a rapid pace. In areas of security, usability, connectivity, and network services, Linux has continued to improve and outshine the competition. Computer industry heavy-hitters such as Microsoft and Oracle have taken notice of Linux. Microsoft has struck agreements with Linux companies including Novell and Xandros to form partnerships that primarily protect those companies against threatened Microsoft lawsuits. Oracle began producing its own Linux system called Unbreakable Linux, to try to stem the flow of customers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Starting with Linux IN THIS CHAPTER Getting started with Linux Understanding Linux Linux features and advantages 73675c01.indd 3 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM4 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux What does this all add up to? A growing swirl of excitement around the operating system that the big guys can’t seem to get rid of. For people like you, who want the freedom to use your computer software as you like, it means great prospects for the future. Let this book help you grab your first look at the distributions, applications, services, and community that make up the phenomenon that has become Linux. Taking Your First Step In your hands, you have 18 different Linux distributions (on CD and DVD), thousands of applications, and descriptions for getting it all running on your own computer. For you right now, the worldwide Linux phenomenon is just a reboot away. Linux Bible 2009 Edition brings you into the world of free and open source software that, through some strange twists and turns, has fallen most publicly under the “Linux” banner. Through descriptions and procedures, this book helps you: ■ Understand what people do with Linux and how you can use Linux for all your computing tasks. ■ Sort through the various distributions of Linux to choose one (or more) that is right for you. You get several Linux systems on this book’s CD and DVD. (Linux is all about choice, too!) ■ Try out Linux as a desktop computer, server computer, or programmer’s workstation. ■ Become connected to the open source software movement, as well as many separate high-quality software projects that are included with Linux. What Comes in Linux Systems? Whether you are using Linux for the first time or just want to try out a new Linux distribution, Linux Bible 2009 Edition is your guide to using Linux and the latest open source technology. While different Linux distributions vary in the exact software they include, this book describes the most popular software available for Linux to: ■ Manage your desktop (menus, icons, windows, and so on) ■ Listen to music, watch video, and store and arrange digital photos ■ Create, lay out, manipulate, and publish documents and images on paper or on the Web ■ Browse the Web and send e-mail ■ Play games ■ Find thousands of other open source software packages you can get for free 73675c01.indd 4 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM5 Starting with Linux 1 Because most Linux distributions also include features that let them act as servers (in fact, that’s one of the things Linux has always been best at), you’ll also learn about software available for Linux that lets you do the following: ■ Connect to the Internet or other network ■ Use Linux as a firewall and router to protect and manage your private network ■ Run a Web server (using Apache, MySQL, and PHP) ■ Run a mail server (using Exim or other mail transfer agent) ■ Run a print server (using Samba or CUPS) ■ Run a file server (using FTP or Samba) ■ Use the exact same enterprise-quality software used by major corporations (such as Google and Amazon.com), universities, and businesses of all sizes. This book guides you through the basics of getting started with these Linux features, plus many more. Once you’ve been through the book, you should be proficient enough in the basics to track down answers to your more advanced questions through the volumes of man pages, FAQs, HOWTOs, and forums that cover different aspects of the Linux operating system. To get started with Linux right now, all you need is a standard PC with a bootable CD or DVD drive. What Do You Need to Get Started? Although Linux will run great on many low-end computers (even some old 486s and early Pentiums), if you are completely new to Linux, I recommend that you start with a PC that has a little more muscle. Here’s why: ■ Full-blown Linux operating systems with complete GNOME or KDE desktop environments (see Chapter 3) perform poorly on slow CPUs and less than the recommended amount of RAM. The bells and whistles come at the price of processing power. Lighter-weight options do exist if you have limited resources. ■ You can use streamlined graphical Linux installations that will fit on small hard disks (as small as 100MB) and run fairly well on slow processors. Also, there are small live CD Linux distributions, such as Damn Small Linux (DSL), that can be copied to hard disk and run from there (read about some of these small “bootables” in Chapter 28). The 50MB DSL desktop system will run fine on old Pentium machines with little RAM. But if you want to add some of the more demanding applications to these small systems, such as OpenOffice.org office applications, you will find you need more than minimal computer hardware. If you are starting with a 400 MHz Pentium II, your desktop will run slowly in default KDE or GNOME configurations with less than 128MB of RAM. A simpler desktop system, with just X and a window manager, will work, but won’t give you the full flavor of a Linux desktop. (See Chapter 3 for information about different desktop choices and features.) 73675c01.indd 5 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM6 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux The good news is that cheap computers that you can buy from Wal-Mart or other retailers start at less than $300. Those systems will perform better than most PCs you have laying around that are more than a few years old, and some even come with Linux pre-installed. The bottom line is that the less you know about Linux, the more you should try to have computer hardware that is up to spec in order to have a pleasant experience. Starting Right Now If you are anxious to get started, insert either the DVD or CD accompanying this book into the appropriate drive on your PC and reboot. When you see the boot screen, press Enter. When the DVD or CD boots, the following happens, respectively: ■ KNOPPIX starts up. A fully functional KNOPPIX desktop Linux system will boot directly from the DVD. From that Linux system, you can do everything you’d expect to do from a modern desktop computing system: write documents, play music, communicate over the Internet, work with images, and so on. If you have a wired Ethernet connection that connects to the Internet when you start up Windows, most likely it will also connect automatically when KNOPPIX starts. ■ Damn Small Linux (DSL) starts up. This small, amazing desktop-oriented Linux system starts up directly from the CD that comes with this book. Besides being expandable and adaptable, DSL runs on everything from low-end PCs to powerful workstation hardware while being small enough to fit on a mini CD (only about 50MB in size). What you have in front of you is a functioning desktop system that can be installed to your hard disk to use permanently, if you like. Thousands of software packages available for Linux can be added. Depending on your Linux system, installing extra software might just take a few clicks. The next sections step you through a few things you can do with KNOPPIX and DSL. Trying KNOPPIX When KNOPPIX starts up, you bypass a login screen and go directly to a K Desktop Environment (KDE) that is loaded with free software for you to try. Figure 1-1 shows an example of the KNOPPIX KDE desktop with several applications running. If you have any trouble starting KNOPPIX, refer to Chapter 21 for descriptions of boot options to help you overcome certain problems (such as a garbled screen or hanging when certain hardware is encountered). That chapter also describes other KNOPPIX features. Here is a quick tour of the KNOPPIX desktop: ■ Browsing — Select the Konqueror icon from the bottom panel to open the Konqueror Web browser/file manager. The Konqueror window shown in Figure 1-1 displays the English version of the KNOPPIX Web site (http://knopper.net). NOTE 73675c01.indd 6 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM7 Starting with Linux 1 FIGURE 1-1 The KNOPPIX Live Linux CD or DVD contains the KDE desktop and hundreds of applications. ■ Managing files — Select the Home icon from the bottom panel. A Konqueror window opens to show your home folder (/home/knoppix). You will typically save files and folders to your home folder. Because you are running KNOPPIX as a live CD, any files you create will be lost when you reboot if you don’t explicitly save them. Chapter 21 describes how to make a persistent desktop, so the files you create in KNOPPIX can be saved permanently. ■ Accessing disks — A live CD, such as KNOPPIX, is designed to run without touching the contents of your hard disk. However, if you have something on your hard disk you want to use with KNOPPIX (such as a music file or document), KNOPPIX makes it easy to do that. Icons on the left side of the desktop appear, representing every partition on your hard disk, as well as detected removable media (such as a USB flash drive). In Figure 1-1, Hard Disk icons hda1, hda2, and hda5 represent several partitions on your hard disk. Select an icon to display the contents of the partition in a file manager window. To be able to add content to that disk partition, right-click the partition and select Change Read/Write Mode. 73675c01.indd 7 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM8 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux ■ Special Knoppix features — Because of the temporary nature of a live CD, settings have to be configured each time you boot, unless you take steps to save those settings. From the small penguin icon on the left side of the bottom panel, you can see a menu of selections to do special things to make the live CD work better. Select Configure ➪ Save KNOPPIX Configuration to save your settings to your hard disk or a USB drive so you can use those settings later. Other KNOPPIX features are also available from that menu. You can configure a persistent disk image, make a swap file, or configure printers, TV cards, or sound cards. You can also configure different services. Many of these features are described in Chapter 21. ■ Running applications — Select the K icon from the lower-left corner of the panel to see a menu of available applications. Choose Settings to configure your desktop. Choose Office to select from several OpenOffice.org office applications for writing documents, using spreadsheets, drawing pictures, and building presentations. Try out some games from the Games menu. When you are done trying KNOPPIX, select Log Out from the K menu and choose Turn Off Computer. After KNOPPIX shuts down, it will eject the disc. After you remove the disc, you can use your computer again with whatever operating system you have installed there. Trying Damn Small Linux Because Damn Small Linux (DSL) is based on KNOPPIX, you may notice some similarities. DSL is smaller and faster, however, so you should get to the DSL desktop screen quicker. Instead of KDE, the DSL desktop features a lightweight window manager. Figure 1-2 shows an example of a DSL desktop with several applications open. Many of the same boot options that come with KNOPPIX will work with DSL, so check Chapter 21 if you have trouble booting DSL. For other descriptions of DSL, see Chapter 28. Here are some things to try on your DSL desktop: ■ Web browsing — With an active wired Internet connection, you should be able to connect to the Internet automatically when DSL boots up. The Dillo Web browser opens to a page of basic DSL information. Continue to browse the Web from Dillo, or open the Firefox icon from the desktop to browse with Firefox instead. ■ Install applications — Open the MyDSL icon from the desktop and then, when prompted, download the applications database. After that, select categories from the left column to look through listings of hundreds of applications you can add to DSL. When you find one you like, choose Install Selected to download and install it. ■ Check out the desktop — On the desktop itself, view information about your computer (CPU Usage, RAM Usage, Swap Used, File systems, and so on) in the upper-right corner. Select DSL in the lower-left corner of the bottom panel to see a menu of available applications. Then try a few applications. You can view the same menu by right-clicking on the desktop. NOTE 73675c01.indd 8 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM9 Starting with Linux 1 FIGURE 1-2 Damn Small Linux provides an efficient desktop Linux. ■ Change settings — Select Setup from the main menu to adjust the date and time, change your desktop theme, configure your X display server, or set up a wireless or dial-up Internet connection. ■ Control the system — Select System from the menu and choose Control Panel. From the Control Panel that appears, you can configure your printer, back up your files (remember that files disappear at reboot with live CDs if you don’t save them to disk or removable media), or start login (SSH) or FTP services. Return to the main menu and select Apps ➪ Tools to do some cool, specialized DSL features, such as install to your hard disk or a portable USB flash drive (pendrive). You can also remaster a MyDSL CD or make a boot floppy. ■ Try applications — Figure 1-2 shows a couple of applications open on the DSL desktop. Select Games from the menu, and then try out a game such as Ace of Penguins Mastermind (shown in the upper-left portion of the figure) to guess a sequence of four colored blocks. Select Apps ➪ Graphics ➪ mtPaint to open a nice graphics application for manipulating images and drawing (shown here with a soccer ball image). 73675c01.indd 9 11/25/08 6:51:50 PM10 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux Select the Exit icon from the desktop and choose Shutdown or Reboot to exit from DSL. Notice that the Backup box is checked. With that box checked, DSL gives you the option to save your files and settings (provided you set up a location to back up your files earlier from the Control Panel). With that information saved, the next time you boot DSL from that computer, you have those files and settings available. Trying Other Linux Distributions There are many other Linux distributions besides KNOPPIX and DSL that you can try from the CD and DVD that come with this book. Ubuntu has a large, active following and can be run live from the DVD. Try Fedora or openSUSE if you want to see a Linux system that is being prepared for enterprise distributions (Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise, respectively). Gentoo and Slackware often appeal to technically oriented users. On small machines, distributions such as Puppy Linux or BackTrack may interest you. See Appendix A for information on those and other Linux systems included with this book. Understanding Linux People who don’t know what Linux is sometimes ask me if it’s a program that runs on Microsoft Windows. When I tell them that Linux is, itself, an operating system like Windows and that they can remove (or never purchase) Windows, I sometimes get a surprised reaction: “A PC can run with nothing from Microsoft on it?” The answer is yes! The next question about Linux is often: “How can Linux be free?” While the full answer to that is a bit longer (and covered later), the short answer is: “Because the people who write the code license it to be freely distributed.” Keep in mind, however, that the critical issue relating to the word “free” is “freedom,” meaning that you are free to rebuild, reuse, reconfigure, and otherwise do what you like with the code. The only major responsibility is that if you change the software, you pass it forward so that others may benefit from your work as well. Linux is a full-blown operating system that is a free clone of the powerful and stable UNIX operating system. Start your computer with Linux, and Linux takes care of the operation of your PC and manages the following aspects of your computer: ■ Processor — Because Linux can run many processes from many different users at the same time (even with multiple CPUs on the same machine), Linux needs to be able to manage those processes. The Linux scheduler sets the priorities for running tasks and manages which processes run on which CPUs (if multiple processors are present). The scheduler can be tuned differently for different types of Linux systems. If it’s tuned properly, the most important processes get the quickest responses from the processor. For example, a Linux scheduler on a desktop system gives higher priority to things such as moving a window on the desktop than it does to a background file transfer. 73675c01.indd 10 11/25/08 6:51:51 PM11 Starting with Linux 1 ■ Memory — Linux tries to keep processes with the most immediate need in RAM, while managing how processes that exceed the available memory are moved to swap space. Swap space is a defined area on your hard disk that’s used to handle the overflow of running processes and data. When RAM is full, processes are placed in swap space. When swap space is full (something that you don’t want to happen), new processes can’t start up. ■ Devices — Linux supports thousands of hardware devices, yet keeps the kernel a manageable size by including only a small set of drivers in the active kernel. Using loadable modules, the kernel can add support for other hardware as needed. Modules can be loaded and unloaded on demand, as hardware is added and removed. (The kernel, described in detail a bit later on, is the heart of a Linux operating system.) ■ File systems — File systems provide the structure in which files are stored on hard disk, CD, DVD, floppy disks, or other media. Linux knows about different file system types (such as Linux ext3 and reiserfs file systems, or VFAT and NTFS from Windows systems) and how to manage them. ■ Security — Like UNIX, Linux was built from the ground up to enable multiple users to access the system simultaneously. To protect each user’s resources, every file, directory, and application is assigned sets of read, write, and execute permissions that define who can access them. In a standard Linux system, the root user has access to the entire system, some special logins have access to control particular services (such as Apache for Web services), and users can be assigned permission individually or in groups. Recent features such as Security Enhanced Linux and AppArmor enable more refined tuning and protection in highly secure computing environments. What I have just described are components that are primarily managed by what is referred to as the Linux kernel. In fact, the Linux kernel (which is still maintained by Linus Torvalds, who created the Linux kernel as a graduate student in Finland) is what gives Linux its name. The kernel is the software that starts up when you boot your computer and interfaces with the programs you use so they can communicate effectively and simply with your computer hardware. See Appendix B for historic details on how the kernel and other free software came together to create the Linux phenomenon. Components such as administrative commands and applications from other free and open source software projects work with the kernel to make Linux a complete operating system. The GNU Project (www.gnu.org), in particular, contributed many implementations of standard UNIX components that are now in Linux. Apache, KDE, GNOME, and other major open source projects in Linux have also contributed to the success of Linux. (See Chapter 2 for an explanation of how open source projects work and how you can get involved in them.) Those other projects added such things as: ■ Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) — Consisting of a graphical framework (typically the X Window System), window managers, panels, icons, and menus. GUIs enable you to use Linux with a keyboard and mouse combination, instead of just typing commands (as was done in the old days). NOTE 73675c01.indd 11 11/25/08 6:51:51 PM12 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux ■ Administrative utilities — Including hundreds (perhaps thousands) of commands and graphical windows to do such things as add users, manage disks, monitor the network, install software, and generally secure and manage your computer. ■ Applications — Although no Linux distribution includes all of them, there are literally thousands of games, office productivity tools, Web browsers, chat windows, multimedia players, and other applications available for Linux. ■ Programming tools — Including programming utilities for creating applications and libraries for implementing specialty interfaces. ■ Server features — Enabling you to offer services from your Linux computer to another computer on the network. In other words, while Linux includes Web browsers to view Web pages, it can also be the computer that serves up Web pages to others. Popular server features include Web, mail, database, printer, file, DNS, and DHCP servers. Once Linus Torvalds and friends had a working Linux kernel, pulling together a complete open source operating system was possible because so much of the available “free” software was: ■ Covered by the GNU Public License (GPL) or similar license — That allowed the entire operating system to be freely distributed, provided guidelines were followed relating to how the source code for that software was made available going forward (see http:// www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html). ■ Based on UNIX-like systems — Clones of virtually all the other user-level components of a UNIX system had been created. Those and other utilities and applications were built to run on UNIX or other UNIX-like systems. Linux has become one of the most popular culminations of the open source software movement. But the traditions of sharing code and building communities that made Linux possible started years before Linux was born. You could argue that it began in a comfortable think tank known as Bell Laboratories. Read Appendix B to learn more about the history of Linux. Leveraging work done on UNIX and GNU projects helped to get Linux up and running quickly. The culture of sharing in the open source community and adoption of a wide array of tools for communicating on the Internet have helped Linux move quickly through infancy and adolescence to become a mature operating system. The simple commitment to share code is probably the single most powerful contributor to the growth of the open source software movement in general, and Linux in particular. That commitment has also encouraged involvement from the kind of people who are willing to contribute back to that community in all kinds of ways. The willingness of Linus Torvalds to incorporate code from others in the Linux kernel has also been critical to the success of Linux. 73675c01.indd 12 11/25/08 6:51:51 PM13 Starting with Linux 1 What’s So Great About Linux? If you have not used Linux before, you should expect a few things to be different from using other operating systems. Here is a brief list of some Linux features that you might find cool: ■ No constant rebooting — Uptime is valued as a matter of pride (remember, Linux and other UNIX systems are most often used as servers, which are expected to, and do, stay up 24/7/365). After the original installation, you can install or remove most software without having to reboot your computer. ■ Start/stop services without interrupting others — You can start and stop individual services (such as Web, file, and e-mail services) without rebooting or even interrupting the work of any other users or features of the computer. In other words, you should not have to reboot your computer every time someone sneezes. (Installing a new kernel is just about the only reason you need to reboot.) ■ Portable software — You can usually change to another Linux, UNIX, or BSD system and still use the exact same software! Most open source software projects were created to run on any UNIX-like system and many also run on Windows systems, if you need them to. If it won’t run where you want it to, chances are that you, or someone you hire, can port it to the computer you want. (Porting refers to modifying an application or driver so it works in a different computer architecture or operating system.) ■ Downloadable applications — If the applications you want are not delivered with your version of Linux, you can often download and install them with a single command, using tools such as apt, urpmi, and yum. ■ No settings hidden in code or registries — Once you learn your way around Linux, you’ll find that (given the right permissions on your computer) most configuration is done in plain text files that are easy to find and change. In recent years, simplified graphical interfaces have been added to make it even easier to work with configuration files. Because Linux is based on openness, nothing is hidden from you. Even the source code, for GPLcovered software, is available for your review. ■ Mature desktop — The X Window System (providing the framework for your Linux desktop) has been around longer than Microsoft Windows. The KDE and GNOME desktop environments provide graphical interfaces (windows, menus, icons, and so forth) that rival those on Microsoft systems. You have the freedom to choose lightweight window managers instead as well. Ease-of-use problems with Linux systems are rapidly evaporating. ■ Freedom — Linux, in its most basic form, has no corporate agenda or bottom line to meet. You are free to choose the Linux distribution that suits you, look at the code that runs the system, add and remove any software you like, and make your computer do what you want it to do. Linux runs on everything from supercomputers to cell phones and everything in between. Many countries are rediscovering their freedom of choice and making the switch at government and educational levels. France, Germany, Korea, and India are just a few that have taken notice of Linux. The list continues to grow. 73675c01.indd 13 11/25/08 6:51:51 PM14 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux There are some aspects of Linux that make it hard for some new users to get started. One is that Linux is typically set up to be secure by default, so you need to adjust to using an administrative login (root) to make most changes that affect the whole computer system. Although this can be a bit inconvenient, trust me, it makes your computer safer than just letting anyone do anything. This model was built around a true multi-user system. You can set up logins for everyone who uses your Linux computer, and you (and others) can customize your environment however you see fit without affecting anyone else’s settings. For the same reason, many services are off by default, so you need to turn them on and do at least minimal configuration to get them going. For someone who is used to Windows, Linux can be difficult just because it is different from Windows. But because you’re reading this book, I assume you want to learn about those differences. Summary Getting started with Linux can be as easy as inserting the CD or DVD accompanying this book into your PC and rebooting. Using that media, you can try out 18 different Linux systems, either live or by installing them to your hard disk. Linux can be used as a desktop system (like Microsoft Windows); as a Web, file, or print server; or as a programmer’s workstation. You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to how Linux is configured and what software you install and run on it. Because you are free to use open source software as you please—many Linux enthusiasts have come up with interesting and innovative ways to use Linux and benefit from it. Chapter 2 describes what you can do with Linux, what you can make with Linux, and what you can become with Linux. 73675c01.indd 14 11/25/08 6:51:51 PM15 The primary objective of this book is to lead you through the most popular ways of using Linux as a desktop, server, or programmer’s workstation. Once you become comfortable using Linux, however, you’ll begin to see that these uses are just the tip of the iceberg. Remember that you can modify, rebuild, and reuse free and open source software as you please. This means that you can piece together the projects you like to build the Linux system you want. You could even modify it to run on different types of hardware. To those ends, you can join together with others of like mind to produce software that might be too ambitious to build by yourself. So, before we head full-speed into the how-to portions of the book, this chapter sets out to spark your imagination and open your eyes to: ■ What you can make with Linux — With free software and a spare PC you can make stand-alone gadgets, such as a music jukebox, game console, telephone answering machine, or home network server. NASA straps Linux on its moon rovers to guide their movements. Some schools use the Linux Terminal Server Project to drive hundreds of old or cheap PCs from a single server. What sort of projects can you come up with? ■ How you can get involved with Linux — For many Linux enthusiasts, Linux is more than just their computer system. It is what they believe in. It is what they fight for. It is what consumes them. Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers IN THIS CHAPTER What you can do with Linux What you can make with Linux How you can become involved with Linux 73675c02.indd 15 11/25/08 6:52:56 PM16 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux If Linux stirs you up, there are many ways to contribute to open source software projects and advocate the use of free software. ■ What you can become with Linux — Just because Linux is “free,” it doesn’t mean that you can’t make any money from it. There are small businesses that use Linux for all their office and Web software needs. Linux enterprise software is used to drive thousands of workstations and servers in many major corporations. If you are interested in using Linux as a profession, you can get training and certification to become a skilled participant in the open source revolution. Making Things with Linux To start thinking about the kinds of things you can make or do with Linux, all you have to do is look around you. Linux may already be in your handheld device, in your personal video recorder, and (almost certainly) running your search engine or favorite Web site. Many people, schools, and companies have adapted Linux in all kinds of fun, educational, and profitable ways. Some have stripped Linux down to its bare essentials (an embedded Linux kernel, a shell, and a few drivers) and added their own software to use Linux in communications devices and robots. Others have put together their own set of software to accomplish a specific goal, such as a kid-safe computer or a portable Web server. This section describes some fun and interesting ways that people have adapted Linux to suit their needs. Linux in Outer Space When NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) named Spirit and Opportunity are tooling around Mars and sending back images and data, Linux is driving the rovers in everything from high-level planning to low-level simulation and visualization. NASA chose Linux because of its graphics and processor speed, as well its stability and the myriad of software tools available for it. NASA developed the Roving Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) application suite in Linux to command the MERs, and then tested and deployed that system on Linux as well. In that suite, the Rover Sequence Editor (RoSE) lets NASA send spacecraft commands to the MER, and HyperDrive offers three-dimensional graphics for controlling it (such as moving the arms, driving the vehicles, and controlling imaging). Figure 2-1 shows a computer-generated image produced by NASA of how a MER appears on Mars. The Linux system running on each MER is an embedded Linux real-time operating system from TimeSys (www.timesys.com). The RoSE application (for passing messages) was written in Java, and HyperDrive elements (image viewer and sequence flow browser) are written in C++ and C languages. An article in the Linux Journal by NASA scientists Frank Hartman and Scott Maxwell describes in depth how Linux was used on the MER project (www.linuxjournal.com/ article/7570). 73675c02.indd 16 11/25/08 6:52:56 PM17 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 FIGURE 2-1 Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) gather data, send images, and move around Mars from onboard Linux systems. (Photo by NASA) Spirit landed on Mars on January 4, 2004, and Opportunity landed on January 25. Both were still in operation after more than four years, at the time of this writing. If you are interested in following the progress of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, refer to the project’s Web site at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov). Linux in Gadgets Lots of commercial communications, entertainment, and other kinds of gadgets have Linux running on the inside. Linux is an excellent operating system for these specialty devices, not only because of its cost, but also because of its stability and adaptability. Linux enthusiasts love these devices, referred to as embedded Linux systems, because they can often adapt, add, or run different Linux software on these devices (whether the manufacturer intended that or not). More and more, however, manufacturers are embracing the Linux enthusiast and hardware hacker and selling open devices for them to use. Here are some examples: ■ Mobile phones — OpenMoko (www.openmoko.com) produces mass-market mobile phones, such as the Neo FreeRunner, that are based on Linux. Like the software, the FreeRunner’s hardware also follows an open design. Although the phone is intended for general consumer use, the phone’s software is currently most appropriate for people who want to develop their own software for the phones. Figure 2-2 shows an example of the Neo FreeRunner. Motorola, OpenMoko, and Tranzda Technologies each offer multiple Linux-based mobile phones. Phone models running Linux on the inside include the Motorola Rokr EM30 (emphasizing music playing), Tranzda Technologies NewPlus phones (with WiFi, GPS, and a camera), Purple Labs Purple Magic phones (sub-$100 phone), and Grunig B700 (with keyboard and e-mail support). 73675c02.indd 17 11/25/08 6:52:56 PM18 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux FIGURE 2-2 Modify software to use the Linux Neo FreeRunner as a phone, GPS device, clock, game player, and media player. ■ Sony PlayStation — Not only can you install and run Linux on PlayStation, but Sony encourages you to do it. In 2002, Sony released Linux Kit for PlayStation 2. Included in that kit is a derivative of the Japanese Kondara MNU/Linux (which is based on Red Hat Linux). For PlayStation 3, several Linux distributions have been modified (ported) to run on that hardware, including Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Debian, and a commercial Yellow Dog Linux product for PlayStation 3. (See Chapter 22 for a description of Yellow Dog Linux.) ■ Personal video recorders (PVRs) — If you have a TiVo PVR or a set-top for streaming video from Netflix, you are already running Linux in your home. The Netflix PVR is from Roku, Inc. (www.roku.com), which produces a range of Linux-based media players. TiVo has produced Linux-based PVRs for years. The availability of the TiVo Linux source code (www.tivo.com/linux) has made TiVo one of the most popular devices for Linux enthusiasts to hack. ■ Netbooks — Shrinking laptops with shrinking prices have led to Netbooks. These mini laptop computers have proven to be excellent devices for running Linux. With low-powered processors and small screens, Netbooks provide a good partnership with Linux systems that are tuned for these compact, efficient devices. The Asus Eee PC is one of the most popular Netbooks available today. Many Asus Eee PCs have been sold with Xandros Linux pre-installed. However, industrious Linux enthusiasts have created ports of Fedora, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions to run on the Eee PC. Figure 2-3 shows an Eee PC with Fedora Linux running on it. ■ Personal handheld devices — A whole range of personal digital assistants (PDAs), portable navigation devices (PNAs), and portable media players (PMPs) are available today with Linux inside. The Garmin Nuvi (models 860, 880, and 5000) GPS navigation devices fea73675c02.indd 18 11/25/08 6:52:56 PM19 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 ture GNOME Mobile Linux and GeoClue location technology. The Samsung i70 combines a digital camera with a personal media player built on MontaVista Linux. Inside the Sony mylo Internet Device is the Qtopia Linux system, which lets you connect to WiFi networks, play Adobe Flash video and games, and even record video. A good place to learn about these and other devices that run Linux is the LinuxDevices site (www.linuxdevices.com). FIGURE 2-3 An Asus Eee PC can run specially tuned Fedora or other Linux systems. Linux in Projects Whole open source projects have been devoted to special-use Linux systems. These projects may be focused on doing one type of activity very well (like building a multimedia center) or solving a problem (like dwindling school computer budgets). Here are some examples of ways people have brought together open source software that you might find interesting: ■ MythTV (www.mythtv.org) — When it comes to open source personal video recorder projects, MythTV leads the way. Like most PVRs, MythTV lets you gather TV channel listings for your area, select shows you want to view or record, and play back recorded shows when you are ready. Beyond that, MythTV lets you pause, fast forward, and rewind live TV, skip commercials, and choose from different types of video compression. 73675c02.indd 19 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM20 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux By integrating other open source software into the MythTV interface, you can do a lot of things you wouldn’t expect to do with a PVR. You can rip and play MP3, FLAC, Ogg, and CD audio files and group them into playlists. You can use MAME and other gaming console applications to play games. MythTV also includes an image viewer, weather module, and RSS newsfeeder. Mythbuntu (www.mythbuntu.org) and MythDora (www.mythdora.com) projects are available to configure MythTV on a particular Linux distribution. KnoppMyth (www.knoppmyth.net) provides an easy-to-install Knoppix-based MythTV version. Figure 2-4 shows an example of the main MythTV screen. FIGURE 2-4 Manage your TV viewing, recording, and playback with MythTV. ■ Linux Terminal Server Project (www.ltsp.org) — Using a central server and possibly hundreds of low-end PCs or thin clients, you can create a cost-effective way to fill a school or small business with Linux workstations. Client computers don’t need much power because they essentially just run the display, keyboard, and mouse. The server actually stores data, runs applications, and provides access to network devices and other hardware. (The K12 LTSP project is described later in this chapter.) 73675c02.indd 20 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM21 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 ■ Asterisk Telephony Project (www.asterisk.org) — Asterisk is an open source telephony project that includes a PBX telephony engine and related applications and tools. With Asterisk, you can create an IP or hybrid PBX that can communicate to callers over the Internet (or other IP networks), analog telephone service, or digital T1 lines. A huge range of features lets you set up call centers, create conference bridges, and manage voicemail. ■ Linux Toys and Make (www.linuxtoys.net and http://makezine.com) — If you like to tinker, there are places you can go to find instructions for putting together your own free software and random hardware projects. The books Linux Toys and Linux Toys II (Wiley Publishing) contain instructions to build your own gaming console, weather monitor, home network server, and so on from free software and an old PC. Make Magazine and its Web site describe many projects that include open source software, such as building a supercomputer from dozens of old PCs and ParallelKnoppix or turning an old PC into an Internet-enabled DVD burner, CD player, or MP3 Jukebox that’s based on KNOPPIX. As you can see, a lot of people have already gone to the trouble to put together fun and interesting projects that you can replicate. And, of course, you can always be creative and come up with your own projects, while drawing on the massive amounts of open source software. Getting Involved with Linux Using and playing with Linux is great fun. Connecting up with others who share your joy in Linux can make the whole Linux experience that much better. So if you want to go beyond just using Linux and become someone who improves it and spreads the word, here are some things you can do: ■ Join a Linux User Group (LUG) or Linux community ■ Contribute to an open source project ■ Ask or answer questions at online Linux forums ■ Connect to a Linux IRC chat room Activity in the Linux and the open source communities has grown so dramatically in recent years that many diverse outlets exist for learning and getting to know other Linux enthusiasts. Likewise, if you find that Linux is something you enjoy and want to help to flourish in the future, there are a variety of ways in which you can become a Linux advocate. Joining a Linux User Group Linux User Groups (LUGs) have sprung up all over the world. Many LUGs sponsor Linux installfests (where members help you install the Linux of your choice on your computer) or help non-profit 73675c02.indd 21 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM22 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux groups and schools use Linux on older computers that will no longer support the latest Microsoft Windows software. Here are some places to help you track down a local LUG: ■ Google (www.google.com/linux) — I found both of the LUGs I’ve been associated with by using Google to search for the word “Linux” and the city closest to where I was living. ■ Linux Meetup Groups (linux.meetup.com) — Enter your ZIP code to search for the nearest LUG in your area. ■ Linux Online (www.linux.org/groups) — Offers a large, international list of Linux User Groups. Select your country to see a list of available groups. If there is no Linux User Group in your area, you might consider starting one. To get information on what LUGs are all about and some suggestions about starting one, refer to the Linux User Group HOWTO (www.tldp.org/HOWTO/User-Group-HOWTO.html). Joining Linux Communities Communities of professionals and enthusiasts have grown around Linux and its related open source projects. Many have shown themselves willing to devote their time, knowledge, and skills on public mailing lists, forums, wikis, and other Internet venues (provided you ask politely and aren’t too annoying). Free online forums have sprung up to get information on specific Linux topics. Popular general Linux forums are available from www.LinuxQuestions.org, www.LinuxForums.org, and www.LinuxHelp.net. Most major Linux distributions have associated mailing lists and forums. You can go directly to the Web sites for the Red Hat–sponsored Fedora Linux (http://fedoraproject.org/), Debian (www.debian.com), Ubuntu (http://ubuntuforums.org), Gentoo (www.gentoo.org), and others to learn how to participate in forums and contribute to those projects. Companies and Groups Supporting Linux Some companies and organizations make important contributions to Linux and open source software. Here are some of the most prominent ones: ■ SourceForge (web.sourceforge.com) — This organization maintains the open source development site Freshmeat (freshmeat.net) as well as SourceForge (www.sourceforge.net). It also maintains information technology sites, such as Slashdot (slashdot .org), NewsForge (www.newsforge.com), and Linux.com (www.linux.com). ■ IBM (www.ibm.com/linux) — Because IBM has taken on the lion’s share of lawsuits against Linux and done a lot to further Linux, especially in the enterprise area, it deserves a mention here. There are many good resources for Linux at IBM’s Web site, including some excellent white papers covering Linux in business. 73675c02.indd 22 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM23 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 ■ Ibiblio (www.ibiblio.org) — Contains a massive archive of Linux software and documentation (www.ibiblio.org/pub/linux). ■ Software Freedom Law Center (www.softwarefreedom.org) — This organization provides legal representation for most of the major free and open source software (FOSS) projects in existence today. It is the organization that defends the proper use of software covered under the GNU public license. ■ One Laptop Per Child Project (www.laptop.org) — The OLPC project is an organization that is dedicated to helping educate disadvantaged children all over the world by putting laptop computers in their hands. As of this writing, more than 300,000 OLPC XO laptop computers have been shipped worldwide, making it the single largest distributor of Fedora Linux systems. Keeping Up with Linux While Slashdot.org is probably the news site that most Linux enthusiasts keep track of and participate in, there are many other places to look for Linux and open source news as well. ■ Slashdot (slashdot.org) — Probably the top news site for open source devotees. People submit links to news articles, book reviews, and interviews related to technology, science, politics, or other “news for nerds.” Then everyone piles on with their own commentaries. Having your book or project “slashdotted” means you have made the big time — although you are as likely to get crushed as you are to get praised. ■ Digg (http://digg.com/linux_unix) — Some say that Digg.com has become more popular than Slashdot for providing articles relating to Linux. You can vote on which articles are most interesting to you to gain more exposure for an article. ■ Groklaw (www.groklaw.net) — The place to look for information regarding legal issues surrounding open source software. ■ Linux Today (www.linuxtoday.com) — This site gathers news that is of particular interest to software developers and IT managers. ■ LWN.net (www.lwn.net) — Produces a weekly newsletter covering a range of Linux topics. ■ Newsforge (www.newsforge.com) — Bills itself as the “Online Newspaper for Linux and Open Source.” The site contains many original articles, as well as links to up-to-the-minute open source stories from other locations on the Web. ■ LinuxInsider (www.linuxinsider.com) — Covers news articles related to Linux issues around the world. ■ Linux at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux) — Contains an excellent write-up of what Linux is, and includes other Wikipedia links to related topics, companies, and issues. This site also provides a good understanding of Linux history and relationships. 73675c02.indd 23 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM24 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux ■ Linux.com (www.linux.com) — Provides Linux information, news, tips, articles, and reference material. ■ CertCities.com (http://certcities.com/certs/linux_unix/columns/) — This site also regularly publishes articles on Linux and UNIX. If you need help or have questions about Linux, here are a few sites to try: ■ Linux Questions (www.linuxquestions.org) — In addition to offering forums on different Linux distributions, this is a great place to ask questions related to hardware compatibility, security, and networking. The site also has some good tutorials, as well as reviews of books and Linux distributions. ■ Google Linux (www.google.com/linux) — Search for Linux-specific information from this part of the Google search site. ■ Linux Forums (www.linuxforums.org) — Contains active forums on your favorite distributions and has active IRC channels as well. ■ The Linux Documentation Project (www.tldp.org) — Offers a wide range of HOWTOs, guides, FAQs, man pages, and other documentation related to Linux. ■ Linux Help (www.linuxhelp.net) — Offers forums, news, and current information about the Linux kernel. This site also contains information about finding Linux mailing lists, newsgroups, and user groups. ■ Linux Online (www.linux.org) — Provides a central source of information related to Linux distributions, documentation, books, and people. ■ Linux Kernel Archives (www.kernel.org) — The primary site for Linux kernel development. You can get the latest stable or testing versions of the Linux kernel. Not the first place to start with Linux, but I thought you’d want to know it’s there. Major Linux Projects As you may know, the name Linux comes from the Linux kernel created by Linus Torvalds. The desktop, application, server, and other software needed to create a full Linux system are added from other open source projects. The following is a list of some of the major open source software organizations that usually have software included with Linux: ■ Free Software Foundation (www.fsf.org) — Supports the GNU Project, which produces much of the software outside the kernel that is associated with Linux. In particular, open source versions of nearly every early UNIX command have been implemented by the GNU Project. ■ Apache Software Foundation (www.apache.org) — Produces the Apache (HTTP) Web server. It also manages related projects, such as SpamAssassin (spam filtering software) and a variety of modules for serving special Web content (perl, SSL, PHP, and so on). 73675c02.indd 24 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM25 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 ■ K Desktop Environment (www.kde.org) — Develops KDE, one of the two leading desktop environments used with Linux. ■ GNOME (www.gnome.org) — Develops the other leading Linux desktop environment (used as the default desktop for Red Hat Linux systems). ■ X.Org (www.x.org) and XFree86 (www.xfree86.org) — These two organizations provide different implementations of the X Window System graphical desktop framework software. ■ Internet Systems Consortium (www.isc.org) — Develops several major open source software projects related to the Internet. These include Bind (domain name system server), INN (InterNetNews news server), and DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol). ■ The Mozilla project (www.mozilla.org) — The first major Web browser product was Mozilla Navigator, which was originally based on code released to the open source community from Netscape Communicator. Other open source browsers incorporate Mozilla’s engine. The Mozilla project also offered a suite of related Internet clients that included e-mail, composer, IRC Chat, and address book software. New software development from the Mozilla project focuses on the Thunderbird e-mail and news client and Firefox Web browser, which have seen enormous success on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X platforms in the past few years. The old Mozilla suite is offered today under the name SeaMonkey (www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey). ■ The Samba Project (www.samba.org) — This site provides software for sharing files and printers using CIFS and SMB clients. These protocols are the most common means of sharing files and printers with Microsoft Windows operating systems. ■ The Sendmail Consortium (www.sendmail.org) — This site maintains the sendmail mail transport agent, which is the world’s most popular software for transporting mail across the Internet. There are, of course, many more open source projects and organizations that provide software included in various Linux distributions, but the ones discussed here will give you a good feel for the kind of organizations that produce open source software. Exploring Linux Distributions Despite the fact that there are hundreds of Linux distributions, you can safely focus on a handful of Linux systems to get a good flavor of what is available. That’s because most Linux distributions are derived from a few major ones. For example, Ubuntu, KNOPPIX, Damn Small Linux (DSL), and other Linux systems are based on Debian GNU/Linux. CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and others are based on Fedora. 73675c02.indd 25 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM26 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux Refer to Chapters 17 through 28 for descriptions of most of the major Linux distributions available today, along with procedures for getting and installing them. If you haven’t chosen a distribution yet, here are some sites that can help you evaluate, find, and get a Linux distribution that interests you: ■ Distrowatch (distrowatch.com) — Contains information about a few hundred different Linux distributions. The site provides an easy way to find out about different distributions, and then simply connect to the distribution’s home page, download site, or related forums. ■ LWN.net Linux Distributions (lwn.net/Distributions) — For succinct descriptions of more than 400 Linux distributions on one page, this is the place to go. Here are key sites associated with Linux distributions covered in this book: ■ Fedora (http://fedoraproject.org) — Community-driven Linux, supported by Red Hat. Look to Livna.org (rpm.livna.org) for downloads of add-on software for Fedora. FedoraForum.org is a popular Forum site for Fedora. ■ Red Hat Enterprise Linux (www.redhat.com) — Check the main Red Hat Web site for information on commercial Linux products. ■ Debian GNU/Linux (www.debian.org) — Get news, documentation, support, and download information about Debian. Try the Debian news site (www.us.debian.org/ News/) for the latest news articles on Debian. ■ Ubuntu Linux (www.ubuntu.com) — Learn about the Ubuntu Linux distribution, community, and related products from this official Ubuntu site. From the Ubuntu Wiki (https://wiki.ubuntu.com), find links to documentation, HOWTOs, community sites, events, and releases. ■ SUSE (www.novell.com/linux/) — Get product and support information from this project’s site. The Novell site also provides information about Novell’s own Linux offerings and details of its recent alliance with Microsoft. ■ openSUSE (www.opensuse.org) — Get information and downloads, connect to mailing lists and forums, and participate in the community-supported version of SUSE. ■ KNOPPIX (www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html) — The official KNOPPIX page on its creator’s (Klaus Knopper’s) Web site. An active KNOPPIX forum is available from www.knoppix.net/forum/. ■ Yellow Dog (www.terrasoftsolutions.com/products/ydl) — From this site, sponsored by Terra Soft Solutions, you can purchase Yellow Dog Linux on CDs or get it preinstalled on Mac hardware. The YDL.net site offers some extra services for Yellow Dog Linux users, such as personal e-mail accounts and Web space. ■ Gentoo (www.gentoo.org) — The center for the very active Gentoo community. The site contains a wealth of information about Gentoo and plenty of forums and IRC channels in which to participate. You’ll find a solid and growing documentation set to back up the distribution and tons of software packages to try (in the thousands). 73675c02.indd 26 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM27 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 ■ Slackware (www.slackware.org) — Check the changelogs at this site to get a feel for the latest Slackware developments. Try LinuxPackages (www.linuxpackages.net) for a broader range of information about Slackware. ■ Freespire (www.freespire.org) — Contains information about what was once the community-supported arm of the Linspire Linux system. With the Xandros purchase of Linspire, Freespire now is under the control of Xandros. ■ Mandriva (www.mandrivalinux.com) — Formed from the merger of Mandrake Linux and Connectiva Linux, the Mandriva Linux Web site gives visitors a variety of Linux products, services, and support. Linux in the Real World To see how Linux and related free and open source software is being used today in the real world, I’ve provided some short examples that relate to Linux use in schools, small business, and enterprise venues. Linux in Schools Cost savings, flexibility, and a huge pool of applications have made Linux a wonderful alternative to proprietary systems for many schools. One project has been particularly successful in schools: the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (www.k12ltsp.org). K12LTSP is based on the Linux Terminal Service Project (www.ltsp.org) and Fedora (www .fedoraproject.org), but is tuned to work particularly in schools. With K12LTSP, you centralize all your school’s applications on one or more server machines. Then you can use low-end PCs (old Pentiums or thin clients) as workstations. With thin clients starting under $200 or old PCs already hanging around your school, you can service a whole class or even a whole school for little more than the cost of the servers and some networking hardware. Figure 2-5 illustrates the general steps you would go through to configure a Linux LTSP sever to manage multiple workstations. By centralizing all the school’s software on a limited number of servers, K12LTSP can offer both security (only a few servers to watch over) and convenience (no need to reinstall hundreds of Windows machines to upgrade or enhance the software). Each client machine controls the display, mouse, and keyboard, while all of the user’s applications and files are stored on and run from the server. Many schools in Oregon have adopted K12LTSP, including those attended by Linus Torvalds’s children in Portland, Oregon. Adoption of K12LTSP has also begun in Atlanta, Georgia and many other cities across the United States. 73675c02.indd 27 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM28 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux FIGURE 2-5 Configure LTSP on the server, and then boot up workstations to work from that server. Linux server Install LTSP server and client software Prepare workstation configuration Start services: DHCP, TFTP, NFS, Portmapper, XDMCP LAN switch Boot workstations Workstation Workstation Workstation 1 2 3 4 Linux in Small Business Often a small business can consolidate the Web services it needs into one or two Linux servers. It can meet its basic office computing needs with mature open source applications such as OpenOffice. org, GIMP, and a Firefox browser. But can a small business run entirely on open source software alone? When Jim Nanney started his Coast Grocery business, where residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast can order groceries online for delivery, he set out to do just that. In part, he just wanted to see if he could rely solely on open source software. But he also figured that cost savings of at least $10,000 by not buying commercial software could help make his small business profitable a lot faster. To allow customers to order groceries online, Jim selected the open source e-commerce software called osCommerce (www.oscommerce.com). The osCommerce software is built with the PHP Web scripting language and uses a MySQL database. Jim runs the software from a Linux system with an Apache Web server. On the office side of the business, Jim relies entirely on Fedora Linux systems. He uses OpenOffice.org Writer for documents, GIMP, and Inkscape for logos and other artwork, and GnuCash for accounting. For Web browsing, Firefox is used. So far, Jim hasn’t had a need to purchase any commercial software. 73675c02.indd 28 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM29 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 Here are some of the advantages that Jim has derived from his all–open source business: ■ Community support — The communities surrounding osCommerce and Fedora have been very helpful. With active forums and 24-hour IRC channels, it has been easier to get help with those projects than with any proprietary software. Also unlike proprietary software, participants are generally quite knowledgeable and often include the developers of the software themselves. ■ Long-term security — Jim disputes conventional wisdom that betting your business on proprietary software is safer than relying on open source. If a software company goes out of business, the small business could go down, too. But with open source, you have the code, so you could always pay someone to update the code when necessary or fix it yourself. ■ Easier improvements — By doing some of his own PHP programming, Jim had a lot of flexibility related to adding features. In some cases, he could take existing code and modify it to suit his needs. In the case of creating a special shopping list feature, he found it easiest to write code from scratch. In the process of using the software, when he found exploitable bugs, he submitted the code fixes back to the project. ■ No compatibility problems — On those occasions where he needed to provide information to others, compatibility has not been a problem. When he makes business cards, door hangers, or other printed material, he saves his artwork to PDF or SVG formats to send to a commercial printer. Regular documents can be exported to Word, Excel, or other common formats. For businesses starting on a shoestring, in many cases open source software can offer both the cost savings and flexibility needed to help the business survive during the difficult start-up period. Later, it can help those same businesses thrive, because open source solutions can often be easily scaled up as the business grows. Linux in the Enterprise Building a company’s computer infrastructure on open source software represents a huge amount of confidence that it will provide the level of reliability, security, and features that a company needs. That’s why most large companies converting to open source infrastructures have gone with products from enterprise Linux providers, such as Red Hat, Inc. (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and Novell, Inc. (SUSE Linux Enterprise). Built into Red Hat’s open source enterprise products are features such as Red Hat Directory Server, Global File System (GFS), and Cluster Suite. Directory Server can scale up to handle millions of identities, representing settings for applications’ user profiles, access control, and policies across thousands of machines and users. Using GFS and Cluster Suite, an enterprise can treat its entire storage infrastructure as a common pool, to minimize data duplication and simplify back-ups, system recovery, and adding storage and servers. Companies moving their infrastructures to Linux include Apoteket (Sweden’s government-run pharmacy), which is moving more than 900 pharmacies to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on Intel 73675c02.indd 29 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM30 Part I Getting off the Ground with Linux servers. Governments that are migrating to RHEL include cities such as Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois. You can read about other organizations migrating to RHEL on Red Hat’s Success Stories page (www.redhat.com/solutions/info/casestudies). Becoming a Linux Professional Pursuing a career based on something that people give away for free may not seem like a brilliant idea. But the truth is that there are thousands of jobs for Linux professionals if you have the skills to get the job done. Contributing to open source projects has long been one of the best ways to learn the skills you need to gain entry to a Linux career. When the Ubuntu project started up, it hired many of the best contributors to the Debian GNU/Linux project. When Red Hat, Inc. needs to hire a Linux professional, it often looks to the ranks of Fedora contributors. Formal Linux training and certification opportunities have grown considerably in the past few years. If you want to work for companies that rely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you can get training and certification directly from Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat offers classes in everything from Red Hat Linux Essentials to Red Hat Enterprise Deployment, Virtualization, and Systems Management. You can train for certifications such as: ■ Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) — Those who have never used Linux or other UNIX-like systems can transition their skills to Linux with an RHCT certification. ■ Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) — Linux professionals who are more advanced in the area of systems administration usually take the RHCE certification. ■ Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) — The RHCDS certification demonstrates skills to build mission-critical data center environments. Emphasis is put on using Red Hat technologies to create data centers that are scalable, reliable, available, and manageable. ■ Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS) — Skills emphasized in the RHCSS program focus on SELinux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Red Hat Directory Server. ■ Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) — This credential is for technical professionals who need to develop skills in deploying large-scale enterprise environments. Although Red Hat offers one of the most popular programs for Linux certifications, it is by no means the only place to get Linux certification. Sun Microsystems offers training for Linux system administrators (www.sun.com/training/). CompTIA offers Linux+ certification that is not tied to a particular Linux distribution. Likewise, Novell and Linux Professional Institute both offer Linux certifications. Ubuntu offers Ubuntu Certified Professional training and certification (www.ubuntu .com/training/certificationcourses). 73675c02.indd 30 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM31 Linux Projects, Activities, and Careers 2 Summary Although most people use Linux as a desktop, server, or programmer’s workstation, many have also found that the freedom that open source software provides can be used in many creative ways. This chapter describes ways that projects ranging from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers to the MythTV personal video recorder have adapted Linux systems and software to meet their needs. If you get excited about the prospects of open source software as you read this book, you may find you want to pursue ways of getting more involved. Some ways of getting involved include joining a Linux User Group, contributing to open source projects, and participating in mailing lists or forums. As you increase your skills with open source software, you may find the idea of a career in Linux interesting. Many companies offer training and certification in Linux. This includes enterprise-oriented companies such as Red Hat and Novell, as well as specialized Linux training companies such as CompTIA and Linux Professional Institute. 73675c02.indd 31 11/25/08 6:52:57 PM73675c02.indd 32 11/25/08 6:52:57 PMIN THIS PART Chapter 3 Getting into the Desktop Chapter 4 Playing Music and Video Chapter 5 Working with Words and Images Chapter 6 E-Mailing and Web Browsing Chapter 7 Gaming with Linux Running a Linux Desktop 73675c03.indd 33 11/25/08 6:53:13 PM73675c03.indd 34 11/25/08 6:53:13 PM35 I n the past few years, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) available for Linux have become as easy to use as those on the Apple Mac or Microsoft Windows systems. With these improvements, even a novice computer user can start using Linux without needing to have an expert standing by. You don’t need to understand the underlying framework of the X Window System, window managers, widgets, and whatnots to get going with a Linux desktop system. That’s why I start by explaining how to use the two most popular desktop environments: KDE (K desktop environment) and GNOME. After that, if you want to dig deeper, I tell you how you can put together your own desktop by discussing how to choose your own X-based window manager to run in Linux. Understanding Your Desktop When you install Linux distributions such as Fedora, SUSE, Mandriva, and Ubuntu, you have the option to choose a desktop environment. Distributions such as Gentoo and Debian GNU/Linux, give you the option to go out and get whatever desktop environment you want (without an installer particularly prompting you for it). When you are given the opportunity to select a desktop during installation, your choices usually include one or more of the following: ■ K desktop environment (www.kde.org) — In addition to all the features you would expect to find in a complete desktop environment (window managers, toolbars, panels, menus, keybindings, icons, and so on), KDE has many bells and whistles available. Applications for graphics, multimedia, office productivity, games, Getting into the Desktop IN THIS CHAPTER Understanding your desktop Using the K desktop environment Using the GNOME desktop environment Configuring your own desktop Playing with desktop eye candy using AIGLX 73675c03.indd 35 11/25/08 6:53:13 PM36 Part II Running a Linux Desktop system administration, and many other uses have been integrated to work smoothly with KDE, which is the default desktop environment for SUSE, KNOPPIX, and various other Linux distributions. ■ GNOME desktop environment (www.gnome.org) — GNOME is a more streamlined desktop environment. It includes a smaller feature set than KDE and runs faster in many lower-memory systems. Some think of GNOME as a more business-oriented desktop. It’s the default desktop for Red Hat–sponsored systems such as Fedora and RHEL, as well as Ubuntu, and others. The KDE 4 Desktop is based on the Qt 4 graphical toolkit. GNOME is based on GTK+ 2.8. Although graphical applications are usually written to either QT or GTK+, by installing both desktops you will have the libraries needed to run applications written for both toolkits from either environment. ■ X and a window manager (X.org or XFree86.org + window manager) — You don’t need a full-blown desktop environment to operate Linux from a GUI. The most basic, reasonable way of using Linux is to simply start the X Window System server and a window manager of your choice (there are dozens to choose from). Many advanced users go this route because it can offer more flexibility in how they set up their desktops. Window managers such as Xfce and fluxbox are particularly good on low-end, low-resource machines. The truth is that most X applications run in any of the desktop environments just described (provided that proper libraries are included with your Linux distribution as noted earlier). So you can choose a Linux desktop based on the performance, customization tools, and controls that best suit you. Each of these three types of desktop environments is described in this chapter. Starting the Desktop Because the way that you start a desktop in Linux is completely configurable, different distributions offer different ways of starting up the desktop. Once your Linux distribution is installed, it may just boot to the desktop, offer a graphical login, or offer a text-based login. Bootable Linux systems (which don’t have to be installed at all) typically just boot to the desktop. Boot to the Desktop Some bootable Linux systems boot right to a desktop without requiring you to log in so you can immediately start working with Linux. KNOPPIX is an example of a distribution that boots straight to a Linux desktop from a CD. That desktop system usually runs as a particular username (such as knoppix, in the case of the KNOPPIX distribution). To perform system administration, you have to switch to the administrator’s account temporarily (using the su or sudo command). Using any computer operating system without password protection violates all basic security rules. Use a system without password protection only on a temporary basis on computers that have no access to critical data. To be more secure, you can assign a password to a live CD’s primary user account, and certainly assign one if you install that live CD to hard disk. NOTE CAUTION CAUTION 73675c03.indd 36 11/25/08 6:53:13 PM37 Getting into the Desktop 3 Boot to a Graphical Login Most desktop Linux systems that are installed on your hard disk boot up to a graphical login screen. Although the X display manager (xdm) is the basic display manager that comes with the X Window System, KDE and GNOME each have their own graphical display managers that are used as login screens (kdm and gdm, respectively). So chances are that you will see the login screen associated with KDE or GNOME (depending on which is the default on your Linux system). Display managers such as gdm offer you the opportunity to log in to different types of desktops, depending on what is installed on your system (GNOME, KDE, Xfce, or others). When Linux starts up, it enters into what is referred to as a run level or system state. Typically, a system set to start at run level 5 boots to a graphical login prompt. A system set to run level 3 boots to a text prompt. The run level is set by the initdefault line in the /etc/ inittab fi le. Change the number on the initdefault line as you please between 3 and 5. Don’t use any other number unless you know what you are doing. Never use 0 or 6; those numbers are used to shut down and reboot the system, respectively. Because graphical login screens are designed to be configurable, you often find that the distribution has its own logo or other graphical elements on the login screen. With Fedora Linux, the default login screen is based on the GNOME Display Manager (gdm). To begin a session, you can just enter your login (username) and password to start up your personal desktop environment. Your selected desktop environment — KDE, GNOME, Xfce, or other — comes up ready for you to use. Although the system defines a desktop environment by default, you can typically change desktop environments on those Linux systems, such as Fedora, that offer multiple desktop environments. Figure 3-1 shows a basic graphical login panel displayed by the gdm in Fedora. FIGURE 3-1 A simple GNOME Display Manager (gdm) login screen NOTE 73675c03.indd 37 11/25/08 6:53:13 PM38 Part II Running a Linux Desktop To end a session, you can choose to log out. Figure 3-2 shows the graphical menu from a Fedora GNOME desktop for ending a session or changing the computer state (System ➪ Shut Down). FIGURE 3-2 The Session menu in Fedora X display managers can enable you to do a lot more than just get to your desktop. Although different graphical login screens offer different options, here are some you may encounter: ■ Session/Options — Look for a Session or Options button on the login screen. From there, you can choose to start your login session with a GNOME, KDE, or other desktop environment. ■ Language — Linux systems that are configured to start in multiple languages may give you the opportunity to choose a language (other than the default language) to boot into. For this to work, however, you must have installed support for the language you choose. ■ Accessibility — Some display managers let you choose accessibility preferences. These selections let you hear text read aloud, magnify parts of the screen, use an onscreen keyboard, or do other things to overcome difficulties hearing, seeing, or using a keyboard. If you don’t like the way the graphical login screen looks, or you just want to assert greater control over how it works, there are many ways to configure and secure X graphical login screens. Later, after you are logged in, you can use the following tools (as root user) to configure the login screen: ■ KDE login manager — From the KDE Control Center, you can modify your KDE display manager using the Login Manager screen (from KDE Control Center, select System Administration ➪ Login Manager). You can change logos, backgrounds, color schemes, and other features related to the look-and-feel of the login screen. ■ GNOME login manager — The GNOME display manager (gdm) comes with a Login Window Preferences utility (from the desktop, run the gdmsetup command as root user). From the Login Window Preferences window, you can select the Local tab and choose a whole different theme for the login manager. On the Security tab, you may notice that all TCP connections to the X server are disallowed. Don’t change this selection because no processes other than those handled directly by your display manager should be allowed to connect to the login screen. (The gdmsetup utility was not available for Fedora 9, but it’s expected to be available for Fedora 10.) 73675c03.indd 38 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM39 Getting into the Desktop 3 After your login and password have been accepted, the desktop environment configured for your user account starts up. Users can modify their desktop environments to suit their tastes (even to the point of changing the entire desktop environment used). Boot to a Text Prompt Instead of a nice graphical screen with pictures and colors, you might see a login prompt that looks like this: Welcome to XYZ Linux yourcomputer login: This is the way all UNIX and older Linux systems used to appear on the screen when they booted up. Now this is the login prompt that is typical for a system that is installed as a server or, for some reason, was configured not to start an X display manager for you to log in. Run level 3 boots to a plain-text login prompt in multiuser mode. Just because you have a text prompt doesn’t necessarily mean you can start a desktop environment. Many Linux experts boot to a text prompt because they want to bypass the graphical login screen or use the GUI only occasionally. Some Linux servers may not even have a desktop environment installed. However, if X and the other necessary desktop components are installed on your computer, you can typically start the desktop after you log in by typing the following command: $ startx The default desktop environment starts up, and you should be ready to go. What you do next depends on whether you have a KDE, GNOME, or some sort of homespun desktop environment. In most cases, the GUI confi guration you set up during installation for your video card and monitor gets you to a working desktop environment. If, for some reason, the screen is unusable when you start the desktop, you need to do some additional confi guration. The “Confi guring Your Own Desktop” section later in this chapter describes some tools you can use to get your desktop working. K Desktop Environment KDE was created to bring a high-quality desktop environment to UNIX (and now Linux) workstations. Integrated within KDE are tools for managing files, windows, multiple desktops, and applications. If you can work a mouse, you can learn to navigate the KDE desktop. The lack of an integrated, standardized desktop environment once held back Linux and other UNIX systems from acceptance on the desktop. While individual applications ran well, you mostly could not drag-and-drop files or other items between applications. Likewise, you couldn’t open a file and expect the machine to launch the correct application to deal with it or save your windows NOTE 73675c03.indd 39 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM40 Part II Running a Linux Desktop from one login session to the next. With KDE, you can do all those things and much more. For example, you can: ■ Drag-and-drop a document from one folder window to another (to move it) or on an OpenOffice.org Writer icon (to open it for editing). ■ Right-click an image file (JPEG, PNG, and so on), and the OpenWith menu lets you choose to open the file using an image viewer (KView), editor (GIMP), slide show viewer (KuickShow), or other application. To make more applications available to you in the future, KDE provides a platform for developers to create programs that easily share information and detect how to deal with different data types. The things you can do with KDE increase in number every day. KDE is the default desktop environment for Mandriva, KNOPPIX, and several other Linux systems. SUSE, openSUSE, and related distributions moved from KDE to GNOME as the default desktop, but still make KDE available. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, which used to place less emphasis on KDE, now have much improved support for KDE desktops, even offering a custom KDE desktop live CD/installer disc. The past year has seen a major new KDE release: KDE 4. Although it is still somewhat unstable, KDE 4 offers some bold new features for managing your desktop. The following section describes how to get started with KDE. Using the KDE Desktop The KDE 4 desktop, now available with Fedora, Ubuntu, and other major Linux distributions, offers the new Plasma desktop and new framework for developing KDE applications. Some Linux distributions still use the more stable KDE 3.5, so you may have a choice of which KDE you use. KDE 4 marks some major innovations for the KDE desktop. New libraries were added to support multimedia applications and improve handling of removable devices. There are new applications for viewing documents (such as Okular) and managing files (such as Dolphin). The most important new feature, however, is the Plasma desktop shell. The Plasma desktop shell gives the KDE 4 desktop a whole new look and feel. It features improved ways of finding and presenting information, such as KRunner and KickOff. The new Plasma panel can incorporate lots of new applets, as well as clocks, pagers, and other useful applications. Elements in the Plasma desktop shell are referred to as plasmoids. What makes plasmoids different from components on many of today’s desktop systems is that they can be combined in various ways to interact with each other and can be placed in different locations. For example, if a particular widget (such as a clock or a news ticker) is important to you, instead of having it represented by a tiny icon on the panel, you can put a big version of the applet on your desktop. Figure 3-3 shows an example of a KDE desktop in Fedora. 73675c03.indd 40 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM41 Getting into the Desktop 3 FIGURE 3-3 The KDE desktop includes a panel, desktop icons, and much more. Some of the key elements of the KDE desktop include: ■ Plasmoids — Applets that can be added to the desktop as well as the panel are referred to as plasmoids in KDE 4. Here you can see the clock, picture frame, and news ticker all added to the desktop. You can drag plasmoids around, group them together, and arrange them as you like on your desktop. ■ Konqueror — The default Web browser for KDE, which can also be used as a file manager. ■ Dolphin — A new file manager for KDE. ■ Panel — The panel provides some quick tools for launching applications and managing the desktop. You can adapt the panel to your needs by resizing it, adding tools, and changing its location. By default, you start with an application launcher, a taskbar, a desktop pager, some mini applets, a new device modifier, and a clock. 73675c03.indd 41 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM42 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Application Launcher/Menu — This panel button opens the new KickOff Application menu, which helps you search for applications installed on your system and launch them. Choose between Favorites (applications you use often), Applications (application menus), Computer (places and storage devices), or Recently Used applications. Right-click the button and select Switch to Classic Menu Style to return to a classic view of application categories and menus. ■ Taskbar — This button shows the tasks that are currently running on the desktop. The button for the window that is currently active appears pressed in. Click a task to toggle between opening and minimizing the window. ■ Desktop Pager — This box on the panel consists of your virtual desktops, which contain small views of each desktop. Four virtual desktops are available to you by default. These are labeled 1, 2, 3, and 4. You begin your KDE session on virtual desktop 1. If there are windows on the desktop, small icons representing them may cover the desktop number. You can change to any of the four desktops by clicking on its number in the Desktop Pager. ■ Mini applets — Some applications, such as media players, clipboards, and battery power managers, will keep running after you have closed the related window. Some of those applications maintain a tiny applet in the panel. Often clicking these applets restores the windows they represent. This is convenient for music players if you don’t want to take up desktop space while you play music, but you want to be able to open the player quickly to change songs. ■ Clock — The current time appears on the far-right side of the panel. Click it to see a calendar for the current month. Click the arrow keys on the calendar to move forward and back to other months. To navigate the KDE desktop, you can use the mouse or key combinations. The responses from the desktop to your mouse depend on which button you click and where the mouse pointer is located. Table 3-1 describes the results of clicking each mouse button with the mouse pointer placed in different locations. (You can change these and other behaviors from the KDE menu by selecting System Settings, and then choosing Keyboard & Mouse.) TABLE 3-1 Single-Click Mouse Actions Pointer Position Mouse Button Result Window title bar or frame (current window active) Left Raises current window Window title bar or frame (current window active) Middle Lowers current window Window title bar or frame (current window active) Right Opens operations menu 73675c03.indd 42 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM43 Getting into the Desktop 3 Pointer Position Mouse Button Result Window title bar or frame (current window not active) Left Activates current window and raises it to the top Window title bar or frame (current window not active) Middle Activates current window and lowers it Window title bar or frame (current window not active) Right Opens operations menu without changing position Inner window (current window not active) Left Activates current window, raises it to the top, and passes the click to the window Inner window (current window not active) Middle or Right Activates current window and passes the click to the window Any part of a window Middle (plus hold Alt key) Toggles between raising and lowering the window Any part of a window Right (plus hold Alt key) Resizes the window On the desktop area Left (hold and drag) Selects a group of icons On the desktop area Right Opens system pop-up menu Click a desktop icon to open it. Double-clicking a window title bar results in a window-shade action, where the window scrolls up and down into the title bar. If you don’t happen to have a mouse or you just like to keep your hands on the keyboard, there are several keystroke sequences you can use to navigate the desktop. Table 3-2 describes some examples. TABLE 3-2 Keystrokes Key Combination Result Directions Alt+Tab Step through windows To step through each of the windows that are running on the current desktop, hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key until you see the one you want. Then release the Alt key to select it. Alt+F2 Open Run Command box To open a box on the desktop that lets you type in a command and run it, hold the Alt key and press F2. Next, type the command in the box and press Enter to run it. You can also type a URL into this box to view a Web page. continued 73675c03.indd 43 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM44 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Key Combination Result Directions Alt+F4 Close current window To close the current window, press Alt+F4. Ctrl+Alt+Esc Close another window To close an open window on the desktop, press Ctrl+Alt+Esc. When a skull and crossbones appear as the pointer, move the pointer over the window you want to close and click the left mouse button. (This is a good technique for killing a window that has no borders or menu.) Ctrl+F1, F2, F3, or F4 key Switch virtual desktops Go directly to a particular virtual desktop by pressing and holding down the Ctrl key and pressing one of the following: F1, F2, F3, or F4. These actions take you directly to desktops one, two, three, and four, respectively. You could do this for up to eight desktops, if you have that many configured. Alt+F3 Open window operation menu To open the operations menu for the active window, press Alt+F3. When the menu appears, move the arrow keys to select an action (Move, Size, Minimize, Maximize, and so on), and then press Enter to select it. Press Esc to close the menu. Managing Files with the Dolphin and Konqueror With KDE 4, the KDE desktop offers two file managers: the new Dolphin File Manager and the existing Konqueror browser/file manager. Dolphin is a streamlined file manager that is now used by default when you open a folder in KDE. Konqueror can handle a wide range of content from local files and folders to remote Web content. The two applications are described in the sections that follow. For further information on Dolphin, refer to the Dolphin File Manager home page (http://enzosworld.gmxhome.de). Using the Dolphin File Manager By adding Dolphin to KDE, the KDE project now offers an efficient way to manage your files and folders, without the overhead of a full-blown Web browser (such as Konqueror). With Dolphin, you have a lot of flexibility and features for getting around your file system and working with the files and folders you encounter. Features in Dolphin include: ■ Navigation — The navigation bar lets you see the current folder in relation to your home directory or to the root of the file system. Select View ➪ Navigation Bar ➪ Show Full Location to see (and change) the full path to your current folder. Select folders from the left column to just go straight to that folder. NOTE TABLE 3-2 (continued) 73675c03.indd 44 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM45 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ Listing files and folders — Select icons in the toolbar to display files and folders as icons, with file name, size, and date, or with small icons in columns. ■ Properties — Right-click a file or folder and select Properties. Properties displayed include the file type (such as a folder or Ogg Vorbis audio), location (such as /home/joe), file/ folder size, date/time modified, date/time accessed, and permissions. For folders, there are also some nice features that let you refresh the amount of disk space used by the folder or configure file sharing to share the folder with other computers on the network. Both Samba and Network File System (NFS) file sharing are supported. ■ Filter and search — Select Tools ➪ Show Filter Bar from the Dolphin toolbar. In the Filter box that appears, type a string of text to display any file or folder name containing that text string (for example, usi would match Music). Select Tools ➪ Find Files to open the kfind window to search for files (described later). ■ Preview — Typically, files are represented by generic icons (text file, image file, and so on) in the Dolphin window. Click the Preview button on the toolbar and you can see small representations of the text or image contained in the file, instead of a generic icon. To open the Dolphin file manager, select File Manager from the main KDE menu. Figure 3-4 shows an example of the Dolphin file manager. FIGURE 3-4 Dolphin is an efficient new file manager for KDE. 73675c03.indd 45 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM46 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Working with Files Because most of the ways of working with files in Dolphin are quite intuitive (by intention), Table 3-3 just provides a quick rundown of how to do basic file manipulation. TABLE 3-3 Working with Files in Dolphin Task Action Open a file Left-click the file. The contents of that file will open in the application window defined for that content. For example, images open in Gwenview and text files open in KWrite. You also can open directories, applications, and links by left-clicking them. Open a file with a specific application Right-click a data file, choose Open With from the pop-up menu, and then select one of the available applications to open the file. The applications listed are those that are set up to open the file. Select Other to choose a different application. Delete a file Right-click the file and select Move to Trash. You are asked if you really want to move the file to the trash. Click Yes to delete the file. Copy a file Right-click the file and select Copy. This copies the file to your clipboard. After that, you can paste it to another folder. Click the Klipper (clipboard) icon in the panel to see a list of copied files. By default Klipper holds the seven most recently copied files. Click the Klipper icon and select Configure Klipper to change the number of copied files Klipper will remember. Paste a file Right-click on an open area of a folder and select Paste. The file that you copied previously is pasted in the current folder. Link a file Drag-and-drop a file from one folder to another. When the menu appears, click Link Here. (A linked file lets you access a file from a new location without having to make a copy of the original file. When you open the link, a pointer to the original file causes it to open.) Move a file Copy a file Create a link to a file With the original folder and target folder both open on the desktop, click and hold down the left mouse button on the file you want to move, drag the file to an open area of the new folder, and release the mouse button. From the menu that appears, click Move. (You can also use this menu to copy or create a link to the file.) There are also several features for viewing information about the files and folders in your Dolphin windows: ■ View quick file information — Positioning the mouse pointer over the file displays information such as its filename, size, and type in the window footer. ■ View hidden files — Selecting View ➪ Show Hidden Files enables you to see files that begin with a dot (.). Dot files tend to be used for configuration and don’t generally need to be viewed in your daily work. ■ View file details — Selecting View ➪ View Mode ➪ Details provides a list of details regarding the contents of the current folder. You can click a folder in the details view to 73675c03.indd 46 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM47 Getting into the Desktop 3 jump directly to that folder. Select View ➪ Additional Information to add more information about each file to the view, such as permissions, owner, group, and type. Columns and Icon views are also available. To act on a group of files at the same time, there are a couple of actions you can take. Choose Edit ➪ Select All to highlight all files and folders in the current folder so they are ready for you to act on. Or, you can select a group of files by clicking in an open area of the folder and dragging the pointer across the files you want to select. All files within the box will be highlighted. When files are highlighted, you can move, copy, or delete the files as described earlier. Searching for Files If you are looking for a particular file or folder, use the Dolphin Find feature. To open a Find window to search for a file, open a local folder (such as /home/chris) and choose Tools ➪ Find File. The Find Files/Folders (kfind) window appears. You can also open this window by typing kfind from a Terminal window. Figure 3-5 shows the Find Files/Folders window. FIGURE 3-5 Search for files and folders from the kfind window. Simply type the name of the file you want to search for (in the Named text box) and the folder, including all subfolders, you want to search in (in the Look In text box). Then click the Find button. You can also use metacharacters with your search. For example, search for *.rpm to find all files that end in .rpm or z*.doc to find all files that begin with z and end with .doc. You can also select 73675c03.indd 47 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM48 Part II Running a Linux Desktop to have the search be case-sensitive or click the Help button to get more information on searching. The example in Figure 3-5 shows a search for Ogg music files (ending in .ogg). To further limit your search, you can click the Properties tab and then enter a date range (between), a number of months before today (during the previous x months), or the number of days before today (during the previous x days). You can also search for files that are of a certain size (File size is) in kilobytes, megabytes, or gigabytes. Select the Contents tab to limit the search to files of a particular type (File Type) or files that include text that you enter (Containing Text). Creating New Files and Folders You can create a variety of file types when using the Dolphin window. Choose File ➪ Create New, and select Folder (to create a new folder) or one of several different types under the File or Device submenu. Depending on which version of Dolphin you are using, you might be able to create some or all of the file types that follow: ■ Text File — Opens a dialog box that lets you create a document in text format and place it in the Dolphin window. Type the name of the text document that you want to create and click OK. ■ HTML File — Opens a dialog box that lets you type the name of an HTML file to create. ■ Link to Location (URL) — Selecting this menu item opens a dialog box that lets you create a link to a Web address. Type a name to represent the address and type the name of the URL (Web address) for the site. (Be sure to add the http://, ftp://, or other prefix.) ■ Link to Application — Opens a window that lets you type the name of an application. Click the Permissions tab to set file permissions (Exec must be on if you want to run the file as an application). Click the Execute tab and type the name of the program to run (in the Execute on Click field) and a title to appear in the title bar of the application (in the Window Title field). If it is a text-based command, select the Run in Terminal check box. Select the Run as a Different User check box and add the username. Click the Application tab to assign the application to handle files of particular MIME types. Click OK. Under the Link to Device submenu, you can make the following selections: ■ CD-ROM Device — Opens a dialog box that lets you type a new CD-ROM device name. Click the Device tab and type the device name (/dev/cdrom), the mount point (such as / mnt/cdrom), and the file system type (you can use iso9660 for the standard CD-ROM file system, ext2 for Linux, or msdos for DOS). When the device icon appears, you can open it to mount the CD-ROM and display its contents. ■ CDWRITER Device — From the window that opens, enter the device name of your CD writer. ■ Camera Device — In the dialog box that opens, identify the device name for the camera device that provides access to your digital camera. ■ DVD-ROM Device — Opens a dialog box that lets you type a new CD-ROM or DVD-ROM device name. Click the Device tab and type the device name (such as /dev/cdrom), the mount point (such as /mnt/cdrom), and the file system type (you can use iso9660 for the 73675c03.indd 48 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM49 Getting into the Desktop 3 standard CD-ROM file system, ext2 for Linux, or msdos for DOS). When the device icon appears, you can open it to mount the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM and display its contents. ■ Floppy Device — Opens a dialog box in which you type a new floppy name. Click the Device tab and type the device name (/dev/fd0), the mount point (such as /mnt/ floppy), and the file system type (you can use auto to autodetect the contents, ext2 for Linux, or msdos for DOS). When the device icon appears, open it to mount the floppy and display its contents. ■ Hard Disc Device — Opens a dialog box that lets you type the name of a new hard disk or hard-disk partition. Click the Device tab and type the device name (/dev/hda1), the mount point (such as /mnt/win), and the file system type (you can use auto to autodetect the contents, ext2 or ext3 for Linux, or vfat for a Windows file system). When the device icon appears, you can open it to mount the file system and display its contents. Creating MIME types and applications is described later in this chapter. Using the Konqueror Web Browser/File Manager Although Dolphin is now intended for pure file manager features, Konqueror is an excellent tool if you want to move between local and Web content. Konqueror’s greatest strengths over earlier file managers include the following: ■ Network desktop — If your computer is connected to the Internet or a LAN, features built into Konqueror enable you to create links to files (using FTP) and Web pages (using HTTP) on the network and open them in the Konqueror window. Those links can appear as file icons in a Konqueror window or on the desktop. Konqueror also supports WebDAV, which can be configured to allow local read and write access to remote folders (which is a great tool if you are maintaining a Web server). ■ Web browser interface — The Konqueror interface works like Firefox, Internet Explorer, or other Web browsers in the way you select files, directories, and Web content. Because Konqueror is based on a browser model, a single click opens a file, a link to a network resource, or an application program. You can also open content by typing Web-style addresses in the Location box. The rendering engine used by Konqueror, called KHTML, is also used by Safari (the popular Web browser for Apple Mac OS X systems) and supports advanced features, such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 3. Web pages that contain Java and JavaScript content run by default in Konqueror. To check that Java and JavaScript support is turned on, choose Settings ➪ Confi gure Konqueror. From the Settings window, click Java & JavaScript and select the Java tab. To enable Java, click the Enable Java Globally box and click Apply. Repeat for the JavaScript tab. ■ File types and MIME types — If you want a particular type of file to always be launched by a particular application, you can configure that file yourself. KDE already has dozens of MIME types defined so that particular file and data types can be automatically detected and opened in the correct application. There are MIME types defined for audio, image, text, video, and a variety of other content. TIP 73675c03.indd 49 11/25/08 6:53:14 PM50 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Of course, you can also perform many standard file manager functions with Konqueror. For example, you can manipulate files by using features such as select, move, cut, paste, and delete; search directories for files; create new items (files, folders, and links, to name a few); view histories of the files and Web sites you have opened; and create bookmarks. Most of these features work the same way as they do in Dolphin (as described earlier). Using Bookmarking Features in Konqueror Because Konqueror performs like a Web browser as well as a file manager, it includes several browser features. For example, the bookmarks feature enables you to keep a bookmark list of Web sites you have visited. Click Bookmarks, and a drop-down menu of the sites you have bookmarked appears. Select from that list to return to a site. There are several ways to add and change your bookmarks list: ■ Add Bookmark — To add the address of the page currently being displayed to your bookmark list, choose Bookmarks ➪ Add Bookmark. The next time you click Bookmarks, you will see the bookmark you just added on the Bookmarks menu. In addition to Web addresses, you can also bookmark any file or folder. ■ Edit Bookmarks — Select Bookmarks ➪ Edit Bookmarks to open a tree view of your bookmarks. From the Bookmark Editor window that appears, you can change the URLs, the icon, or other features of the bookmark. There is also a nice feature that lets you check the status of the bookmark (that is, the address available). ■ New Bookmark Folder — You can add a new folder of bookmarks to your Konqueror bookmarks list. To create a bookmarks folder, choose Bookmarks ➪ New Folder. Then type a name for the new Bookmarks folder, and click OK. The new bookmark folder appears on your bookmarks menu. You can add the current location to that folder by clicking on the folder name and selecting Add Bookmark. Configuring Konqueror Options You can change many of the visual attributes of the Konqueror window, including which menu bars and toolbars appear. You can have any of the following bars appear on the Konqueror window: Menubar, Toolbar, Extra Toolbar, Location Toolbar, and Bookmark Toolbar. Select Settings, and then click the bar you want to have appear (or not appear). The bar appears when a check mark is shown next to it. You can modify a variety of options for Konqueror by choosing Settings ➪ Configure Konqueror. The Konqueror Settings window appears, offering the following options: ■ Performance — Display configuration settings that can be used to improve Konqueror performance. You can preload an instance after KDE startup or minimize memory usage. ■ File Management — Configure features such as file tips, previews, and how trash is handled. ■ Previews & Meta-Data — An icon in a Konqueror folder can be made to resemble the contents of the file it represents. For example, if the file is a JPEG image, the icon repre73675c03.indd 50 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM51 Getting into the Desktop 3 senting the file could be a small version of that image. Using the Previews features, you can limit the size of the file used (1MB is the default) because many massive files could take too long to refresh on the screen. You can also choose to have any thumbnail embedded in a file to be used as the icon or have the size of the icon reflect the shape of the image used. ■ File Associations — Describes which programs to launch for each file type. If you prefer a certain image viewer, text editor, or other application for handling your data, you should configure those applications to launch for those data types. ■ Web Browsing — Click the Browsing selection to open a window to configure the Web browser features of Konqueror. By enabling Form Completion, Konqueror can save form data you type and, at a later time, fill that information into other forms. If your computer has limited resources, you can speed up the page display by clearing the Automatically Load Images check box or by disabling animations. ■ AdBlock Filters — Click here to create a list of URLs that are filtered as you browse the Web. Filtering is based on frame and image names. Filtered URLs can be either thrown away or replaced with an image. You can also import and export lists of filters here. ■ Web Shortcuts — Display a list of keyword shortcuts you can use to go to different Internet sites. For example, follow the word “ask” with a search string to search the Ask (www.ask.com) Web site. ■ Cache — Indicate how much space on your hard disk can be used to store the sites you have visited (based on the value in the Disk Cache Size field). ■ Proxy — Click Proxy to configure Konqueror to access the Internet through a proxy server (by default, Konqueror tries to connect there directly). You need to enter the address and port number of the computer providing HTTP and/or FTP proxy services. Alternatively, you can have Konqueror try to automatically detect the proxy configuration. ■ Fonts — Choose which fonts to use, by default, for various fonts needed on Web pages (standard font, fixed font, serif font, sans serif font, cursive font, and fantasy font). The serif fonts are typically used in body text, while sans serif fonts are often used in headlines. You can also set the Minimum and Medium font sizes. ■ Stylesheets — Choose whether to use the default stylesheet, a user-defined stylesheet, or a custom stylesheet. The stylesheet sets the font family, font sizes, and colors that are applied to Web pages. (This won’t change particular font requests made by the Web page.) If you select a custom stylesheet, click the Customize tab to customize your own fonts and colors. ■ History Sidebar — Modify the behavior of the list of sites you have visited (the history). By default, the most recent 500 URLs are stored, and after 500 days (KNOPPIX) or 90 days (Fedora), a URL is dropped from the list. There’s also a button to clear your history. (To view your history list in Konqueror, open the left side panel, and then click the tiny scroll icon.) ■ Cookies — Choose whether cookies are enabled in Konqueror. By default, you are asked to confirm that it is okay each time a Web site tries to create or modify a cookie. You can change that to either accept or reject all cookies. You can also set policies for acceptance or rejection of cookies based on host and domain names. 73675c03.indd 51 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM52 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Crypto — Display a list of secure certificates that can be accepted by the Konqueror browser. By default, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) versions 2 and 3 certificates are accepted, as is TLS support (if supported by the server). You can also choose to be notified when you are entering or leaving a secure Web site. ■ Browser Identification — Set how Konqueror identifies itself when it accesses a Web site. By default, Konqueror tells the Web site that it is the Mozilla Web browser. You can select Konqueror to appear as different Web browsers to specific sites. You must sometimes do this when a site denies you access because you do not have a specific type of browser (even though Konqueror may be fully capable of displaying the content). ■ Java and JavaScript — Enable or disable Java and JavaScript content contained in Web pages in your Konqueror window. ■ Plugins — Display a list of directories that Konqueror will search to find plug-ins. Konqueror can also scan your computer to find plug-ins that are installed for other browsers in other locations. Managing the KDE Desktop If you have a lot stuff open at the same time, organizing those items can make it much easier to manage your desktop. The KDE 4 Plasma desktop offers many of the traditional ways of managing desktop elements (windows, workspaces, panels, icons, menus, and so on). However, it also offers new ways of grouping and managing your desktop elements. Managing Windows in the Taskbar When you open a window, a button representing the window appears in the panel at the bottom of the screen. Here is how you can manage windows from the taskbar appearing on that panel: ■ Toggle windows — Left-click any running task in the taskbar to toggle between opening the window and minimizing it. ■ Position windows — You can choose to have the selected window be above or below other windows or displayed in full screen. Right-click the running task in the taskbar and select Advanced. Then choose Keep Above Others, Keep Below Others, or Fullscreen. ■ Move windows — Move a window from the current desktop to any other virtual desktop. Right-click any task in the taskbar, select To Desktop, and then select any desktop number. The window moves to that desktop. All the windows that are running, regardless of which virtual desktop you are on, appear in the taskbar. Uncluttering the Desktop If you find yourself with icons all over the desktop, you can organize them from the desktop menu. Right-click the desktop, and then select Align Horizontally or Align Vertically. 73675c03.indd 52 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM53 Getting into the Desktop 3 Moving Windows The easiest way to move a window from one location to another is to place the cursor on the window’s title bar, hold down the mouse button and drag the window to a new location, and release the mouse button to drop the window. Another way to do it is to click the window menu button (top-left corner of the title bar), select Move, move the mouse to relocate the window, and then click again to place it. If somehow the window gets stuck in a location where the title bar is off the screen, you can move it back to where you want it by holding down the Alt key and clicking the left mouse button in the inner window. Then move the window where you want it and release. Resizing Windows To resize a window, grab anywhere on the outer edge of the window border, and then move the mouse until the window is the size you want. Grab a corner to resize vertically and horizontally at the same time. Grab a side to resize in only one direction. You can also resize a window by clicking the window menu button (top-left corner of the title bar) and selecting Resize. Move the mouse until the window is resized and click to leave it there. Pinning Windows on the Top or Bottom You can set a window to always stay on top of all other windows or always stay under them. Keeping a window on top can be useful for a small window that you want to always refer to (such as a clock or a small TV viewing window). To pin a window on top of the desktop, click in the window title bar. From the menu that appears, select Advanced ➪ Keep Above Others. Likewise, to keep the window on the bottom, select Advanced ➪ Keep Below Others. Using Virtual Desktops To give you more space to run applications than will fit on your physical screen, KDE gives you access to several virtual desktops at the same time. Using the 1, 2, 3, and 4 buttons on the panel, you can easily move between the different desktops. Just click the one you want. If you want to move an application from one desktop to another, you can do so from the window menu. Click the window menu button for the window you want to move, click To Desktop, and then select Desktop 1, 2, 3, or 4. The window will disappear from the current desktop and move to the one you selected. Adding Widgets You want to be able to quickly access the applications that you use most often. One of the best ways to make that possible is to add widgets to the panel or the desktop that can either run continuously (such as a clock or news ticker) or launch the applications you need with a single click. TIP 73675c03.indd 53 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM54 Part II Running a Linux Desktop To add a KDE widget to the panel: 1. Right-click anywhere on the panel. 2. Click Add Widgets. 3. Select the widget you want to add and click Add Widget. An icon representing the widget should immediately appear on the panel. (If the panel seems a bit crowded, you might want to remove some widgets you don’t use or add a widget directly to the desktop.) At this point, you can change any properties associated with the widget by right-clicking the widget in the panel and entering the new settings. If you decide later that you no longer want this widget to be available on the panel, right-click it and select Remove. To add a widget to the desktop: 1. Right-click an open area of the desktop. 2. Select Add Widgets from the menu. 3. Select the widget you want from the list that appears and click Add Widget. If you decide later that you no longer want this widget to be available on the desktop, hover the mouse over it and click the red X to delete it. Configuring the Desktop If you want to change the look, feel, or behavior of your KDE desktop, the best place to start is the System Settings window. The System Settings window lets you configure dozens of attributes associated with colors, fonts, and screensavers used by KDE. There are also selections that let you do basic computer administration, such as changing date/time settings and modifying your display. To open the System Settings window, select the KickOff menu button (represented by a Fedora logo icon in Fedora) at the lower-left corner of the panel and choose System Settings. The System Settings window appears, as shown in Figure 3-6. Click any item you want to configure, or type into the Search box to find a selection that matches what you type. There are several ways you can change the look-and-feel of your desktop display from the System Settings window. Under the Look & Feel topic, you can select to change the appearance, desktop, notifications, or window behavior. 73675c03.indd 54 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM55 Getting into the Desktop 3 FIGURE 3-6 Configure your system in KDE from the System Settings window. Here are a few of the individual desktop features you may want to change: ■ Change the screen saver — Under the Look & Feel heading, select Desktop ➪ Screen Saver. From the window that appears, there are only a few screensavers available by default. However, by installing the kdeartwork-extras package, you can get a lot more screensavers to choose from. Under the Start Automatically box, select how many minutes of inactivity before the screen saver turns on. You can also click Require Password to require that a password be entered before you can access your display after the screen saver has come on. If you are working in a place where you want your desktop to be secure, be sure to turn on the Require Password feature. This prevents others from gaining access to your computer when you forget to lock it or shut it off. If you have any virtual terminals open, switch to them and type vlock to lock each of them as well. (You need to install the vlock package if the vlock command isn’t available.) ■ Change fonts — You can assign different fonts to different places in which fonts appear on the desktop. Under the Look & Feel heading, select Appearance ➪ Fonts. Select one of the categories of fonts (General, Fixed width, Small, Toolbar, Menu, Window title, Taskbar, and Desktop fonts). Then click the Choose box to select a font from the Select Font list box that you want to assign to that category. If the font is available, you will see an example of the text in the Sample text box. TIP 73675c03.indd 55 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM56 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Change the colors — Under the Look & Feel heading in the System Settings window, select Appearance ➪ Colors. The window that appears lets you change the color of selected items on the desktop. Select a whole color scheme from the Color Scheme list box. Or select an item from the Colors tab to change a particular item. Items you can change include text, backgrounds, links, buttons, and title bars. To use 100 dpi fonts, you need to add an entry for 100 dpi fonts to /etc/X11/xorg.conf fi le. After you make that change, you need to restart the X server for it to take effect. Changing Panel Attributes For most people, the panel is the place where they select which desktop is active and which applications are run. You can change panel behavior from the Configure Panel window. Right-click any empty space on your panel, and then select Panel Settings. You can change these features from the Settings window that appears: ■ Size — The Size selection lets you change the size of the Panel from Normal to Tiny, Small, Large, or Custom. For the Custom option, select the exact point size (48 is the default). ■ Location — Change the location of the panel from Bottom to Top, Right, or Left. The GNOME Desktop GNOME (pronounced guh-nome) provides the desktop environment that you get by default when you install Fedora, Ubuntu, or other Linux system. This desktop environment provides the software that is between your X Window System framework and the look-and-feel provided by the window manager. GNOME is a stable and reliable desktop environment, with a few cool features. As of this writing, GNOME 2.24 is the most recent version of available, although the distribution you are using may or may not include this latest version. Recent GNOME releases include advancements in 3D effects (see “3D Effects with AIGLX” later in this chapter), improved usability features, and an application for using your Webcam. The Online Desktop is a recent feature that is intended to act as a platform for running only online applications (such as Facebook, GMail, and so on). See the section “Confi guring a GNOME Online Desktop” later in this chapter for more information. To use your GNOME desktop, you should become familiar with the following components: ■ Metacity (window manager) — The default window manager for GNOME in Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL, and others is Metacity. Metacity configuration options let you control such things as themes, window borders, and controls used on your desktop. TIP NOTE 73675c03.indd 56 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM57 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ Nautilus (file manager/graphical shell) — When you open a folder (by double-clicking the Home icon on your desktop, for example), the Nautilus window opens and displays the contents of the selected folder. Nautilus can also display other types of content, such as shared folders from Windows computers on the network (using SMB). ■ GNOME panels (application/task launcher) — These panels, which line the top and bottom of your screen, are designed to make it convenient for you to launch the applications you use, manage running applications, and work with multiple virtual desktops. By default, the top panel contains menu buttons (Applications, Places, and System), desktop application launchers (Evolution e-mail and Firefox Web browser), a workspace switcher (for managing four virtual desktops), and a clock. Icons appear in the panel when you need software updates or SELinux detects a problem. The bottom panel has a Show Desktop button, window lists, a trash can and workspace switcher. ■ Desktop area — The windows and icons you use are arranged on the desktop area, which supports drag-and-drop between applications, a desktop menu (right-click to see it), and icons for launching applications. There is a Computer icon that consolidates CD drives, floppy drives, the file system, and shared network resources in one place. Here are some feature additions you may find useful in the most recent versions of GNOME: ■ XSPF playlists in Totem — The Totem video/audio player now includes support for open standard XSPF playlists (www.xspf.org). Other improvements to Totem allow it to interact with content from Web sites. ■ Screensaver previews — Previewing screen savers in full-screen mode is now supported. ■ Direct DVD burning — Use the Nautilus CD burner feature to burn DVDs directly, without needing to first create an ISO image. ■ Dragging from the taskbar — Drag an application from the taskbar to workspaces represented in the panel Workspace Switcher to move the application to a new workspace. ■ Nautilus text or button browsing — When saving or opening files or folders in Nautilus, a new toggle button enables you to choose between browsing by clicking on buttons or by typing full path names. GNOME also includes a set of Preferences windows that enable you to configure different aspects of your desktop. You can change backgrounds, colors, fonts, keyboard shortcuts, and other features related to the look and behavior of the desktop. Figure 3-7 shows how the GNOME desktop environment appears the first time you log in, with a few windows added to the screen. The desktop shown in Figure 3-7 is for Ubuntu. The following sections provide details on using the GNOME desktop. 73675c03.indd 57 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM58 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 3-7 The GNOME desktop environment Using the Metacity Window Manager The Metacity window manager seems to have been chosen as the default window manager for GNOME because of its simplicity. The creator of Metacity refers to it as a “boring window manager for the adult in you” — and then goes on to compare other window managers to colorful, sugary cereal, while Metacity is characterized as Cheerios. To use 3D effects, your best solution is to use the Compiz window manager, described later in this chapter. There really isn’t much you can do with Metacity (except get your work done efficiently). Assigning new themes to Metacity and changing colors and window decorations are done through the GNOME preferences (and are described later). A few Metacity themes exist, but expect the number to grow. NOTE 73675c03.indd 58 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM59 Getting into the Desktop 3 Basic Metacity functions that might interest you are keyboard shortcuts and the workspace switcher. Table 3-4 describes keyboard shortcuts that you can use to get around the Metacity window manager. TABLE 3-4 Metacity Keyboard Shortcuts Actions Keystrokes Window focus Cycle forward, with pop-up icons Alt+Tab Cycle backward, with pop-up icons Alt+Shift+Tab Cycle forward, without pop-up icons Alt+Esc Cycle backward, without pop-up icons Alt+Shift+Esc Panel focus Cycle forward among panels Alt+Ctrl+Tab Cycle backward among panels Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Tab Workspace focus Move to workspace to the right Ctrl+Alt+right arrow Move to workspace to the left Ctrl+Alt+left arrow Move to upper workspace Ctrl+Alt+up arrow Move to lower workspace Ctrl+Alt+down arrow Minimize/maximize all windows Ctrl+Alt+D Show window menu Alt+Space bar Close menu Esc Another Metacity feature of interest is the Workspace Switcher. Four virtual workspaces appear in the Workspace Switcher on the GNOME panel. You can do the following with the Workspace Switcher: ■ Choose current workspace — Four virtual workspaces appear in the Workspace Switcher. Click any of the four virtual workspaces to make it your current workspace. ■ Move windows to other workspaces — Click any window, each represented by a tiny rectangle in a workspace, to drag-and-drop it to another workspace. Likewise, you can drag an application from the Window List to move that application to another workspace. ■ Add more workspaces — Right-click the Workspace Switcher, and select Preferences. You can add workspaces (up to 32). ■ Name workspaces — Right-click the Workspace Switcher and select Preferences. Click in the Workspaces pane to change names of workspaces to any names you choose. 73675c03.indd 59 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM60 Part II Running a Linux Desktop You can view and change information about Metacity controls and settings using the gconf-editor window (type gconf-editor from a Terminal window). As the window says, it is not the recommended way of changing preferences, so when possible, you should change the desktop through GNOME preferences. However, gconf-editor is a good way to see descriptions of each Metacity feature. From the gconf-editor window, select apps ➪ metacity, and then choose from general, global_ keybindings, keybindings_commands, window_keybindings, and workspace_names. Click each key to see its value, along with short and long descriptions of the key. Using the GNOME Panels The GNOME panels are placed on the top and bottom of the GNOME desktop. From those panels you can start applications (from buttons or menus), see what programs are active, and monitor how your system is running. There are also many ways to change the top and bottom panels — by adding applications or monitors or by changing the placement or behavior of the panel, for example. Right-click any open space on either panel to see the Panel menu. Figure 3-8 shows the Panel menu on the top. FIGURE 3-8 The GNOME Panel menu From GNOME’s Panel menu, you can choose from a variety of functions, including: ■ Add to Panel — Add an applet, menu, launcher, drawer, or button. ■ Properties — Change the panel’s position, size, and background properties. ■ Delete This Panel — Delete the current panel. ■ New Panel — Add panels to your desktop in different styles and locations. You can also work with items on a panel. For example, you can: ■ Move items — To move an item on a panel, right-click it, select move, and then drag-anddrop it to a new position. 73675c03.indd 60 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM61 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ Resize items — Some elements, such as the Window List, can be resized by clicking an edge and dragging it to the new size. ■ Use the Window List — Tasks running on the desktop appear in the Window List area. Click a task to minimize or maximize it. The following sections describe some things you can do with the GNOME panel. Using the Applications and System Menus Click Applications on the top panel, and you see categories of applications and system tools that you can select. Click the application you want to launch. To add an item from a menu so that it can launch from the panel, drag-and-drop the item you want to the panel. You can add items to your GNOME menus. To do that, right-click any of the menu names, and then select Edit Menus. The window that appears lets you add or delete menus associated with the Applications and System menus. You can also add items to launch from those menus by selecting New Item and typing the name, command, and comment for the item. Adding an Applet There are several small applications, called applets, that you can run directly on the GNOME panel. These applications can show information you may want to see on an ongoing basis or may just provide some amusement. To see what applets are available and to add applets that you want to your panel, perform the following steps: 1. Right-click an open space in the panel so that the panel menu appears. 2. Select Add to Panel. An Add to Panel window appears. 3. Select from among several dozen applets, including a clock, dictionary lookup, stock ticker, and weather report. The applet you select appears on the panel, ready for you to use. Figure 3-9 shows (from left to right) applets for eyes, system monitor, weather report, network monitor, and wanda the fish. FIGURE 3-9 Placing applets on the panel makes it easy to access them. After an applet is installed, right-click it on the panel to see what options are available. For example, select Preferences for the stock ticker, and you can add or delete stocks whose prices you want to monitor. If you don’t like the applet’s location, right-click it, click Move, slide the mouse until the applet is where you want it (even to another panel), and click to set its location. 73675c03.indd 61 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM62 Part II Running a Linux Desktop If you no longer want an applet to appear on the panel, right-click it, and then click Remove From Panel. The icon representing the applet disappears. If you find that you have run out of room on your panel, you can add a new panel to another part of the screen, as described in the next section. Adding Another Panel You can have several panels on your GNOME desktop. You can add panels that run along the entire bottom, top, or side of the screen. To add a panel, do the following: 1. Right-click an open space in the panel so that the Panel menu appears. 2. Select New Panel. A new panel appears on the side of the screen. 3. Right-click an open space in the new panel and select Properties. 4. From the Panel Properties, select where you want the panel from the Orientation box (Top, Bottom, Left, or Right). After you’ve added a panel, you can add applets or application launchers to it as you did to the default panel. To remove a panel, right-click it and select Delete This Panel. Adding an Application Launcher Icons on your panel represent a Web browser and several office productivity applications. You can add your own icons to launch applications from the panel as well. To add a new application launcher to the panel, do the following: 1. Right-click in an open space on the panel. 2. Select Add to Panel ➪ Application Launcher from the menu. All application categories from your Applications and System menus appear. 3. Select the arrow next to the category of application you want, and then select Add. An icon representing the application appears on the panel. To launch the application you just added, simply click the icon on the panel. If the application you want to launch is not on one of your menus, you can build a launcher yourself as follows: 1. Right-click in an open space on the panel. 2. Select Add to Panel ➪ Custom Application Launcher ➪ Add. The Create Launcher window appears. 3. Provide the following information for the application that you want to add: ■ Type — Select Application (to launch a regular GUI application) or Application in Terminal. Use Application in Terminal if the application is a character-based or ncurses application. (Applications written using the ncurses library run in a Terminal window but offer screen-oriented mouse and keyboard controls.) 73675c03.indd 62 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM63 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ Name — A name to identify the application (this appears in the tooltip when your mouse is over the icon). ■ Command — The command line that is run when the application is launched. Use the full path name, plus any required options. ■ Comment — A comment describing the application. It also appears when you later move your mouse over the launcher. 4. Click the Icon box (it might say No Icon). Select one of the icons shown and click OK. Alternatively, you can browse your file system to choose an icon. 5. Click OK. The application should now appear in the panel. Click it to start the application. NOTE Icons available to represent your application are contained in the /usr/share/ pixmaps directory. These icons are either in .png or .xpm format. If there isn’t an icon in the directory you want to use, create your own (in one of those two formats) and assign it to the application. Adding a Drawer A drawer is an icon that you can click to display other icons representing menus, applets, and launchers; it behaves just like a panel. Essentially, any item you can add to a panel you can add to a drawer. By adding a drawer to your GNOME panel, you can include several applets and launchers that together take up the space of only one icon. Click the drawer to show the applets and launchers as though they were being pulled out of a drawer icon on the panel. To add a drawer to your panel, right-click the panel and select Add to Panel ➪ Drawer. A drawer appears on the panel. Right-click it, and add applets or launchers to it as you would to a panel. Click the icon again to retract the drawer. Figure 3-10 shows a portion of the panel with an open drawer that includes an icon for launching a volume monitor, a weather report, and Tomboy sticky notes. FIGURE 3-10 Add launchers or applets to a drawer on your GNOME panel. 73675c03.indd 63 11/25/08 6:53:15 PM64 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Changing Panel Properties Those panel properties you can change are limited to the orientation, size, hiding policy, and background. To open the Panel Properties window that applies to a specific panel, right-click on an open space on the panel and choose Properties. The Panel Properties window that appears includes the following values: ■ Orientation — Move the panel to different locations on the screen by clicking on a new position. ■ Size — Select the size of your panel by choosing its height in pixels (48 pixels by default). ■ Expand — Select this check box to have the panel expand to fill the entire side, or clear the check box to make the panel only as wide as the applets it contains. ■ AutoHide — Select whether a panel is automatically hidden (appearing only when the mouse pointer is in the area). ■ Show Hide Buttons — Choose whether the Hide/Unhide buttons (with pixmap arrows on them) appear on the edges of the panel. ■ Arrows on hide buttons — If you select Show Hide Buttons, you can choose to have arrows on those buttons. ■ Background — From the Background tab, you can assign a color to the background of the panel, assign a pixmap image, or just leave the default (which is based on the current system theme). Click the Background Image check box if you want to select an Image for the background, and then select an image, such as a tile from /usr/share/backgrounds/ tiles or other directory. I usually turn on the AutoHide feature and turn off the Hide buttons. Using AutoHide gives you more desktop space to work with. When you move your mouse to the edge where the panel is, the panel pops up — so you don’t need Hide buttons. Using the Nautilus File Manager At one time, file managers did little more than let you run applications, create data files, and open folders. These days, as the information a user needs expands beyond the local system, file managers are expected to also display Web pages, access FTP sites, and play multimedia content. The Nautilus file manager, which is the default GNOME file manager, is an example of just such a file manager. When you open the Nautilus file manager window (for example, by opening the Home icon or other folder on your desktop), you see the name of the location you are viewing (such as the folder name) and what that location contains (files, folders, and applications). Double-click a folder to open that folder in a new window. Select your folder name in the lower-left corner of the window to see the file system hierarchy above the current folder. GNOME remembers whatever size, location, and other setting you had for the folder the last time you closed it and returns it to that state the next time you open it. To see more controls, right-click a folder and select Browse Folder to open it. Icons on the toolbar of the Nautilus window let you move forward and back among the directories and Web sites you visit. To TIP 73675c03.indd 64 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM65 Getting into the Desktop 3 move up the directory structure, click the up arrow. If you prefer to type the path to the folder you want, instead of clicking icons, you can toggle between button-based and text-based location bars (click the paper and pencil icon next to the location buttons to change the view). Figure 3-11 is an example of the file manager window displaying the home directory of a user named chris in browse mode. FIGURE 3-11 The Nautilus file manager enables you to move around the file system, open directories, launch applications, and open Samba folders. To refresh the view of the folder, click the Reload button. The Home button takes you to your home page, and the Computer button lets you see the same type of information you would see from a My Computer icon on a Windows system (CD drive, floppy drive, hard disk file systems, and network folders). Icons in Nautilus often indicate the type of data that a particular file contains. The contents or file extension of each file can determine which application is used to work with the file, or you can right-click an icon to open the file it represents with a particular application or viewer. Here are some of the more interesting features of Nautilus: ■ Sidebar — From the Browse Folder view described previously, select View ➪ Side Pane to have a sidebar appear in the left column of the screen. From the sidebar, you can click a pull-down menu that represents different types of information you can select one at a time. The Tree tab, for example, shows a tree view of the directory structure, so you can easily traverse your directories. The Notes tab lets you add notes that become associated with the current Directory or Web page, and the History tab displays a history of directories you have visited, enabling you to click those items to return to the sites they represent. There 73675c03.indd 65 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM66 Part II Running a Linux Desktop is also an Emblems tab that lets you drag-and-drop emblems on files or folders to indicate something about the file or folder (emblems include icons representing drafts, urgent, bug, and multimedia). ■ Windows file and printer sharing — If your computer is connected to a LAN on which Windows computers are sharing files and printers, you can view those resources from Nautilus. Type smb: in the Open Location box (select File ➪ Open Location to get there) to see available workgroups. Click a workgroup to see computers from that workgroup that are sharing files and printers. Figure 3-12 shows an example of a local Nautilus window displaying icons representing folders shared from a Window computer named bluestreak that is accessible on the local LAN. The shared folder from that computer is named My Doc Blue. FIGURE 3-12 Display shared Windows file and printer servers (SMB) in Nautilus. ■ MIME types and file types — To handle different types of content that may be encountered in the Nautilus window, you can set applications to respond based on MIME type and file type. With a folder displayed, right-click a file for which you want to assign an application. Click either Open With an Application or Open With a Viewer. If no application or viewer has been assigned for the file type, click Associate Application to be able to select an application. From the Add File Types window, you can add an application based on the file extension and MIME type representing the file. ■ Drag-and-drop — You can use drag-and-drop within the Nautilus window, between the Nautilus and the desktop, or among multiple Nautilus windows. As other GNOMEcompliant applications become available, they are expected to also support the drag-anddrop feature. 73675c03.indd 66 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM67 Getting into the Desktop 3 If you would like more information on the Nautilus file manager, visit the GNOME Web site (www.gnome.org/nautilus). 3D Effects with AIGLX Several different initiatives have made strides in recent years to bring 3D desktop effects to Linux. openSUSE has the Xgl project (http://en.opensuse.org/Xgl), while Ubuntu and Fedora use AIGLX (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RenderingProject/aiglx). The goal of the Accelerated Indirect GLX project (AIGLX) is to add 3D effects to everyday desktop systems. It does this by implementing OpenGL (http://opengl.org) accelerated effects using the Mesa (www.mesa3d.org) open source OpenGL implementation. Currently, AIGLX supports a limited set of video cards and implements only a few 3D effects, but it does offer some insight into the eye candy that is in the works. Direct rendering infrastructure (DRI) is required for most video cards supporting AIGLX. However, some NVidia cards that don’t support DRI can be used, but they require that you get the closed source binary drivers made available from NVidia. Cards that are known to not work with AIGLX include ATI Rage 128 and Mach 64, Matrox G200 through G550, and 3DFX Voodoo 1 and 2. If your video card was properly detected and configured, you may be able to simply turn on the Desktop Effects feature to see the effects that have been implemented so far. To turn on Desktop Effects, select System ➪ Preferences ➪ Look and Feel ➪ Desktop Effects. When the Desktop Effects window appears, select Enable Desktop Effects. Enabling this does the following: ■ Stops the current window manager and starts the Compiz window manager. ■ Enables the Windows Wobble When Moved effect. With this effect on, when you grab the title bar of the window to move it, the window will wobble as it moves. Menus and other items that open on the desktop also wobble. ■ Enables the Workspaces on a Cube effect. Drag a window from the desktop to the right or the left, and the desktop will rotate like a cube, with each of your desktop workspaces appearing as a side of that cube. Drop the window on the workspace where you want it to go. You can also click the Workspace Switcher applet in the bottom panel to rotate the cube to display different workspaces. Other nice desktop effects result from using the Alt+Tab key combination to tab among different running windows. As you press Alt+Tab, a thumbnail of each window scrolls across the screen and the window it represents is highlighted. Figure 3-13 shows an example of a Compiz desktop with AIGLX enabled. The figure illustrates a file manager window being moved from one workspace to another as those workspaces rotate on a cube. 73675c03.indd 67 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM68 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 3-13 Rotate workspaces on a cube with AIGLX desktop effects enabled. The following are some interesting effects you can get with your 3D AIGLX desktop: ■ Spin cube — Hold down the Ctrl+Alt keys and press the right or left arrow key. The desktop cube spins to each successive workspace (forward or back). ■ Slowly rotate cube — Hold down the Ctrl+Alt keys, press and hold down the left mouse button, and move the cursor around on the screen. The cube will move slowly with the cursor among the workspaces. ■ Tab through windows — Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key. You will see reduced versions of all your windows on a strip in the middle of your screen, with the current window highlighted in the middle. Still holding down the Alt key, press Tab or Shift+Tab to move forward or back through the windows. Release the keys when the window you want is highlighted. ■ Scale and separate windows — If your desktop is cluttered, hold down Ctrl+Alt and press the up arrow key. Windows will shrink down and separate on the desktop. Still holding down Ctrl+Alt, use your arrow keys to highlight the window you want and release the keys to have that window come to the surface. 73675c03.indd 68 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM69 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ Scale and separate workspaces — Hold down Ctrl+Alt and press the down arrow key to see reduced images of the workspace shown on a strip. Still holding down Ctrl+Alt, use the right and left arrow keys to move among the different workspaces. Release the keys when the workspace you want is highlighted. ■ Send the current window to the next workspace — Hold down the Ctrl +Alt+Shift keys together and press the left or right arrow key. The current window will move to the next workspace to the left or right, respectively. ■ Slide windows around — Press and hold down the left mouse button, and then press the left, right, up, or down arrow key to slide the current window around on the screen. If you get tired of wobbling windows and spinning cubes, you can easily turn off the AIGLX 3D effects and return Metacity as the window manager. Select System ➪ Preferences ➪ Desktop Effects again and toggle off the Enable Desktop Effects button to turn off the feature. If you have a supported video card, but find that you are not able to turn on the Desktop Effects, check that your X server started properly. In particular, make sure that your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file is properly configured. Make sure that dri and glx are loaded in the Module section. Also, add an extensions section anywhere in the file (typically at the end of the file) that appears as follows: Section “extensions” Option “Composite” EndSection Another option is to add the following line to the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in the Device section: Option “XAANoOffscreenPixmaps” The XAANoOffscreenPixmaps option will improve performance. Check your /var/log/Xorg.log file to make sure that DRI and AIGLX features were started correctly. The messages in that file can help you debug other problems as well. Changing GNOME Preferences There are many ways to change the behavior, look, and feel of your GNOME desktop. Most GNOME preferences can be modified from submenus on the Preferences menu (select System ➪ Preferences). Unlike earlier versions of GNOME, boundaries between preferences related to the window manager (Metacity), file manager (Nautilus), and the GNOME desktop itself have been blurred. Preferences for all of these features are available from the Preferences menu. The following items highlight some of the preferences you might want to change: ■ Accessibility — If you have difficulty operating a mouse or keyboard or seeing the screen, the Assistive Technologies window lets you adapt mouse and keyboard settings to make it easier for you to operate your computer. It also lets you magnify selected applications. (Select System ➪ Preferences ➪ Personal ➪ Assistive Technologies to open the Assistive Technologies window.) 73675c03.indd 69 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM70 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Desktop Background — You can choose a solid color or an image to use as wallpaper. Select System ➪ Preferences ➪ Look and Feel ➪ Appearance and then the Background tab. If you choose to use a solid color (by selecting No Wallpaper), click the Color box, select a color from the palette, and click OK. To use wallpaper for your background, open the folder containing the image you want to use, and then drag the image into the Desktop Wallpaper pane on the Desktop Preferences window. You can choose from a variety of images in the /usr/share/nautilus/patterns and /usr/share/backgrounds/tiles directories. Then choose to have the wallpaper image tiled (repeated pattern), centered, scaled (in proportion), or stretched (using any proportion to fill the screen). ■ Screensaver — Choose from dozens of screen savers from the Screensaver window. Select System ➪ Preferences ➪ Look and Feel ➪ Screensaver. Choose Random to have your screen saver chosen randomly from available screen savers, or select one that you like from the list to use all the time. Next, choose how long your screen must be idle before the screen saver starts (the default is 10 minutes). You can also choose to lock the screen when the screen saver is active, so a password is required to return to the desktop. If you see only a few screen savers, you might want to install the xscreensaver-extras and xscreensaver-glextras packages to get a bunch more. ■ Theme — Choose an entire theme of elements to be used on your desktop, if you like. From the Appearance window, select the Theme tab. A desktop theme affects not only the background but also the way that many buttons and menu selections appear. Only a few themes are available for the window manager (Metacity) in the Fedora distribution, but you can get a bunch of other themes from themes.freshmeat.net (click Metacity). To modify a theme, select the Customize button and then click the Controls tab to choose the type of controls that you want to use on your desktop. Click the Window Border tab to select from different themes that change the title bar and other borders of your windows. Click the Icons tab to choose different icons to represent items on your desktop. Themes change immediately as you click or when you drag a theme name on the desktop. Exiting GNOME When you are done with your work, you can either log out from your current session or shut down your computer completely. To exit from GNOME, do the following: 1. Click the System button from the panel. 2. Select Log Out from the menu. A pop-up window appears, asking if you want to Log Out. Some versions will also ask if you want to Shut Down or Restart the computer. 3. Select Log Out from the pop-up menu. This logs you out and returns you to either the graphical login screen or to your shell login prompt. (If you select Shut Down, the system shuts down, and if you select Reboot, the system restarts.) 4. Click OK to finish exiting from GNOME. 73675c03.indd 70 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM71 Getting into the Desktop 3 If you are unable to get to the Log Out button (if, for example, your panel crashed), there are two other exit methods. Try one of these ways, depending on how you started the desktop: ■ If you started the desktop from the graphical display manager or by typing startx from your login shell, press Ctrl+Backspace to end your GNOME session. ■ If your screen is completely unresponsive (the mouse and keyboard aren’t working), you might have to reboot your computer. If possible, log in to the computer over the network and type init 6 (as the root user) to reboot. Although these are not the most graceful ways to exit the desktop, they work. You should be able to log in again and restart the desktop. Configuring a GNOME Online Desktop The GNOME Online Desktop project (http://live.gnome.org/OnlineDesktop) represents a new way of approaching desktop computing. It acknowledges that peoples’ stuff (documents, digital images, videos, and so on) and activities (searches, blogging, e-mail, instant messaging, news feeds, and so on) are moving from the local hard disk to the Internet. The first experimental release of the GNOME Online Desktop was distributed near the end of 2007. However, because it is part of the GNOME project, many major Linux distributions now offer it. Although it is still experimental, GNOME Online Desktop offers an interesting new way to work with your online accounts. The centerpiece of the GNOME Online Desktop project is the sidebar referred to as BigBoard (http://live.gnome.org/BigBoard). From BigBoard, you consolidate icons and menus to connect to your online photo services (such as Flickr), retail accounts (such as Amazon), movie rentals (such as Netflix), and others. It also keeps track of the files and applications you use locally. The settings that drive your personal Online Desktop are themselves stored online. A GNOME.org account can store information about your desktop applications. A Mugshot (http://mugshot.org) account lets you tie together connections to your online friends and activities. The information is downloaded to your desktop when you log in to the Online Desktop. That allows the Online Desktop concept to move away from a single computer, so you someday can have your whole desktop setup available from any computer with an Internet connection. To get started with Online Desktop, install the online-desktop package. Then return to the login screen and select Session ➪ Online Desktop from the login screen and log in. Create a user account at GNOME.org and Mugshot.org. Then configure your Mugshot account to connect to your accounts at popular sites such as Amazon.com, Flickr.com, Netflix.com, and others. 73675c03.indd 71 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM72 Part II Running a Linux Desktop From your Online Desktop sidebar, log in to your Mugshot account. Your Online Desktop sidebar will become populated with your configured online accounts, popular applications, links to friends’ accounts, and other items. Figure 3-14 shows an example of an Online Desktop in Fedora. FIGURE 3-14 Use Online Desktop and Mugshot to connect to online services and friends. Small icons beneath your user name represent the configured online services. A search box lets you select from a half dozen different search engines. Popular applications and files you have opened recently appear on the sidebar. You can also see your Google calendar and the people you have invited to be your friends. Mugshot provides the site for configuring many Online Desktop features. You can see the same information from your Mugshot site that appears on your Online Desktop. The Mugshot icon in the bottom panel displays stacks of activities for you and your other Mugshot friends. 73675c03.indd 72 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM73 Getting into the Desktop 3 Because Online Desktop is still under development, expect to have many more features and services available by the time you read this text. In particular, work is being done to integrate online applications, so you will be able to work with Web applications to use your documents, spreadsheets, and other important information. Configuring Your Own Desktop Today’s modern desktop computer systems are made to spoon-feed you your operating system. In the name of ease of use, some desktop environments spend a lot of resources on fancy panels, complex control centers, and busy applets. In short, they can become bloated. Many technically inclined people want a more streamlined desktop — or at least want to choose their own bells and whistles. They don’t want to have to wait for windows to redraw or menus to come up. Linux enables those people to forget the complete desktop environments and configure: ■ X — The X Window System provides the framework of choice for Linux and most UNIX systems. When you configure X yourself, you can choose the video driver, monitor settings, mouse configuration, and other basic features needed to get your display working properly. ■ Window manager — Dozens of window managers are available to use with X on a Linux system. Window managers add borders and buttons to otherwise bare X windows. They add colors and graphics to backgrounds, menus, and windows. Window managers also define how you can use keyboard and mouse combinations to operate your desktop. You need to configure X directly only if your desktop isn’t working (the desktop may appear scrambled or may just plain crash). You may choose to configure X if you want to tune it to give you higher resolutions or more colors than you get by default. Still to come in this chapter: examining tools for tuning X and, in particular, working with the xorg.conf file. You’ll also explore a few popular window managers that you might want to try out. Slackware Linux is used to illustrate how to choose and configure a window manager because Slackware users tend to like simple, direct ways of working with the desktop (when they need a desktop at all). Configuring X Before 2004, most Linux distributions used the X server from the XFree86 project (www.xfree86.org). Because of licensing issues, many of the major Linux vendors (including Red Hat, SUSE, and Slackware) changed to the X server from X.Org (www.X.org). The descriptions of how to get X going on your machine assume you are using the X.Org X server. To determine which X server is installed on your system, from a Terminal window type man Xorg and man XFree86. If you have only one X server installed on your computer (which you probably do), only the one installed will show a man page. While you are there, press the spacebar to page through the features of your X server. NOTE 73675c03.indd 73 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM74 Part II Running a Linux Desktop If you are able to start a desktop successfully and your mouse, keyboard, and screen all seem to be behaving, you may not have to do anything more to configure X. However, if you can’t start the desktop or you want to adjust some basic features (such as the screen resolution or number of colors supported), the following sections offer some ideas on how to go about doing those things. Creating a Working X Configuration File If your desktop crashes immediately or shows only garbled text, try to create a new X configuration file. With the X.Org X server, that file is /etc/X11/xorg.conf. In XFree86, the confi guration fi le, which has basically the same format, is /etc/X11/XF86Config. To have X try to create a working xorg.conf file for you to use, do the following from a Terminal window as root user: 1. If Linux booted to a command prompt, go to the next step. However, if it tried to start X automatically, you might have an illegible screen. In that case, press these keys together: Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. It should kill your X server and get you back to a command prompt. If X tries to restart (and is still messed up), press Ctrl+Alt+F2. When you see the command prompt, log in as root and type init 3. This will temporarily bring you down to a nongraphical state. 2. To have X probe your video hardware and create a new configuration file, type: # Xorg -configure 3. The file x.org.conf.new should appear in your home directory. To test if this new configuration file works, type the following to start the X server: # X -xf86config /root/xorg.conf.new A gray background with an X in the middle should appear. Move the mouse to move the X pointer. If that succeeds, you have a working xorg.conf file to use. 4. Press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to exit the X server. 5. Copy the new configuration file to where it is picked up the next time X starts. # cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf Chances are that you have a very basic X configuration that you may want to tune further. Getting New X Drivers Working video drivers in Linux are available with most video cards you can purchase today. However, to get some advanced features from your video cards (such as 3D acceleration) you may need to get proprietary drivers directly from the video manufacturers. In particular, you may want to get drivers from NVidia and ATI. NOTE 73675c03.indd 74 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM75 Getting into the Desktop 3 For Ubuntu, Fedora, and many other major Linux distributions, NVidia and ATI drivers have been packaged for the particular kernel you are running. Because these drivers are not open source, however, you typically have to enable third-party or non-free software repositories to get them to work. If your Linux system doesn’t have such repositories available, to get new drivers for video cards or chipsets from NVidia, go to the NVidia site (www.nvidia.com) and click the Download Drivers button. Follow the link to Linux and FreeBSD drivers. Links from the page that appears will take you to a Web page from which you can download the new driver and get instructions for installing it. For ATI video cards and chipsets, go to www.ati.com and select Drivers & Software. Follow the links to Linux drivers and related installation instructions. Tuning Up Your X Configuration File The xorg.conf file might look a bit complicated when you first start working with it. However, chances are that you will need to change only a few key elements in it. As root user, open the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in any text editor. Here are some things you can look for: ■ Mouse — Look for an InputDevice section with a Mouse0 or Mouse1 identifier. That section for a simple two-button, PS2 mouse might look as follows: Section “InputDevice” Identifier “Mouse0” Driver “mouse” Option “Protocol” “PS/2” Option “Device” “/dev/psaux” EndSection If you are unable to use some feature of the mouse, such as a middle wheel, you might be able to get it working with an entry that looks more like the following: Section “InputDevice” Identifier “Mouse0” Driver “mouse” Option “Protocol” “IMPS/2” Option “Device” “/dev/psaux” Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5” EndSection Don’t change the mouse identifier, but you can change the protocol and add the ZAxisMapping line to enable your wheel mouse. Try restarting X and trying your mouse wheel on something like a Web page to see if you can scroll up and down with it. Your mouse might be connected in a different way (such as a bus or serial mouse) or may have different buttons to enable. Tools for configuring your mouse are distribution-specific. Try mouseconfig, mouseadmin, or system-config-mouse to reconfigure your mouse from the command line. 73675c03.indd 75 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM76 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Monitor — The Monitor section defines attributes of your monitor. There are generic settings you can use if you don’t exactly know the model of your monitor. Changing the Horizontal Sync and Vertical Refresh rates without checking your monitor’s technical specifications is not recommended; you could damage the monitor. Here’s an example of an entry that will work on many LCD panels: Section “Monitor” Identifier “Monitor0” VendorName “Monitor Vendor” ModelName “LCD Panel 1024×768” HorizSync 31.5 – 48.5 VertRefresh 40.0 – 70.0 EndSection Here’s an entry for a generic CRT monitor that will work on many CRTs: Section “Monitor” Identifier “Monitor0” VendorName “Monitor Vendor” ModelName “Generic Monitor, 1280×1024 @ 74 Hz” HorizSync 31.5 – 79.0 VertRefresh 50.0 – 90.0 EndSection If a tool is available to select your monitor model directly, that would be the best way to go. For example, in Red Hat systems, you would run system-config-xfree86 to change monitor settings. ■ Video device — The Device section is where you identify the driver to use with your video device and any options to use with it. It is important to get this section right. The Xorg command described earlier usually does a good job detecting the driver. If you want to change to a different one, this is where to do so. Here’s an example of the Device section after I added a video driver from NVIDIA to my system (the driver name is nv): Section “Device” Identifier “Card0” Driver “nv” VendorName “nVidia Corporation” BoardName “Unknown Board” BusID “PCI:1:0:0” EndSection ■ Screen resolution — The last major piece of information you may want to add is the screen resolution and color depth. There will be a screen resolution associated with each video card installed on your computer. The Screen section defines default color depths (such as 8, 16, or 24) and modes (such as 1024 × 768, 800 × 600, or 640 × 480). Set the DefaultDepth to the number of bits representing color depth for your system, and then add a Modes line to set the screen resolution. 73675c03.indd 76 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM77 Getting into the Desktop 3 To read more about how to set options in your xorg.conf file, type man xorg.conf. If your X server is XFree86, type man XF86Config. Choosing a Window Manager Fully integrated desktop environments have become somewhat unfriendly to changing out window managers. However, you can completely bypass KDE or GNOME, if you like, and start your desktop simply with X and a window manager of your choice. Although I’m using Slackware as the reference distribution for describing how to change window managers, the concept is the same on other Linux systems. In general, if no desktop environment is running in Linux, you can start it by typing the following: $ startx This command starts up your desktop environment or window manager, depending on how your system is configured. Although a variety of configuration files are read and commands are run, essentially which desktop you get depends on the contents of two files: ■ /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc — If a user doesn’t specifically request a particular desktop environment or window manager, the default desktop settings will come from the contents of this file. The xinitrc file is the system-wide X configuration file. Different Linux systems use different xinitrc files. ■ $HOME/.xinitrc — The .xinitrc file is used to let individual users set up their own desktop startup information. Any user can add a .xinitrc file to his or her own home directory. The result is that the contents of that file will override any system-wide settings. If you do create your own .xinitrc file, it should have as its last line exec windowmanager, where windowmanager is the name of your window manager; for example: exec /usr/bin/blackbox Slackware has at least seven different window managers from which you can choose, making it a good place to try out a few. It also includes a tool called xwmconfig, which lets you change the window manager system-wide (in the /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc file). To use that tool, as the root user simply type xwmconfig from any shell on a Slackware system. Select the window manager you want to try from that screen and select OK. That window manager will start the next time you run startx (provided you don’t override it by creating your own .xinitrc file). Here are your choices: ■ Xfce (www.xfce.org) — The Xfce window manager is designed to be lightweight and fast. Xfce is very popular for running Linux on inexpensive PCs, such as the ASUS EeePC. Figure 3-15 shows an example of an Xfce desktop in Fedora. 73675c03.indd 77 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM78 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 3-15 Xfce offers many powerful features in an efficient desktop. ■ Blackbox (http://blackboxwm.sourceforge.net) — Another lightweight window manager that strives to require few library dependencies so it can run in many environments. It offers many features for setting colors and styles. ■ FluxBox (http://fluxbox.sourceforge.net) — Based on Blackbox (0.61.1), FluxBox adds nice features such as window tabs (where you can join together multiple windows so they appear as multiple tabs on a single window). It also includes an icon bar and adds some useful mouse features (such as using your mouse wheel to change workspaces). ■ Window Maker (www.windowmaker.info) — Window Maker is a clone of the NEXTSTEP graphical interface, a popular UNIX workstation of the 1980s and 1990s. It is a particularly attractive window manager, with support for themes, various window decorations, and features for changing backgrounds and animations, and adding applets (called docapps). 73675c03.indd 78 11/25/08 6:53:16 PM79 Getting into the Desktop 3 ■ FVWM (www.fvwm.org) — This window manager supports full internationalization, window manager hints, and improved font features. Interesting features include window shading in all directions (even diagonal) and side titles (including text displayed vertically). ■ FVWM-95 (http://fvwm95.sourceforge.net) — A version of FVWM that was created to look and feel like Windows 95. ■ Twm (Tabbed Window Manager) — Although no longer actively maintained, some people still use twm when they want a truly bare-bones desktop. Until you click the left mouse button in twm, there’s nothing on the screen. Use the menu that pops up to open and close windows. Many other window managers are available for Linux as well. To check out some more, visit the Xwinman Web site (http://xwinman.org). Once the system default is set for your window manager, users can set their own window manager to override that decision. The following section describes how to do that. Choosing Your Personal Window Manager Simply adding an exec line with the name of the window manager you want to use to your own .xinitrc file in your home directory causes startx to start that window manager for you. Here is an example of the contents of a .xinitrc to start the Window Maker window manager: exec /usr/bin/wmaker Make sure that the file is executable (chmod 755 $HOME/.xinitrc). The Window Maker window manager should start the next time you start your desktop. Other window managers you can choose include Blackbox (/usr/X11R6/bin/blackbox), FluxBox (/usr/X11R6/bin/fluxbox), FVWM (/usr/X11R6/bin/fluxbox), FVWM-95 (/usr/X11R6/bin/fvwm95), and twm (/usr/X11R6/ bin/twm). Getting More Information If you tried configuring X and you still have a server that crashes or has a garbled display, your video card may either be unsupported or require special configuration. Here are a couple of locations you can check for further information: ■ X.Org (www.x.org) — The latest information about the X servers that come with Fedora is available from the X.Org Web site. X.Org is the freeware version of X recently used by many major Linux distributions to replace the XFree86 X server. ■ X documentation — README files specific to different types of video cards are delivered with the X.Org X server. Visit the X doc directory (/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/doc) for a README file specific to the type of video card (or more specifically, the video chipset) you are using. A lot of good information can also be found on the xorg.conf man page (type man xorg.conf). 73675c03.indd 79 11/25/08 6:53:17 PM80 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Summary Complete desktop environments that run in Linux can rival desktop systems from any operating system. KDE and GNOME are the most popular desktop environments available today for Linux. For people who want a sleeker, more lightweight desktop environment, a variety of simple window managers (Blackbox, Xfce, FVWM, twm, FluxBox, and many others) are available to use in Linux as well. The KDE desktop is well known for its large set of integrated applications (office productivity tools, games, multimedia, and other applications). The latest KDE offers a more efficient file manager called Dolphin and desktop applets called plasmoids. GNOME has the reputation of being a more basic, business-oriented desktop. Most Linux distributions such as Slackware and Gentoo offer GNOME and KDE desktops that aren’t changed much from how they are delivered from those desktop projects. Other Linux systems (such as Fedora) put their own look-and-feel over GNOME and KDE desktops. Although the latest Windows systems won’t run on many older 486 and Pentium machines, you can use an efficient Linux system such as Slackware, add a lightweight window manager, and get reasonably good performance with your desktop system on those machines.in this part 73675c03.indd 80 11/25/08 6:53:17 PM81 One of the most popular and enjoyable activities on a computer is playing audio and video. With improved multimedia players and tools for storing and managing content, Linux has become a great platform for storing, playing, and managing your music and video files. In this chapter, you learn to use the sound, video, digital imaging, and other multimedia tools available for Linux. You explore the process of configuring audio and video devices, and examine the kinds of media formats available for the Linux platform, how they work, and how to make the most of them by using the right applications. Linux is an excellent platform for taking advantage of widely used formats such as MPEG, AVI, OGG, and QuickTime. A wide variety of players are available for the various formats, and this chapter discusses several of them to help you determine which might be the right one (or combination) for your interests and/or needs. Because many devices holding multimedia content are removable (CDs, DVDs, digital cameras, Webcams, and so on), recent features in Linux to automatically handle removable hardware and media have greatly improved the Linux desktop experience. See the section on managing hardware in Chapter 3 for descriptions of how features such as Udev and HAL are used to manage removable media. Some Linux distributions are more multimedia-friendly right after the install than others. An example of this is Freespire, which comes pre-loaded and able to support Flash, Java, and MP3 content the minute the installation completes. This can save you a great deal of time trying to track down licensing issues and resolve problems. Features that are not included with the installation, such as DVD playback support, can be found at the Click-N-Run service (www.cnr.com). Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and even the defunct Linspire users can use Click-N-Run to get both free and commercial software. NOTE Playing Music and Video IN THIS CHAPTER Legal issues with digital media Using commercial content on Linux Playing, recording, and ripping music Setting up TV and audio cards Recording and ripping music Watching TV Videoconferencing Watching movies and videos Storing and displaying images from digital cameras 73675c04.indd 81 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM82 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Playing Digital Media and Obeying the Law Debate about just what an end user can legally do with digital media is a hot topic right now. What exactly can you do as far as making copies of your CDs, DVDs, and other media? Unfortunately, there is no really good answer. This issue affects just about every computer user, either directly or indirectly. How you are allowed to use the audio, video, and other media you keep on your computers is increasingly dictated by national and international law. There was a time when you could essentially disregard this issue, but in the era where individual computer users have been successfully sued by corporations and industry groups, a little more caution is required. Copyright Protection Issues The biggest factor in the new world of digital media policy is the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law ostensibly establishes a framework for implementing several international treaties concerning copyright protection. The DMCA has been widely criticized because it seems to intrude on the free-speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Many people view computer code as a protected form of speech. A conflict arises because the DMCA forbids the development of applications that are designed to intentionally circumvent content security. For example, Dmitry Sklyarov, a Russian cryptographer employed by a Russian software company, ElcomSoft, was arrested by the FBI while attending a conference in Las Vegas because he demonstrated an application that could decrypt Adobe eBooks. A jury found Sklyarov and ElcomSoft not guilty in December 2002, but the point is that companies will use the DMCA to litigate against those who publicize methods to decrypt encrypted content. If nothing else, this event demonstrated that the DMCA has teeth. Unfortunately, these teeth have been used not only to protect legitimate commerce, but to pursue computer scientists at academic institutions researching content protection schemes, encryption, and a range of other technologies. Because the DMCA makes it a crime to manufacture and transport technology used to circumvent copyright protection schemes, many researchers have abandoned valuable research that could yield better (stronger and more useful) protection schemes or reveal critical flaws in existing ones. While DCMA has provided some clout for content providers to legitimately protect their material, such as persuading search engines to drop information about links to illegally posted and copyrighted information, there are times when that clout has been abused. Some copyright holders, it seems, are more than willing to use the DMCA to curtail three “rights” allowed under pre-DMCA copyright law. Copyright law stipulates: ■ Users can make a copy of any copyrighted work for academic purposes, reporting, or critique. This includes a wide range of uses, from students or instructors copying materials for research to someone creating a parody of published materials. But what about a student making a copy of some DVD materials for a multimedia presentation? The student has fairuse access to the material on the DVD, but the DMCA makes it illegal for the student to break the DVD encryption that would allow the student to copy the material. 73675c04.indd 82 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM83 Playing Music and Video 4 The fair-use rule is a privilege that permits someone other than the owner of the copyright to use the copyrighted material in a reasonable and limited manner without the owner’s consent. ■ Users can sell copyrighted works that they own. You can sell your books, DVDs, audio CDs, and other materials as long as you are not retaining a copy for yourself, or (of course) selling copies of the work without permission from the copyright holder. Some people arguing in favor of file trading with copyrighted materials claim that the DMCA infringes on their ability to “share” content they “own.” In fact, under existing copyright law they do not “own” the copyrighted material and certainly do not possess the rights to redistribute the content unless they are reselling it in an allowed manner. ■ Copyrights will expire at some time in the future and fall into the public domain. Basically, this point raises the same issue as with the first item: Your DVD movie falls into the public domain (eventually), but to freely copy the content you must again circumvent the protection inherent on the DVD, and by doing so, you run afoul of the DMCA. It is important to realize the DMCA is very vague about how it defines many of the acts that are illegal. What is a “protection scheme”? Some argue that it could be nearly anything. Many pundits fear that the DMCA can be used to curtail the use of nondigital copyrighted works such as books because the law is so vague in defining its own borders. While the courts are trying to clarify where the legal line is in any particular situation, the problem is that, often, the company suing to protect its copyrights is a large corporation or group and the defendant is either a new small company or even an individual user. Court battles are expensive, and the broad scope of the DMCA essentially prevents “the little guy” from ever making his case, because he cannot afford to fight. In 1998 a law known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, or CTEA, was passed. This act took the already lengthy copyright protection period (generally 70 years) and extended it by another 20 years, preventing several valuable properties, including fi lm and images of Steamboat Willie (the fi rst Mickey Mouse), from entering the public domain. From a practical standpoint, what does all this mean to you as a Linux user? Well, it means that if you have to use any trickery to copy MP3s off your CD collection, you could be breaking the law. Several CD protection schemes used by record companies are designed to prevent digital piracy, but they are very easy to circumvent in many cases. But should you get caught making MP3s off a protected CD, you can be sued and/or arrested (hypothetically speaking). It is quite possible that some of the security on CDs is intentionally weak. It saves development costs and allows the copyright holder to pursue anyone who has ripped the CD because there is no legal means of doing so. But that is just speculation. Relatively few audio CDs come with protection of any kind, particularly those CDs already owned by the world’s audiophiles. If you make fair-use copies of materials you own for your own use, you’re not likely to have to worry about anything. If you should decide to transport copyrighted works in NOTE NOTE 73675c04.indd 83 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM84 Part II Running a Linux Desktop a public forum (peer-to-peer networks for example), you are rolling the dice. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) have both successfully located and sued users — including children — distributing content illegally online. One attempt to allow sharing, remixing, and reusing legally is the Creative Commons Project. As of this writing, the project is seven years old and thousands of items are posted. You can fi nd more information at http://creativecommons.org/. Two sites worth exploring are Jamendo (www.jamendo.com/en/) and Magnatune (www.magnatune .com). Both are libraries offering free access to music. Jamendo focuses on free distribution of music to help musicians grow their audiences. Magnatune helps musicians by licensing their music to those who would like to use it in commercial ventures (such as fi lms, commercials, Web sites, and so on), while still allowing the musicians to maintain rights to their music. Exploring Codecs If you want to play a video or audio file, you need the appropriate codec installed and ready for use by your media player. A codec is a software-based encoder-decoder used to take existing digital audio/video data and decode the content. Often, codecs use compression technology to reduce the size of the data files while retaining the quality of the output. If you encounter a media file that you know is a working, playable file and you cannot play the file, you might need to identify and install the proper codec. This often involves installing the proper playback application, such as DivX 5.0.5 for Linux, which installs the MPEG4 codec for video and audio playback. There are many codecs available, so finding the ones you need is usually not difficult. Advances in codec technology have continued to increase the quality of the encoded content, while reducing file size. Fortunately most widely distributed videos and audio files (from news sites, for example) are created using a few commonly used codecs. While there are some commonly used encoding standards, there are also a slew of proprietary codecs in use today as well. This is really a battleground of sorts with each vendor/developer trying to produce the superior standard and obtain the spoils of market share that can follow. For the end user, this means you might have to spend time chasing a variety of playback utilities to handle multiple video and audio formats. Another debate: Can digital media match the quality of analog formats? This hardly seems much of a question anymore because DVD has shown the potential for high-quality digital video, and MPEG codecs have made huge strides in digital audio fidelity. The quality of digital media files is very high and getting better all the time. Some of the key technologies that reflect improvements in how audio and video codecs have improved include: ■ Ogg Vorbis — This audio codec has been developed as a freely available tool — no patents or licensing needed. Ogg is the “data container” portion of the codec, and Vorbis is the audio compression scheme. There are other compression schemes that can be used with Ogg such as Ogg FLAC, which is used for archiving audio in a lossless format, and Ogg Speex, which is used specifically to handle encoding speech. NOTE 73675c04.indd 84 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM85 Playing Music and Video 4 ■ WMA — Windows Media Audio is used to create high-quality digital audio. WMA is considered a lossless codec, which means the audio doesn’t lose quality or data as a result of repeated compression-decompression cycles. Among its other benefits is that it’s one of the first widely used codecs to support digital surround sound. ■ WMV — Windows Media Video is used, not surprisingly, to encode and decode video. This is also a very high-quality encoder and is billed to produce a video that is half the size of an MPEG-4 encoded video at a comparable quality level. ■ DivX — This video codec has revolutionized digital video. Extremely high-quality video can be stored with amazingly small file sizes when using this codec. DivX (Digital Video Express) is based on the MPEG-4 video standard and can produce 640 × 480 video that is about 15 percent of the size of the source DVD material. Some of these codecs are integral parts of Digital Rights Management (DRM) scenarios. For example, WMA, WMV, and DivX have elements that support DRM. DRM is basically proprietary copy protection. The term “DRM” applies to a wide range of technologies that use server-based activation, encryption, and other elements to control who can access content and what they can then do with the content once it has been accessed. While it is very attractive to distributors of audio and video, who are trying to prevent unchecked digital piracy of their content, it can be a real stumbling block for the consumer. Many DRM solutions require proprietary software and even hardware to work with the protected content. A prime example is the recent production of some DRM-protected audio CDs, particularly in Europe. Some of these disks will not play in older standalone CD players, some will play only on a computer that supports the DRM application on the CD itself, and (especially frustrating) some will not play on a computer at all. In almost all cases, such DRM solutions do not support Linux. Most support only Windows, and a few support Windows and Mac OS X. Just to make things clear, while the codecs just discussed do not include built-in DRM features, some codecs are specifically designed to integrate with DRM solutions. In other words, all of these codecs can theoretically be used to play encoded content on a Linux system. If the content is protected by a DRM solution, the likelihood that the content is playable on a Linux system is fairly remote. Despite this fact, or perhaps because of it, Linus Torvalds has not excluded the possibility of including support for DRM in Linux. Likewise, several open source projects are working on Linux DRM solutions. Playing Music With an understanding of the challenges and advances in digital media under your belt, let’s move on to actually putting digital media to use. This section shows you how to set up your Linux installation for audio playback. It examines the process for getting the hardware up and running and then explores available software options for audio playback. 73675c04.indd 85 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM86 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Using Sound Systems in Linux Several different sound systems have been used to bring audio to your Linux desktop in the past few years. Although sound systems mostly work in the background, the sound system running in Linux can impact the sound mixers and applications you can use. Here is some information related to sound support you might run into when you use Linux: ■ Open Sound System (www.opensound.com) — Open Sound System (OSS) was the first sound system for Linux and other UNIX systems to unify the sound drivers and sound application interfaces under one framework. Although it is still available for Linux, most Linux distributions no longer distribute OSS because it is now proprietary (it is owned by 4Front Technologies: www.4front-tech.com). As an individual, you can still get OSS for Linux (www.4front-tech.com/download.cgi), but most Linux users just use the ALSA or PulseAudio system that comes with your Linux distribution. Audio applications written for OSS work with both ALSA and PulseAudio sound systems. ■ Advanced Linux Sound System (www.alsa-project.org) — Most Linux systems replaced OSS with the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) system for their sound driver and sound interface needs. ALSA also does a good job configuring sound drivers and handling multiple sound devices. ALSA works with both KDE and GNOME desktop systems. Recently, several major Linux distributions have switched to PulseAudio as their default sound system, while still supporting ALSA applications. ■ PulseAudio (www.pulseaudio.org) — Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, and other Linux distributions have recently replaced their ALSA sound systems with PulseAudio. Besides adding some features for controlling volume for multiple sound applications and directing audio to PulseAudio servers on other systems, the PulseAudio server will work with many ALSA, aRTS, and ESD applications using plug-ins. ■ KDE sound systems — With KDE 4, the default KDE sound system changed from the analog Real time synthesizer (aRts) to Phonon (http://phonon.kde.org). Although Phonon does consolidate end-user tools for controlling audio, its primary goal is to provide software developers with a multimedia application programming interface that encompasses both audio and video features. ■ GNOME sound systems — GNOME supports the Enlightened Sound Daemon (ESD) as its sound server. ESD relies on the GStreamer (www.gstreamer.net) framework to handle the actual encoding and decoding of multimedia content. You can purchase legal audio and video codecs from a company called Fluendo (www.fluendo.com) that work with the GStreamer framework. Because at least three of the major Linux distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva) have moved to PulseAudio as their default sound server, the next section focuses on how to use PulseAudio sound tools from your Linux desktop. Adjusting Sound with PulseAudio If your Linux desktop has integrated PulseAudio properly, you should be able to use it to work with most sound applications written for Linux. That means that you can not only play lots of audio 73675c04.indd 86 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM87 Playing Music and Video 4 applications from your desktop, but you can also separately control the volume for each application using the PulseAudio Volume Control. For example, from the Fedora GNOME desktop, select Applications ➪ Sound & Video ➪ PulseAudio Volume Control. A window similar to the one shown in Figure 4-1 appears. FIGURE 4-1 Control volume levels for multiple audio players with PulseAudio. As audio applications are started, they appear in the Playback tab on the PulseAudio Volume Control window. As an example, for Figure 4-1, I opened Rhythmbox to play some music in the background (I moved the sliders to lower the volume), and then opened an XMMS audio player to play a streaming audio lecture, which also showed up on the volume control. If you have multiple audio input and output devices, you can configure volume levels from those devices individually, using the Input Devices and Output Devices tabs. By right-clicking your mouse on an input or output device, you can make that your default audio device. Most of the work to configure the plug-ins and devices needed to get your Linux audio applications working should have be set up automatically when you installed your Linux system. However, if you are not able to play some audio application, refer to the PulseAudio Perfect Setup page (www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/PerfectSetup). It describes how to configure dozens of GNOME, KDE, OSS, ESOUND, GStreamer, Flash, and other sound applications to work with PulseAudio. If you are using a Linux system that doesn’t have PulseAudio installed, there are other applications you can use to adjust audio levels. The aumix command has a simple way to adjust audio, using command options or a screen-oriented menu. The alsamixer command lets you adjust audio levels for ALSA audio devices. NOTE 73675c04.indd 87 11/25/08 6:53:31 PM88 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Setting Up Audio Cards To start your “quadraphonic wall of sound,” you need to have a sound card in your PC. A sound card can be an add-in PCI (or even ISA) card, or it can be integrated on your motherboard. Your card will have a ton of uses — from gaming to audio/video playback. Having a multimedia system just isn’t the same without sound. Fortunately, most modern PCs include a sound card, often of the integrated variety. In the rare case that one isn’t included (or the slightly more common case where it isn’t supported in Linux), you can add a supported sound card starting for only a few dollars. If you’re really pinched, check out eBay, where you probably can get a decent SoundBlaster-compatible card (still the standard) for next to nothing. If you try the procedures in this book but still don’t have a working sound card, visit www.alsa-project.org, home of the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). Another good resource is the ALSA wiki (http://alsa.opensrc.org). The following list summarizes the basic features that are included in the popular SoundBlaster family of sound cards: ■ Sound recording and playback — The card can convert analog sound into 8-bit or 16-bit digital numbers. To convert the sound, the board samples the sound in waves from 5 KHz to 48 KHz, or 5,000 to 48,100 times per second. The higher the sampling rate, the better the sound and the larger the output files. ■ Full-duplex support — Full-duplex means that recording and playback occur at the same time. This is particularly useful for bidirectional Internet communication, such as VoiceOver-IP (VOIP) telephony or simultaneous recording and playback. ■ Input/output ports — Several different ports on the board enable you to connect other input/output devices. These ports include: ■ Line-In (blue) — Connects an external CD player, cassette deck, synthesizer, MiniDisc, or other device for recording or playback. If you have a television card, you might also patch that card’s line out to your sound card’s line in. ■ Microphone (red) — Connects a microphone for audio recording or communications. ■ Headphone/Line-Out/Speaker Out (green) — Connects speakers, headphones, or a stereo amplifier. (On sound cards I’ve tested, this is marked as Headphone in mixer utilities.) ■ Joystick/MIDI (15-pin connector) — Connects a joystick for gaming or MIDI devices. (Some sound cards no longer have these ports because they are now available from most motherboards.) ■ Digital out (orange) — A digital out connector can be used to connect a digital audio tape (DAT) device or CD recordable (CD-R) device. ■ Rear out (black) — Can be used to deliver audio output to powered speakers or an external amplifier. ■ Internal CD Audio — This internal port connects the sound card to your computer’s internal CD-ROM drive (this port isn’t exposed when the board is installed). NOTE 73675c04.indd 88 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM89 Playing Music and Video 4 Sound drivers provided in Linux come from many sources. Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) sound drivers are integrated into the 2.6 kernel. You may find older Open Sound System (OSS) drivers are useful if ALSA does not support your sound card. Commercial support for OSS drivers is available for a small cost from 4Front Technologies (www.opensound.com), which is the company that still maintains OSS. Before you install a separate sound driver distribution, check to see if your current distribution already has a recent driver. Using the driver that came with the kernel is always a safe bet if you are not experiencing a specifi c driver-related issue. At times, a sound application will ask you to identify the device from which to access sound on your system. With the introduction of the Udev feature in the 2.6 kernel, some of the device names are different from those used with the 2.4 kernel. The following are audio device nodes that may be of interest to you as you use sound in Linux: ■ /dev/audio, /dev/audio1 — Compatible with Sun workstation audio implementations (audio files with the .au extension). These devices are not recommended for new sound applications. ■ /dev/cdrom — Represents your first CD-ROM drive. /dev/cdrom is usually a symbolic link to the device node, such as /dev/hdc, that corresponds to your CD-ROM drive. Additional CD-ROM drives are located at /dev/cdrom1, /dev/cdrom2, and so on. ■ /dev/dsp, /dev/dsp1 — Digital sampling devices, which many audio applications identify to access your sound card. ■ /dev/mixer, /dev/mixer1 — Sound-mixing devices. ■ /dev/sequencer — Provides a low-level interface to MIDI, FM, and GUS. ■ /dev/midi00 — Provides raw access to MIDI ports, if they are available. For general information about sound in Linux, see the Sound-HOWTO (for tips about sound cards and general sound issues) and the Sound-Playing-HOWTO (for tips on software for playing different types of audio files). You can find Linux HOWTOs at www.tldp.org. Choosing an Audio CD Player Rhythmbox is the default CD player for many GNOME desktop systems. However, a variety of CD players come with Linux distributions or may be downloaded and installed. Here is a cross-section of choices for playing CDs with Linux: ■ Rhythmbox (rhythmbox) — Import and manage your CD collection with Rhythmbox music management and playback software for GNOME. It uses GStreamer on the audio back end and can rip and compress music using Ogg Vorbis or other audio formats. In addition to enabling you to create playlists of your music library, Rhythmbox also has features for playing Internet radio stations. Free music stores were added to Rhythmbox in recent releases, allowing you to play free music from Jamendo (www.jamendo.com/en/) and Magnatune (www.magnatune.com), and possibly purchase CDs or license use of that music for commercial projects. CAUTION CAUTION 73675c04.indd 89 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM90 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ KsCD player (kscd) — The KsCD player comes with the KDE desktop. To use it, the kdemultimedia package must be installed. From the main menu on the KDE desktop, select Multimedia ➪ KsCD (or type kscd in a Terminal window). This player lets you get title, track, and artist information from the CD database. KsCD also lets you submit information to a CD database (if your CD isn’t found there). ■ Grip (grip) — While Grip is primarily used as a CD ripper, it can also play CDs. Select Multimedia ➪ Grip (or type grip in a Terminal window). It includes tools for gathering data from and submitting data to CD databases. It also includes tools for copying (ripping) CD tracks and converting them to different formats (encoding). Naturally, the grip package must be installed to use this command. ■ Amarok (amarok) — With Amarok, you get a nice graphical interface where you can manage music by moving elements around with your mouse. Amarok uses SQLite (or other databases) to store your music. It also supports playlists and streaming audio playback from online radio stations. ■ X Multimedia System (xmms) — The XMMS player plays a variety of audio formats but can also play directly from a CD. Playing Music with the Rhythmbox Audio Player Rhythmbox provides the GNOME music player that lets you play music from a CD, local file system, or network location. Rhythmbox is built on the GStreamer framework for developing media players, video editors, and streaming media. You can play music files, import music from CDs, and play Internet radio stations, all from one interface. Recent additions let you play podcasts and free music from Magnatune and Jamendo online music services. Plug-ins for Rhythmbox let you display album covers, view lyrics, or show visual effects with the music. The first time you run Rhythmbox, consider setting some Rhythmbox Preferences by selecting Edit Preferences (see Figure 4-2). On the Music tab, you can tell Rhythmbox where you store your music files, and how Rhythmbox should organize and store your music (including how folders are named, songs are titled, and the format in which music is stored). After you’ve set up your preferences, you’ll see the main music library interface (see Figure 4-3). Rhythmbox makes it easy to organize even large collections of music files. If your distribution does not include support for MP3 playback with Rhythmbox, fear not — there is hope! In Fedora, you can use the Codeina feature to download free MP3 decoder support from Fluendo (www.fluendo.com). For Ubuntu, Freespire, and legacy Linspire Linux distributions, check out support in the Click-N-Run service (www.cnr.com). In addition to playing music fi les, Rhythmbox can easily rip CDs. Just insert the CD you want to rip, right-click the CD when it appears under the Devices heading in the left column, and click the Extract icon on the toolbar. The CD will be ripped and stored with your Rhythmbox music collection folder. NOTE 73675c04.indd 90 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM91 Playing Music and Video 4 FIGURE 4-2 Defining where you store your music FIGURE 4-3 Viewing a music library with Rhythmbox 73675c04.indd 91 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM92 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Rhythmbox can also play Internet radio stations and podcasts. Without adding more codecs, you can play Ogg Vorbis Internet radio audio streams. There are many more streams available in MP3 format, however. To add an Internet radio station to Rhythmbox, select Radio in the left column and click the New icon. Fill in the Title and Genre of the station. Then open the Details tab and type in the location of the stream (such as http://wknc.org:8000/wkncmq.ogg.m3u). Adding Podcasts can be done the same way. Select Podcasts in the left column and then select New. Type the URL for the podcast feed (for example, www.geeknewscentral.com/podcast.xml) into the pop-up that appears. To add an image to your podcast, just download an appropriate image to your computer and drag-and-drop it onto the lower-left corner of the Rhythmbox window while your Podcast is selected. Figure 4-4 shows Rhythmbox playing the Geek News Central podcast. FIGURE 4-4 Rhythmbox playing a podcast feed The site www.di.fm lists a number of free Internet radio channels. Playing Music with the XMMS Multimedia Player The XMMS (X Multimedia System) multimedia player provides a compact, graphical interface for playing music files in MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, and other audio formats. XMMS has some nice extras too, including an equalizer, a playlist editor, and the capability to add more audio plug-ins. One of its greatest attributes is that XMMS is easy to use. If the player looks familiar to you, that’s because it is styled after the Windows Winamp program. TIP 73675c04.indd 92 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM93 Playing Music and Video 4 To add XMMS to your Fedora system, type yum install xmms* as the root user. This will get you the player and some nice skins to use with it as well. To play MP3 audio with XMMS, you need to add the MPEG Layer 1/2/3 Player plug-in. In Fedora, you can get the xmms-mp3 package from the http://rpm.livna.org repository. Start the XMMS audio player by selecting Sound & Video ➪ Audio Player or by typing xmms from a Terminal window. Figure 4-5 shows the XMMS audio player with the associated equalizer (lower left) and the Playlist Editor (to the right). The skin that I selected for this figure (by right-clicking XMMS and selecting Options ➪ Skin Browser) is called UltrafinaSE. FIGURE 4-5 Play Ogg Vorbis and other audio files from the XMMS playlist. As noted earlier, you can play several audio file formats. Supported formats include: ■ MP3 (with an added plug-in) ■ Ogg Vorbis ■ WAV ■ AU ■ CD audio ■ CIN movies If XMMS is not able to fi nd a confi gured sound card, it redirects its output to the Disk Writer plug-in. This causes the fi les you play to be written to hard disk as WAV fi les. You can get many more audio plug-ins from www.xmms.org. The XMMS audio player can be used in the following way: 1. Obtain music files by ripping songs from a CD or copying them from the Web so that they are in an accessible directory, or by inserting a music CD in your CD-ROM drive. (XMMS expects the CD to be accessible from /dev/cdrom.) 2. From the Applications menu, select Sound & Video ➪ Audio Player. The X Multimedia System player appears. NOTE 73675c04.indd 93 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM94 Part II Running a Linux Desktop 3. Click the Eject button. The Load files window appears. 4. If you have inserted a CD, the contents of /mnt/cdrom appear in the Files pane. Select the files you want to add to your Playlist and click the Add Selected Files or the Add All Files in Directory button to add all songs from the current directory. To add audio files from your file system, browse your files and directories and click the same buttons to add the audio files you want. Select Close. 5. Click the Play List button (the tiny button marked PL) on the console. A Playlist Editor window appears. 6. Double-click the music file, and it starts to play. 7. With a file selected and playing, here are a few actions you can take: ■ Control play — Buttons for controlling play are what you would expect to see on a standalone CD player. From left to right, the buttons let you go to a previous track, play, pause, stop, go to the next track, and eject the CD. The eject button opens a window, enabling you to load the next file. ■ Adjust sound — Use the left slider bar to adjust the volume. Use the right slider bar to change the right-to-left balance. ■ Display time — Click in the elapsed time area to toggle between elapsed time and time remaining. ■ View file information — Click the button in the upper-left corner of the screen to see the XMMS menu. Then select View File Info. You can often find out a lot of information about the file: title, artist, album, comments, and genre. For an Ogg Vorbis file, you can see specific information about the file itself, such as the format, bit rate, sample rate, frames, file size, and more. You can change or add to the tag information and click Save to keep it. 8. When you are done playing music, click the Stop button to stop the current song. Then click the X in the upper-right corner of the display to close the window. Special features of the XMMS audio player let you adjust frequencies using a graphic equalizer and gather and play songs using a Playlist Editor. Click the button marked EQ next to the balance bar on the player to open the Equalizer. Using the Equalizer The Equalizer lets you use slider bars to set different levels to different frequencies played. Bars on the left adjust lower frequencies, and those on the right adjust higher frequencies. Click the EQ button to open the Equalizer window. Here are tasks you can perform with the Equalizer: ■ If you like the settings you have for a particular song, you can save them as a Preset. Set each frequency as you like it and click the Preset button. Then choose Save ➪ Preset. Type a name for the preset and click OK. ■ To reload a preset you created earlier, click the Preset button and select Load ➪ Preset. Select the preset you want and click OK. 73675c04.indd 94 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM95 Playing Music and Video 4 The small window in the center/top of the Equalizer shows the sound wave formed by your settings. You can adjust the Preamp bar on the left to boost different levels in the set range. Using the Playlist Editor The Playlist Editor lets you put together a list of audio files that you want to play. You can add and delete files from this list, save them to a file, and use them again later. Click the PL button in the XMMS window to open the Playlist Editor. The Playlist Editor enables you to: ■ Add files to the playlist — Click the Add button. The Load Files window appears. Select the directory containing your audio files (it’s useful to keep them all in one place) from the left column. Then either select a file from the right column and click Add Selected Files or click Add All Files in the Directory. Click OK. The selected files appear in the playlist. You can also add music files by dragging them from the Nautilus file manager onto the playlist window. ■ Select files to play — To select from the files in the playlist, use the previous track and next track buttons in the main XMMS window. The selected file is highlighted. Click the Play button to play that file. Alternatively, you can double-click any file in the playlist to start it playing. ■ Delete files from the playlist — To remove files from the playlist, select the file or files you want to remove (use the next track and previous track buttons), right-click the playlist window, and click Remove ➪ Selected. The selected files are removed. ■ Save the playlist — To save the current playlist, hold the right mouse button down on the List button and then select Playlist ➪ Save List from the pop-up menu. Browse to the directory you want, and then type the name you want to assign to the playlist and click OK. The filename should end with a .m3u extension, such as monkees_hits.m3u. ■ Load the playlist — To reload a saved playlist, click the List button. Select a playlist from the directory in which you saved it and click OK. There is also a tiny set of buttons on the bottom of the Playlist Editor screen. These are the same buttons as those on the main screen used for selecting different tracks or playing, pausing, stopping, or ejecting the current track. One of the most fun aspects to XMMS is that you can change the skin, or the look, of the user interface. XMMS skins allow you to see wildly different interfaces, even though the application remains the same. Not only can you control the look of XMMS, you can also use skins to adjust for any issues in the XMMS interface. For example, the current song in the playlist window may not be highlighted enough, especially if you have a high-resolution monitor. You can select a skin that provides better highlighting. You can also choose skins that make XMMS look like Winamp on Windows, or like the Mac OS X interface. 73675c04.indd 95 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM96 Part II Running a Linux Desktop You can select and download more XMMS skins from www.xmms.org/skins.php. In addition, XMMS supports Windows Winamp skins (files with a .wsz extension), so you can download those skins and see your favorite musician or animated characters for your music player. Just download and copy the skin to your /usr/share/xmms/Skins directory to add it to your skins list. Using MIDI Audio Players MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) files are created from synthesizers and other electronic music devices. They tend to be smaller than other kinds of audio files because instead of storing the complete sounds, they contain information about the notes played, tempo, and articulation. You can think of a MIDI file as electronic sheet music. The MIDI player reproduces the notes to sound like a huge variety of MIDI instruments. There are lots of sites on the Internet for downloading MIDI files. Try the Ifni MIDI Music site (www.ifnimidi.com), for example, which contains songs by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and others organized by album. Most of the MIDI music is pretty simple, but you can have some fun playing with it. Linux distributions that include the KDE desktop (such as Fedora) often come with the kmid MIDI player. Kmid provides a GUI interface for midi music, including the capability to display karaoke lyrics in real time. To start kmid in Fedora, select Sound & Video ➪ KMid (or type kmid & from a Terminal window). Performing Audio File Conversion and Compression There are many different formats for storing and compressing speech and music files. Because music files can be large, they are usually stored in a compressed format. While MP3 has been the compression format of choice, Ogg Vorbis is quickly becoming the favorite for compressing music in the open source community. Ogg Vorbis has the added benefit of not being encumbered by patents as MP3 is. Linux tools for converting and compressing audio files include: ■ SoX (Sound eXchange) — A general-purpose tool for converting audio files among a variety of formats. ■ oggenc — A tool for specifically converting music files to Ogg Vorbis format. Converting Audio Files with SoX If you have a sound file in one format, but you want it to be in another format, Linux offers some conversion tools. The SoX utility can translate to and from any of the audio formats listed in Table 4-1. Type sox -h to see the supported audio types, as well as supported options and effects. TIP 73675c04.indd 96 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM97 Playing Music and Video 4 TABLE 4-1 Sound Formats Supported by the SoX Utility File Extension or Pseudonym Description File Extension or Pseudonym Description .8svx 8SVX Amiga musical instrument description format. .aiff Apple IIc/IIgs and SGI AIFF files. May require a separate archiver to work with these files. .au, .snd Sun Microsystems AU audio files. This was once a popular format. (The .snd extension is ambiguous because it’s also been used on the NeXT format and the headerless Mac/PC format.) .avr Audio Visual Research format, used on the Mac. .cdr CD-R files used to master compact disks. .cvs Continuously variable slope delta modulation, which is used for voice mail and other speech compression. .dat Text data files, which contain a text representation of sound data. .gsm Lossy speech compression (GSM 06.10), used to shrink audio data in voice mail and similar applications. .hcom Macintosh HCOM files. .maud Amiga format used to produce sound that is 8-bit linear, 16-bit linear, A-law, and u-law in mono or stereo. .ogg Ogg Vorbis compressed audio, which is best used for compressing music and streaming audio. .ossdsp Pseudo file, used to open the OSS /dev/dsp file and configure it to use the data type passed to SoX. Used to either play or record. .prc Psion record.app format, newer than the WVE format. Note that the .prc extension is also used for programs for Palm handheld devices. .sf IRCAM sound files, used by the CSound package and the MixView sample editor. .sph Speech audio SPHERE (Speech Header Resources) format from NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). .smp SampleVision files from Turtle Beach, used to communicate with different MIDI samplers. continued 73675c04.indd 97 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM98 Part II Running a Linux Desktop File Extension or Pseudonym Description File Extension or Pseudonym Description .sunau Pseudo file, used to open a /dev/audio file and set it to use the data type being passed to SoX. .txw Yamaha TX-16W from a Yamaha sampling keyboard. .vms Used to compress speech audio for voice mail and similar applications. .voc Sound Blaster VOC file. .wav Microsoft WAV RIFF files. This is the native Microsoft Windows sound format. .wve 8-bit, a-law, and 8 KHz sound files used with Psion Palmtop computers. .raw Raw files (contain no header information, so sample rate, size, and style must be given). .ub, .sb, .uw, .sw, .ul, .al, .lu, .la, .sl Raw files with set characteristics. ub is an unsigned byte; sb is a signed byte; uw is an unsigned word; sw is a signed word; and ul is ulaw. If you are not sure about the format of an audio file, you can add the .auto extension to the filename. This triggers SoX to guess what kind of audio format is contained in the file. The .auto extension can be used only for the input file. If SoX can figure out the content of the input file, it translates the contents to the sound type for the output file you request. In its most basic form, you can convert one file format (such as a WAV file) to another format (such as an AU file) as follows: $ sox file1.wav file1.au To see what SoX is doing, use the -V option. For example: $ sox -V file1.wav file1.voc sox: Reading Wave file: Microsoft PCM format, 2 channel, 44100 samp/sec sox: 176400 byte/sec, 4 block align, 16 bits/samp, 50266944 data bytes sox: Input file: using sample rate 11025 size bytes, style unsigned, 1 channel sox: Input file1.wav: comment “file1.wav” sox: Output file1.voc: using sample rate 44100 size shorts, encoding signed (2’s complement), 2 channels sox: Output file: comment “file1.wav” TABLE 4-1 (continued) 73675c04.indd 98 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM99 Playing Music and Video 4 You can apply sound effects during the SoX conversion process. The following example shows how to change the sample rate (using the -r option) from 10,000 KHz to 5,000 KHz: $ sox -r 10000 file1.wav -r 5000 file1.voc To reduce the noise, you can send the file through a low-pass filter. Here’s an example: $ sox file1.voc file2.voc lowp 2200 For more information on SoX and to get the latest download, go to the SoX — Sound eXchange — home page (http://sourceforge.net/projects/sox/). Compressing Music Files with oggenc The oggenc command takes music or other audio data and converts it from uncompressed formats (such as WAV, RAW, or AIFF) to the compressed Ogg Vorbis format. Using Ogg Vorbis, audio files can be significantly reduced in size without a noticeable loss of sound quality. (I used the default settings in oggenc and reduced a 48MB WAV music file to 4MB.) In its most basic form, you can use oggenc with one or more WAV or AIFF files following it. For example: $ oggenc *.wav This command would result in all files ending with .wav in the current directory to be converted to Ogg Vorbis format. An OGG file is produced for each WAV file, with oggenc substituting .ogg for .wav as the file suffix for the compressed file. Ogg Vorbis files can be played in many different audio players in Linux, including the XMMS player (described earlier). In addition, a number of handheld music players support Ogg Vorbis formats. These include a number of iRiver, Jens of Sweden, MobiBLU, Neuros, and Samsung models. Verify with your product’s manual, however, as models and player firmware change often. If you want to rip music fi les from a CD and compress them, you can use the Grip window (described later in this chapter). Grip enables you to select oggenc as the tool to do the fi le compression. If you are interested in making a CD jukebox that rips, records, and compresses music CDs using oggenc and other open source software, check out Linux Toys by Christopher Negus and Chuck Wolber from Wiley Publishing (2003). Recording and Ripping Music A writable CD-ROM drive is a standard device on computers. Where once you had to settle for a floppy disk (1.44MB) or a Zip disk (100MB) to store personal data, a CD-ROM burner lets you store more than 600MB of data in a format that can be exchanged with most computers. On top of that, you can create CD music disks! TIP 73675c04.indd 99 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM100 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Both graphical and command-line tools exist for creating audio and data CDs on Linux. The cdrecord command enables you to create audio and data CDs from the command line, writing to CD-recordable (CD-R) and CD-rewritable (CD-RW) drives. This command is discussed in the following section. Creating an Audio CD with cdrecord You can use the cdrecord command to create either data or music CDs. You can create a data CD by setting up a separate file system and copying the whole image of that file system to CD. Creating an audio CD consists of selecting the audio tracks you want to copy and copying them all at once to the CD. This section focuses on using cdrecord to create audio CDs. cdrecord can use audio files in .au, .wav, and .cdr formats, automatically translating them when necessary. If you have audio files in other formats, you can convert them to one of the supported formats by using the sox command (described previously in this chapter). One way to create an audio CD is to use cdda2wav to extract (copy) the music tracks to a directory and then use cdrecord to write them from the directory to the CD. Here’s an example: If you prefer a graphical tool for copying and burning CDs and DVDs, refer to Appendix A, which describes how to use the K3B CD/DVD Burning Facility for burning CD images. That tool can also be used for copying audio CDs. 1. Create a directory to hold the audio files, and change to that directory. (Make sure the directory can hold up to 660MB of data — less if you are burning fewer songs.) For example: # mkdir /tmp/cd # cd /tmp/cd 2. Insert the music CD into your CD-ROM drive. (If a CD player opens on the desktop, close it.) 3. Extract the music tracks you want by using the cdda2wav command. For example: # cdda2wav -D /dev/cdrom -B This reads all of the music tracks from the CD-ROM drive. The -B option says to output each track to a separate file. By default, the cdda2wav command outputs the files to the WAV audio format. Instead of extracting all songs, you can choose a single track or a range of tracks to extract. For example, to extract tracks 3 through 5, add the -t3+5 option. To extract just track 9, add -t9+9. To extract track 7 through the end of the CD, add -t7. If you have a low-quality CD drive or an imperfect CD, cdda2wav might not be the best ripping tool. You might try cdparanoia -B to extract songs from the CD to hard disk instead. 4. When cdda2wav is done, insert a blank CD into your writable CD drive. NOTE NOTE 73675c04.indd 100 11/25/08 6:53:32 PM101 Playing Music and Video 4 5. Use the cdrecord command to write the music tracks to the CD. For example: # cdrecord -v dev=/dev/cdrom -audio *.wav The options to cdrecord tell the command to create an audio CD (-audio) on the writable CD device located at /dev/cdrom. The cdrecord command writes all .wav files from the current directory. The -v option causes verbose output. 6. If you want to change the order of the tracks, you can type their names in the order you want them written (instead of using *.wav). If your CD writer supports higher speeds, you can use the speed option to double (speed=2) or to quadruple (speed=4) the writing speed. After you have created the music CD, indicate the contents of the CD on its label side. It’s now ready to play on any standard music CD player. Ripping CDs with Grip The Grip application (grip package) provides a more graphical method of copying music from CDs to your hard disk so that you can play the songs directly from your hard disk or burn them back onto a blank CD. Besides just ripping music, you can also compress each song as you extract it from the CD. You can open Grip from the GNOME desktop Applications menu in Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux systems by selecting Sound & Video ➪ Grip (or by typing grip from a Terminal window). Figure 4-6 shows an example of the Grip window. FIGURE 4-6 Rip and play songs from the Grip window. 73675c04.indd 101 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM102 Part II Running a Linux Desktop To rip audio tracks from a CD with grip, do the following: 1. With the Grip window open, insert a music CD into your CD drive. If you have an active connection to the Internet and the CD is known to the CD database, the title, artist, and track information appear in the window. 2. Click each track that you want to rip (that is, copy to your hard disk). A check mark appears in that track’s Rip column. 3. Click the Config tab at the top of the page, and then select Encode. 4. You can choose the type of encoder used to compress the music by clicking the Encoder box and selecting an encoder (by default, oggenc compresses files in Ogg Vorbis, assuming that Ogg Vorbis was installed on your Linux distribution). If you have the lame package installed (available from non-free repositories for some Linux distributions), you can encode your music to MP3 format. 5. Click the Rip tab at the top of the page. From the Ripper subtab, indicate the location and format of the ripped files (I use ~/Music/%x/%A/%d/%n.wav to hold the ripped WAV files in subdirectories of my Music folder.) 6. Click one of the following: ■ Rip+Encode — This rips the selected songs and (if you left in the default oggenc compression in Step 4) compresses them in Ogg Vorbis format. You need an Ogg Vorbis player to play the songs after they have been ripped in this format (there are many Ogg Vorbis players for Linux). ■ Rip only — This rips the selected songs in WAV format. You can use a standard CD player to play these songs. (When I tried this, the same song ripped in WAV was 12 times larger than the Ogg Vorbis file.) Songs are copied to the hard disk in the format you selected. By default, the files are copied into a subdirectory of $HOME/ogg (such as /home/jake/ogg). The subdirectory is named for the artist and CD. For example, if the user jake were ripping the song called “High Life” by the artist Mumbo, the directory containing ripped songs would be /home/jake/ogg/ mumbo/high_life. Each song file is named for the song (for example, fly_fly_fly.wav). Following the earlier example, I would use /home/jake/Music to hold the ripped music, instead of the default ogg directory. 7. Now you can play any of the files using a player that can play WAV or Ogg files, such as XMMS. Or you can copy the files to a CD using cdrecord. Because the filenames are the song names, they don’t appear in the same order as they appear on the CD, so if you want to copy them back to a writable CD in their original order, you may have to type each filename on the cdrecord command line. For example: # cdrecord -v dev=/dev/cdrom -audio fly_fly.wav big_news.wav about_time.wav The Grip window can also be used to play CDs. Use the buttons on the bottom of the display to play or pause, skip ahead or back, stop, and eject the CD. The toggle track display button lets you shrink the size of the display so it takes up less space on the desktop. Click toggle disc editor to see and change title, artist, and track information. 73675c04.indd 102 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM103 Playing Music and Video 4 Creating CD Labels with cdlabelgen The cdlabelgen command can be used to create tray cards and front cards to fit in CD jewel cases. You gather information about the CD and cdlabelgen produces a PostScript output file that you can send to the printer. The cdlabelgen package also comes with graphics (in /usr/share/ cdlabelgen) that you can incorporate into your labels. Here’s an example of a cdlabelgen command line that generates a CD label file in PostScript format (type it all on one line or use backslashes, as shown, to put it on multiple lines): $ cdlabelgen -c cdlabelgen -c “20th Century Collection” \ -s “Jon Negus” \ -i “Heart of Mine%20th Century Man%Swing, Swing, Swing%I \ write the songs%Oh Mistress Mine%Turns%Winter Solstice” \ -o cover.ps In this example, -c “20th Century Collection” identifies the title of the CD and -s “Jon Negus” indicates the artist. The tracks are entered after the -i option, with each line separated by a % sign. The output file is sent to the file cover.ps with the -o option. To view and print the results, use the evince command like this: $ evince cover.ps The result of this example is shown in Figure 4-7. FIGURE 4-7 Generate CD jewel case labels with cdlabelgen and print them with evince. 73675c04.indd 103 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM104 Part II Running a Linux Desktop You’ll want to edit the cdlabelgen command line to include the title and song names for the CD label and rerun the program a few times to get the label correct. When you are ready to print the label, click Print All. Working with TV, Video, and Digital Imaging Getting TV cards, Webcams, and other video devices to play in Linux is still a bit of an adventure. Most manufacturers of TV cards and Webcams are not losing sleep to produce Linux drivers. As a result, most of the drivers that bring video to your Linux desktop have been reverse-engineered (that is, they were created by software engineers who watched what the video device sent and received, rather than seeing the actual code that runs the device). The first and probably biggest trick is to get a TV card or Webcam that is supported in Linux. Once you are getting video output from that device (typically available from /dev/video0), you can try out a couple of applications to begin using it. This section explores the tvtime program for watching television and the Ekiga program for video conferencing. Watching TV with tvtime The tvtime program (tvtime command) enables you to display video output — television channels, in particular — on your desktop. You can change the channels, adjust the volume, and finetune your picture. In addition, tvtime sports a slick onscreen display and support for a widescreen display. The following sections describe how to choose a TV capture card and use tvtime to watch television on your desktop. Getting a Supported TV Card Video4Linux (V4l/V4l2) is the video interface available for Linux. It supports a variety of TV capture cards and cameras, and is included in some distributions. If your distribution does not include V4l or V4L2, you can install it on your own, although it is not the easiest task to accomplish. For more information about obtaining and installing V4l and the appropriate driver, visit http:// linuxtv.org/v4lwiki/index.html. The MythTV project offers insight into TV cards for Linux (www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Video_capture_card). Video4Linux is designed to autodetect your TV capture card and load the proper modules to activate it. Install the TV-card hardware (with the appropriate connection to your TV reception), boot Linux, and run the tvtime command as described in the next section. You should see video displayed in your tvtime window. 73675c04.indd 104 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM105 Playing Music and Video 4 If your card doesn’t appear to be working, here are a few things you can try: ■ Check that your TV card was properly seated in its slot and detected by Linux by typing: $ /sbin/lspci | grep -i video 00:09.0 Multimedia video controller: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Video Capture (rev 11) This shows you a list of all valid PCI cards on your computer and displays any containing the word video. If your card doesn’t show up, you probably have a hardware problem. ■ It is possible that the card is there but that the right card type is not being detected. Improper detection is most likely if you have a card for which there are several revisions, with each requiring a different driver. If you think your card is not being properly detected, find your card in the CARDLIST files. Then add the appropriate line to the /etc/modprobe.conf file. For example, to add a Prolink PV-BT878P, revision 9B card, add the following line to the file: options bttv card=72 One possible reason that you don’t see any video when you try to run tvtime or other video applications is that some other person or video application already has the video driver open. Only one application can use the video driver at a time. Another quirk of video4linux is that the first person to open the device on your system becomes the owner. So you might need to open the permissions of the driver to allow people other than the first person to use it to access the video4linux driver. Running tvtime To start up the tvtime viewer, simply select TVtime Television Viewer from the Sound & Video or Multimedia menu (depending on your Linux distribution), or type the following from a Terminal window on your desktop: $ tvtime & A video screen should appear in a window on the desktop. Click on the window to see a list of stations. Right-click to see the onscreen Setup menu. Here are a few things you can now do with your tvtime onscreen display: ■ Configure input — Change the video source, choose the television standard (which defaults to NTSC for the U.S.), and change the resolution of the input. ■ Set up the picture — Adjust the brightness, contrast, color, and hue. ■ Adjust the video processing — Control the attempted frame rate, configure the deinterlacer, or add an input filter. ■ Adjust output — Control the aspect ratio (for 16:9 output, for example), apply a matte, or set the overscan mode. 73675c04.indd 105 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM106 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Video Conferencing with Ekiga The Ekiga window lets you communicate with other people over a network through video, audio, and typed messages. Because Ekiga supports the H323 protocol (a standard for multimedia communications), you can use it to communicate with people using other popular videoconferencing clients, such as Microsoft NetMeeting (not including the whiteboard features), Cu-SeeMe, and Intel VideoPhone. To be able to send video, you need a Webcam supported in Linux — you’ll find a few dozen models from which to choose. The following sections show you how to set up your Webcam and use Ekiga for videoconferencing. Ekiga was previously known as GnomeMeeting. Both names may be in use on any given Linux platform. Getting a Supported Webcam As with support for TV capture cards, Webcam that is support is provided through the video4linux interface. To see if your Webcam is supported, check the /usr/src/linux*/Documentation directory. A few parallel-port video cameras are described in the video4linux subdirectory; however, the bulk of the supported cameras are listed in the usb directory. After doing some research, I purchased a Logitech QuickCam Pro 3000. The driver for this Webcam was made for a Philips USB Webcam, but it also works for Webcams from Logitech, Samsung, Creative Labs, and Askey. The pwc driver needed to use these cameras is available with most popular Linux distributions. Supported USB cameras should be autodetected, so that when you plug them in, the necessary modules are loaded automatically. Just start up Ekiga (ekiga command), and you should see video from your Webcam on your Linux desktop. You can check to see that your Webcam is working properly by typing the following: # lsmod pwc 79588 0 videodev 30208 3 pwc,tuner,bttv compat_ioctl32 59072 2 pwc,bttv The output from lsmod shows that the pwc driver is loaded and associated with the videodev module and compat_ioctl32 module. Opening Your Firewall for Ekiga You need to open a variety of ports in your firewall to use Ekiga. In particular, you need to open TCP port 1720 and TCP port range 30000 to 30010. For UDP ports, you must open ports 5000 through 5007 and ports 5010 through 5013. Examples of exact iptables settings you can use to open these ports are contained in the Ekiga FAQ (www.ekiga.org/faq). NOTE TIP 73675c04.indd 106 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM107 Playing Music and Video 4 Running Ekiga To start Ekiga in most distributions, select Applications ➪ Internet ➪ IP Telephony, VoIP and Video Conferencing. To start Ekiga from a Terminal window, type ekiga &. If it is not installed, you can get the package for your Linux distribution when you install the GNOME desktop. The first time you run Ekiga, the Ekiga Configuration Assistant starts, enabling you to enter the following information: ■ Personal Data — Your first name, last name, e-mail address, comment, and location. You can also choose whether you want to be listed in the Ekiga ILS directory. ■ Connection Type — Indicate the speed of your Internet connection (56K modem, ISDN, DSL/Cable, T1/LAN, or Custom). Once you have entered the data, the Ekiga window opens. Figure 4-8 shows the Ekiga window with the address book to the right. Select Tools ➪ Address Book to open your GNOME address book. This is the same address book you use for e-mail and other address and telephone information in GNOME. Add ILS servers and friends to that window, and then select the user or server you want to contact and click Contact ➪ Call Contact. Use the tabs beneath the video window to adjust your audio levels and video appearance. The History tab shows a log of your activities. FIGURE 4-8 Connect to ILS servers to videoconference with Ekiga. 73675c04.indd 107 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM108 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Watching Movies and Video Although several fairly high-quality video players are available for Linux, it is rare to see the players included in formal distributions because of legal complications. The issues surrounding the playing of encoded DVD movies in Linux might be responsible for keeping players such as the MPlayer (freshmeat.net/mplayer), Ogle (www.dtek.chalmers.se/groups/dvd), and xine (http:// xinehq.de/) video players out of common distributions. By most accounts, however, you can get and use these video players to play a variety of video content for personal use as long as you don’t download and use the DeCCS (software for decrypting DVD movies). The following sections provide descriptions of some commonly used video players. Watching Video with xine The xine player is an excellent application for playing a variety of video and audio formats. You can get xine from xine.sourceforge.net or from software repositories associated with your Linux distribution. For Fedora, xine is in the rpm.livna.org repository (yum install xine). For Ubuntu, you can get xine from non-free repositories (sudo apt-get install xine*). You can start the xine player by typing xine& from a Terminal window. Figure 4-9 shows an example of the xine video player window and controls. FIGURE 4-9 Play DVDs, video CDs, MP3s, QuickTime, and other video formats with xine. 73675c04.indd 108 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM109 Playing Music and Video 4 When you try to install xine, it tells you if you need any additional packages. If your xine player fails to start, see the “Xine Tips” section later in this chapter. Xine supports a bunch of video and audio formats, including: ■ MPEG (1, 2, and 4) ■ QuickTime (see “Xine Tips” if your QuickTime content won’t play) ■ WMV ■ DVDs, CDs, and VCDs ■ Motion JPEG ■ MPEG audio (MP3) ■ AC3 and Dolby Digital audio ■ DTS audio ■ Commercial movies (the libdvdcss package is required) ■ Ogg Vorbis audio Xine understands different file formats that represent a combination of audio and video, including .mpg (MPEG program streams), .ts (MPEG transport streams), .mpv (raw MPEG audio/video streams), .avi (MS AVI format), and .asf (Advanced Systems Format). While xine can play video CDs and DVDs, it can’t play encrypted DVDs or the Video-on-CD hybrid format (because of legal issues mentioned earlier related to decrypting DVDs). Using xine With xine started, right-click in the xine window to see the controls. The quickest way to play video is to click one of the following buttons, and then press the Play button (right arrow or Play, depending on the skin you are using): ■ VCD (for a video CD) ■ DVD (for a DVD in /dev/dvd) ■ CDA (for a music CD in /dev/cdaudio) Next, you can use the Pause/Resume, Stop, Play, Fast Motion, Slow Motion, and Eject buttons to work with video. You can also use the Previous and Next buttons to step to different tracks. The controls are very similar to what you would expect on a physical CD or DVD player. To select individual files, or to put together your own list of content to play, use the Playlist feature. NOTE 73675c04.indd 109 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM110 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Creating Playlists with Xine Click the Playlist button on the left side of the xine control window. A Playlist Editor appears, showing the files on your current playlist. You can add and delete content and then save the list to call on later. Xine content is identified as media resource locators (MRLs). Each MRL is identified as a file, DVD, or VCD. Files are in the regular file path (/path/file) or preceded by file:/, fifo:/ or stdin:/. DVDs and VCDs are preceded by dvd and vcd, respectively (for example, vcd://01). Table 4-2 shows what the xine Playlist Editor buttons do. TABLE 4-2 Using the xine Playlist Editor Button Description CDA, DVD, or VCD All content from that CD or DVD is added to the playlist. Add See the MRL Browser window. From that window, click File to choose a file from your Linux file system, and then click Select to add that file to the Playlist Editor. (MRL stands for Media Resource Locator, which defines the form in which remote and local content are identified.) Move Up Selected MRL Move Down Selected MRL Move up and down the playlist. Play Play the contents of the playlist. Delete Selected MRL Remove the current selection. Delete All Entries Clear the whole playlist. Save Save the playlist to your home directory ($HOME/.xine/playlist). Load Read in your (saved) playlist. Xine Tips Getting video and audio to work properly can sometimes be a tricky business. Here are a few quick tips if you are having trouble getting xine to work correctly (or at all): ■ Xine won’t start. To work best, xine needs an X driver that supports xvid. If there is no xvid support for your video card in X, xine shuts down immediately when it tries to open the default Xv driver. If this happens to you, try starting xine with the X11 video driver (which is slower, but should work) as follows: $ xine -VXSHM 73675c04.indd 110 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM111 Playing Music and Video 4 ■ Xine playback is choppy. If playback of files from your hard disk is choppy, there are a couple of settings you can check: 32-bit I/O and DMA, features that, if supported by your hard disk, generally improve hard disk performance. Here’s how to check: Improper disk settings can result in destroyed data on your hard disk. Perform this procedure at your own risk. This procedure is for IDE hard drives only (no SCSI)! Also, be sure to have a current backup and no activity on your hard disk if you change DMA or I/O settings as described in this section. 1. Test the speed of hard disk reads. To test the first IDE drive (/dev/hda), type: # hdparm -t /dev/hda Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 19.31 seconds = 3.31 MB/sec 2. To see your current DMA and I/O settings, as root user type: # hdparm -c -d /dev/hda /dev/hda: I/O support = 0 (default 16-bit) using_dma = 0 (off) 3. This result shows that both 32-bit I/O and DMA are off. To turn them on, type: # hdparm -c 1 -d 1 /dev/hda /dev/hda: I/O support = 1 (32-bit) using_dma = 1 (on) 4. With both settings on, test the disk again: # hdparm -t /dev/hda Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 2.2 seconds = 28.83 MB/sec In this example, buffered disk reads of 64MB went from 19.31 seconds to 2.2 seconds after changing the parameters described. Playback would be much better now. ■ Xine won’t play particular media. Messages such as no input plug-in mean that either the file format you are trying to play is not supported or it requires an additional plug-in (as is the case with playing DVDs). If the message is that xyx may be a broken file, the file may be a proprietary version of an otherwise supported format. For example, I had a QuickTime video fail that required an SVQ3 codec (which is currently not supported under Linux), although other QuickTime files played fine. CAUTION CAUTION 73675c04.indd 111 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM112 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Using Totem Movie Player The Totem movie player (www.gnome.org/projects/totem) comes with the GNOME desktop environment. In most GNOME desktops, Totem can play video in Theora format with Ogg audio. Totem uses the GStreamer framework (http://gstreamer.freedesktop.org) so it can take advantage of any video codes that work with GStreamer. In particular, free and fee-based codecs that you can purchase from www.fluendo.com for playing a variety of commercial audio/video formats will work with Totem. Totem also supports a xine back end that allows it to play a wide range of video content (in other words, anything xine supports). To play commercial DVD movies, you need to install the totem-xine package available (for Fedora, it’s in the rpm.livna.org repository). From that same repository, you can add the libdvdcss, libdvdnav, and xine-lib-extras-nonfree packages (provided the software is legal where you live). Run the totem-xine command instead of totem to play movies. Besides common controls you would expect with a movie player (play, pause, skip forward, skip backwards, and so on), Totem lets you create playlists, take a snapshot of the current frame, and adjust the volume. You can change preferences, which let you add proprietary plug-ins, select your DVD device, and balance color. Figure 4-10 shows an example of the Totem window. FIGURE 4-10 Play movies on the GNOME desktop with Totem. 73675c04.indd 112 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM113 Playing Music and Video 4 Using a Digital Camera With the GNOME Volume Manager, featured in most Linux systems with GNOME desktops, getting images from a digital camera can be as easy in Linux as it is in any desktop operating system. With most digital cameras that can be connected to a USB port on your computer, simply plugging the camera into a USB port (with the camera set to send and receive) causes the GNOME Volume Manager to do the following: ■ Display a prompt that asks if you want to download images from your camera. ■ Run the gThumb image viewer and browser program that enables you to look at, manipulate, and download the contents of your digital camera. Although GNOME Volume Manager will open your camera’s contents in an image viewer, you can treat the storage area in your camera much as you would the storage area on a hard disk or a pen drive. This section describes how to use your camera to store other data as well. Displaying Images in gThumb The GNOME Volume Manager mounts the contents of your USB camera, treating the memory of your camera as it would any file storage device. When I tried it with an Olympus digital camera, my images were available from the /media/usbdisk/dcim/100olymp directory. Figure 4-11 shows an example of the gthumb-import window displaying the images from a digital camera. FIGURE 4-11 Download images from digital cameras with the gThumb image viewer. 73675c04.indd 113 11/25/08 6:53:33 PM114 Part II Running a Linux Desktop With your camera connected and the gThumb window open, here are some things you can do with the images on your camera: ■ Download images — Click a single image or select Edit ➪ Select All to highlight all images from your digital camera. Then select File ➪ Import Photos. From the Import Photos window, you can select the destination where you want the images to be downloaded. As an alternative, you can download selected images to a folder on the GNOME desktop. ■ View Slideshow — Select View ➪ Slide Show. A full-screen slideshow appears on your display, with the images changing every few seconds. The toolbar that appears at the top lets you display information about the photo name, date, and size (click Image Info); go forward and back through the images, and zoom in or out. ■ Manipulate images — Double-click an image to open it, and select the Image menu. That menu offers a set of tools for enhancing, resizing, cropping, or otherwise transforming the image. You can also adjust the color balance, hue/saturation, and brightness contrast. ■ Assign categories — With an image selected, click the Categories button. The Categories pop-up window lets you assign the image to a category to help you organize your photos. Assign available categories (such as birthday, family, holidays, or games), or click New and add your own categories. Once images are downloaded to your computer’s hard disk, you can continue to work with them using gThumb or use any of a number of tools available for manipulating digital images (GIMP, KView, and Kuickshow, to name a few). If your camera saves images to SD or CF cards, you can purchase a USB card reader and view these fi les from Linux. Some PCs today come with card readers built in. Using Your Camera as a Storage Device As I noted with my example of an Olympus camera with a USB connector, the GNOME Volume Manager is capable of detecting that camera once it is connected, and mounting its contents as a storage device. With the contents of a digital camera mounted, you can use your camera as a USB mass storage device by doing either of the following: ■ Opening the mounted directory in a folder window and using any file manager features to work with the images ■ Changing to the mounted directory from the shell and using commands to copy, move, rename, or delete digital images Of course, with your camera mounted as a file system, you are not limited to using it only for digital images. You can use it to store any kind of files you like, essentially using the camera as a storage device. The following list is a partial summary of digital cameras that can be used as a USB storage device: NOTE 73675c04.indd 114 11/25/08 6:53:34 PM115 Playing Music and Video 4 ■ Casio — QV-2400UX, QV-2×00, QV-3×00, QV-4000, and QV-8000 ■ Fuji — FinePix 1300, 1400Zoom, 2300Zoom, 2400Zoom, 2800Zoom, 4200Z, 4500, 4700 Zoom, 4900 Zoom, 6800 Zoom, A101, A201, and S1 Pro ■ HP — PhotoSmart 315, 318xi, 618, and C912 ■ Konica — KD200Z, KD400Z, and Revio KD300Z ■ Kyocera — Finecam s3 ■ Leica — Digilux 4.3 ■ Minolta — Dimage 5, Dimage 7, and Dimage X ■ Nikon — CoolPix 2500, 885, 5000, 775, and 995 ■ Olympus — Brio Zoom D-15, C-100, C-200Z, C-2040, C-220Z, C-2Z, C-3020Z, C-3040Z, C-4040Zoom, C-700, C-700UZ, C-860L, D-510, D-520Z, E-10, and E-20 ■ Pentax — EI2000, Optio 330, and Optio 430 ■ Sony — DSC-F505, DSC-F505V, DSC-F707, DSC-P1, DSC-P20, DSC-P5, DSC-P71, DSCS30, DSC-S70, DSC-S75, DSC-S85, MVC-CD300, and MVC-FD92 ■ Vivitar — Vivicam 3550 ■ Yashica — Finecam s3 Summary Getting up and running with digital media can take some doing, but once it’s set up, you can play most audio and video content available today. This chapter takes you through the steps of setting up and troubleshooting your sound card and explains how to find software to play music through that card. Every desktop Linux distribution comes with one or more ways of playing music from files or CDs. Popular music players include XMMS and Rhythmbox. Tools for ripping and recording CDs include Grip and command-line utilities such as cdda2wav and cdrecord. The chapter also covers playing live video from TV cards and Webcams in the sections on tvtime and Ekiga, respectively. Finally, the chapter describes how the xine player can be used to play a variety of video formats and explored the gThumb application for downloading images from a digital camera. If your computer has a CD burner, use the descriptions in this chapter to create your own music CDs and CD labels. 73675c04.indd 115 11/25/08 6:53:34 PM73675c04.indd 116 11/25/08 6:53:34 PM117 Writing documents has always been a mainstay of desktop computers. Linux systems have steadily made up ground on Mac and Windows systems when it comes to desktop publishing applications. Now, nearly every feature you would expect for document writing, layout, and publishing (in hard copy and on the Web) is available with Linux systems. This chapter describes popular Linux office suites (such as OpenOffice. org and KOffice) for creating documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Scribus is an excellent application for doing page layouts. For working with images, I cover the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) and a few image viewers (such as Gwenview and Eye of GNOME). For working with vector graphics, I describe the Inkscape vector graphics editor. For displaying the content you create, several different viewers are available that display output in Portable Document Format (PDF) and PostScript format. Evince viewer and Adobe Reader are available for PDF. To display PostScript files, there’s Ghostview. To publish on the Web, there are tools for everything from writing basic HTML documents to making Web photo sites to implementing full-blown content management systems. Software that is packaged for Linux to manage your own Web sites include MediaWiki (wiki), WordPress (blogging), Drupal (content management), and Gallery (photo Web site). Desktop Publishing in Linux Whether you are writing a letter, a memo or a book, you usually begin with a word processor. If your computer doesn’t have much power, you might start with a simple text editor or a less demanding word processor such as AbiWord. Most Linux users, however, begin with OpenOffice.org Writer. Working with Words and Images IN THIS CHAPTER Desktop publishing in Linux Using word processors Doing page layout with Scribus Taking documents from Windows to Linux Working with images Making Inkscape vector graphics Using scanners Publishing on the Web 73675c05.indd 117 11/25/08 6:53:47 PM118 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Using Text Editors and Notepads Before jumping into more complex word processors, here are a few applications you might want to try out if you just want to write some text quickly: ■ GNOME text editor (gedit) — From the GNOME desktop, select Applications ➪ Accessories ➪ Text Editor. With the gedit window that opens, you can just type, cut, and paste, and use arrow keys to move around. In addition to creating text documents, gedit has spell check and search tools. Highlight mode (select View ➪ Highlight Mode) causes different parts of the text you are writing like computer code (such as C or Java) or markup (such as HTML or XML) to be displayed in different colors. ■ KDE text editor (KWrite) — From the K Desktop Environment (KDE) desktop, the KWrite application is the default text editor. KWrite includes many of the same text editing features as gedit, but it also has bookmark features and support for multiple language input. ■ Sticky notes (Tomboy) — Different note-taking applications include KNotes (for KDE) and Tomboy (for GNOME). Tomboy puts a notepad icon in your top panel, from which you can create and manage notes. Create a new note that includes URLs (click a URL to open the page it points to in a Web browser) and links to other notes. Spelling is checked as you type. Organize notes in notebooks or do keyword searches to find the note you want. Figure 5-1 shows the Tomboy icon, a search window, and an example of a note. FIGURE 5-1 Create, search, and manage notes with Tomboy. 73675c05.indd 118 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM119 Working with Words and Images 5 If you want to move text from your plain text files or sticky notes to a more formal document, you can copy or cut, and then paste the text into one of the word processors described in the next section. Using Word Processors OpenOffice.org is a powerful open source office suite, available as a download and as part of many Linux distributions. Based on Sun Microsystem’s StarOffice productivity suite, OpenOffice.org includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation manager, and other personal productivity tools. In most cases, OpenOffice.org can be used as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. If you’ve been using Microsoft Offi ce applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, most fi les produced in those applications’ native formats will work in OpenOffi ce.org. There are descriptions of supported offi ce formats later in this chapter. Using theOpenOffice.org Office Suite Some have called OpenOffice.org the most significant threat to Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop market. Thousands in business, education, and government have already migrated their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. While cost savings are a big reason for using OpenOffice.org, the freedom of not being locked into proprietary formats and forced upgrades may be even more important in the long run. Many distributions of Linux include the entire OpenOffice.org suite of desktop applications. Some include the StarOffice suite in addition to or in lieu of OpenOffice.org. Because of its size, the entire OpenOffice.org suite is usually not included on live CD versions of Linux. However, with an Internet connection, you can usually download and install prepackaged versions of the OpenOffice.org suite. For example, in Fedora, you can install the openoffice.org-calc, openoffice.org-draw, openoffice.org-impress, openoffice.org-writer, and openoffice.org-math packages to get most of the suite. At the time of this writing, the latest version of OpenOffi ce is 2.4.1. OpenOffice.org, which shares its source code with StarOffice, consists of the following officeproductivity applications: ■ Writer — A word-processing application that can work with documents in file formats from Microsoft Word, StarOffice, and several others. Writer also has a full set of features for using templates, working with fonts, navigating your documents (including images and effects), and generating tables of contents. ■ Calc — A spreadsheet application that lets you incorporate data from Microsoft Excel, StarOffice, Dbase, and several other spreadsheet formats. Some nice features in Calc enable COMING FROM WINDOWS NOTE 73675c05.indd 119 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM120 Part II Running a Linux Desktop you to create charts, set up database ranges (to easily sort data in an area of a spreadsheet), and use the data pilot tool to arrange data in different points of view. ■ Draw — A drawing application that enables you to create, edit, and align objects; include textures and colors; and work with layers of objects. It lets you incorporate images, vector graphics, AutoCAD, and a variety of other file formats into your drawings. Then, you can save your drawing in the OpenOffice.org Drawing or StarDraw format. ■ Math — A calculation program that lets you create mathematical formulas. ■ Impress — A presentation application that includes a variety of slide effects. You can use Impress to create and save presentations in the Microsoft PowerPoint, StarDraw, and StarImpress formats. Unlike other applications that were created to work with Microsoft document and data formats, OpenOffice.org (although not perfect) does a very good job of opening and saving those files with fewer problems. Very basic styles and formatting that open in OpenOffice.org often don’t look noticeably different from the way they appear in Microsoft Office. In other cases, such things as bullets, alignment, and indentation can appear quite different in Writer than they do in Word. Also, some Word features, such as macros and scripting features, may not work at all in Writer. For the most part, however, the recent versions of the OpenOffice.org suite handle most Microsoft Office files. In addition, the OpenOffice.org suite supports the ODF, or Open Document Format, a recently standardized file format for office documents. ODF is becoming more and more important with government and scientific organizations that need to be able to access the documents they create for many years in the future. Using the Microsoft Office formats, for example, locks an organization into paying Microsoft’s fee in order to access the organization’s data. In the future, that fee could become too high for the organization, or worse yet, Microsoft may choose not to support files created by older versions of the software. Even today, for example, OpenOffice.org supports older versions of Microsoft Word than Word does. Another nice feature of the OpenOffice.org suite is document signing, so that you can provide better security to shared documents. To open OpenOffice.org applications, select the Applications menu. In most distributions, there’s a folder called Office (or something very similar) located on the Applications menu. Figure 5-2 shows a Microsoft Word document open for editing in OpenOffice.org Writer. The controls in Writer are similar to the ones you find in Word. Toolbars include boxes for changing styles, font types, and font sizes. Buttons let you save and print the file, change the text alignment, and cut, copy, and paste text. In other words, Writer includes almost everything you expect in an advanced word processor. In addition, Writer includes a handy PDF button to output a file directly to the PDF format, which is very useful for exchanging documents or placing data on the Internet. 73675c05.indd 120 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM121 Working with Words and Images 5 FIGURE 5-2 Work with Microsoft Word documents in OpenOffice.org Writer. Other Word Processors If your distribution does not include the OpenOffice.org suite, or you just want to try something else, you have some other choices: ■ StarOffice — The StarOffice productivity suite contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, e-mail, news, charting, and graphics. It was created to run on Linux systems, but it runs in other environments as well. It can import and export a variety of Microsoft file formats. StarOffice is owned by Sun Microsystems, which sells it as a commercial product. ■ AbiWord — The AbiWord word processor (abiword command) is noncommercial software and is the first application produced by the AbiSource project (www.abisource.com). In addition to working with files in its own format (.abw and .zabw), AbiWord can import files in Microsoft Word and several other formats. ■ KOffice — The KOffice package contains a set of office productivity applications designed for the KDE desktop (you must have the KDE desktop environment). The noncommercial software includes a word processor (KWord), spreadsheet (KSpread), presentation creator (KPresenter), and diagram-drawing program (KChart). These applications can be run separately or within a KOffice Workspace. 73675c05.indd 121 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM122 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Using StarOffice The StarOffice suite from Sun Microsystems, Inc. (www.sun.com/software/staroffice) is a product that runs on Linux, UNIX, and Windows operating systems. Like OpenOffice.org, StarOffice contains many features that make it compatible with Microsoft Office applications. In particular, it includes the capability to import Microsoft Word and Excel files. StarOffice is probably the most complete integrated office suite for Linux. It includes: ■ Writer — StarOffice’s word-processing application. It can import documents from a variety of formats, with special emphasis on Word documents. ■ Calc — The StarOffice spreadsheet program. You can import spreadsheets from Microsoft Excel and other popular programs. ■ Impress — Create presentations with this application. ■ Draw — A vector-oriented drawing program that includes the capability to create 3D objects and to use texturing. ■ Base — Manage your data sources. You can access a variety of database interfaces. Other tools in StarOffice enable you to create business graphics, edit raster images, and edit mathematical formulas. You can download StarOffice for Linux or purchase a boxed set from the StarOffice Web site at www.sun.com/software/staroffice. Although StarOffice was once available free for download, the current price to download the software for home users is $69.95 US, or $99.95 if you purchase it through retail outlets. (You can also get a volume discount.) A trial version is available that you can enable (using a license key) if you decide that you like it enough to purchase the product. One reason to pay for StarOffice when you can get OpenOffice.org software for free is that you get a bunch of extras with StarOffice. The extras include a spell-checker, clip art, many more file converters (although the best ones are for converting Microsoft formats), a database module, and technical support. OpenOffi ce.org is an open source project sponsored by Sun Microsystems. Sun takes the shared source code used to create OpenOffi ce.org and combines it with other modules to produce the StarOffi ce suite. This is very similar to the model used by Red Hat, Inc. where it sponsors the community-driven Fedora project to distribute freely, while the Red Hat Enterprise Linux product (based on Fedora) is sold through subscriptions. Using AbiWord The AbiWord word processor is a very nice, free word processor from the AbiSource project (www.abisource.com). If you are starting documents from scratch, AbiWord includes many of the basic functions you need to create good-quality documents. NOTE 73675c05.indd 122 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM123 Working with Words and Images 5 With AbiWord, you can select the type of document the file contains, and select to read the file in the following formats: ■ AbiWord (.abw) ■ GZipped AbiWord (.zabw) ■ Rich Text Format (.rtf) ■ Microsoft Word (.doc) ■ UTF8 (.utf8) ■ Text (.txt) In addition, AbiWord can import and export ODF, DocBook, and OpenOffice.org files. AbiWord doesn’t yet import all these file types cleanly. Although the recent version supports Word styles, sometimes tables, graphics, and other features don’t translate perfectly. If you want to work with a Word document in AbiWord, open it as AbiWord, correct any font problems, and save the document in AbiWord format. AbiWord has vastly improved in the past few releases, but you may still experience problems if you need to exchange files with others who are using Word. (If you want to keep files in the Word format, you’ll find that OpenOffice.org and StarOffice work much better, but not perfectly.) Features recently added to AbiWord such as styles and bullets continue to make it a more useful word-processing tool. It’s not yet competitive with comparable commercial products, but its developers continue to improve it. If you do not have a lot of formatting needs, or if you do not care about Microsoft file formats, AbiWord provides a realistic alternative to larger application suites such as OpenOffice.org. The AbiWord program is small and executes fast, requiring less system resources such as RAM than OpenOffice.org. The speed and size make it a joy to use. Using KOffice KDE provides an office suite along with hundreds of other programs. The KOffice package has the basic applications you would expect in an integrated office suite: a word processor (KWord), a spreadsheet program (KSpread), a presentation creator (KPresenter), and a diagram-drawing program (KChart). In Fedora and other Linux systems, installing the koffice-suite package will pull in most of the software you need to use KOffice. Start by opening the KOffice Workspace (usually from the Office menu or KDE panel menu). In the workspace window that opens, you can select from the different office applications presented in the left column. Open multiple documents in any of the applications, and then click Documents in the left column to choose which one to display at the moment. Figure 5-3 shows the KOffice Workspace displaying a KWord document. 73675c05.indd 123 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM124 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 5-3 The KOffice Workspace enables you to work with multiple KDE office applications at once. You can work with a variety of document, spreadsheet, and image types. Not many commercial document types are supported yet, so you may need to import documents using other tools before you can read them into KWord. KSpread, however, can open several different spreadsheet styles, including Microsoft Excel and GNUmeric spreadsheets. Transitioning Documents from Windows For casual home users, small-office workers, and large corporation personnel alike, moving from Microsoft Office to another Office suite is an experience that can range from simple to harrowing. In general, it is useful to examine this migration in terms of “home use” versus “work use”: ■ Home users typically have to concern themselves with maintaining access to their own documents. In a personal context, it might be rare for friends and relatives to send Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations. But over the years you may have accumulated term papers, recipes, letters to the editor, account spreadsheets, 73675c05.indd 124 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM125 Working with Words and Images 5 and other such documents that you’d like to be able to read and print. In most cases, OpenOffice.org applications will handle files in Microsoft formats just fine. ■ At work, in addition to the accumulation of documents over time, there is a more pressing issue: Other people will be sharing Microsoft Office documents with you. So while home users need to concern themselves most with access to historical documents, in the workplace you probably need to accommodate new documents as well as your historical information. Because you can convert your documents, there are no real challenges to migrating simple documents. However, if your Microsoft Office documents include extensive macro, scripting, or embedded object usage, you may find the conversion is not a very clean one. Make sure you attempt conversions using the following options before moving on to the last resort of using multiple applications or re-creating documents. Using Microsoft Office to convert documents enables you to save your files in an alternative format. For example, Word allows you to save your document files (the Word versions anyway) to a variety of formats, including: ■ HTML (.htm/.html) — HTML is a great format for your information if it is basically text and you need only a few formatting options and some embedded images and links. The resulting HTML document will be smaller than the corresponding .doc file. ■ Rich Text Format (.rtf) — Another wonderful minimalist format (owned by Microsoft but an open standard nonetheless) that preserves some formatting and graphics, but any scripting or macro usage is lost. ■ Plain Text (.txt) — Works if all you need to save is the text of the file. Everything else is lost. ■ Word Document (.doc or .docx) — An alternative format that may save some of the elements you want yet make it more accessible to OpenOffice.org. Using this format may not resolve all of the issues you have with converting those hard-to-change documents, but it just might do the trick. The default format for Word 2007 fi les is .docx — Offi ce Open XML. Other Microsoft Office applications offer similar functionality. PowerPoint can convert presentations to HTML and general image formats such as JPEG and TIFF. Excel can save tab- and commadelimited files that are easily importable into a large number of applications. If you make use of Access to save data, you may want to move data stored in Access’s .mdb format into a SQL database. SQL is more scalable, powerful, and virtually platform-independent. Migrating to SQL will preserve your data, but if your .mdb file will not open in OpenOffice.org, you will need to re-create any forms for accessing the data that you would like to continue using. NOTE 73675c05.indd 125 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM126 Part II Running a Linux Desktop If you are likely to continue to receive Microsoft Office files and you are concerned about interoperability, here are some options to consider: ■ Keep a copy of Microsoft Office installed using WINE and the CodeWeavers CrossOver Office plug-in. CrossOver Office lets you run Microsoft Word on a Linux desktop. For more information about CrossOver Office, visit CodeWeavers’ Web site at www.codeweavers.com. ■ Ask individuals sending you documentation to use a less vendor-specific format, such as Adobe PDF. Document formatting can be exquisitely preserved and will be viewable by anyone capable of installing a PDF viewer, which supports virtually every operating system in widespread use today. Documents posted on Web sites, for example, should be in PDF and not Microsoft Word format for security reasons. ■ For forms that have user-editable fields, scripting, or complex embedded information, use HTML documents instead. Anyone with a compliant Web browser will be able to interact with the document, and Microsoft Office applications universally support saving files into this format. ■ If you will want to access your documents a long time from now, say a few years, consider storing your documents in the Open Document Format, or ODF. ODF, being open and not encumbered by patents, will make it easier for you to access your documents in the future. If your organization has any requirements for long-term data storage, use ODF. Remember, Microsoft does not support old versions of Word documents today. Furthermore, Word’s latest document format is encumbered by patents, so you may lose the right to access your documents in the future, or you may need to pay any fee required by the vendor. Use ODF. Before making any wholesale conversion away from Microsoft Offi ce, make sure the fi les you need to use will work as expected with the new offi ce suite you have selected or that you can construct suitable replacements if needed. Testing things ahead of time enables you to make necessary adjustments without later having to endure the frustration of fi nding some important document inaccessible or unusable. Many organizations start their transition away from Microsoft Offi ce by switching to OpenOffi ce.org on Windows. This way you can have both Offi ce and OpenOffi ce.org running on the same systems as you gradually work out any conversion issues. Once the issues have been resolved, you can migrate to Linux. In any migration effort, follow good practices such as starting with smaller groups to ensure any glitches or problems are properly handled. Converting Documents Documents can come to you in many different formats. Search just some of the Linux FTP sites on the Internet and you will find files in PostScript, DVI, man, PDF, HTML, and TeX. There are also a variety of graphics formats. Table 5-1 provides a list of common document and graphics conversion utilities. Many graphical applications, such as GIMP, also enable you to save images into several different formats (BMP, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and so on) through the use of the Save As feature. CAUTION CAUTION 73675c05.indd 126 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM127 Working with Words and Images 5 TABLE 5-1 Document and Graphics Conversion Utilities Utility Converts To dos2unix DOS text file UNIX (Linux) text file fax2ps TIFF facsimile image files Compressed PostScript format (The PostScript output is optimized to send to a printer on a lowspeed line. This format is less efficient for images with a lot of black or continuous tones, for which tiff2ps might be more effective.) fax2tiff Fax data (Group 3 or Group 4) TIFF format (The output is either low-resolution or medium-resolution TIFF format.) g32pbm Group 3 fax file (either digifax or raw) Portable bitmap gif2tiff GIF (87) file TIFF format man2html Man page HTML format pal2rgb TIFF image (palette color) Full-color RGB image pbm2g3 Portable bitmap image Fax file (Group 3) pdf2dsc PDF file PostScript document dsc file (The PostScript file conforms to Adobe Document Structuring Conventions. The output enables PostScript readers such as Ghostview to read the PDF file one page at a time.) pdf2ps PDF file PostScript file (level 2) pfb2pfa Type 1 PostScript font (binary MS-DOS ) ASCII-readable pk2bm TeX pkfont font file Bitmap (ASCII file) ppm2tiff PPM image file TIFF format ps2ascii PostScript or PDF file ASCII text ps2epsi PostScript file Encapsulated PostScript (EPSI) (Some wordprocessing and graphics programs can read EPSI. Output is often low quality.) ps2pdf PostScript file Portable Document Format (PDF) ps2pk Type 1 PostScript font TeX pkfont pstotext PostScript file ASCII text (pstotext is similar to ps2ascii but handles font encoding and kerning better. It doesn’t convert PDFs.) continued 73675c05.indd 127 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM128 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Utility Converts To ras2tiff Sun raster file TIFF format texi2html Texinfo file HTML tiff2bw RGB or Palette color TIFF image Grayscale TIFF image tiff2ps TIFF image PostScript unix2dos UNIX (Linux) text file DOS text file Building Structured Documents Documentation projects often need to produce documents that are output in a variety of formats. For example, the same text that describes how to use a software program may need to be output as a printed manual, an HTML page, and a PostScript file. The standards that have been embraced most recently by the Linux community for creating what are referred to as structured documents are SGML and XML. The specific document type definition (DTD) used to produce Linux documentation is called DocBook. Understanding SGML and XML Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) was created to provide a standard way of marking text so that it could be output later in a variety of formats. Because SGML markup is done with text tags, you can create SGML documents using any plain-text editor. Documents consist of the text of your document and tags that identify each type of information in the text. Unlike markup languages such as Groff and TeX, SGML markup is not intended to enforce a particular look when you are creating the document. So, for example, instead of marking a piece of text as being bold or italic, you would identify it as an address, a paragraph, or a name. Later, a style sheet would be applied to the document to assign a look and presentation to the tagged text. HTML is an example of SGML markup. Because SGML consists of many tags, other projects have cropped up to simplify the production of documents based on SGML and to better focus the ways in which SGML is used. In particular, the Extensible Markup Language (XML) was created to offer a manageable subset of SGML that would be specifically tailored to work well with Web-based publishing. So far in this description of SGML and XML, I’ve discussed only the frameworks that are used to produce structured documents. Specific documentation projects need to create and, to some extent, enforce specific markup definitions for the type of documents they need to produce. These definitions are referred to as Document Type Definitions (DTDs). For documentation of Linux itself and other open source projects, DocBook has become the DTD of choice. TABLE 5-1 (continued) 73675c05.indd 128 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM129 Working with Words and Images 5 Understanding DocBook DocBook is a DTD that is well suited for producing computer software documents in a variety of formats. It was originally created by the OASIS Consortium (www.oasis-open.org) and is now supported by many different commercial and open source tools. DocBook’s focus is on marking content, instead of indicating a particular look (that is, font type, size, position, and so on). It includes markup that lets you automate the process of creating indexes, figure lists, and tables of contents, to name a few. DocBook is important to the Linux and open source community because many open source projects use it to produce documentation. The following is a list of organizations that use DocBook to create the documents that describe their software: ■ The Linux Documentation Project (TLDP) www.tldp.org/LDP/LDP-Author-Guide ■ GNOME Documentation Project http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gdp/handbook/gdp-handbook ■ KDE Documentation Project www.kde.org/documentation ■ FreeBSD Documentation Project www.freebsd.org/docproj/ If you want to contribute to any of these documentation projects, refer to the Web sites for each organization. In all cases, they publish writers’ guides or style guides that describe the DocBook tags that they support. Creating DocBook Documents You can create the documents in any text editor, using tags that are similar in appearance to HTML tags (with beginning and end tags appearing between less-than and greater-than signs). Certain word-processing programs also allow you to create DocBook markup. The following steps show an example of a simple DocBook XML document produced with a plaintext editor and output into HTML using tools that are available in many Linux systems. Install the docbook-utils package (in Fedora and other Linux systems) to get the DocBook utilities you need. The DocBook DTD is available in both SGML and XML forms. Of the two, the XML form is actively maintained. 1. Create a directory in your home directory to work in and go to that directory. For example, you can type the following from a Terminal window: $ mkdir $HOME/doctest $ cd $HOME/doctest NOTE 73675c05.indd 129 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM130 Part II Running a Linux Desktop 2. Open a text editor to hold your DocBook document. For example, you can type: $ gedit cardoc.xml 3. Enter the tags and text that you want to appear in your document. Most DocBook documents are either type (large, multichapter documents) or

type (singlechapter documents). To try out a DocBook document, type the following:

In this article, you will learn how to price, negotiate for, and purchase an automobile.

The first thing you will learn is how to figure out what you can afford.
After you know what you can afford, you can begin your search.

You should notice a few things about this document. The entire document is wrapped in article tags (

). The article title is in title tags (). The section tags (

) indicate sections of text that each have a title and paragraph. These sections can later be treated separately in the Table of Contents. 4. Save the file and exit from the text editor. 5. Next, you can try translating the document you just created into several different formats. For example, to create HTML output, you can type the following: $ db2html cardoc.xml The result is a new directory called cardoc. The result from db2html in the cardoc directory is the creation of a stylesheet-images directory, a t1.html file, and an x8.html 73675c05.indd 130 11/25/08 6:53:48 PM131 Working with Words and Images 5 file. (You will also see a lot of scary-looking error messages when you run the db2html program. For now, you can ignore them. Ideally, the cardoc.xml document should have a reference to the DocBook DTD.) To view the HTML file just created, I typed the following: $ firefox $HOME/doctest/cardoc/t1.html Figure 5-4 shows an example of the output created from the db2html command. The screen on the left shows the first page. Click the Next link at the top of the page. The second page that you see is shown on the right. During conversion to HTML, the db2html command adds Next/Previous buttons to each page. It also puts the title of each section in a Table of Contents on page 1 and in the browser’s title bar. FIGURE 5-4 The DocBook file is output in HTML with the db2html command. From this point, you can continue to add content and different types of tags. If you are writing documents for a particular project (such as the Linux projects mentioned earlier), you should get information on the particular tags and other style issues they require. 73675c05.indd 131 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM132 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Converting DocBook Documents The previous example shows how to create a simple DocBook document and convert it to HTML output. The following utilities convert DocBook to other formats: ■ docbook2dvi — Device-independent file format ■ docbook2html — HTML format ■ docbook2man — Man page format ■ docbook2pdf — Portable Document Format (PDF) ■ docbook2ps — PostScript format ■ docbook2rtf — Rich Text Format (RTF) ■ docbook2tex — TeX format ■ docbook2texi — GNU TeXinfo format ■ docbook2txt — Bare text format If some of the commands just described are not installed on your system from the docbook-utils package, try installing the docbook-utils-pdf package. Doing Page Layout with Scribus For brochures, magazines, newsletters, catalogs, and other materials that need more sophisticated layouts than you can do with a word processor, you need a page layout application. The most popular open source page layout application is called Scribus (www.scribus.net). Although Scribus is intended primarily to produce print publications, you can also use Scribus to produce what are referred to as intelligent PDFs. With PDFs you create with Scribus, you can include JavaScript and other features to let others interact with your text (such as by filling in forms). Scribus is packaged with several different Linux distributions. In Fedora and other distributions, install the scribus package. The package comes with templates and samples you can use to start your own projects with (usually in /usr/share/scribus/). With the scribus package installed, you can start Scribus from the GNOME desktop by selecting Applications ➪ Office ➪ Scribus. Figure 5-5 shows an example of a brochure layout in Scribus. After Scribus is running on your desktop, you can start by selecting a template (select File ➪ New from Template). Choose a brochure, newsletter, presentation, or text-based layout to begin with. Here are some things you can do with the sample layout to get used to using Scribus: ■ Edit text — Right-click a text box and select Edit text. In the Story Editor window that appears, change the text, point size, scaling width/height of the text, font, text alignment, color, and other attributes. Select File ➪ Update Text Frame and Exit to save the changes. 73675c05.indd 132 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM133 Working with Words and Images 5 ■ Add images — Right-click an image box and select Get Image. Browse your folders for the image you want. If the image doesn’t fit, right-click the image and select Edit Image to open the image in GIMP to resize or otherwise modify it. Right-click the image and select Adjust Frame to Image to resize the frame to fit your image. ■ Change existing frames — Right-click any frame, and then select Is Locked so the check box disappears. Once the frame is unlocked, you can do a lot to change it. Grab a corner or side of the frame to resize it. Right-click it and select Sample Text to fill it with text, or Cut, Copy, or Delete. Grab the frame with your mouse to drag and drop it somewhere else. When you are done changing the frame, select Is Locked to lock the frame in place again. ■ Change document attributes — Select File ➪ Document Setup. From the Document Setup window that appears, you can change the size and orientation of the page, as well as the type of page (single, double-sided, three-fold, or four-fold). Likewise, you can change all margins. Select topics from the left to add information such as author, title, and keywords. You can also change fonts and hyphenation or add a table of contents. ■ Drawing — You can do freehand drawing anywhere on your Scribus layout. Select the Insert Freehand Line button (pencil icon) or Insert Bezier Curve button (ink pen icon), and then use the mouse to draw lines on the page. You can also draw boxes, polygons, or lines using buttons on the toolbar. Right-click the drawn element and select Properties. From the Properties window, you can adjust the shape, line, and colors of the drawing. FIGURE 5-5 Produce professional quality layouts with Scribus. 73675c05.indd 133 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM134 Part II Running a Linux Desktop When you are done creating your layout, you can print it by selecting File ➪ Print. The Preflight Verifier window appears with information about the printed document. At the top-right corner of the page, you can select to change from PostScript format to one of several PDF versions. You can then choose to direct the output to the printer or have it go to a PDF or PostScript file. Working with Graphics Tools for creating and manipulating graphics are becoming both more plentiful and more powerful in Linux systems as a whole. Leading the list is the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). GIMP enables you to compose and author images as well as retouch photographs. To work with vector graphics (where geometric shapes represent images, instead of just dots), Inkscape is a popular open source application. Other tools for creating graphics include ksnapshot (a program for taking screen captures) and kpaint (for working with bitmap images). Manipulating Images with GIMP GIMP is a free software program for manipulating photographs and graphical images. To create images with GIMP, you can either import a drawing, photograph, or 3D image, or you can create one from scratch. You can start GIMP from the system menu by selecting Graphics ➪ The GIMP or by typing gimp& from a Terminal window. Figure 5-6 shows an example of GIMP. In many ways, GIMP is similar to Adobe Photoshop. Some people feel that GIMP’s scripting features are comparable to or even better than Actions in Adobe Photoshop. One capability that GIMP lacks, however, is native support for CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black) separations. If CMYK is not critical for your graphics needs, you will probably find GIMP to be just as powerful and flexible as Photoshop in many ways. See www.blackfiveservices.co.uk/separate.shtml for a CMYK plug-in for GIMP. This plug-in provides only rudimentary support for CMYK, according to its documentation. Even so, that may be enough for your needs. With an image open, you can select tools from the GIMP window to work on the image. When you select a tool, notice that options for that tool appear in tabs below. Figure 5-7 shows the GIMP tools, along with callouts indicating what the tools do. TIP 73675c05.indd 134 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM135 Working with Words and Images 5 FIGURE 5-6 GIMP is a powerful tool for graphics manipulation. FIGURE 5-7 Use the GIMP window to choose tools for changing images. 73675c05.indd 135 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM136 Part II Running a Linux Desktop The following list describes the tools shown in Figure 5-7: ■ Path tool — Use the path tool to create special types of rectangle, elliptical, or free-form shapes. Try creating a rectangle, with the final point ending on the first. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the first point to close the box. With the shape complete, select Stroke Path to define the shape with a solid or pattern line. ■ Color picker — Use the color picker to select any color from your image as your foreground or background color. ■ Magnify — Select this tool, and then click and drag to choose an area of your image. That area of your image will fill the screen. Or just click to zoom in or Ctrl+click to zoom out on the image. ■ Measure — With measure selected, click and drag your mouse from one point to another. The status bar shows the distance (in pixels), angle, width, and height you just measured. ■ Select tools — Use the select tools to select different areas of your image. You can select a rectangle, ellipse, hand-drawn area, a region based on color, an edge of an element, or an area based on foreground objects. Once an area is selected, you can cut, copy, fill, paste, or do other things with it. ■ Text tool — Select the text tool, click the image, and begin typing to add text to that point in the image. From the options below, you can change the font, size, color, justification, and other options relating to the text. ■ Paint tools — Use these tools to add lines and colors to your image. The bucket tool fills a selected area or similar color with the current foreground color, background color, or pattern. The gradient tool lets you shade an area from one color to another. Use the pencil, brush, ink, or airbrush tools to draw lines. Paint over one part of an image from a sample taken from another part of an image or from a selected pattern using the clone tool. Use blur, smudge, and dodge/burn tools to blur and soften selected areas of the image. Erase (to transparency or to the layer below) using the erase tool. ■ Foreground and background colors — The two color boxes show the foreground (upper right) and background (lower left) colors. Click to open a dialog to change either of those colors. Click the swap arrows to switch the two colors. You can also access the tools just described from the Tools menu. Select the Dialogs menu to see a list of dialog boxes you can display to work with layers, channels, paths, patterns, fonts, and other elements you want to include or change in your image. If you make a mistake, select Edit ➪ Undo from the GIMP menu, or press the Ctrl+Z key combination. You can step backwards to do multiple undos in this way as well. Creating Vector Graphic Images with Inkscape When you need to have maximum flexibility working with graphics and text, a vector graphic editor can let you deal with geometric elements (such as lines, curves, and boxes) instead of dots (as you do with image editors). As a result, you usually get cleaner edges on your fonts and graphics and the TIP 73675c05.indd 136 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM137 Working with Words and Images 5 ability to bend and shape those elements as you like. Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) is a popular vector graphics editor that is available with most Linux systems. With Inkscape, you have an application with features similar to those you would find in commercial products such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. Inkscape creates images in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format — an open standard from the W3C (www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG). Thousands of SVG graphics and clipart elements are available in the public domain or under Creative Commons licenses. If you are using a Linux distribution such as Fedora, install the inkscape package to get Inkscape. I recommend you also install the openclipart package, which will give you hundreds of clipart items to use in your Inkscape creations. With the inkscape and openclipart packages installed, select Applications ➪ Graphics ➪ Inkscape Vector Graphics Editor to open an Inkscape window. Figure 5-8 shows an example of the Inkscape window. FIGURE 5-8 Inkscape enables you to manipulate graphics and text. 73675c05.indd 137 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM138 Part II Running a Linux Desktop You can start by opening one of the dozens of templates available with Inkscape (select File ➪ New and choose from web banner, business card, DVD cover, or other templates). With the new window open, here are some ways to get started with Inkscape: ■ Add text — Select the text icon from the toolbar on the left, click on the page, and begin typing. After typing some text, choose the Select icon and click on the text. Use the side or corner arrows to resize the text. Click the text again and use the arrows around the text to slant or rotate the text. Grab the text box with the mouse and drag it where you want it to go. With the text still selected, select Text ➪ Text and Font to see a window where you can choose the font family, font style, layout, and line spacing. ■ Add graphical elements — From the toolbar on the left, select the rectangle, 3D box, circles, start, or swirls button. Move the mouse cursor to the place where you want the new element, click and hold the mouse on that place, and move the mouse so the new element grows to the size you want. Click the color palette on the bottom of the screen to change the element’s color. ■ Add clipart — If you added the openclipart package, you can import clipart from there. Select File ➪ Import and browse the /usr/share/clipart/openclipart folder. Choose from hundreds of SVG clipart images in categories such as food, geography, office, recreation, tools, and transportation. Once the image is imported, use your mouse to select and shape it as you did with the text. ■ Group objects — Select a text or clipart object, and then hold down the Shift key and select other objects. When all the objects you want in the group are selected, choose Object ➪ Group. You can now move all the grouped objects around together as one unit. ■ Use layers — Select the Layer button to add, delete, raise, or lower layers. When you are done creating your vector graphic, you can print that graphic by selecting File ➪ Print. From the Print window, you can select to have the image in vector or bitmap form from the Rendering tab. Acquiring Screen Captures Several screen capture tools are available with Linux systems. You can take a screenshot from the GIMP program just described by selecting File ➪ Acquire ➪ Screenshot. On GNOME desktops, select Applications ➪ Accessories ➪ Take Screenshot. From most KDE desktops, select Graphics ➪ KSnapshot. Using the example of the GNOME Take Screenshot tool, a dialog box appears that lets you choose to grab the whole desktop or grab the current window. You can set a delay of several seconds, if you need to set up something such as opening a menu before you take the shot. Then click Take Screenshot. Figure 5-9 shows an example of the Take Screenshot window after it has captured an image of the current desktop. Select a folder to hold the screen shot and type a name for the image. Then click Save to save it. 73675c05.indd 138 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM139 Working with Words and Images 5 FIGURE 5-9 Grab a picture of your desktop or selected window with the Take Screenshot utility. Viewing Images If you want to browse through a folder of images and possibly make some simple changes, both KDE and GNOME desktops offer some easy-to-use image viewers. When you open an image from a KDE folder, the Gwenview image viewer opens that image. In GNOME, Eye of GNOME is the default image viewer. Gwenview does a good job with the basics for managing images if, for example, you are working with a folder of images downloaded from a digital camera. Click the Preview button to preview thumbnails of images in the folder. Zoom in or zoom out to get a better look at each image. If the image is on its side, you can rotate it left or right. From the Edit menu, you can also flip, resize, crop, or create a mirror image of the current image. Figure 5-10 shows the Gwenview window. Double-click an image file in a folder window (or right-click the image and select Open with Image Viewer) to open that image in Eye of GNOME. The Eye of GNOME image viewer doesn’t offer as many features for cutting and resizing as does Gwenview. However, you can still rotate and save those changes, if necessary. Select Edit ➪ Properties to view information about the height, width, size, type, and folder for each image. Under the View menu, you can also view Eye of GNOME in Full Screen mode or as a Slideshow. With Image Collection selected from the View menu (or by pressing the F9 function key), you can step through thumbnails of each image in the current folder. Figure 5-11 shows an example of Eye of GNOME with the Image Collection view selected (notice that the name in the window title bar changes to that of the selected image). 73675c05.indd 139 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM140 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 5-10 Go through your images in KDE with Gwenview. FIGURE 5-11 Step through a folder of images and do simple modifications with Eye of GNOME. 73675c05.indd 140 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM141 Working with Words and Images 5 Displaying PDF and PostScript Documents Document publishing can be very paper-intensive if you send a word-processing document to the printer each time you want to make a change to the document’s content or formatting. To save paper and time spent running around, use a print preview program to display your document on the screen as it will appear on the printed page. Likewise, these viewers can be useful to display documents you want to read that are in a read-only format (such as many PDF or PostScript files). The following sections describe how to use the ghostscript and ggv commands for displaying PostScript files and Adobe Reader for displaying PDF files. Using the ghostscript and gv Commands To display PostScript or PDF documents in Linux, you can use the ghostscript command. It is a fairly crude interface, intended to let you step through documents and interpret them one line at a time. You can display any PostScript or PDF file you happen to have on your computer. For example, if the samba package is installed, you can type the following to display a PDF file (otherwise, you can find your own PDF file to try it): $ ghostscript -sDEVICE=x11 /usr/share/doc/samba-doc*/Samba-HOWTO.pdf >>showpage, press to continue<< At the prompt, press Enter (or Return) to go through the file one page at a time. When you have reached the end of the document, you can type the name of another PostScript or PDF file and page through that file. When you are done, type quit. You may also see warning or error messages if ghostscript detects problems in the PostScript or PDF file. In most cases, if you can see the document’s contents, you can ignore the messages. The ggv command (GNOME Ghostview) is another, more friendly way of viewing PostScript files. To use ggv to open a file called bashref.ps, type the following: $ ggv /usr/share/doc/bash-doc-*/bashref.ps When the Ghostview window opens, you can see the document. Left-click on the page and move the mouse up and down to scroll the document. Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to page through the document. You can click a page number in the left column to jump to a particular page or click the Print All button to print the entire document. Using Adobe Reader The Portable Document Format (PDF) provides a way to store documents as they would appear in print. With Adobe Reader, you can view PDF files in a very friendly way. Adobe Reader makes it easy to move around within a PDF file. A PDF file may include hyperlinks, a table of contents, graphics, and a variety of type fonts. Recent versions even allow you to fill in forms or mark up content. 73675c05.indd 141 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM142 Part II Running a Linux Desktop You can get Adobe Reader for Linux from the Adobe Web site (www.adobe.com/products/ acrobat/readstep2.html). If you have need for any special forms or editing functions on PDF documents, you should get this reader, as opposed to using an open source PDF viewer such as Evince or Ghostview. After you install Adobe Reader, select Applications ➪ Office ➪ Adobe Reader to start it. Or you can type the following command to start the program: $ acroread Choose File ➪ Open, and then select the name of a PDF file you want to display. Figure 5-12 shows an example of a PDF file viewed in Adobe Reader. FIGURE 5-12 Display PDF files in Adobe Reader. 73675c05.indd 142 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM143 Working with Words and Images 5 Adobe Reader has a lot of nice features. For example, you can display a list of bookmarks alongside the document and click a bookmark to take you to a particular page. You can also display thumbnails of the pages to quickly scroll through and select a page. Using the menu bar or buttons, you can page through the PDF document, zoom in and out, go to the beginning or end of the document, and display different views of the document (as well as display bookmarks and page thumbnails). To print a copy, choose File ➪ Print. Other document-viewing programs include Evince and KghostView, a KDE version of th GhostView program. Using Scanners with SANE Software for using a scanner with Linux is being driven by an effort called Scanner Access Now Easy (SANE). This effort hopes to standardize how device drivers for equipment such as scanners, digital still cameras, and digital video cameras are created, as well as help simplify the interfaces for applications that use those devices. SANE is now included with a variety of Linux distributions. Someone wanting to use Linux as a publishing platform is generally interested in two issues about scanners: which scanners are supported and which applications are available to use the scanners. For older scanners, SCSI scanners are generally better supported than parallel scanners. These days, USB scanners are the most popular and best supported scanners. Because of the ongoing development effort, new scanners are being supported all the time. You can find a current list of supported scanners at www.sane-project.org/sane-supporteddevices.html, with USB scanners listed at www.buzzard.me.uk/jonathan/scanners-usb .html. Epson scanners are most often recommended for Linux. As for scanning applications, some of the more widely used tools available today include: ■ xsane — An X-based graphical front end for SANE scanners, xsane can work as a GIMP plug-in or as a separate application (from most KDE desktops, select Graphics ➪ Scanning). It supports 8-bit output in JPG, TIFF, PNG, PostScript, and PNM formats. There is experimental 16-bit support for PNM (ASCII), PNG, and raw formats. ■ scanimage — Use this command-line interface to obtain scanned images. The command acquires the scanned image, and then directs the data to standard output (so you can send it to a file or pipe it to another program). It supports the same formats as xsane. In addition to these applications, the OpenOffice.org suite supports SANE. Because of the architecture of SANE scanner drivers, it is possible to separate scanner drivers from scanner applications. This makes it possible to share scanners across a network. 73675c05.indd 143 11/25/08 6:53:49 PM144 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Web Publishing The final destination for your documents and images doesn’t have to be paper. Publishing on the Web has become commonplace in the past few years. If you want to control your own Web site for publishing your thoughts and pictures to the world, Linux systems include many software packages to help you do that. If you are creating simple HTML Web pages, you can build basic HTML documents using word processors such as OpenOffice.org Writer or SeaMonkey Composer. If you are really brave, you might even try a plain text editor and add the HTML markup manually. For more complex Web sites, however, there are lots of options. The following list describes open source software packages that can be used for publishing on the Web. All of the software packages described here are packaged for Fedora, as well as other Linux distributions. Web servers are constant targets for bad guys on the Internet. If you decide to try some of the software described below, be sure to check with the project site to make sure you get the latest security patches and updates. ■ Image galleries — The Gallery project (http://gallery.menalto.com) lets you create online photo albums. Gallery makes it easy for you to organize photos into albums, edit your images, tag them, and present them using a variety of themes and colors. In Fedora, install the gallery2 package. ■ Blogging software — The popular WordPress site (http://wordpress.com) uses its own open source WordPress software (http://wordpress.org) to offer blogging accounts to others. If you want your own blogging site, you can either sign up for a free account on WordPress.com or you can use that software to set up your own blogging site. Install the wordpress package in Fedora to get started. Figure 5-13 shows an example of a blog that relies on WordPress software running from WordPress.com. ■ Wiki software — Wikis let you gather and organize large amounts of information online. Instead of having to write everything on a subject by yourself, by creating a wiki you can allow people to sign up for accounts and add and correct articles on your site. Wiki software available to the open source community includes MediaWiki (install the mediawiki package) and MoinMoin (install the moin package). See the MediaWiki.org and MoinMoin.wikiwikiweb.de sites, respectively, for further information. ■ Content management system (CMS) software — For some Web sites, you might want to offer a range of information. For an active online community, you may want to offer articles, forums, online polls, downloads, and other diverse activities. Content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal (install the drupal package) offer a platform for creating and managing those types of activities online. Other open source CMS systems include Plone (http://plone.org) and Zope (www.zope.org). Both Plone and Zope are packaged for Fedora and other Linux systems (plone and zope packages, respectively). CAUTION CAUTION 73675c05.indd 144 11/25/08 6:53:50 PM145 Working with Words and Images 5 FIGURE 5-13 With WordPress, you create your own blogging site. Before installing and making any of these types of Web sites available on the Internet, you should keep in mind that it will take some commitment to stay current with software updates and keep the site maintained. But if you are willing to make that commitment, the open source projects just mentioned can help you produce high-quality sites for publishing on the Internet. Summary Tools available in Linux for publishing words and images on paper and the Web can compete with similar software available commercially. For producing hardcopy documents, you have word processors such as OpenOffice.org Writer, AbiWord, and StarOffice. To lay out pages, there is Scribus. To work with photos, you have GIMP, and for vector graphics, you can use Inkscape. Software for publishing content on the Internet is also available now in almost any category you can think of. For blogging, you can create a WordPress site. For image galleries, there is Gallery software. Content management systems include Drupal, Plone, and Zope. For image galleries, there is Gallery software. Content management systems include Drupal, Plone, and Zope. To create wikis, there are MediaWiki and Moin Moin. 73675c05.indd 145 11/25/08 6:53:50 PM73675c05.indd 146 11/25/08 6:53:50 PM147 Web browsers and e-mail clients available with Linux have seen incredible improvements over the past few years. Their features rival those you can get on the most popular Windows clients. Security issues with Outlook mail clients and Internet Explorer browsers have many people taking a fresh look at Linux and open source software for accessing the Internet. This chapter describes some of the best Web, e-mail, chat, and related tools for accessing the Internet that you can get with the Linux distributions described in this book. If you have never worked with the Internet from Linux, or haven’t for a few years, you might be blown away by what’s available today. Using E-Mail Any Linux desktop system worth the name desktop system will have at least one or two applications for sending, receiving, and managing your e-mail. Many users believe that superior tools for managing spam and generally better security mechanisms make Linux a great desktop platform for managing your e-mail. Choosing an E-Mail Client Choices of e-mail clients range from those that look like clones of popular Windows e-mail programs to those that run in plain text from the shell, E-Mailing and Web Browsing IN THIS CHAPTER Reading e-mail with Thunderbird Mail Managing e-mail in Evolution Using text-based e-mail clients Browsing the Web with Firefox Browsing with SeaMonkey Using text-based Web browsers 73675c06.indd 147 11/25/08 6:54:04 PM148 Part II Running a Linux Desktop and interfaces vary widely with the e-mail clients that are available with Linux. Here are some different ways in which e-mail clients are integrated into Linux: ■ Standalone — These days, most e-mail clients are standalone applications in their own right. The primary standalone e-mail application is Mozilla Thunderbird 2 (www.mozilla .com/en-US/thunderbird/), although you can find 50 or more choices on Linux, such as Sylpheed (sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/). ■ With a Web browser — Many popular Web browsers include an integrated e-mail client. By configuring the e-mail client that comes with your browser, you are ready to launch a new e-mail message by clicking on a mailto link from a browser window. You can also easily open the e-mail client from your Web browser’s toolbar. Feature-rich Mozilla SeaMonkey Mail (www.seamonkey-project.org) is a popular e-mail client for Linux to come with a Web browser. Netscape Communicator (http:// netscape.aol.com) is another Web browser that has its own mail client (although it has been dropped from many Linux distributions because of licensing issues). Most users, however, use the separated clients Thunderbird for e-mail and Firefox for Web browsing. The Opera (www.opera.com) Web browser also includes an integrated e-mail client. It is perhaps the most elegant of the e-mail clients that comes with a Web browser. Opera is available for personal use without cost. ■ With groupware — Some e-mail clients have been bundled with other personal productivity applications to form integrated groupware applications. The most popular of these in Linux is Evolution, which is bundled as the default e-mail client with several different Linux distributions. Besides e-mail, Evolution includes a calendar, task list, and contacts directory. (A company named Ximian originally produced Evolution. Novell, Inc. purchased Ximian, and then later renamed and rebranded Ximian Evolution as Novell Evolution.) ■ From the shell — Many old school UNIX and Linux power users prefer to use an e-mail client that runs without a graphical desktop. Although not always intuitive to use, textbased e-mail readers run much faster than their graphical counterparts. The mail command dates back to the earliest UNIX systems (where there was no GUI). The mutt e-mail client is popular among power users because of its capability to manage large mailboxes and attachments efficiently. Features inside each e-mail client can help you distinguish between them. While most e-mail clients let you get, compose, send, and manage e-mail messages, here are a few extra features you might look for: ■ Filters and spam catchers — Thunderbird, Evolution, and other mail clients offer message filters and junk mail detectors. You use filters to set up rules to sort incoming mail into different folders, delete certain messages, or otherwise respond to incoming mail. Some e-mail clients also have features that try to automatically detect when junk mail has arrived. If you get a lot of e-mail, these can be invaluable tools for managing your e-mail. (Select the Tools or Message menu from your e-mail client, and then look for a Filters or Junk Mail selection.) 73675c06.indd 148 11/25/08 6:54:04 PM149 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 ■ Security features — E-mail clients such as Thunderbird (www.mozilla.com/en-US/ thunderbird/) enable you to use message encryption, digital signatures, and other security features to keep your e-mail private. ■ Sorting, searching, marking, and displaying — Again, if you are managing lots of e-mail messages at once (some people manage thousands of messages), the capability to refer back to the one you want can be critical. Some clients let you sort by date, sender, priority, subject, and other items. You might be able to search message contents for text or choose how to display the messages (such as without showing attachments or with source code shown). ■ Mail composition tools — Some mail composers let you include HTML in your messages, which enables you to add images, links, tables, colors, font changes, and other visual enhancements to your messages. One warning: Some mailing lists don’t like you to send messages in HTML because some people still use plain-text readers that aren’t HTML-aware. ■ Multiple accounts — Many e-mail clients enable you to configure multiple e-mail accounts to be served by your e-mail reader. Early plain-text e-mail clients pointed to only one mailbox at a time. ■ Performance — Some lightweight graphical e-mail clients give you much better performance than others. In particular, the Sylpheed e-mail client (which comes with Damn Small Linux) was created to use a minimal amount of memory and processing power, yet still provide a graphical interface. E-mail clients that run from the keyboard, in particular the mutt e-mail client, will run much faster than, say, most full-blown graphical e-mail clients such as Evolution. For most home and small business users, Evolution and the standalone Thunderbird are often available from a Linux desktop and will give you much the same experience you would expect from Microsoft Windows mail clients, such as Outlook Express. If you are using the KDE desktop, you can use the KDE groupware client Kontact, which includes Kmail (the e-mail client), along with a contact manager, calendar, to-do list application, and more. Even though the Linux distribution you are using may have only one or two of the e-mail clients described in this section, you can always add a client that interests you. Getting Here from Windows To understand how to transition your e-mail client from Windows to Linux, you need to know a bit about your current e-mail setup. Whether you are using Outlook, Outlook Express, or any other e-mail client running in Windows, here are some things you should know: ■ Server type — Is your e-mail server a POP3 or IMAP server? If it is an IMAP server, all your messages are being stored on the server. Transitioning to a different e-mail server might simply mean pointing the new e-mail client at your server and continuing to use e-mail as you always have. If it is a POP3 server, your messages have probably been downloaded to your local client. To keep your old messages, you need to somehow bring your current mail folders over to your new client, which is a potentially tricky undertaking. COMING FROM WINDOWS 73675c06.indd 149 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM150 Part II Running a Linux Desktop (When you sign up for your e-mail account or Internet service, the people providing the service should tell you whether the service is POP3 or IMAP.) ■ Address book — You need to export your current address book to a format that can be read by your new e-mail client, and import it to your new e-mail client. To transition to Linux, you may want to add a cross-platform e-mail client such as Thunderbird to your Windows system so that you can get at your resources (addresses, stored mail messages, and so on) during the transition to your new mail client. When you eventually move off Windows altogether, Thunderbird for Linux will work almost exactly as it does in Windows. If your current e-mail server is a Microsoft Exchange server (2000, 2003, or 2007), you need to get the Evolution Plug-in for Microsoft Exchange to allow Evolution to access information from that server. For Fedora, you need to install the evolution-exchange package then identify your mail server as Microsoft Exchange when you create a new e-mail account. Getting Started with E-Mail Most Linux systems include an e-mail client that you can select on a panel or by left-clicking on the desktop to bring up a menu. Look for an envelope icon on a panel or a submenu labeled something like Internet. If you want a graphical e-mail reader, you can start by looking for one of these clients: Evolution, Mozilla SeaMonkey Mail, Thunderbird, or KMail. After you have launched your chosen e-mail client, you need some information to use it. When you first start most graphical e-mail clients, a configuration screen of some sort asks you to set up an account. Here’s how to begin setting up a mail account for the e-mail clients described in this chapter: ■ Evolution — The Evolution Setup Assistant starts the first time each user opens Evolution. After that, select Edit ➪ Preferences from the main Evolution window. Then choose Mail Accounts and double-click the mail account you want to modify or select Add to add a new account. ■ Mozilla SeaMonkey Mail — An account wizard starts the first time you open SeaMonkey Mail. After that, you can set up or modify accounts from the SeaMonkey Mail window by clicking Edit ➪ Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings. ■ Thunderbird — This is the next-generation mail client from the people that bring you Firefox and Mozilla (mozilla.org). Now at version 2.0, and with more advanced security features, you might consider Thunderbird. Not only is it faster than SeaMonkey Mail and Evolution, Thunderbird is an ideal complement to the Mozilla Firefox Web browser. Firefox and Thunderbird run on a number of operating systems, including Linux, Solaris, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X. ■ Sylpheed — The Sylpheed e-mail client (http://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/) is used on some mini-desktop distributions, such as Damn Small Linux. Sylpheed is particularly fast 73675c06.indd 150 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM151 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 and efficient, and it supports for powerful features such as filtering, search, junk mail control, and digital signing and encryption (using GnuPG). ■ KMail — From the KMail window, select Settings ➪ Configure KMail. From the Configure KMail window that appears, select the Network icon. From there, you can click Sending or Receiving tabs to configure your outgoing and incoming e-mail settings. Initial configuration for text-based e-mail clients is described later in this chapter. Information you will need to configure your e-mail accounts is much the same for the different graphical e-mail clients covered in this chapter: ■ Name — Enter your name as you want it to appear on outgoing messages. ■ Email Address — Enter the e-mail address from which you are sending. You may also be offered the opportunity to supply a different reply-to address, if you want replies to go to an address other than the one you sent from. ■ Mail server type — Most mail servers are POP3- or IMAP-type servers. (Configuring those types of servers is discussed in Chapter 14.) ■ Server names — Enter the names of the servers you will use to send outgoing e-mail and receive incoming e-mail. The names can be fully qualified domain names (such as mail .linuxtoys.net) or IP addresses. In many cases, the incoming and outgoing mail servers are the same. ■ Username — Enter the name by which the mail server knows you. For example, if your e-mail address is [email protected], your username to the mail.linuxtoys.net server might simply be chris. However, it’s possible that your username on the mail server might be different, so you should find that out from the administrator of your mail server. ■ Account title — Enter the name that you want to call this mail account so you can refer to it later in your list of mail and news group accounts. ■ Authentication type — Indicate the type of authentication to use when you get your mail (sometimes authentication is needed to send your mail as well). Password authentication is normal. Usually you can have your e-mail client remember your password if you want. Typically, you are prompted for the password the first time you connect to get your mail. That is most of the basic information you need to start getting and sending e-mail. However, you may want to further tune how your e-mail client interacts when it gets and sends e-mail. Tuning Up E-Mail With your basic settings done, you should be ready to start sending and receiving your e-mail. Before you do, however, you should consider some of the other settings that can affect how you use mail: ■ Automatically check messages — You can set your e-mail client to automatically check and download your messages from the mail server every few minutes. 73675c06.indd 151 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM152 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Leave messages on server — If you turn this feature on for a POP server, your e-mail messages remain on the server after you have downloaded them to your e-mail client. People sometimes turn this feature on if they want to check their mail messages while they are on the road yet want to download their messages from their permanent desktop computer later. ■ Certificates — Your e-mail client may provide a way of using certificates to sign your outgoing messages. For example, Evolution and SeaMonkey Mail both have Security tabs for your mail settings that let you enter information about your certificates and indicate that your e-mail be signed. You can also choose to use the certificates for encryption. Step through your mail account settings because they are slightly different for each e-mail client. Reading E-Mail with Thunderbird The Thunderbird e-mail client program is a full-featured mail and newsgroup reader that usually comes with most Linux systems. In the past, you may have run the integrated Mozilla suite of applications, now called Mozilla SeaMonkey. The more recent versions of Linux, however, have replaced SeaMonkey with separate e-mail and Web-browsing applications, Thunderbird and Firefox, respectively. If you are used to the older Mozilla suite, you should consider upgrading to Thunderbird. Thunderbird includes features for: ■ Sending, receiving, reading, and managing e-mail ■ Managing multiple mail and newsgroup accounts ■ Composing HTML e-mail messages ■ Controlling junk e-mail ■ Message encryption and signing Thunderbird runs on Windows as well as Linux, so you can convert your organization to Thunderbird now, and then later migrate to Linux. On most Linux systems, either Thunderbird or Evolution (covered following) will be the primary e-mail client for your Linux distribution. You can launch the e-mail application from the desktop from a menu such as Internet. For example, in Fedora, you run an e-mail client from the Applications ➪ Internet menu. Fedora defaults to Evolution as the primary e-mail client, so Evolution is listed simply as Email on the Application ➪ Internet menu. Thunderbird is listed as Thunderbird Email (if you install the thunderbird package). NOTE COMING FROM WINDOWS 73675c06.indd 152 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM153 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 Setting Up an E-Mail Account When you launch Thunderbird for the first time, the application presents the New Account Setup dialog, which leads you through setting up an e-mail account (you can create more than one). Figure 6-1 shows this window. FIGURE 6-1 The Thunderbird New Account Setup wizard Follow these steps that follow to create your e-mail account: 1. Create an e-mail account. To begin setting up an e-mail account, select Email Account and click Next. The Identity screen appears. 2. Identify yourself. Type in your name and the e-mail address that you want others to use to send e-mail to you and click Next. The Server Information screen appears. 3. Enter your server settings. For your incoming mail, indicate whether the mail server is a POP or IMAP server. Then type the server name (such as mail.example.com). If you want to keep the e-mail from different e-mail accounts separate (as opposed to having all messages stored in a Global Inbox), uncheck Global Inbox box. Finally, type the name of the server where your outgoing mail is sent (such as mail.example.com) and then select Next. The User Names screen appears. 4. Enter usernames. When you get (incoming) and send (outgoing) e-mail through your mail server, Thunderbird identifies you as a particular username to the server. Usually, that name is the same name used in your e-mail address. For example, if your complete e-mail address is [email protected], the incoming and outgoing username would probably be chris. Type in your incoming and outgoing username and click Next. The Account Name screen appears. 73675c06.indd 153 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM154 Part II Running a Linux Desktop 5. Enter an account name. Type a name that you want to use to identify the account. This name is only used to help you remember which account it is and doesn’t have any effect on what is sent to the server. Thunderbird recommends names such as “Home Account” or “News Account.” Click Next to continue. 6. Finish the account setup. The Congratulations screen appears, which allows you to review your settings and complete the account. Figure 6-2 shows an example of the Congratulations screen. The check box lets you immediately download messages from the server, if you are ready to do that. Click Next to continue. FIGURE 6-2 Before creating your e-mail account, you can confirm all the settings. Thunderbird is now ready to begin getting and sending mail messages. If you need to change any settings to the account you just set up (or change any of the defaults you have not had a chance to change), select Edit ➪ Account Settings from the Thunderbird window. With the Junk Mail feature, Thunderbird automatically tags any message it believes to be junk mail with a blue recycle-bin icon. Using the Junk toolbar, you train the Junk Mail feature by telling it when a message is or isn’t junk mail. After you have identifi ed which messages are junk mail, you can automatically move incoming junk mail to the Junk folder. Connecting to the Mail Server After you have set up your mail accounts in Thunderbird, you can explicitly ask to download any available mail messages from the server (for POP accounts). To do that, click the Get Mail button. You are prompted for the password for your account on the mail server. Using that password, Thunderbird downloads all your messages from the mail server. It downloads messages again every 10 minutes, or you can click the Get Mail button at any time. TIP 73675c06.indd 154 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM155 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 If you want to change how often mail is downloaded, or other features of your account, choose Edit ➪ Account Settings. Under the e-mail account you added are categories to change the setup and behavior of the account. (Click Server Settings to change how often, if at all, new messages are automatically downloaded from the mail server.) Managing Incoming Mail Select the Inbox title in the left column. It shows how many messages are in your Inbox that have not been read. Your incoming messages appear to the right, with the headers on top and the currently selected message text below it. Figure 6-3 shows Thunderbird displaying some e-mail headers and the current message. FIGURE 6-3 Manage incoming mail from the Thunderbird window. There are various ways to store and manage e-mail messages in Thunderbird. Here’s a quick rundown of how to manage incoming mail: ■ Mail folders — Mail messages are stored in folders in the left column. There could be a separate heading for each mail account you have or you might have specified that Thunderbird use a global Inbox where messages from all accounts get placed in the same Inbox folder. For each mail account, incoming messages are stored (by default) in your Inbox folder. You can create additional folders to better keep track of your mail (right-click on Inbox, and select New Folder to add a folder). Other folders contain drafts of messages set aside for a time (Drafts), templates for creating messages (Templates), messages you have sent (Sent), and messages that you have discarded (Trash). ■ Sort messages — Messages are sorted by date for the folder you select, in the upper-right corner of the display. Click the headings over the messages to sort by subject, sender, date or priority. The icon on the far right of the Subject header lets you choose what information 73675c06.indd 155 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM156 Part II Running a Linux Desktop columns to display for the message headers (such as recipient, size, status and so on). You can then sort on any of those columns. ■ Read messages — When you select a message, it appears in the lower-right corner of the display. Click the e-mail address from the sender, and a menu enables you to add that address to your address book, compose mail to that address, copy mail to that address, or create a filter from that message. ■ Filter mail — When Thunderbird grabs your e-mail from the mail server, it drops it into the global Inbox or one associated with your mail account, by default. Thunderbird provides some nice features for checking each message for information you choose, and then acting on that message to move it to another folder, label it, or change its priority. See the “Filtering Mail and Catching Spam” section later in this chapter for details. ■ Search messages — You can use the search feature to retrieve messages that are in one of your mail folders. With the folder you want to search being the current folder, type a word to search on into the Subject or Sender Contains box. Messages with sender names or subject lines that don’t contain that string will disappear from the list of messages. To do more detailed searches, choose Edit ➪ Find ➪ Search Messages. Composing and Sending Mail To compose e-mail messages, you can either start from scratch or respond to an existing e-mail message. The following are some quick descriptions of how to create outgoing mail: ■ New messages — To create a new message, choose Message ➪ New Message (or click Write on the toolbar). ■ Reply to messages — To reply to a mail message, click the message on the right side of your screen and then choose Message ➪ Reply (to reply only to the author of the message) or Message ➪ Reply to All (to reply to everyone listed as a recipient of the message). ■ Forward messages — To forward a mail message, click the message on the right side of your screen and then choose Message ➪ Forward. You can also forward a message and have it appear in the text (Message ➪ Forward As ➪ Inline) or as an attachment (Message ➪ Forward As ➪ Attachment). In each case, a Compose window appears, in which you compose your e-mail message. As you compose your message in the Compose window, you can use the following: ■ Address book — Add e-mail addresses from your personal address book (or from one of several different directory servers) by selecting Tools ➪ Address Book. Click the Contacts button to select recipients for your missive. ■ Attachments — Add attachments such as a word processing file, image, or executable program by clicking the Attach button (or choosing File ➪ Attach ➪ File) and then selecting a file from your file system to attach. (You can also choose File ➪ Attach ➪ Web Page to choose the URL of a Web page that you want to attach.) ■ Certificates — Add certificates or view security information about your mail message by selecting View ➪ Message Security Info. 73675c06.indd 156 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM157 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 When you are finished composing the message, click Send to send the message. If you prefer, queue the message to be sent later by choosing File ➪ Send Later. (Send Later is useful if you are not currently online.) If you want to quit and fi nish the e-mail message later, choose File ➪ Save As ➪ Draft, and then click the X in the upper-right corner to close the window. When you are ready to resume work on the message, open the Draft folder in the Thunderbird window and double-click the message. Filtering Mail and Catching Spam Thunderbird can do more with incoming messages than just place them in your Inbox. You can set up filters to check each message first and then have Thunderbird take an action you define when a message matches the rule you set up. For example, your filter can contain a rule that checks the subject, sender, text body, date, priority, status, recipients, or age in days of the message for a particular word, name, or date, as appropriate. If there is a match, you can have Thunderbird put that message in a particular folder, label it with a selected phrase, change its priority, or set its junk mail status. You can add as many rules as you like. For example, you can: ■ Have all messages sent from a particular address sorted into a separate mail folder. For example, I direct some mailing lists to a separate folder so that important mail doesn’t get lost when there’s a lot of activity on the mailing lists to which I subscribe. ■ Mark incoming messages from important clients as having highest priority. ■ Have messages from particular people or places that are being mistakenly marked as spam change their junk status to Not Junk. To set up filter rules in Thunderbird, click Tools ➪ Message Filters. The Message Filters pop-up appears. If you have multiple mail accounts, select the account you want to filter. Then click New. From the Filter Rules pop-up window, choose the following: ■ For incoming messages that — There are different ways to check parts of a message. For example, you can check whether the Sender is in the address book. You can check what the Priority is: low, medium, or high. You can create multiple rules for a filter (click More to add another rule), and then choose if you want to match all or any of the rules to continue to the action. ■ Perform these actions — The information in this section describes what to do with a message that matches the rules you’ve set. You can have the message moved to any existing folder, or label the message. With labels, the message appears in a different color depending on the label: important (red), work (orange), personal (green), to do (blue), or later (purple). You can also change the message priority. Figure 6-4 shows a rule I created to have a star attached to mail from my friend Tweeks when it comes in. TIP 73675c06.indd 157 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM158 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 6-4 Create filter rules to sort or highlight your e-mail messages. A nice feature of Thunderbird’s filtering rules is that you can apply the rules after the fact as well. If you decide you want to move all messages in your Inbox from a particular person to a different folder, for example, you can open the Message Filters window, create a rule to move the selected messages, select Inbox, and click Run Now. For junk mail, with a mail message selected, click the Junk button in the toolbar. The message is marked as junk. Your selection helps teach Thunderbird what you think is junk mail. Click Tools ➪ Run Junk Mail Controls on Folder, and Thunderbird looks for other messages that look like junk mail. (You can take the junk marker off of any message you think is not junk.) Then select Tools ➪ Delete Mail Marked as Junk in Folder, and the junk mail is deleted. To open a window to configure how you handle junk mail, select Tools ➪ Junk Mail Controls. Managing E-Mail in Evolution If you are using Fedora, Ubuntu, or Debian, Evolution is the e-mail client that you can start right from the GNOME desktop (look for the envelope icon on the panel). Evolution is a groupware application, combining several types of applications that help groups of people communicate and work together. The features of Evolution include: ■ Mail — A complete set of features for getting, reading, managing, composing, and sending e-mail on one or more e-mail accounts. 73675c06.indd 158 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM159 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 ■ Contacts — Create contact information such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers for friends and associates. A Categories feature helps you remember who gets birthday and anniversary gifts. ■ Calendar — Create and manage appointments on your personal calendar. You can e-mail appointment information to others and do keyword searches of your calendar. ■ Memos — Write public, private, or confidential memos. ■ Tasks — Organize ongoing tasks into folders. Evolution provides a default interface that looks a lot like that of Microsoft Outlook, making it easy for new users to make a smooth transition to a Linux system. Other features recently added to Evolution include improved junk mail handling and Search Folders (for managing multiple physical folders as one folder). Receiving, Composing, and Sending E-Mail Evolution offers a full set of features for sending, receiving, and managing your e-mail. Figure 6-5 shows an example of an Evolution window with the Inbox selected and ready to manage, compose, send, and receive e-mail. FIGURE 6-5 Manage your e-mail from the Evolution Inbox. COMING FROM WINDOWS 73675c06.indd 159 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM160 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Here’s a quick rundown of common e-mail tasks: ■ Read e-mail — Click Inbox in the left column. Your messages appear to the right. Message headers are in the upper right; the current message is displayed in the lower pane. Doubleclick a message header to display it in a separate window ■ Delete e-mail — After you have read a message, select it and press the Delete key. Click View ➪ Hide Deleted Messages to toggle whether you can see deleted messages. Click Folder ➪ Expunge to permanently remove all messages marked for deletion in the current folder. ■ Send and receive — Click the Send/Receive button to send any e-mail queued to be sent and receive any e-mail waiting for you at your mail server. (You may not need to do this if Evolution is configured to download your messages every few minutes. Check Edit ➪ Preferences, and then double-click on your mail account. The Receiving Options tab indicates if automatic mail checking is being done.) ■ Compose e-mail — Click New ➪ Mail Message. A Compose a Message window appears. Type your recipient’s e-mail address, enter a subject line, and fill in the body of the message. Click Send when you are finished. Buttons on the Compose window enable you to add attachments, cut and paste text, choose a format (HTML or plain text), and sign the message (if you have set up appropriate keys). ■ Use address books — Click the Contacts button (or View ➪ Window ➪ Contacts menu choice) to see a list of names, addresses, and other contact information for the people in your address book. When you compose a message, click the To or CC button to select addresses from the book to add as recipients for your message. ■ Create folders — If you like to keep old messages, you may want to save them outside your Inbox (so it won’t get too junked up). To create a folder in which to keep them, rightclick on the Inbox and select New Folder. You can choose to store the new folder as a subfolder to any existing folder. Type a folder name and click OK. ■ Move messages — With new folders created, you can easily move messages from your Inbox to another folder. The easiest way is to simply drag-and-drop each message (or a set of selected messages) from the message pane to the new folder. ■ Search messages — Type a keyword in the search box over your e-mail message pane and select whether to search your message subject lines, sender, recipient, or message body. Click Find Now to search for the keyword. After viewing the messages, click Clear to have the other messages reappear. Managing E-Mail with Search Folders Managing large amounts of e-mail can become difficult when the messages you want to refer to span several folders, dates, or senders. With Search Folders (also called virtual folders or vFolders), you can identify criteria to group together messages from all your mail folders so you can deal with them in one Search Folder. 73675c06.indd 160 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM161 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 Where have vFolders gone? Search Folders used to be called vFolders. If you are familiar with older versions of Evolution, note that the name changed to Search Folders. Here’s a procedure for creating a Search Folder: 1. With Evolution open to read mail (click Inbox to get there), select File ➪ New ➪ Folder. A Create New Folder pop-up appears. 2. Select Search Folders, type a folder name (such as FromJohn), and select OK. A New Search Folder pop-up appears. 3. Click Add and select criteria for including a message in your Search Folder. You can search to see if the sender, recipient, subject, message body, or other part of the message contains or doesn’t contain the string you type in the next box. Click Add again if you want to add more criteria. 4. If you want to search only specific folders, click Add in the Search Folder Sources box and select the folder you want to search. You can repeat the Add to choose more than one folder. Otherwise, you can select to search all local folders, all active remote folders, or all local and active remote folders. Then click OK. 5. Make sure the folder bar is visible (View ➪ Layout ➪ Show Side Bar). The folder you just created is listed under the Search Folders heading. Click that folder to see the messages you gathered with this action. At this point, you can work with the messages you gathered in the Search Folder. Although it appears that there are multiple versions of each message across your mail folders, there is really only one copy of each. So deleting or moving the message from a Search Folder actually causes it to be deleted or moved from the original folder in which the real message resides. You can also create a Search Folder by performing a search, a sort of query by example. Select Search ➪ Create Search Folder from the Search menu and enter your search criteria. Filtering E-Mail Messages You can take action on an e-mail message before it even lands in your Inbox. Click Message ➪ Create Rule, and then select the type of filter to create. Evolution shows a Filters window to enable you to add filters to deal with incoming or outgoing messages. Click Add to create criteria and set actions. For example, you can have all messages from a particular sender, subject, date, status, or size sorted to a selected folder. Or you can have messages matching your criteria deleted or assigned a color, or play a sound clip. Evolution also supports many common features, such as printing, saving, and viewing e-mail messages in various ways. The help system that comes with Evolution (click the Help button) includes a good manual, FAQ, and service for reporting bugs. NOTE TIP 73675c06.indd 161 11/25/08 6:54:05 PM162 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Reading E-Mail with SeaMonkey Mail The SeaMonkey Mail client program is a full-featured mail and newsgroup reader that comes with the SeaMonkey suite on many Linux systems. In general, the SeaMonkey suite is based on the older Mozilla suite, which was replaced by Thunderbird e-mail and Firefox Web browser clients. Thunderbird and Firefox were split from the large Mozilla suite and each now runs as a separate application. If you are used to the older Mozilla suite, now called SeaMonkey, you should consider upgrading to Thunderbird. In most respects, SeaMonkey Mail works like Thunderbird, described previously. The major difference is that SeaMonkey Mail, because it is an older application, won’t have all the features of the latest Thunderbird. This is a big change. In the last year or so, Thunderbird has all but replaced SeaMonkey Mail. In many Linux distributions you can simply install the seamonkey package to get the entire SeaMonkey Suite (Web browser, Mail client, Composer, Address Book, and IRC Chat client). If SeaMonkey is not available with your Linux distribution, you can download the Mozilla SeaMonkey suite from www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/. Figure 6-6 shows an example of the SeaMonkey mail window. FIGURE 6-6 Manage mail and newsgroups with SeaMonkey. Working with Text-Based E-Mail Readers The first text-based mail clients could be configured quite simply. Mail clients such as mutt, mail, or pine were often run with the user logged in to the computer that was acting as the mail server. So instead of downloading the messages, using POP3 or IMAP, the mail client would simply open the mailbox (often under the user’s name in /var/spool/mail) and begin working with mail. 73675c06.indd 162 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM163 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 There are many text-based mail programs for reading, sending, and working with your mail. Many of these programs have been around for a long time, so they are full of features and have been well debugged. As a group, however, they are not very intuitive. Most of these programs use the value of your $MAIL environment variable as your local mailbox. Usually, that location is /var/spool/mail/user, where user is your username. If you use Thunderbird but want to try out one of the text-based e-mail clients, you can set your $MAIL so that it points to your Thunderbird mailbox. This will enable you to use either Thunderbird or a text-based mail program. Add the following line to one of your startup fi les: export MAIL=$HOME/.thunderbird/*.default/*/Mail/accountname/Inbox Replace accountname in the command with the name of an e-mail account you set up. If you usually use Thunderbird for mail, set this variable temporarily to try out some of these mail programs. Mail readers described in the following sections are text-based and use the entire Terminal window (or other shell display). Although some features are different, menu bars show available options right on the screen. Mutt Mail Reader The mutt command is a text-based, full-screen mail user agent for reading and sending e-mail. The interface is quick and efficient. Type mutt to start the program. Move arrow keys up and down to select from your listed messages. Press Enter to see a mail message, and type i to return to the Main menu. The menu bar indicates how to mark messages for deletion, undelete them, save messages to a directory, and reply to a message. Type m to compose a new message, and it opens your default editor (vi, for example) to create the message. Type y to send the message. If you want to read mail without having your fingers leave your keyboard, mutt is a nice choice. (It even handles attachments!) Pine Mail Reader The pine mail reader is another full-screen mail reader, but it offers many more features than does mutt. With pine, you can manage multiple mail folders and newsgroup messages as well as mail messages. As text-based applications go, pine is quite easy to use. It was developed by a group at the University of Washington for use by students on campus, but has become widely used in UNIX and Linux environments. Start this mail program by typing pine. After a brief startup message that invites you to count yourself as a pine user, you should see the following menu, from which you can select items by typing the associated letter or using up and down arrows and pressing Enter: ? HELP – Get help using Pine C COMPOSE MESSAGE – Compose and send a message I MESSAGE INDEX – View messages in current folder L FOLDER LIST – Select a folder to view A ADDRESS BOOK – Update address book S SETUP – Configure Pine Options Q QUIT – Leave the Pine program TIP 73675c06.indd 163 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM164 Part II Running a Linux Desktop To read your e-mail, select either I or L. Commands are listed along the bottom of the screen and change to suit the content you are viewing. Use the left (←) and right (→) arrow keys to step backward and forward among the pine screens. Mail Reader The mail command was the first mail reader for UNIX. It is text-based, but not screen-oriented. Type mail, and you will see the messages in your mailbox. You get a prompt after message headings are displayed — you are expected to know what to do next. (You can use the Enter key to step through messages.) Type ? to see which commands are available. While in mail, type h to see mail headings again. Simply type a message number to see the message. Type d# (replacing # with a message number) to delete a message. To create a new message, type m. To respond to a message, type r# (replacing # with the message number). Choosing a Web Browser Many Web browsers available in Linux are based on the Mozilla Web browser engine, called Gecko. Web browsers that might come with your Linux distribution include: ■ Firefox — This is the leading Web browser for Linux and other open source software systems. There are versions of Firefox available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Firefox has made inroads into the Mac and Windows worlds as well. This next generation browser from the Mozilla project is designed to be fast, efficient, and safe for Web browsing. ■ SeaMonkey Web Browser — Offered as part of the SeaMonkey suite, this Web browser is based on Mozilla Navigator, which was once the most popular open source Web browser. Although no longer actively developed by the Mozilla project, the SeaMonkey suite remains available with many Linux systems. Some people still install SeaMonkey for its easy-to-use HTML composer window. ■ Konqueror — Comes as the default browser with many KDE desktop environments. Konqueror is a file manager as well as a Web browser and helps bring together many features of the KDE desktop. ■ Opera — A commercial application that runs on many small devices such as mobile phones or the Nokia Linux–based Internet Tablet, this browser is available for free on Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. Because it is not open source, however, it is not redistributed with most major Linux systems. ■ links, lynx, and w3m — If you are in a text-based environment (operating from the shell), these are among several text-based Web browsers you can try out. Some streamlined Linux versions, such as Damn Small Linux, include a very lightweight Web browser called dillo (www.dillo.org). Although its small size (only about 350KB binary) comes with some limitations (such as limited font and internationalization support), dillo is a good choice for displaying basic HTML on handheld devices and mini Linux distributions. Another small-footprint browser is minimo (www.mozilla.org/projects/minimo/), short for mini-Mozilla. NOTE 73675c06.indd 164 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM165 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 The following sections describe SeaMonkey, Firefox, and some text-based Web browsers that are available with many Linux systems. Exploring the SeaMonkey Suite During the early 1990s, Netscape Navigator was the most popular Web browser. When it became apparent that Netscape was losing its lead to Microsoft Internet Explorer, its source code was released to the world as open source code. Mozilla.org (www.mozilla.org) was formed to coordinate the development of a new browser from that code. The result was the Mozilla browser that was included with most Linux distributions. The availability on multiple platforms was great, especially if you must switch between Linux and Windows—for example, using Windows at work and Linux at home. Mozilla looked and acted the same on many platforms. With the focus of Mozilla project development turning to Firefox and Thunderbird, as mentioned earlier, the suite changed its name to SeaMonkey. In addition to viewing Web pages, you can also manage e-mail, newsgroups, IRC, and address books, and even create your own Web pages with SeaMonkey Composer. Slackware, kept SeaMonkey so that the project could offer the SeaMonkey Composer. The Slackware project noted that SeaMonkey Composer is a WYSIWYG HTML editor that is still used by many open source enthusiasts as an alternative to Microsoft FrontPage for ease-of-use Web page development. In addition to the SeaMonkey browser, the SeaMonkey suite also includes the following features: ■ Mail and Newsgroups — A full-featured program for sending, receiving, and managing e-mail, as well as for using newsgroups. (The seamonkey RPM or deb package must be installed.) SeaMonkey Mail has mostly been replaced by the Thunderbird application, covered previously. ■ IRC Chat — An Internet Relay Chat (IRC) window, called ChatZilla, for participating in online, typed conversations. (The mozilla-chat package must be installed.) ■ Composer — A Web page (HTML) composer application. ■ Address Book — A feature to manage names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other contact information. This is also part of Thunderbird. Figure 6-7 shows examples of the Browser and Composer windows available with the SeaMonkey suite. NOTE 73675c06.indd 165 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM166 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 6-7 SeaMonkey includes a browser, composer, and other Intenet clients from the old Mozilla suite. Using Firefox Most Linux distributions ship Firefox as the default browser. In many desktop Linux distributions, you start the Firefox Web browser from an icon on the top panel or on an Applications menu. For example, in Debian, select Applications ➪ Internet ➪ Firefox Web Browser. If you don’t see it on a menu, you can start Firefox by simply typing firefox from a Terminal window. In 2008, a major new version of Firefox was released: Firefox 3. It included some extraordinary new features for ease-of-use, security, and performance. Many of those features are described in the following section. The Firefox project page (www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/) is shown in a Firefox 3 browser in Figure 6-8. 73675c06.indd 166 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM167 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 FIGURE 6-8 Firefox is the leading open source Web browser, with thousands of improvements for Firefox 3. If you have been using Firefox for a while, but are new to Firefox 3, there are many new features you may find interesting. Inside Firefox 3 is the new Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, with thousands of features to improve performance, rendering, and stability. You should notice improvements in color management and fonts. One improvement that connects you to several new features in Firefox 3 is the location box. Figure 6-9 shows several location box examples that illustrate new ways of dealing with the Web sites you request. FIGURE 6-9 Do site verification and create bookmarks from the location box. 73675c06.indd 167 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM168 Part II Running a Linux Desktop In Figure 6-9, the example on the left shows what happens when you click the icon on the left side of the location box when visiting a secured site. You can see that Verisign verifies the authenticity of the site and that communications are encrypted. The example on the right shows that by selecting the star on the right side of the Location box, you can work with bookmark information for a page and modify that information. Other icons that might appear in the Location box include a variety of security warnings, such as warnings for possible forged or dangerous content. Firefox has all the basic features you need in a Web browser plus a few special features. The following sections describe how to get the most out of your Firefox Web browser. For help transitioning from Internet Explorer to Firefox, see the Firefox site at www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/switch.html. Setting Up Firefox There are many things you can do to configure Firefox to run like a champ. The following sections describe some ways to customize your browsing experience in Firefox. Setting Firefox Preferences You can set your Firefox preferences in the Preferences window (see Figure 6-10). To open Firefox preferences, select Edit ➪ Preferences. FIGURE 6-10 Change settings for navigating the Web from Firefox’s Preferences window. COMING FROM WINDOWS 73675c06.indd 168 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM169 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 If you are upgrading from the Mozilla suite or an earlier Firefox release, you will notice that the Preferences window looks completely different. Don’t despair, however; the browser preferences have not changed much. The latest Firefox just has a simpler window layout. The following are some Firefox preferences that you might want to change: ■ Main — Lets you choose which pages to display when you start Firefox. It also lets you choose how to handle downloads and change add-on preferences. ■ Tabs — Use these selections to control how Firefox uses tabs, one of the most useful features of this browser. ■ Content — Set Content preferences to control how Firefox should deal with requests for different types of Web content. These options include: ■ Pop-up windows — Choose whether or not to block pop-up windows. ■ Java and JavaScript — You can control whether these languages are enabled. ■ Images — Choose whether or not to load images automatically. (Useful for small screens or low-bandwidth network connections.) ■ Fonts & Colors — Select the default font type and size, as well as the colors used for text, background, visited links, and unvisited links. ■ Language — For Web pages that can appear in multiple languages, this sets the order in which you would prefer languages to be displayed. For example, you might choose English/United States, English, French, and German. Then Firefox tries to display a Web page you open in each of those languages successively, until one is matched. You can set other advanced features on this tab. ■ Applications — View, search, and change which applications are used to display different types of content that might be encountered during browsing. ■ Privacy — Choose how long to store a history of addresses of the sites you have typed in your location bar. (These addresses appear in the History tab on the Firefox sidebar.) Set Privacy preferences to control how Firefox caches private data and allows Web sites to find out information about you in cookies. These preferences include: ■ Cookies — The Web content you choose can try to open, move, resize, raise, and lower windows. It can request to change your images, status bar text, or bits of information stored in what are called cookies. These preferences let you restrict what the content you request can do. ■ Private Data — Storing your history of browsing and downloading, forms and searches, visited pages, cookies, passwords, and authenticated sessions can simplify your browsing experience. However, if you are working on someone else’s machine or otherwise don’t want to leave a record of your browsing behind, you can clear that information with the Clear Now button. You can also select the setting button to indicate what information you want to clear when Clear Now is selected. TIP 73675c06.indd 169 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM170 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Security — The Security preferences tab in Firefox 3 lets you select to be warned if a site you are visiting is a suspected attach site or forgery. You can also select to be warned when a site tries to install add-ons. Other settings on this tab let you choose to remember passwords you enter for sites (so you don’t have to type them every time you visit) or choose to keep a master password. ■ Advanced — The Advanced tabs include many features that you probably won’t use every day. From the General tab, you can set accessibility features and browsing features. The Network tab lets you set up special network connections to use with Firefox (such as proxy settings) or configure an offline storage cache. From the Update tab, you can automatically check for Firefox updates. On the Encryption tab, you can choose the security protocols (SSL and TLS) and personal certificates to use when a site requests that information. Adding Add-ons and Plug-ins Add-ons extend the features in Firefox to personalize how you use your browser. Dozens of add-ons are available to help you manage and search your Web content more efficiently, handle downloads, work with news feeds, and interact with social networks. Plug-ins are special applications you can add to handle data that Firefox can’t work with by default (such as special image or audio files). To find out about available add-ons and plug-ins, select Tools ➪ Add-ons from the Firefox window to see the Add-ons pop-up window. Figure 6-11 shows an example of that window. FIGURE 6-11 Select add-ons to Firefox to manage content in different ways. 73675c06.indd 170 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM171 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 Select the link to see recommended add-ons from the Firefox Add-ons page. You can see reviews and ratings of each add-on, how often it is downloaded, and screenshots of how the add-on appears. Here are a few examples of popular Firefox add-ons: ■ FoxyTunes — With FoxyTunes (www.foxytunes.com) installed, you can use any of more than a dozen music players to play music as you browse the Web. It also helps you find covers, videos, lyrics, biographies, and other information about the artists you play. ■ FireGestures — With FireGestures, you can map different mouse gestures to launch scripts or perform actions that you set. ■ ColorfulTabs — The ColorfulTabs add-on lets you set your Firefox browser tabs to different colors. Colors can be set in a variety of ways (such as at random or by domain name). Change settings from the Extensions tab of the Add-ons window. After you have installed an add-on, you need to restart Firefox for it to take effect. In some cases, a change to an extension’s option will also require you to restart Firefox. If you want to uninstall an add-on or change an add-on’s options, select Tools ➪ Extensions from Firefox. Select the Extensions tab. This displays the add-ons you have installed and offers buttons to disable, uninstall, or change preferences. Plug-ins are applications you add to your browser to play particular types of content. Usually you do this because either Firefox doesn’t include the feature you want or you want to use a different application to play the content (such as your own music player). Many plug-ins are already packaged by their creators or by third-party repositories for popular Linux distributions. For example, some multimedia plug-ins for Fedora are available from the rpm.livna.org repository, while Ubuntu and Debian might have the same plug-ins packaged in repositories labeled as non-free. The Firefox Plug-ins sidebar describes some popular plug-ins for Firefox. Firefox Plug-ins Many plug-ins are available for use in most Linux versions of Firefox. To see a list of plug-ins that are already installed in your browser, enter about:plugins in the address box where you normally type URLs. Go to https://addons.mozilla.org/ and select Plugins to view and download the most popular plug-ins, and look at plugindoc.mozdev.org/linux.html for links to other plug-ins. Some of the most popular plug-ins are: ■ Adobe Reader Plug-in (www.adobe.com/support/downloads) — Displays fi les in Adobe Systems’ PDF (Portable Document Format). ■ DjVuLibre Plug-in (djvu.sourceforge.net) — Displays images in DjVu image compression technology. This plug-in is from AT&T. ■ Real Player (www.real.com/linux) — Plays Real Audio and Video content. Real Networks and its open source Helix project have recently made RealVideo codecs available to the Linux community. continued 73675c06.indd 171 11/25/08 6:54:06 PM172 Part II Running a Linux Desktop continued ■ Adobe Flash Plug-in (www.adobe.com/downloads) — Flash is the most popular player for playing video on the Web. Some Linux systems come with an open source Flash player installed, but most agree that the Adobe version works better so far. ■ CrossOver Plugin (www.codeweavers.com) — Linux plug-ins are not yet available for some of the more interesting and popular plug-ins. QuickTime movies, Shockwave Director multimedia content, and various Microsoft movie, fi le, and data formats simply will not play natively in Firefox. Using software built on WINE for Linux on x86-based processors, CodeWeavers created the CrossOver Plugin. Although no longer offered as a separate product (you must buy the entire Crossover Offi ce product for $39.95 US), the CrossOver Plugin lets you play some content that you could not otherwise use in Linux. (Download a demo from www.codeweavers.com/site/products/download_trial and choose CrossOver Linux.) After you install the CrossOver Plugin, you see a nice Plugin Setup window that lets you selectively install plug-ins for QuickTime, Windows Media Player, Shockwave, Flash, iTunes, and Lotus Notes, as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint viewers. (Support for later versions of these content formats may be available by the time you read this.) You can also install other multimedia plug-ins, as well as a variety of fonts to use with those plug-ins. Changing Firefox Themes Several themes are available for changing the look and feel of your Firefox window. From the Firefox Add-ons site (http://addons.mozilla.org), select Themes. When you download a theme for Firefox, it knows that it is a Firefox theme and, on the download window, it gives you the option to install the theme by clicking the Use Theme button. To change a theme later or get more themes, select Tools ➪ Add-ons and select the Themes tab. After you have installed a new theme, you need to restart Firefox for the new theme to take effect. Securing Firefox Security has been one of the strongest reasons for people to switch to Firefox. By prohibiting the most unsafe types of content from playing in Firefox, and by warning you of potentially dangerous or annoying content before displaying it, Firefox has become the Web browser of choice for many securityconscious people. Here are some ways that Firefox helps make your Web browsing more secure: ■ ActiveX — Because of major security flaws found in ActiveX, Firefox will simply not play ActiveX content. Although there have been projects to try to provide ActiveX support in Mozilla, none of those projects are being actively developed. ■ Pop-ups — When pop-up windows are encountered as you browse with Firefox, a message (by default) tells you that “Firefox prevented this site from opening a popup window.” By clicking on that message, you have an opportunity to allow all pop-ups from that site, just allow the requested pop-up, or edit your pop-up settings. ■ Privacy preferences — From the Privacy window in Firefox (select Edit ➪ Preferences, and then click the Privacy button), you can clear stored private information from your 73675c06.indd 172 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM173 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 browser in a single click. This is a particularly good feature if you have just used a computer that is not yours to browse the Web. You can select to individually clear your History, information saved in forms you might have filled in, any passwords saved by the browser, history of what you have downloaded, cookies, and cached files. As an alternative, you can click Clear Now and clear all that information from Firefox in one click. ■ Web forgeries — The latest Firefox release helps you block forged Web sites by displaying a “Suspected Web Forgery” pop-up message when it encounters a page that has been reported as forged. You can choose to not display the page or ignore the warning. If you suspect a forged page that doesn’t display that message, select Help ➪ Report Web Forgery to try to add the page to the Google Web Forgery list. ■ Certificates — In Firefox, you can install and manage certificates that can be used for validating a Web site and safely performing encryption of communications to that site. Using the Preferences window (select Edit ➪ Preferences and then click the Advanced button), you can manage certificates under the Encryption tab, Certificates heading. Select View Certificates to display a window that lets you import new certificates or view certificates that are already installed. Firefox will check that certificates you encounter are valid (and warn you if they are not). Along with all the excellent security features built into Firefox, it’s important that you incorporate good security practices in your Web browsing. Here are some general tips for safe Web browsing: ■ Download and install software only from sites that are secure and known to you to be safe. ■ For any online transactions, make sure you are communicating with a secure site (look for the https protocol in the location box and the closed lock icon in the lower-right corner of the screen). ■ Be careful about being redirected to another Web site when doing a financial transaction. An IP address in the site’s address or misspellings on a screen where you enter credit card information are warning signs that you have been directed to an untrustworthy site. Because new exploits are being discovered all the time, it’s important that you keep your Web browser up-to-date. That means that, at the least, you need to get updates of Firefox from the Linux distribution you are using or directly from Mozilla.org. To keep up on the latest security news and information about Firefox and other Mozilla products, refer to the Mozilla Security Center (www.mozilla.org/security/). Tips for Using Firefox There are so many nice features in Firefox, it’s hard to cover all of them. Just to point you toward a few more fun and useful features, here are some tips for using Firefox: ■ Add smart keywords — Many Web sites include their own search boxes to allow you to look for information on their sites. With Firefox, you can assign a smart keyword to any search box on the Web, and then use that keyword from the location bar in the Firefox browser to search that site. 73675c06.indd 173 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM174 Part II Running a Linux Desktop For example, go to the Linux Documentation Project site (http://tldp.org). Right-click in the Search/Resources search box. Select Add a Keyword for this Search from the menu that appears. Add a name (Linux Documentation) and a keyword (tldp) and select Add to add the keyword to your Bookmarks. After you have added the keyword, you can use it by simply entering the keyword and one or more search terms to the Firefox location box (on the navigation toolbar). For example, I entered tldp Lego Mindstorms and came up with a list of HOWTOs for using Lego Mindstorms in Linux. ■ Check config — Firefox has hundreds of configuration preferences available to set as you please. You can see those options by typing about:config into the location box. Casual users should look at these settings, but not change them (because you can do irreparable harm to Firefox if you make a wrong selection). If you feel secure about making changes, for true/false options, you can click on the preference name to toggle it between the two values. For other preferences, click the preference to enter a value into a pop-up box. While many of these values can be changed through the Preferences menu (Edit ➪ Preferences), some technical people prefer to look at settings in a list like the one shown on the about:config page. ■ Multiple home pages — Instead of just having one home page, you can have a whole set of home pages. When you start Firefox, a separate tab will open in the Firefox window for each address you identify in your home page list. To do this, create multiple tabs (File ➪ New Tab) and enter the address for each page you want in your list of home pages. Then select Edit ➪ Preferences ➪ Main and click the Use Current Pages button. The next time you open Firefox, it will start with the selected tabs open to the home pages you chose. (Clicking the Home icon will open new tabs for all the home pages.) You can also manually enter multiple URLs into the text box. Separate each URL with a pipe character (|). Using Firefox Controls If you have used a Web browser before, the Firefox controls are probably as you might expect: location box, forward and back buttons, file and edit menus, and so on. There are a few controls with Firefox, however, that you might not be used to seeing: ■ Display Sidebar — Select View ➪ Sidebar to toggle the bookmarks or history sidebars on and off. The sidebar is a left column on your Firefox screen for allowing quick access to Bookmarks and History. Use the Bookmarks tab to add your own bookmarks and the History tab to return to pages on your history list. ■ Send Web Content — You can send an e-mail containing the URL of the current Web page (File ➪ Send Link) to selected recipients. Firefox will load your default e-mail client such as Thunderbird or Evolution to send the e-mail message. ■ Search the Internet — You can search the Internet for a keyword phrase in many different ways. Choose Tools ➪ Web Search to start a search. Selecting this menu choice moves the mouse cursor to the search box, where you can enter search terms. Click the icon on 73675c06.indd 174 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM175 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 the left side of this box to choose search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and others. Select Manage Search Engines to select other search sites to use. Press the Enter key to search. ■ View Web Page Info — You can view information about the location of a Web page, the location of each of its components, the dates the page was modified, and other information by clicking the right mouse button over a Web page and then choosing View Page Info. In the Page Info window, click the Links tab to see links on that page to other content on the Web. Click the Security tab to see information about verification and encryption used on the page. Improving Firefox Browsing Not every Web site you visit with Firefox is going to play well. Some sites don’t follow standards— they use unreadable fonts, choose colors that make it hard to see, or demand that you use a particular type of browser to view their content. To improve your browsing experience, there are several things you can add to Firefox. If you encounter a problem with Firefox that you can’t overcome, I recommend that you refer to the Mozilla Bugzilla database (www.mozilla.org/bugs/). This site is an excellent place to search for bugs others have found (many times you can get workarounds to your problems) or enter a bug report yourself. Did you ever run into a Web page that required you to use a particular type or version of a browser or had fonts or colors that made a page unreadable? The Firefox preferences toolbar called PrefBar4 enables you to try to spoof Web sites into thinking you are running a different browser. It also lets you choose settings that might improve colors, fonts, and other attributes on difficult-to-read pages. You can install the neat little toolbar from the Mozdev.org site (http://prefbar.mozdev.org). Click the Install link, and after it is installed, restart Firefox. The default set of buttons lets you do the following: ■ Colors — Change between default colors and those set on the Web page. ■ Images — Toggle between having images loaded or not loaded on pages you display. ■ JavaScript — Allow or disallow JavaScript content to play in Firefox. ■ Flash — Allow or refuse all embedded Flash content on the current page. ■ Clear Cache — Delete all cached content from memory and disk. ■ Save Page — Save the current page and, optionally, its supporting images and other content, to your hard disk. ■ Real UA — Choose to have your browser identified as itself (current version of Firefox) or any of the following: Mozilla 1.0 (in Windows 98), Netscape Navigator 4.7 (in Macintosh), Netscape 6.2 (in Linux), Internet Explorer 5.0 (in Macintosh), Internet Explorer 6.0 (in Windows XP), or Lynx (a text-based Web browser). NOTE 73675c06.indd 175 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM176 Part II Running a Linux Desktop The user agent (UA) setting is very useful when you’re dealing with Web sites that require Internet Explorer (IE) (and usually IE on Windows, not Mac OS). The IE 6.0 WinXP setting is good enough to allow Firefox to log on to the Microsoft Exchange webmail service, which is usually set up to require IE. If you want to run Linux in a mostly Windows organization, install the Preferences toolbar. Click the Customize button to add other buttons to the toolbar. You can add buttons to clear your History or Location bar entries. You can even add a Popups button to prevent a page from opening a pop-up window from Firefox. Many of the preferences take effect immediately. Others may require you to restart Firefox. Doing Cool Things with Firefox Some neat bells and whistles are built into Firefox that can make your browsing more pleasant. The following sections explore a few of those features. Blocking Pop-ups You can block annoying pop-up windows using the Firefox Preferences window. Here’s how: 1. Click Edit ➪ Preferences. The Preferences window appears. 2. Click Block Pop-up Windows under the Content category. By blocking all pop-ups you might keep some Web sites from working properly. Click the Exceptions button to allow pop-ups on certain sites that you choose. Using Tabbed Browsing If you switch back and forth among several Web pages, you can use the tabbed browsing feature to hold multiple pages in your browser window at once. You can open a new tab for browsing by simply selecting File ➪ New Tab or by pressing Ctrl+T. You can open any link into a new tab by rightclicking over the link and then selecting Open Link in New Tab. You can also tailor how tabbed browsing works from a Web page or from the Location box. Here’s how: 1. Click Edit ➪ Preferences. The Preferences window appears. 2. Click the Tabs tab. 3. Click the tab-related options you desire. A tab for each tabbed page appears at the top of the Firefox pane. To close a tab, create a new tab, bookmark a group of tabs, or reload tabs, right-click one of the tabs and choose the function you want from the drop-down menu. One of the easiest ways to open a link in a tab is to right-click over a link on an HTML page. Select the Open Link in New Tab choice. 73675c06.indd 176 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM177 E-Mailing and Web Browsing 6 Resizing Web Page Text There is a nice keyboard shortcut that lets you quickly resize the text on most Web pages in Firefox. Hold the Ctrl key and press the plus (+) or minus (–) key. In most cases, the text on the Web page gets larger or smaller, respectively. That page with the insanely small type font is suddenly readable. There are many more things you can do with Firefox than I have covered in this chapter. If you have questions about Firefox features or you just want to dig up some more cool stuff about Firefox, I recommend checking out the MozillaZine forum for Firefox support: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewforum.php?f=38 This page has a sticky link to Miscellaneous Firefox Tips and a good FAQ post. Using Text-Based Web Browsers If you become a Linux administrator or power user, over time you will inevitably find yourself working on a computer from a remote login or where there is no desktop GUI available. At some point while you are in that state, you will want to check an HTML file or a Web page. To solve the problem, many Linux distributions include several text-based Web browsers. With text-based Web browsers, any HTML file available from the Web, your local file system, or a computer where you’re remotely logged in can be accessed from your shell. There’s no need to fire up your GUI or read pages of HTML markup if you just want to take a peek at the contents of a Web page. In addition to enabling you to call up Web pages, move around with those pages, and follow links to other pages, some of browsers even display graphics right in a Terminal window! Which browser you use is a matter of which you are more comfortable with. Browsers that are available include: ■ links — You can open a file or a URL, and then traverse links from the pages you open. Use search forward (/string) and back (?string) features to find text strings in pages. Use up and down arrows to go forward and back among links. Press Enter to go to the current link. Use the right and left arrow keys to go forward and back among pages you have visited. Press Esc to see a menu bar of features from which to select. ■ lynx — The lynx browser has a good set of help files (press the ? key). Step through pages using the spacebar. Although lynx can display pages containing frames, it cannot display them in the intended positioning. Use the arrow keys to display the selected link (right arrow), go back to the previous document (left arrow), select the previous link (up arrow), and select the next link (down arrow). ■ w3m — This browser can display HTML pages containing text, links, frames, and tables. It even tries to display images (although it is a bit shaky). Both English and Japanese help files are available (press H with w3m running). You can also use w3m to page through an HTML document in plain text (for example, cat index.html | w3m -T text/html). Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to page through a document. Press Enter on a link to go to that link. Press B to go back to the previous link. Search forward and back for text using the / (slash) and ? (question mark) keys, respectively. 73675c06.indd 177 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM178 Part II Running a Linux Desktop The w3m seems the most sophisticated of these browsers. It features a nice default font selection and seems to handle frames neatly; its use of colors also makes it easy to use. The links browser lets you use the mouse to cut and paste text. You can start any of these text-based Web browsers by entering a filename, or if you have an active connection to the network, you can use a Web address as an option to the command name. For example, to read the w3m documentation (which is in HTML format) with a w3m browser, type the following from a Terminal window or other shell interface: $ w3m /usr/share/doc/w3m*/MANUAL.html An HTML version of the W3M Manual is displayed. Or you can give w3m a URL to a Web page, such as the following: $ w3m www.handsonhistory.com After a page is open, you can begin viewing the page and moving around to links included in it. Start by using the arrow keys to move around and select links. Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to page through text. Summary A number of high-quality applications are available to fulfill your needs for a Web browser and e-mail client in Linux. Most Web browsers are based on the Mozilla gecko engine (which came originally from Netscape Navigator). Firefox has become the main Linux Web browser. The combination of security, ease-of-use features, and extensions has made Firefox an extremely popular Web browser for both Linux and Windows users. Graphical and text-based e-mail clients include Evolution, SeaMonkey Mail, and KMail. Thunderbird has become the next-generation e-mail client to replace SeaMonkey Mail. Text-based mail clients include mail, mutt, and pine. 73675c06.indd 178 11/25/08 6:54:07 PM179 Every type of PC gaming is available now with Linux. Whether you are looking for a solitaire game to fill time or a full-blown online 3D gaming experience, you will have dozens (or hundreds) of choices on the Linux desktop. Although some companies, such as ID Software (Quake) and Epic Games (Unreal Tournament) have done work to port their games to Linux, others have used third-party developers (such as RuneSoft) to port commercial games to Linux. Independent games developers, such as Frictional Games (http://frictionalgames.com) and Introversion Software (www.introversion.co.uk) are now producing high-quality gaming experiences in Linux. Linux clients for commercial online gaming, such as EVE Online (www.eve-online.com), are also available. This chapter provides an overview of the state of Linux gaming today. It describes games that were created specifically to run in Linux, and explains how to find commercial games that run in Linux (either with a Linux version or running a Windows version along with Windows compatibility software, such as Cedega). Jumping into Linux Gaming If you have a Linux system running and want to get started playing a game right now, here are some suggestions: ■ Check the Games menu — Most Linux desktop systems come with a bunch of games already installed. If you are running either a GNOME or KDE desktop in Linux, select Applications ➪ Games from the panel. You should be able to select a variety of arcade, Gaming with Linux IN THIS CHAPTER Gaming in Linux Playing open source games Running commercial Linux games Playing Windows games in Linux 73675c07.indd 179 11/25/08 6:54:20 PM180 Part II Running a Linux Desktop card, board, tactics, and other games to keep you busy for a while. (KDE and GNOME games are described later in this chapter.) ■ Games packaged for your Linux distribution — Many of the most popular open source games are packaged to run on your Linux distribution. In Fedora, open the Add/Remove Software (PackageKit) window and select Games to see a list of more than 200 games you can download and play. In Ubuntu, the Add/Remove Applications window shows more than 300 games on the Games menu to download and play. ■ Other open source games — If the open source game you want is not packaged for your distribution, try going to the game’s project site to get the game. There are Internet sites that contain lists of games, and links to each game’s site. The Wikipedia Linux Gaming page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_gaming) and The Linux Game Tome (http:// happypenguin.org) are good places to start. ■ Commercial Windows games — The latest commercial computer games are not all ported to run in Linux. Boxed commercial games for Linux include Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004, as well as about 50 first-rate commercial games that have been ported to run in Linux. Using Cedega software from Transgaming.com, you can get hundreds more commercial Windows games to run. To see if the game you want is verified to run in Cedega, visit the Transgaming.Org Games Database (http://transgaming.org/gamesdb). Commercial Linux games are described in more depth later in this chapter. Before you can play some of the more demanding 3D games, you need to check that your hardware can handle the games. Some games requiring support for 3D hardware acceleration need more RAM, faster processors, and particular video cards to run in Linux. Issues for setting up a gaming machine in Linux are described later in this chapter. Here is a quick list of games that are available on Fedora and many other Linux distributions that you can try out. I’ve listed them in the order of simple-and-addicting to more-complex-andaddicting: ■ Frozen Bubble (www.frozen-bubble.org) — The Frozen Bubble game is often mentioned as the most addictive Linux Game. Shoot up frozen bubbles and colored groups of bubbles as they slowly descend on you. Clear bubbles in sets of three or more until they are all gone (or come down and freeze you). The game can be played with multiple players. (Install the frozen-bubble package and select it from the Games menu.) ■ Gweled (http://sebdelestaing.free.fr/gweled) — In this clone of the popular Bejeweled game, exchange two jewels on the board to match three or more jewels (vertically or horizontally). (Install the gweled package and select Gweled from the Games menu.) ■ WarZone 2100 (www.warzone2100.strategyplanet.gamespy.com) — This 1999 real-time strategy game was released in open source in 2004. Build a base from which you design and build vehicles and weapons, set up structures, and research new technologies to fight a global war. (Install the warzone2100 package and select Warzone 2100 from the Games menu.) 73675c07.indd 180 11/25/08 6:54:20 PM181 Gaming with Linux 7 ■ Quake III Arena (ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/) — Several first-person shooter games in the Quake series are available for download from id Software. In Fedora, install the quake3 package and select Quake III Arena. The application that starts up lets you download a demo version of the Quake III. Read and accept the licensing terms to download the data files and begin playing Quake III Arena demo. ■ Vega Strike (http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net) — Explore the universe in this 3D action, space simulation game. Accept missions to transport cargo, become a bounty hunter, or patrol space. In this 3D environment, you can chat with bartenders or watch news broadcasts to keep up with events in the universe. (To play this game in Fedora, install the vegastrike package and select Vega Strike from the Games menu.) Figure 7-1 shows small screen shots of the games just described. FIGURE 7-1 Games to install from the Fedora Repository include Frozen Bubble, Gweled, Warzone 2100, Quake III Arena, and Vega Strike Despite gains in gaming support in Linux, there are still a lot of popular Windows games that don’t run in Linux. For that reason, some PC gamers maintain a separate Windows partition on their computers so they can boot to Windows to play particular games. Overview of Linux Gaming Linux is a wonderful platform for both running and, perhaps more especially, developing computer games. Casual gamers have no shortage of fun games to try. Hardcore gamers face a few more challenges with Linux. Here are some of the opportunities and challenges as you approach Linux gaming: ■ 3D acceleration — If you are a more serious gamer, you will almost certainly want a video card that provides hardware acceleration. Open source drivers for some video cards are available from the DRI project. Video cards from NVIDIA and ATI often have binary-only drivers available. Fun open source games such as PenguinPlanet Racer, BZFlag, and others that recommend hardware acceleration, will run much better if you get one of these supported cards and drivers. Some commercial games will not run at all without 3D acceleration support. NOTE 73675c07.indd 181 11/25/08 6:54:20 PM182 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Gaming servers — Many commercial computer games that don’t have Linux clients available do have Linux game servers associated with them. So Linux is a great operating system for hosting a LAN party or setting up an Internet gaming server. ■ Linux gaming development — Some of the most advanced tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) for developing computer games run on Linux systems. If you are interested in developing your own games to run in Linux, check out the OpenGL (http://opengl.org) and Simple Directmedia Layer (www.libsdl.org) projects. Blender (www.blender.org) is an open source project for doing animations, 3D models, post-production, and rendering that is being used today in commercial games and movie animations. While the development tools available for developing open source games are awesome, a primary goal of this book is to get you up and using Linux as quickly as possible. To that end, I want to give you details on how to get hold of games that already run well in Linux and then show you how to get games working in Linux that are intended for other platforms (particularly Windows and some classic gaming consoles). Basic Linux Gaming Information Many Web sites provide information about the latest games available for Linux, as well as links to download sites. Here’s a list of some sites to get you started: ■ TransGaming Technologies (www.transgaming.com) — This company’s mission is to bring games from other platforms to Linux. It is the provider of Cedega, formerly known as WineX, a powerful tool that enables you to play hundreds of PC games on your Linux system. ■ The Linux Game Tome (http://happypenguin.org) — Features a database of descriptions and reviews of tons of games that run in Linux. You can do keyword searches for games listed at this site. There are also links to sites where you can get the games and to other gaming sites. ■ Linuxgames.com (http://linuxgames.com) — This site can give you some very good insight into the state of Linux gaming. There are links to HOWTOs and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as well as forums for discussing Linux games. There are also links to Web sites that have information about specific games. ■ id Software (www.idsoftware.com) — Go to the id Software site for information on Linux versions for Quake and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. ■ Linuxgamepublishing.com (www.linuxgamepublishing.com) — Linuxgamepublishing.com aims to be a one-stop shopping portal for native Linux games, as well as for ports of games from other platforms. At the time of this writing, it offers about a dozen games. To purchase games from this site, you must create a user account. 73675c07.indd 182 11/25/08 6:54:20 PM183 Gaming with Linux 7 ■ Loki Entertainment Software (www.lokigames.com) — Loki provided ports of best-selling games to Linux but went out of business in 2001. Its products included Linux versions of Civilization: Call to Power, Myth II: Soulblighter, SimCity 3000, Railroad Tycoon II, and Quake III Arena. The Loki Demo Launcher is still available to see demo versions of these games, and some boxed sets are available for very little money. The Loki site also offers a list of commercial resellers for its games, which may or may not still carry those games. ■ Tux Games (www.tuxgames.com) — The Tux Games Web site is dedicated to the sale of Linux games. In addition to offering Linux gaming news and products, the site lists its topselling games and includes notices of games that are soon to be released. ■ Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) — In the past few years, Wikipedia has become a wonderful resource for information on both commercial and open source games available for Linux. From the Wikipedia Linux games list (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Linux_games) you can find links to free Linux games, Commercial Linux Games, and Professionally Developed Linux Games. ■ Linux Gamers’ FAQ (http://icculus.org/lgfaq) — Contains a wealth of information about free and commercial Linux games. It lists gaming companies that have ported their games to Linux, tells where to get Linux games, and answers queries related to common Linux gaming problems. For a list of Linux games without additional information, see http://icculus.org/lgfaq/gamelist.php. While the sites just mentioned provide excellent information on Linux gaming, not all open source games have been packaged specifically for every version of Linux. Even though you can always nudge a game into working on your particular Linux distribution, it’s probably easiest to start with games that are ready to run. The following list provides information about where to find out about games packaged for different Linux distributions: ■ Fedora — Much of the recent increase in Fedora games has come from the Fedora Games SIG (Special Interest Group). You can check out that SIG’s activities for information on other games of interest that have not made it into Fedora at http://fedoraproject .org/wiki/SIGs/Games. ■ Debian — Debian games resources are listed at the Debian wiki. Visit the games section at http://wiki.debian.org/Game. ■ Ubuntu — The Games Community Ubuntu Documentation page offers some good information about available games and gaming initiatives related to Ubuntu (http://help .ubuntu.com/community/Games). ■ Gentoo — Visit the Gentoo Games list at the Gentoo Wiki http://gentoo-wiki.com/ Games to select games that are of interest to you that run in Gentoo. ■ Slackware — While GNOME and KDE games run fine in Slackware, not a lot of gaming resources are particular to Slackware. However, because Slackware contains a solid set of libraries and development tools, many open source games will compile and run in Slackware if you are willing to get the source code for the game you want and build it yourself. 73675c07.indd 183 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM184 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Choosing Gaming Hardware for Linux In general, you need more RAM, a stronger processor, and a bit more disk space for gaming than you need for most Linux applications. Some of the most demanding commercial PC games will run best with at least 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz processor. However, the video card is usually the most important piece of hardware. Because 3D games place extraordinary demands on your video hardware, choosing a good video card and configuring it properly are key to ensuring a good gaming experience. For advanced gaming, you need to go beyond what an old 64-bit card can do for you. Binary-Only Video Card Drivers Most serious Linux gamers have either an NVIDIA or ATI card, so that’s the short answer to starting out with serious Linux gaming. Although open source drivers are available for most NVIDIA and ATI cards, those drivers do not support 3D hardware acceleration. While that’s fine for most desktop applications, for gaming you want to get the binary-only drivers for those cards from the following locations: ■ NVIDIA — To get NVIDIA drivers that run in Linux, go to the Unix Drivers Portal Page (www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html). ■ ATI — To find Linux drivers for ATI video cards, visit the ATI support Knowledge Base page that describes Linux drivers at http://support.ati.com/ and click on the Knowledgebase tab. When you go to get a binary-only video driver, be sure that you know not only the video card model you are using, but also the name and version of your X server. (XFree86 used to be the most popular server, but most Linux distributions now use X.Org.) Resulting video driver modules may be specific to the Linux kernel you are running. So, know that if you upgrade your kernel, you might need to reinstall your video driver as well. The rpm.livna.org site has greatly simplifi ed the process of installing ATI and NVIDIA drivers for Fedora. Refer to the Livna Switcher page (http://rpm.livna.org/) to learn how to install RPM packages containing the ATI or NVIDIA drivers you need. If you load a binary-only driver, it does what is referred to as “tainting the kernel.” As a result, you won’t be able to get support if you run into problems (at least from kernel. org) because, lacking the source code, it is hard to debug driver-related problems. Also, binary-only drivers are known to cause obscure problems because they get out of sync with kernel code changes. Similarly, binary-only drivers for some Linux systems aren’t updated as frequently as the kernel. While many people, including myself, use binary-only drivers in special cases, they do have shortcomings that you should be aware of. NOTE CAUTION CAUTION 73675c07.indd 184 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM185 Gaming with Linux 7 Open Source Video Drivers If you want to use open source drivers for 3D accelerated gaming, whether you are running the games using Cedega or natively in Linux, look for cards that have drivers that support OpenGL. The DRI project is one initiative that is creating OpenGL driver implementations. Information about the DRI project can be found on their site (http://dri.freedesktop.org/wiki/). ■ ATI Technologies — You don’t have to use binary-only drivers to get 3D acceleration for some ATI video cards with open source drivers. Chip sets from ATI Technologies that support DRI include the Mach64 (Rage Pro), Radeon 7X00 (R100), Radeon 2 / 8500 (R200), and Rage 128 (Standard, Pro, Mobility). Cards based on these chip sets include All-inWonder 128, Rage Fury, Rage Magnum, Xpert 99, Xpert 128, and Xpert 2000. ■ 3dfx — If you can find a used unit on eBay (3dfx is no longer in business), there are several 3dfx cards that support DRI. In particular, the Voodoo (3, 4, and 5) and Banshee chip sets have drivers that support DRI. Voodoo 5 cards support 16 and 24 bpp. Scan Line Interleaving (SLI), where two or more 3D processors work in parallel (to result in higher frame rates), is not supported for 3dfx cards. ■ 3Dlabs — Graphics cards containing the MX/Gamma chip set from 3Dlabs have drivers available that support DRI in Linux. ■ Intel — Supported video chip sets from Intel include the i810 (e, e2, and -dc100), i815, and i815e. ■ Matrox — The Matrox chip sets that have drivers that support DRI include the G200, G400, G450, and G550. Cards that use these chips include the Millennium G450, Millennium G400, Millennium G200, and Mystique G200. To find out whether DRI is working on your current video card, type the following: $ glxinfo | grep rendering direct rendering: Yes This example shows that direct rendering is enabled. If it were not supported, the output would say No instead of Yes. While DRI can be important, many games implement OpenGL rendering, which is a feature supported by both NVIDIA and ATI video cards. To enable rendering for cards that support it, add the following line to your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file: Load “render” Running Open Source Linux Games A handful of games are delivered with most desktop-oriented Linux distributions. The GNOME and KDE environments, which are available with most desktop Linux distributions (described in Chapter 3), each has a set of games associated with it. 73675c07.indd 185 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM186 Part II Running a Linux Desktop GNOME Games More than a dozen basic games are delivered with the GNOME desktop. If you are just looking for a game to pass a bit of time, one of the GNOME games will probably work fine for you. GNOME games consist of some old card games and a bunch of games that look suspiciously like those you would fi nd on Windows systems. If you are afraid of losing your favorite desktop diversion (such as Solitaire, FreeCell, and Minesweeper) when you leave Windows, have no fear. You can fi nd many of them under GNOME games. Default installations of Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux systems include the gnome-games package. Table 7-1 lists the games included in the gnome-games package. See the GNOME Games site (http://live.gnome.org/GnomeGames/) for further details. TABLE 7-1 GNOME Games Game Description AisleRiot Solitaire You can select from among 28 different solitaire card games. Blackjack Card game where you try to get closer to 21 (without going over) than the dealer. Chess Chess game that can be played in 2D or 3D against the computer. Five or More Clone of the color lines game (glines). Four-In-A-Row Drop balls to beat the game at making four in a row. FreeCell Solitaire A popular solitaire card game. GnomeFallingBlocks / Gnometris GNOME Tetris-like game. Iagno Disk flipping game, similar to reversi. Klotski Move pieces around to allow one piece to escape. Mahjongg Classic Asian tile game. Mines Minesweeper clone. Click on safe spaces and avoid the bombs. Nibbles Steer a worm around the screen while avoiding walls. Robots Later version of Gnobots, which includes movable junk heaps. Same GNOME Eliminate clusters of balls for a high score. Sodoku A Japanese logic puzzle where you fill in numbers instead of words. Tali Yahtzee clone. Roll dice to fill in categories. Tetravex A clone of Tetravex from the GNOME project. Move blocks so that numbers on each side align. COMING FROM WINDOWS 73675c07.indd 186 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM187 Gaming with Linux 7 KDE Games A bunch of games are available for the KDE desktop environment. (In Fedora, Ubuntu, and other versions of Linux that include KDE, these games come in the kdegames package.) Table 7-2 contains a list of KDE games. There may be a different set of games included with your Linux distribution. TABLE 7-2 Games for the KDE Desktop Game Description Arcade Games KAsteroids Destroy asteroids in the classic arcade game. KBounce Add walls to block in bouncing balls. KFoul Eggs Squish eggs in this Tetris-like game. Klickety Click color groups to erase blocks in this adaptation of Clickomania. Kolf Play a round of virtual golf. KSirtet Tetris clone. Try to fill in lines of blocks as they drop down. KSmileTris Tetris with smiley faces. KSnakeRace Race your snake around a maze. KSpaceDuel Fire at another spaceship as you spin around a planet. Board Games Atlantik Play this Monopoly-like game against other players on the network. KBackgammon Online version of Backgammon. KBlackBox Find hidden balls by shooting rays. Kenolaba Move game pieces to push opponents’ pieces off the board. KMahjongg Classic oriental tile game. KReversi Flip game pieces to outmaneuver the opponent. Shisen-Sho Tile game similar to Mahjongg. Kwin4 Drop colored pieces to get four pieces in a row. Card Games KPoker Video poker clone. Play five-card draw, choosing which cards to hold and which to throw. Lieutenant Skat Play the card game Skat. Patience Choose from nine different solitaire card games. continued 73675c07.indd 187 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM188 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Game Description Tactics and Strategy KAtomic Move pieces to create different chemical compounds. KGoldrunner Strategy puzzle game. KJumping Cube Click squares to increase numbers and take over adjacent squares. KMines Minesweeper clone. Click safe spaces and avoid the bombs. Kolor Lines Move marbles to form five-in-a-row and score points. Konquest Expand your interstellar empire in this multiplayer game. Potato Guy Build your own potato-head face. SameGame Erase game pieces to score points. The games on the KDE menu range from amusing to quite challenging. If you are used to playing games in Windows, KMines and Patience will seem like old favorites. KAsteroids and KPoker are good for the mindless game category. For a mental challenge (it’s harder than it looks), try KSokoban. Games in Fedora Fedora offers an extensive set of games, resulting from a very active Games special interest group (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Games). Table 7-3 lists some of the games that are included in the Fedora software repository. TABLE 7-3 Games from Fedora Game Description Beneath a Steel Sky (beneath-asteel-sky) A popular commercial science fiction adventure game from the early 1990s, set in a repulsive, futuristic city. BSD Games (bsdgames) Text-based card games and adventure games dating back to early UNIX systems of the 1970s and run from the shell. BZFlag (bzflag) 3D multiplayer tank battle game. Celestia (celestia) OpenGL real-time visual space simulation. (Available under the Other menu.) TABLE 7-2 (continued) 73675c07.indd 188 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM189 Gaming with Linux 7 Game Description Flight Gear (FlightGear) Flight simulator game. FooBilliard (foobilliard) OpenGL billiard game. Freeciv (freeciv) The Freeciv multiplayer strategy game. Freedoom (freedoom) Data files for Doom game engines. (Use with the prboom package, which provides an open source port of the Doom engine.) Freedroid (freedroid) Clone of the C64 game Paradroid. Freedroid RPG (freedroidrpg) Freedroid theme for role-playing game with Tux as hero. GL-117 (gl-117) Action flight simulator. Chess (gnuchess) The GNU chess program. Used with the xboard package to provide a graphical chess game. Lacewing (lacewing) Asteroid game sporting different types of ships. Lincity (lincity-ng) Build simulated cities. LMarbles (lmarbles) Atomix clone where you create figures out of marbles. Maelstrom (Maelstrom) A space combat game. Nexuiz (nexuiz) Death match–oriented first person shooter (multiplayer). Overgod Another Asteroid-like game. Powermanga (powermanga) Arcade 2D shoot-’em-up game. PPRacer (ppracer) 3D racing game featuring Tux. Rogue (rogue) Graphical version of a classic adventure game. Scorched Earth (scorched3d) Game based loosely on the classic DOS game Scorched Earth. Sirius (sirius) Othello for GNOME. Starfighter (starfighter) Project: Starfighter, a space arcade game. (Available by typing the /usr/games/ starfighter command.) continued 73675c07.indd 189 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM190 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Game Description SuperTux (supertux) Jump-’n-run game similar to Mario Bros. TORCS (torcs) The Open Racing Car Simulator. The Ur-Quan Masters (uqm) The Ur-Quan Masters, a port of the classic game Star Control II. Vega Strike (vegastrike) Spaceflight simulator (3D OpenGL). Virus Killer (viruskiller) Frantic shooting game where viruses invade your computer. Worminator (worminator) Multilevel shoot-’em-up game. Chess (xboard) An X Window System graphical chessboard. X Pilot (xpilot-ng) Multiplayer space arcade game. (The xpilot-ng-server is also available.) xplanet (xplanet) Render a planetary image into an X window. (Available by typing the xplanet command.) The following sections describe two of the more interesting games that you can download directly from the Fedora repository: Freeciv and Extreme Tux Racer. Freeciv Freeciv is a free clone of the popular Civilization game series from Atari. With Freeciv, you create a civilization that challenges competing civilizations for world dominance. A commercial port of Civilization for Linux (Civilization: Call to Power) was created a few years ago by Loki Games (described later in this chapter). The commonly distributed version of Freeciv contains both client software (to play the game) and server software (to connect players together). You can connect to your server and try the game yourself or (with a network connection) play against up to 14 other players on the Internet. To install Freeciv if your Linux distribution doesn’t offer it, check out the download page on the www.freeciv.org Web site. Choose your language, start downloading, install, and have fun. You can start Freeciv from a Terminal window by typing: $ civclient & If Freeciv won’t start, you may be logged in as root. You must be logged in as a regular user to run the civ command. NOTE NOTE TABLE 7-3 (continued) 73675c07.indd 190 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM191 Gaming with Linux 7 You can play a few games by yourself, if you like, to get to know the game before you play against others on the network. Follow these steps to start your first practice Freeciv game: 1. Select Start New Game. (In addition to starting the client, this action also starts civserver, which will allow others to connect to your game, if you like.) You are asked to choose the number of players, skill level, and other game options. 2. Select 2 to play against the computer or a higher number if you want others to join in; then click Start. A What Nation Will You Be? window appears on the client, as shown in Figure 7-2. 3. Choose a nation, name a leader, select your gender, choose the style of the city, and then click OK. At this point, you should be ready to begin playing Freeciv. FIGURE 7-2 Choose a nation to begin Freeciv. Beginning with Freeciv Check out the Freeciv window before you start playing the game: ■ Click the Help button for topical information on many different subjects that will be useful to you as you play. (You can find more help at the Freeciv site.) ■ The world (by default) is 80 × 50 squares, with 11 × 8 squares visible at a time. ■ The active square contains an icon of the active unit (flashing alternatively with the square’s terrain). ■ Some squares contain special resources. Press and hold the middle mouse button for information on what special resources a square contains. (With a two-button mouse, hold down the Ctrl key and click the right mouse button.) Try this a few times to get a feel for the land around you. This action also identifies any units on the terrain, as well as statistics for the unit. 73675c07.indd 191 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM192 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ To see the world outside your 11 × 8 viewing area, click the scroll bars outside the map. At first, the part of the world you haven’t explored yet will be black. As units are added, areas closer to those units will be visible. (Press C to return to the active part of your map.) ■ An overview map is in the upper-left corner of the Freeciv window. As the world becomes more civilized, this provides a good way to get an overview of what is going on. Right-click a spot on the overview map to have your viewport centered there. ■ The menu bar contains buttons you can use to play the game. The Game menu enables you to change settings and options, view player data, view messages, and clear your log. The Kingdom menu enables you to change tax rates, find cities, and start revolutions. The View menu enables you to place a grid on the map or center the view. The Orders menu enables you to choose the items you build and the actions you take. The Reports menu enables you to display reports related to cities, military, trade, and science, as well as other special reports. ■ A summary of the economy of your civilization appears under the overview map. Information includes number of people, current year, and money in the treasury. ■ Ten icons below the overview information represent how money is divided among luxuries (an entertainer), science (a researcher), and taxes (a tax collector). Essentially, these icons represent how much of your resources are placed into improving each of those attributes of your community. ■ When you have made all your moves for a turn, click Turn Done. Next to that, a light bulb indicates the progress of your research (increasing at each turn). A sun icon starts clear, but becomes brighter from pollution to warn of possible global warming. A government symbol indicates that you begin with a despotic government. The last icon tells you how much time is left in a turn. ■ The Unit box shows information about your current unit. You begin with two Settlers units (covered-wagon icons) and one Explorer (a man icon) unit. Click on a Settler, Explorer, city, or other unit to use it or learn about it. Building Your Civilization Start building your civilization. The Freeciv manual makes these suggestions: ■ To change the distribution of money, choose Government ➪ Tax Rates. Move the slider bars to redistribute the percentage of assets assigned to luxury, science, and taxes. Try increasing science and reducing taxes to start off. ■ Change the current unit to be a settler as follows: Click the stack of units on the map and click one of the Settlers from the menu that appears. ■ Begin building a city by clicking Orders ➪ Build City. When prompted, type a name for the city and click OK. The window that appears shows information about the city. It starts with one happy citizen, represented by a single icon (more citizens will appear as the game progresses). 73675c07.indd 192 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM193 Gaming with Linux 7 ■ The Food, Prod, and Trade lines reflect the raw productivity statistics for the city. The first number shows how much is being produced; the second (in parentheses) shows the surplus above what is needed to support the units. The Gold, Luxury, and Science lines indicate the city’s trade output. Granary numbers show how much food is stored and the size of the food store. The pollution level begins at zero. ■ Close the city window by clicking Close. Exploring Your World To begin exploring, move the Settlers and the Explorer: 1. Using the numeric keypad, press the 9 key three times to begin exploring. You can move the Explorer up to three times per turn. You begin to see more of the world. 2. When the next unit (a Settler) begins blinking, move it one square in another direction. When you have made all the moves you want to make (or all that the game allows), the Turn Done button is highlighted. Click Turn Done to start your next turn. Information for the city is updated. (The city changes and grows, simply through the passage of time reflected in the turns.) 3. Click the City to see the city window. Notice that information about the city has been updated. In particular, you should see food storage increase. Close the city window. 4. Continue exploring and build a road. With the Explorer flashing, use the numeric keypad to move it another three sections. When the Settler begins blinking, press R to build a road. A small R appears on the square to remind you that the Settler is busy building a road. Click Turn Done. Using More Controls and Actions Now that you have some understanding of the controls and actions, the game can go in a lot of different directions. Here are a few things that might happen next and things you can do: ■ After you take a turn, the computer gets a chance to play. As it plays, its actions are reported to you. You can make decisions on what to do about those actions. Choose Game ➪ Message Options. The Message Options window appears, containing a listing of different kinds of messages that can come from the server and how they will be presented to you. ■ As you explore, you will run into other explorers and eventually other civilizations. Continue exploring by selecting different directions on your numeric keypad. ■ Continue to move the Settler one square at a time after it has finished creating the road. The Settler will blink again when it is available. Click Turn Done to continue. ■ At this point, you should see a message that your city has finished building Warriors. When buildings and units are complete, you should usually check out what has happened. Click the message associated with the city, and then click Popup City. The city window appears, showing you that it has additional population. The food storage may appear empty, but the new citizens are working to increase the food and trade. You may see an additional warrior unit. 73675c07.indd 193 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM194 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ A science advisory may also appear to let you choose your city’s research goals. Click Change and select Writing as your new research goal. You can then select a different long-term goal as well. Click Close when you are done. ■ If your new Warrior is now blinking, press the S key to assign sentry mode to the Warrior. ■ Select Reports from time to time to keep track of statistics about your Cities, Units, Economy, Science, and other attributes of your world. Those moves provided familiarity with some of the actions of Freeciv. To learn some basic strategies for playing the game, choose Help ➪ Help Playing. Extreme Tux Racer With Extreme Tux Racer, you guide Tux the penguin (the Linux mascot) down a snow-covered hill as fast as you can. Extreme Tux Racer is an open source (GPL) version of TuxRacer, which was once freeware, but was later made into a commercial game by Sunspire Studios. To advance in Extreme Tux Racer, you need to complete courses in the allotted time while overcoming whatever obstacle is presented (gathering herring or negotiating flags). You move up to try different courses and achieve higher-level cups. Figure 7-3 shows a screenshot of PlanetPenguin Racer. FIGURE 7-3 Race Tux the penguin down a mountain. 73675c07.indd 194 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM195 Gaming with Linux 7 Commercial Linux Games When Loki Software, Inc. closed its doors a few years ago, the landscape of commercial gaming in Linux changed. Loki produced Linux ports of popular games, including Myth II and Civilization: Call to Power, to name a couple, and many hoped it would help Linux become the premier gaming platform. Since then, no single company has stepped up to port that wide a range of best-selling games to Linux. However, smaller Linux game publishers and companies porting popular Windows games to Linux have begun to pop up. Also, commercial games that run natively are led by several popular games from id Software (described in the next section) and a few gaming companies that have ported individual titles to Linux. Some Loki games are still available for purchase on the Web. They sell for a fraction of their original price, but you are on your own if they don’t work because Loki Software is no longer there to support them. The Loki Games Demo is still around, if you want to get a feel for a particular Loki game before it disappears completely. (I describe how to find demo and packaged Loki Games later in this chapter.) Although the state of Linux gaming has improved a great deal in the last few years, Linux is still emerging as a gaming platform. Linux has some of the technology needed to support advanced games, but the technology and developer support have not yet really come together. Most serious gamers still maintain a Windows partition to support their gaming habits. According to top game developers, there are significant hurdles — both technological and economic — that hinder development of games for Linux. In particular, the relatively small size of the Linux gaming market means that incentives to overcome some technical issues are not particularly strong. However, these limitations are not overwhelming and small Linux gaming developers are beginning to make inroads. As you’ll see later in this chapter, even the hardcore game nut can successfully use Linux. Getting Started with Commercial Games in Linux How you get started with Linux gaming depends on how serious you are about it. If all you want to do is play a few games to pass the time, I’ve already described plenty of diverting X Window games that come with Linux. If you want to play more powerful commercial games, you can choose from the following: ■ Games for Microsoft Windows (Cedega 6.0) — Many of the most popular commercial games created to run on Microsoft operating systems will run in Linux using Cedega. To get RPM versions of Cedega, you must sign up for a Cedega subscription at www.transgaming .com. Make sure to check in with www.linuxgames.com to see if there is a relevant HOWTO for working with the particular game you have in mind. Many games are covered there, including Half-Life and Unreal Tournament. To see if your favorite Windows game will run in Linux and Cedega, refer to the TransGaming.Org Games Database at www.cedega .com/gamesdb. 73675c07.indd 195 11/25/08 6:54:21 PM196 Part II Running a Linux Desktop ■ Games for Linux (id Software and others) — Certain popular games have Linux versions available. Most notably, id Software offers its Doom and Return to Castle Wolfenstein in Linux versions. Other popular games that run natively in Linux include Unreal Tournament 2004 and 2005 from Atari (www.unrealtournament.com). Commercial games that run in Linux without WINE, Cedega, or some sort of Windows emulation typically come in a boxed version for Windows with some sort of Linux installer included. ■ Independent Linux Game Developers — Several small companies are currently producing games for Linux. Notable Linux game developers include Introversion Software (introversion.co.uk) and Frictional Games (www.frictionalgames.com). Introversion’s games include Uplink, Darwinia, and Defcon. By the time you read this, Multiwinia should also be available. Frictional games include Penumbra: Overture and Penumbra: Black Plague, both of which portray 3D horror stories. Linux games that were ported directly to Linux from the now defunct company Loki Software, Inc. are still available. While you cannot purchase the titles directly from Loki, you can go online to one of Loki’s resellers at www.lokigames.com/orders/resellers.php3. For example, Amazon.com (one of the listed resellers) shows 16 titles, including Quake III, Myth II: Soulblighter, and Heretic II for Linux. Playing Commercial Linux Games To get your commercial games running in Linux, you should start from a site such as The Linux Game Tome (www.happypenguin.org) or Linux Gamers’ FAQ (http://icculus.org/lgfaq), which provide information on commercial games that run in Linux and help in getting them to run. In most cases, you need to do the following: ■ Purchase a legal copy of the game. ■ Go to a Web site that describes how to install, get patches for, and work around any issues related to playing the game in Linux. Here are examples of a few commercial games that run well in Linux: ■ Duke 3D Atomic Edition for Linux (3D Realms) — Duke Nukem returns to earth to face aliens and clean up Los Angeles in this third chapter in the Duke Nukem series. Visit 3D Realms for official information about Duke 3D Atomic Edition (www.3drealms.com/duke3d). See the Icculus.org site (http://icculus.org/duke3d/) for tips on getting it running. ■ Unreal Tournament 2003 (Epic Games) — Multiplayer death match set in the future, where warriors face each other with awesome weapons and stuff. It includes a Linux installer. Go to Epic Games (www.epicgames.com) or the Unreal Tournament site (www.unrealtournament.com) for the official information. Visit the Icculus.org site for tips on installing in Linux (www.icculus.org/lgfaq#ut2k3_install). ■ Unreal Tournament 2004 (Epic Games) — Adds new maps, characters, vehicles, weapons, and modes of play to the 2003 edition. 73675c07.indd 196 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM197 Gaming with Linux 7 The following sections describe Linux games from id Software, information about running Windows games using Cedega in Linux, and games from the now-defunct Loki Games still available from other sources today. id Software Games Among the most popular games running natively in Linux are Quake II, Quake III Arena, and Return to Castle Wolfenstein from id Software, Inc. You can purchase Linux versions of these games or download demos of each game before you buy. As noted earlier, Quake III Arena demos are available in Fedora and other Linux software repositories. If you have trouble getting any id Software games running in Linux, refer to the Linux FAQs available from id Software at: http://zerowing.idsoftware.com/linux. Quake III Arena Quake III Arena is a first-person, shooter-type game where you can choose from lots of weapons (lightning guns, shotguns, grenade launchers, and so on) and pass through scenes with highly detailed 3D surfaces. You can play alone or against your friends. There are multiplayer death-match and capture-the-flag competitions. Standalone play allows you to advance through a tournament structure of skilled AI opponents. This version of the game has a selectable difficulty level, from fairly easy to beat to downright impossible. If your Linux distribution doesn’t already include it, a demo version of Quake III Arena for Linux is available from the id Software Web site (click the demo link at www.idsoftware.com/games/ quake/quake3-gold/ and then look for the Linux demo). Because the demo is in the form of a large shell script, to save it you can right-click the link and select Save Link As from your Web browser. Figure 7-4 shows a screenshot from Quake III Arena. FIGURE 7-4 Quake III Arena is a popular first-person shooter game that runs in Linux. NOTE 73675c07.indd 197 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM198 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Return to Castle Wolfenstein You battle with the Allies to destroy the Third Reich in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which mixes World War II action with creatures conjured up by Nazi scientists. It is based on the Quake III Arena engine and offers single-player mode as well as team-based multiplayer mode. If you purchase Return to Castle Wolfenstein for Linux, you actually get the Windows version with an extra Linux installer. If you already have the Windows version, you can download the Linux installer and follow some instructions to get it going. I downloaded the installer called wolf-linux1.31.×86.run from www.idsoftware.com/games/wolfenstein/rtcw/index.php?game_ section=updates. The INSTALL file (in /usr/local/games/wolfenstein) describes which files you need to copy from the Windows CD. To get a demo of Return to Castle Wolfenstein, go to www.idsoftware.com/games/wolfenstein/ rtcw/index.php?game_section=overview. Both single-player and multiplayer demos are available. You need an NVIDIA card to run Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Figure 7-5 is a screenshot from Return to Castle Wolfenstein running in Linux. FIGURE 7-5 Return to Castle Wolfenstein combines strange creatures and World War II battles. Playing TransGaming and Cedega Games TransGaming Technologies brings to Linux some of the most popular games that currently run on the Windows platforms. Working with WINE developers, TransGaming is developing Cedega, which enables you to run many different games on Linux that were originally developed for Windows. Although TransGaming is producing a few games that are packaged separately and tuned for Linux, in most cases it sells you a subscription service to Cedega instead of the games. That subscription service lets you stay up-to-date on the continuing development of Cedega so you can run more and more Windows games. CAUTION CAUTION 73675c07.indd 198 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM199 Gaming with Linux 7 To get Windows games to run in Linux, Cedega particularly focuses its development on Microsoft DirectX features that are required by many of today’s games. There are also issues related to CD keys and hooks into the Windows operating system that must be overcome (such as requiring Microsoft Active Desktop). A Cedega subscription has value, in part, because it lets you vote on which games you’d like to see TransGaming work on next. A full list of games supported by TransGaming, as well as indications of how popular they are and how well they work, is available from the TransGaming site (www.cedega.com/gamesdb/). Browse games by category or alphabetically. An asterisk marks games that are officially supported by TransGaming. On each game description page is a link to a related Wiki Node, when one exists, that gives you details about how well the game works under Cedega and tips for getting it to work better. Depending on your distribution, you may need to get the vanilla kernel from kernel. org and boot that on your system before running games with Cedega. TransGaming has added several new features to the Cedega GUI (formerly called Point2Play). The Cedega GUI provides a graphical window for installing, confi guring, and testing Cedega on your computer. This application also lets you install and organize your games so you can launch them graphically. Figure 7-6 shows an example of the TransGaming Cedega window. FIGURE 7-6 Use the Cedega window to launch Windows games in Linux. Features in the new Cedega GUI window include a new look-and-feel and tools for individually configuring how each game runs under Cedega. (If a game won’t run from the GUI, try launching it from a Terminal window.) Here are some games that are known to run well in Cedega: ■ Day of Defeat: Source ■ World of Warcraft ■ Planescape ■ Silkroad Online ■ Half-Life 2 ■ Call of Duty 2 COMING FROM WINDOWS NOTE 73675c07.indd 199 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM200 Part II Running a Linux Desktop To get binary copies (ones that are already compiled to run) of Cedega, you need to subscribe to TransGaming. For details on how to become a “TransGamer,” click the Sign Up Today link on the TransGaming home page (www.transgaming.com). Benefits currently include: ■ Downloads of the latest version of Cedega ■ Access to Cedega support forums ■ Ability to vote on which games you want TransGaming to support next ■ Subscription to the Cedega newsletter Cedega used to be known as WineX. The source code for WineX may become available in the near future if you want to build your own WineX/Cedega package. To check availability, try the SourceForge.net project site for WineX (sourceforge.net/projects/winex). Loki Software Game Demos To encourage people to get to know its games, Loki Software, Inc. offered a demo program that let you choose from among more than a dozen of its games to download and try. You can still find some of its games for sale. For example, a recent search for Loki at Amazon.com turned up 16 different Loki games (including the ones described here), many selling for $9.99. If you try to download any of the demos described in the following sections, make sure you have enough disk space available. It is common for one of these demos to require several hundred megabytes of disk space. The Loki Demo Launcher page (www.lokigames.com/products/demos.php3) still offers links to FTP sites from which you can download the Demo Launcher. The file that you want to save is loki_ demos-full-1.0e-x86.run. Save it to a directory (such as /tmp/loki) and do the following: 1. Change to the directory to which you downloaded the demo. For example: # cd /tmp/loki You may not need to be root user to install these games. However, the paths where the Demo Launcher tries to write by default are accessible only to the root user. 2. As root user, run the following command (the program may have a different name if it has been updated): # sh loki_demos-full-1.0e.x86.run CAUTION CAUTION NOTE 73675c07.indd 200 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM201 Gaming with Linux 7 3. If you have not used the Demo Launcher before, a screen appears asking you to identify the paths used to place the Install Tool. If the default locations shown are okay with you, click Begin Install. 4. Assuming that there was no problem writing to the install directories, you should see an Install Complete message. Click Exit. 5. The Uninstall Tool window displays. If the paths for holding the Uninstall Tool are okay, click Begin Install. The Install Complete message appears. Click Exit. 6. The next window enables you to set the locations for installing the Demo Pack. If the paths are okay, click Begin Install. 7. A box shows the different demo games available. As you move the cursor over each game, the disk space needed for the game is displayed. Click the games you want to install and then click Continue. 8. A window displays the progress of each download. You may need to click an Update button to complete the update and then click Finish to finish it. 9. The demo should now be ready to start. Either click Play or type loki_demos from a Terminal window to start the program. 10. Select to start the game, and you’re ready to go. The following sections describe a few games that may still be available. Again, these games may not be available for long. Civilization: Call to Power You can build online civilizations with Civilization: Call to Power (CCP). Like earlier versions and public spinoffs (such as the Freeciv described earlier in this chapter), Civilization: Call to Power for Linux lets you explore the world, build cities, and manage your empire. The last version offered by Loki Games includes multiplayer network competition and extensions that let you extend cities into outer space and under the sea. If you like Freeciv, you will love CCP. Engaging game play is improved with enhanced graphics, sound, and animation. English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions are available. Freeciv is dependent on the Open Sound System for audio support. The Open Sound home page (www.opensound.com/osshw.html) has a list of supported sound cards, mostly older devices. If you do not have a card that’s on the list, you may be unable to enjoy the audio. The CCP demo comes with an excellent tutorial to start you out. If you have never played a civilization game before, the tutorial is a great way to start. Figure 7-7 shows an example scene from the Civilization: Call to Power for Linux demo. NOTE 73675c07.indd 201 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM202 Part II Running a Linux Desktop FIGURE 7-7 Civilization: Call to Power features excellent graphics and network play. Myth II: Soulblighter If you like knights and dwarves and storming castles, Myth II: Soulblighter for Linux might be for you. In Myth II, you are given a mission and some troops with various skills. From there, you need strategy and the desire to shed lots of virtual blood to meet your goal. Myth II was created by Bungie Software (the gaming company known more recently for the Halo series) and ported to Linux by Loki Entertainment Software (www.lokigames.com). The Loki port of the popular Myth game includes improved graphics and new scenarios. A demo version is available that runs well in most distributions (particularly Fedora/Red Hat). You can get it via the Demo Launcher described earlier. You need at least a modest Pentium 133 MHz, 32MB RAM, 80MB swap space, and 100MB of free disk space. You also need network hardware for multiuser network play (network card or dial-up), and a sound card if you want audio. Figure 7-8 shows a screen in Myth II. Heretic II Based on the Quake engine, Heretic II sets you on a path to rid the world of a deadly, magical plague. As the main character, Corvus, you explore dungeons, swamps, and cities to uncover and stop the plague. The graphics are rich, and the game play is quite engaging. You will experience some crashing problems with Heretic II out of the box. Be sure to check for the update to Heretic II at www.updates.lokigames.com, which should fix most of the problems. 73675c07.indd 202 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM203 Gaming with Linux 7 FIGURE 7-8 Use warriors, archers, and dwarves to battle in Myth II. Neverwinter Nights BioWare (www.bioware.com) dipped its foot into Linux gaming waters with a Linux client for its wildly popular Neverwinter Nights game. Neverwinter Nights is a classic role-playing game in the swords-and-sorcery mold. You can develop your character and go adventuring, or play online with others via a LAN or over the Internet. You can even build your own worlds and host adventures as the Dungeon Master. Neverwinter Nights is licensed by Wizards of the Coast to use Dungeons & Dragons rules and material. Of course, to use the Neverwinter Nights Linux client, you must purchase the game from BioWare. You must also have access to certain files from a Windows installation of the game. Keep in mind that getting Neverwinter Nights running is not a simple process. Important installation instructions and downloadable files are located at http://nwn.bioware.com/downloads/linuxclient. html. This site includes additional information about expansion packs and updates. If you want the Neverwinter Nights experience on your Linux system to be pleasant, I highly recommend reading the instructions thoroughly. And you will need patience in addition to a high-bandwidth Internet connection. Depending on the version of Neverwinter Nights to which you have access, you may need to download up to 1.2GB of files. 73675c07.indd 203 11/25/08 6:54:22 PM204 Part II Running a Linux Desktop Summary With Linux ports of games such as Unreal Tournament 2004, Linux continues to grow as a gaming platform. You can spend plenty of late nights gaming on Linux. Old UNIX games that have made their way to Linux include a variety of basic X Window–based games. There are card games, strategy games, and some action games for those less inclined to spend 36 hours playing Doom 3. On the commercial front, Civilization: Call to Power for Linux and Myth II are available to use on your Linux system. Unfortunately, these will probably disappear because Loki Software (which ported those applications to Linux) went out of business. Fortunately, the future of high-end Linux gaming seems to be in the hands of TransGaming Technologies, which has created Cedega from previous WINE technology to allow Windows games to run in Linux. Commercial games that run natively in Linux are also available. These include games from id Software, such as Quake III Arena and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Smaller Linux game developers have also appeared, including Introversion Software and Frictional Games. 73675c07.indd 204 11/25/08 6:54:22 PMIN THIS PART Chapter 8 Installing Linux Chapter 9 Running Commands from the Shell Chapter 10 Learning Basic Administration Chapter 11 Getting on the Internet Chapter 12 Securing Linux Learning System Administration Skills 73675c08.indd 205 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM73675c08.indd 206 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM207 I f someone hasn’t already installed and configured a Linux system for you, this chapter is going to help you get started so you can try out the Linux features described in the rest of the book. With recent improvements to Linux live CDs and installers, getting your hands on a working Linux system is quicker and more solid than ever before. If you are a first-time Linux user, I recommend that you: ■ Try a bootable Linux — This book’s CD and DVD include several bootable Linux systems. The advantage of a bootable Linux is that you can try out Linux without touching the contents of your computer’s hard drive. In particular, KNOPPIX is a full-featured Linux system that can give you a good feel for how Linux works. Using the DVD or CD, you can try out several different live CDs, as described in Appendix A. Some of these live CDs also include features for installing Linux to your hard disk. Although live CDs tend to run slower than installed systems and don’t keep your changes once you reboot, they are good tools for starting out with Linux. ■ Install a desktop Linux system — Choose one of the Linux distributions and install it on your computer’s hard disk. Permanently installing Linux to your hard disk gives you more flexibility for adding and removing software, accessing and saving data to hard disk, and more permanently customizing your system. Installing Linux as a desktop system lets you try out some useful applications and get the feel for Linux before dealing with more complex server issues. Installing Linux IN THIS CHAPTER Choosing a Linux distribution Getting a Linux distribution Understanding installation issues 73675c08.indd 207 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM208 Part III Learning System Administration Skills This chapter provides you with an overview of how to choose a Linux distribution, and then describes issues and topics that are common to installing most Linux distributions. Appendix A describes which Linux distributions are included on this book’s DVD and CD and how to run them live or use them to install Linux permanently. Each of the other chapters in this part of the book is dedicated to understanding and installing a particular Linux distribution. After you’ve installed Linux, you’ll want to understand how to get and manage software for your Linux system. These are important topics that are covered throughout the book, but this chapter describes the major packaging formats and tools to get you going. Choosing a Linux Distribution Dozens of popular Linux distributions are available today. Some are generalized distributions that you can use as a desktop, server, or workstation system; others are specialized for business or computer enthusiasts. One intention of this book is to help you choose which one (or ones) will suit you best. Using the DVD that comes with this book, you can boot directly to KNOPPIX (or several other live CDs to try out Linux) or run an installer (to install Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Slackware, Mandriva, Freespire, or openSUSE on your computer’s hard disk). After you’ve tried out KNOPPIX and are ready to install Linux on your hard disk, I recommend you try Fedora or Ubuntu. Using the CD that comes with this book, you can boot directly to Damn Small Linux (or several other smaller bootable Linux distros), Debian, or Gentoo (to do a network install of those distributions to your hard disk). Debian and Damn Small Linux are two distributions that can be set up to work well on computers that are older and less powerful, or have a CD drive but no DVD drive. For Debian and Ubuntu, this book also provides descriptions for setting up Debian as a mail and Web server (see Chapters 13 and 14). Linux at Work Because I know a lot of people who use Linux, both informally and at work, I want to share my general impressions of how different Linux distributions are being used in the United States. Most consultants I know who set up small office servers used to use Red Hat Linux, but now have mostly moved to Fedora, CentOS (built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux software), Ubuntu, or Debian GNU/ Linux. Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux) has been popular with people wanting a friendly Linux desktop, but Ubuntu and Fedora are also well-liked. The more technically inclined like to play with Gentoo (highly tunable) or Slackware (Linux in a more basic form). The agreement between Novell and Microsoft prompted some open source proponents to abandon SUSE. Whether this will result in a migration from SUSE in the enterprise space, however, has yet to play out. However, right now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers the best choice in the enterprise realm for those who object to the alliance. 73675c08.indd 208 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM209 Installing Linux 8 For people transitioning to Linux with older Macintosh hardware, Yellow Dog Linux lets you install on a PowerPC and learn skills that are useful to expand later to Red Hat systems (Yellow Dog was originally based on Red Hat Linux). As for the bootable Linuxes, everyone I know thinks they are great fun to try out and a good way to learn about Linux. For a bootable Linux containing desktop software that fits on a full CD (or DVD), KNOPPIX is a good choice, as is Ubuntu; for a bootable mini-CD size Linux, Damn Small Linux works well. However, you can also try out these live CDs from the media that comes with this book: INSERT, Puppy Linux, SLAX Popcorn, System Rescue CD, or BackTrack. This book exposes you to several different Linux distributions. It gives you the advantage of being able to see the strengths and weaknesses of each distribution by actually putting your hands on it. You can also try to connect in to the growing Linux user communities because strong community support results in a more solid software distribution and help when you need it (from such things as forums and online chats). Other Distributions There seems to be a new Linux distribution every five minutes, and I really have to stop writing this book at some point. To keep the descriptions of Linux distributions to a reasonable size (and actually have the space to describe how to use Linux), several interesting Linux distributions aren’t explored in this book. Notable Linux distributions not included in this book are TurboLinux, Xandros, and CentOS. TurboLinux (www.turbolinux.com) is a popular distribution in Asia-Pacific countries. Xandros (www.xandros.com), designed to operate well in Microsoft Windows environments, is a well-regarded desktop Linux system. CentOS has become very popular among consultants who used to use Red Hat Linux. CentOS is a rebuild of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. So, people use it for servers that require longer update cycles that you would get with Fedora. However, because CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are built from technology developed for Fedora, you can learn a lot about how to use those two distributions by using Fedora. The following sections explain how to look beyond the confines of this book for those and other Linux distributions. Getting Your Own Linux Distribution By packaging a handful of Linux distributions with this book, I hoped to save you the trouble of getting Linux yourself. If you have a DVD drive, perhaps you can use this opportunity to at least try KNOPPIX, so you’ll better understand what’s being discussed. If you have a CD drive only, at least boot directly to Damn Small Linux from the CD that comes with this book. If for some reason you can’t use the software on the CD or DVD, you may want to get your own Linux distributions to use with the descriptions in this book. Reasons you might want to get your own Linux distributions include: ■ No DVD drive — You need a bootable DVD drive on your computer to use the Linux distributions on the DVD that comes with this book. 73675c08.indd 209 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM210 Part III Learning System Administration Skills ■ Later distributions — You may want a more recent version of a particular distribution than comes with this book. ■ Complete distributions — Because there’s limited space on the CD and DVD and because some distributions require subscriptions or other fees, you may want to obtain your own, more complete distribution with which to work. Today, there is no shortage of ways to get Linux. Finding Another Linux Distribution You can go to the Web site of each distribution (such as http://fedoraproject.org or http:// slackware.com/getslack) to get Linux software. Those sites often let you download a complete copy of their distributions and give you the opportunity to purchase a boxed set. However, one way to get a more complete view of available Linux distributions is to go to a Web site dedicated to spreading information about Linux distributions. Use these sites to connect to forums and download documentation about many Linux distributions. Here are some examples: ■ DistroWatch (www.distrowatch.com) — The first place I go to find Linux distributions is DistroWatch.com. Go to the Major Distributions link to read about the top Linux distributions (most of which are included with this book). Links will take you to download sites, forums, home pages, and other sites related to each distribution. ■ Linux Help (www.linuxhelp.net) — Select the ISO images link from this site’s home page, and you can find download links to ISO images for many of the most popular Linux distributions. If you don’t want to download and burn the CDs yourself, there are plenty of links on those sites from places willing to sell you Linux CDs or DVDs. Distribution prices are often only a little bit higher than the cost of the media and shipping. If you really like a particular Linux distribution, it’s a good idea to purchase it directly from the organization that makes it. That can ensure the health of the distribution into the future. Books that come with software included can also be a good way to get a Linux distribution. Finding up-to-date documentation can be difficult when you have nothing but a CD to start out with. Standard Linux documentation (such as HOWTOs and man pages) is often out of date with the software. So, I would particularly recommend a book and distribution (such as this one or Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Bible from Wiley Publishing) for first-time Linux users. Understanding What You Need The most common media used to install Linux are CDs and DVDs that contain everything you need to complete the install. Another way to start a Linux installation is with a floppy or CD that includes an installation boot image and then get the parts of Linux you need live from the network as you install Linux. 73675c08.indd 210 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM211 Installing Linux 8 The images that are burned onto the CDs are typically stored on the Internet in what are called software repositories. You can download the images and burn them to CDs yourself. Alternatively, the software packages are usually also included separately in directories. Those separate software directories enable you to start an install process with a minimal boot disc that can grab packages over the network during the installation process. (Some of the installations I recommend with this book are done that way.) When you follow links to Linux software repositories, here’s what you look for: ■ Download directory — You often have to step down a few directories from the download link that gets you to a repository. Look for subdirectories that describe the distribution, architecture, release, and medium format. For example, mirrors for the Fedora 10 Linux distribution might be named fedora/linux/10/i386/iso. Other Linux distributions, such as Gentoo and Debian, have tools that will search out online repositories for you, so you don’t have to find a mirror directory on your own. (As an alternative, you can grab the Linux live CD or install images via BitTorrent, as described later.) ■ ISO images — The software images you are going to burn to CD are typically stored in ISO format. Some repositories include a README file to tell you what images you need (others just assume you know). To install a distribution, you want the set of ISOs containing the Linux distribution’s binary files. Although an ISO image appears as one fi le, it’s actually like a snapshot of a fi le system. You can mount that image to see all the fi les the image contains by using the loop feature of the mount command. For example, with an image called abc.iso in the current directory, create an empty directory (mkdir myiso) and, as root, run the mount command: mount -o loop abc.iso myiso. Change to the myiso directory and you can view the fi les and directories the ISO image contains. When you are done viewing the contents, leave the directory and unmount the ISO image (cd .. ; umount myiso). ■ MD5SUM — To verify that you got the right CDs completely intact, after you download them look for a file named MD5SUM or ending in .md5 in the ISO directory. The file contains one or more MD5 (128-bit) checksums, representing the ISO files you want to check. Other distributions publish SHA1 checksums, which does 160-bit checksums. You can use that file to verify the content of each CD (as described later). Downloading the Distribution You can download each ISO image by simply clicking the link and downloading it to a directory in your computer when prompted. You can do this on a Windows or Linux system. If you know the location of the image you want, with a running Linux system, the wget command is a better way to download than just clicking a link in your browser. The advantage of using wget is that you can restart a download that stops in the middle for some reason. A wget command to download a KNOPPIX CD image (starting from the directory you want to download to) might look like this: $ wget -c kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso NOTE 73675c08.indd 211 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM212 Part III Learning System Administration Skills If the download stops before it is completed, run the command again. The -c option tells wget to begin where the download left off, so that if you are 690MB into a 696MB download when it stopped, it just adds in the last 6MB. A more “good citizen” approach to downloading your ISO images is to use a facility called BitTorrent (http://bittorrent.com). BitTorrent enables you to download a file to your computer by grabbing bits of that file from multiple computers on the network that are downloading the file at the same time. For the privilege, you also use your upload capacity to share the same file with others as you are downloading. During times of heavy demand with a new Linux distribution, BitTorrent can be the best way to go. Recent news articles have portrayed BitTorrent as a tool for illegal activities, such as downloading copyrighted materials (movies, music, and so on). Because most Linux distributions contain only software covered under various open source licenses, there is no legal problem with using BitTorrent to distribute Linux distributions. Check out http://linuxtracker.org for a list of Linux distributions that can be downloaded with BitTorrent. If you are on a dial-up modem, you should strongly consider purchasing Linux CDs (or getting them from a friend) if you don’t find what you want on the CD or DVD with this book. You might be able to download an entire 700MB CD in a couple of hours on a fast DSL or cable modem connection. On a dial-up line, you might need an entire day or more per CD. For a large, multi-CD distribution, available disk space can also become a problem (although, with today’s large hard disks, it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be). Burning the Distribution to CD With the CD images copied to your computer, you can proceed to verify their contents and burn them to CD. All you really need is a CD burner on your computer. With Linux running, you can use the md5sum or sha1sum command to verify each CD. If you are using Windows to validate the contents of the Linux CD, you can get the MD5Summer utility (www.md5summer.org) to verify each CD image. Assuming you downloaded the MD5 file associated with each CD image, and have it in the same directory as your CD images, run the md5sum command to verify the image. For example, to verify the KNOPPIX CD shown previously in the wget example, you can type the following: $ md5sum KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso 653acc801d4059598bd388de8171a20d KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso The MD5SUM file I downloaded previously from the download directory was called KNOPPIX_ V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso.md5. It contained this content: 653acc801d4059598bd388de8171a20d *KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso NOTE 73675c08.indd 212 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM213 Installing Linux 8 As you can see, the checksum (first string of characters shown) that is output from the ISO image matches the checksum in the MD5 file, so you know that the image you downloaded is the image from the server. If the project uses sha1sum to verify its ISO images, you can test your downloaded images with the sha1sum command, as follows: $ sha1sum FC-6-i386-DVD.iso 6722f95b97e5118fa26bafa5b9f622cc7d49530c FC-6-i386-DVD.iso Once you have verified the sha1sum or md5sum of the CD or DVD, as long as you got the image from a reliable site, you should be ready to burn the CD or DVD. With your Linux distribution in hand (either on the book’s DVD or CD, or the set of CDs you got elsewhere), use commands such as cdrecord or k3b to burn your CD or DVD images to disk. Instructions for installing the distributions from the CD or DVD can be found in individual chapters devoted to each distribution (Chapters 17–28). Before you proceed, however, some information is useful for nearly every Linux system you are installing. Exploring Common Installation Topics Before you begin installing your Linux distribution of choice, there is some general Linux information you should understand. Reading over this information might help you avoid problems or keep you from getting stuck when you install Linux. Knowing Your Computer Hardware Every Linux will not run on every computer. When installing Linux, most people use a Pentiumclass PC. There are Linux systems that are compiled to run on other hardware, such as Mac PowerPCs or AMD 64-bit computers. However, the distributions provided with this book run only on 32-bit Pentium-class PCs. Note that because new Mac computers are built from standard Intel components, it is possible to install Linux on those computers as well (see the “Installing Linux on Intel Macs” sidebar). Installing Linux on Intel Macs Because of the popularity of MacBook and Mac mini computers, which are based on Intel architecture, several Linux projects have produced procedures for installing their systems to dual-boot with Mac OS X. Most of these procedures involve using the Apple BootCamp software (www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp). To install the Fedora Linux that comes with this book, refer to the Fedora on Mactel page (http:// fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraOnMactel). For Ubuntu, refer to the Ubuntu MacBook page (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBook). 73675c08.indd 213 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM214 Part III Learning System Administration Skills Minimum hardware requirements from the Fedora Project are pretty good guidelines for most Linux systems: ■ Processor — The latest version of Fedora recommends that you have at least a Pentiumclass processor. For a text-only installation, a 200 MHz Pentium is the minimum, whereas a 400 MHz Pentium II is the minimum for a GUI installation. If you have a 486 machine (at least 100 MHz), consider trying Damn Small Linux or Slackware. The problem is that many machines that old have only fl oppy disks, so you can’t use the CD or DVD that comes with this book. In that case, you can try ZipSlack (www.slackware.com/zipslack), which is a Slackware version that comes on about 30+ fl oppy disk images or a 100MB Zip disk and can run on a 486 with at least 100MB of disk space. ■ RAM — You should have at least 64MB of RAM to install most Linux distributions and run it in text mode. Slackware might run on 8MB of RAM, but 16MB is considered the minimum. If you are running in graphical mode, you will probably need at least 192MB. The recommended RAM for graphical mode in Fedora is 512MB. A GNOME environment generally requires a bit less memory to run than a KDE environment. If you are using a more streamlined graphical system (that runs X with a small window manager, such as Blackbox), you might get by with as little as 32MB. In that case, you might try Damn Small Linux or Slackware. ■ DVD or CD drive — You need to be able to boot up the installation process from a DVD or CD. If you can’t boot from a DVD or CD, there are ways to start the installation from a hard disk or using a PXE install. Some distributions, such as Slackware, let you use floppy disks to boot installation. Once the install is booted, the software can sometimes be retrieved from different locations (over the network or from hard disk, for example). ■ Network card — If you are doing an install of one of the distributions for which we provide a scaled-down boot disk, you might need to have an Ethernet card installed to get the software you need over the network. A dial-up connection won’t work for network installs. You don’t have to be connected to the Internet necessarily to do a network install. Some people will download the necessary software packages to a computer on their LAN, and then use that as an install server. ■ Disk space — You should have at least 3GB of disk space for an average desktop installation, although installations can range (depending on which packages you choose to install) from 600MB (for a minimal server with no GUI install) to 7GB (to install all packages). You can install the Damn Small Linux live CD to disk with only about 200MB of disk space. If you’re not sure about your computer hardware, there are a few ways to check what you have. If you are running Windows, the System Properties window can show you the processor you have, as well as the amount of RAM that’s installed. As an alternative, you can boot KNOPPIX and let it detect and report to you the hardware you have. (See Chapter 11 for instructions on running the lspci and dmseg commands in Linux to view information about your computer hardware.) NOTE 73675c08.indd 214 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM215 Installing Linux 8 Upgrading or Installing from Scratch If you already have a version of the Linux you are installing on your computer, many Linux distributions offer an upgrade option. This lets you upgrade all packages, for example, from version 1 of the distribution to version 2. Here are a few general rules before performing an upgrade: ■ Back up data — There is a possibility that after you finish your upgrade, the operating system won’t boot. It’s always a good idea to back up any critical data and configuration files (in /etc) before doing any major changes to your operating system. ■ Remove extra packages — If there are software packages you don’t need, remove them before you do an upgrade. Upgrade processes typically upgrade only those packages that are on your system. Upgrades generally do more checking and comparing than clean installs do, so any package you can remove saves time during the upgrade process. ■ Check configuration files — A Linux upgrade procedure often leaves copies of old configuration files. You should check that the new configuration files still work for you. Installing Linux from scratch goes faster than an upgrade. It also results in a cleaner Linux system. So if you have the choice of backing up your data, or just erasing it if you don’t need it, a fresh install is usually best. Some Linux distributions, most notably Gentoo, have taken the approach of ongoing updates. Instead of taking a new release every few months, you simply continuously grab updated packages as they become available and install them on your system. Dual Booting with Windows or Just Linux? It is possible to have multiple, bootable operating systems on the same computer (using multiple partitions on a hard disk and/or multiple hard disks). Setting up to boot more than one operating system, however, requires some thought. It also assumes some risks. While tools for resizing Windows partitions and setting up multi-boot systems have improved in recent years, there is still considerable risk of losing data on Windows/Linux dual-boot systems. Different operating systems often have different views of partition tables and master boot records that can cause your machine to become unbootable (at least temporarily) or lose data permanently. Always back up your data before you try to resize a Windows (NTFS or FAT) fi le system to make space for Linux. If you have a choice, install Linux on a machine of its own or at least on a separate hard disk. If the computer you are using already has a Windows system on it, it’s quite possible that the entire hard disk is devoted to Windows. While you can run a bootable Linux, such as KNOPPIX or Damn Small Linux, without touching the hard disk, to do a more permanent installation you’ll want to find disk space outside of the Windows installation. There are a few ways to do this: ■ Add a hard disk — Instead of messing with your Windows partition, you can simply add a hard disk and devote it to Linux. TIP CAUTION CAUTION 73675c08.indd 215 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM216 Part III Learning System Administration Skills ■ Resize your Windows partition — If you have available space on your Windows partition, you can shrink that partition so there is available free space on the disk to devote to Linux. Commercial tools such as Partition Magic from Symantec (www.symantec.com) or Acronis Disk Director (www.acronis.com) are available to resize your disk partitions and set up a workable boot manager. Some Linux distributions (particularly bootable Linuxes used as rescue CDs) include a tool called QTParted that is an open source clone of Partition Magic (which includes software from the Linux-NTFS project for resizing Windows NTFS partitions). An alternative to QTParted is GParted, which is included on the media for this book. Before you try to resize your Windows partition, you might need to defragment it. To defragment your disk on some Windows systems, so that all of your used space is put in order on the disk, open My Computer, right-click your hard disk icon (typically C:), select Properties, click Tools, and select Defragment Now. Defragmenting your disk can be a fairly long process. The result of defragmentation is that all the data on your disk are contiguous, creating a lot of contiguous free space at the end of the partition. There are cases where you will have to do the following special tasks to make this true: ■ If the Windows swap file is not moved during defragmentation, you must remove it. Then, after you defragment your disk again and resize it, you will need to restore the swap file. To remove the swap file, open the Control Panel, open the System icon, and then click the Performance tab and select Virtual Memory. To disable the swap file, click Disable Virtual Memory. ■ If your DOS partition has hidden files that are on the space you are trying to free up, you need to find them. In some cases, you won’t be able to delete them. In other cases, such as swap files created by a program, you can safely delete those files. This is a bit tricky because some files should not be deleted, such as DOS system files. You can use the attrib -s -h command from the root directory to deal with hidden files. Once your disk is defragmented, you can use one of the commercial tools described earlier (Partition Magic or Acronis Disk Director) to repartition your hard disk to make space for Linux. An open source alternative to those tools is QTParted. Boot KNOPPIX or any of several other bootable Linux distributions (particularly rescue CDs) and run QTParted by selecting System Tools ➪ QTParted from the desktop main menu. From the QTParted window, select the hard disk you want to resize. Then choose Options ➪ Configuration to open a window where you can select the ntfsresize tool to resize your NTFS partition. After you have cleared enough disk space to install Linux (see the disk space requirements in the chapter covering the Linux distribution you’re installing), you can choose your Linux distribution and install it. As you set up your boot loader during installation, you will be able to identify the Windows, Linux, and any other bootable partitions so that you can select which one to boot when your start your computer. NOTE 73675c08.indd 216 11/25/08 6:55:47 PM217 Installing Linux 8 Using Installation Boot Options Sometimes a Linux installation will fail because the computer has some non-functioning or non-supported hardware. Sometimes you can get around those issues by passing options to the install process when it boots up. Those options can do such things as disable selected hardware (nousb, noscsi, noide, and so on) or not probe hardware when you need to select your own driver (noprobe). Although some of these options are distribution-specific, others are simply options that can be passed to an installer environment that works from a Linux kernel. Chapter 21 includes a list of many boot options that can be used with KNOPPIX and other Linux systems. Partitioning Hard Drives The hard disk (or disks) on your computer provides the permanent storage area for your data files, applications programs, and the operating system itself. Partitioning is the act of dividing a disk into logical areas that can be worked with separately. In Windows, you typically have one partition that consumes the whole hard disk. However, with Linux there are several reasons you may want to have multiple partitions: ■ Multiple operating systems — If you install Linux on a PC that already has a Windows operating system, you may want to keep both operating systems on the computer. For all practical purposes, each operating system must exist on a completely separate partition. When your computer boots, you can choose which system to run. ■ Multiple partitions within an operating system — To protect from having your entire operating system run out of disk space, people often assign separate partitions to different areas of the Linux file system. For example, if /home and /var were assigned to separate partitions, then a gluttonous user who fills up the /home partition wouldn’t prevent logging daemons from continuing to write to log files in the /var/log directory. Multiple partitions also make it easier to do certain kinds of backups (such as an image ba