The Linux Cookbook: Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use


The word "free" in this context refers to freedom or liberty, and not price; this distinction is explained in Introduction.


This key is labelled `Enter' on some keyboards.


The name "Unix" was first written as "Unics," which stood for "Uniplex Information and Computing System."


No such "official GNU" operating system has yet been released in its entirety, but most people today consider Linux-based free software systems to be the effective realization of their goals -- hence the "GNU" in "Debian GNU/Linux."


You can extend this "free software movement" to be part of a greater "free information" or "free speech" movement, to include all other kinds of free works -- including works of literature and music.


Presumably, many of these courses use Linux now.


This was not the original name, however. Torvalds had originally called it freax, for "`free' + `freak' + the obligatory `-x'"; while the 1990s were fast becoming the "freaky" alterna decade (at least in fashion), more people seemed to favor "Linux," and the name stuck.


The GNU Project's own kernel is called Hurd, and is still in development; Debian's experimental distribution of a Hurd-based free software system, not yet publicly released, is called Debian GNU/Hurd.


Because of this approach, and because of its free and open nature, I have come to call Linux a "synergetic" operating system, in honor of the late R. Buckminster Fuller, who invented a new mathematical system based on these same principles.


If you keyboard has two [ALT] and [CTRL] keys, use the left set of these keys.


LDP documents are available in other formats as well, including HTML and DVI.


The Unix way of saying it is that the command "rings the system bell."


Sometimes you might see it referred to as "X Windows," but this term is incorrect.


If you have a mouse with only two buttons, click both buttons simultaneously to emulate the middle button.


Technically, there are other characters that you can use -- but doing so may get you into trouble later on.


Called a URN, or "Uniform Resource Name."


This key works in X as well, and works as it does in the console.


On an increasing number of systems, this file is being replaced with `/usr/share/dict/words'; administrators should make a symbolic link from this to the shorter, preferred form.


If a word is reasonably universal, you may, of course, contact the global maintainers of wenglish or other appropriate packages and try to convince them that said word ought to be included.


There was also a set of tools for formatting text called the "Documenter's Workbench" (DWB), and there was a planned "Reader's Workbench"; we can only guess at what that might have been, but today we do have Project Gutenbook, a new etext reader.


In The Third Mind, by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin.


The ed command is still available on virtually all unices, Linux inclusive, and the old `g/re/p' still works.


The default shell on most Linux systems, bash, doesn't -- but it's still probably good practice to quote a regexp with a caret in it.


If the input is a file, use cat to do this, as in the example.


This is the term given to the currently-fashionable hardware devices that allow for display and reading of text. A book in plain text with or without formatting commands is called an "etext," but as more information is handled in machine-readable form, the e- prefix will probably be dropped.


The `mf' also stands for "Metafont," the name of the font language that is part of TeX.


LyX, being in essence a graphical front-end to LaTeX, uses these same document classes.


In addition, a more advanced LaTeX style for printing many different kinds of shipping and package labels is normally installed at `/usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/labels/'.


The manuscript template requires that your system has the LaTeX style file called `manuscript.sty'; most TeX distributions have this installed at `/usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/misc/manuscript.sty'.


This is a proprietary scanned image format from Kodak, which is a current standard for scanning film images to digital.


You can also use this tool with a CD-RW drive and write to a CD-RW disc.


Ogg Vorbis is one such format; see


This works if your administrator has set up the floppy drive filesystem for user access -- see Letting Users Access Hardware Peripherals.


This is sometimes called being "under the mount point" of the disk.


This works if your administrator has set up the CD-ROM drive filesystem for user access -- see Letting Users Access Hardware Peripherals.


The shell command separator; see Running a List of Commands.


Technically, you can use minicom to dial a computer that is connected to the Internet, like a local Free-Net system, but your access to the net will be restricted to inside this minicom window; with a traditional Internet connection, such as PPP, your whole system has direct access to the net, including your Web browsers, email software, and other networking tools.


Noah Friedman has an alternate set of "Spam" images you can use, available from


It comes pre-installed with XEmacs.


Netscape's browsers, from their earliest Navigator release to their later Communicator series, were always referred to by the company as Mozilla; this was a pun on the name Mosaic, which had been the first popular graphical Web browser in the early 1990s -- Netscape's goal had been to make a monster Mosaic.


A trimmed-down Mozilla will soon be available for Debian systems.


Like many of my generation, it was through lynx that I had my first view of the Web.


"I named it after the sound that a sonar makes, inspired by the whole principle of echo-location," said the original author of ping, Mike Muss. He died in an automobile accident in November 2000.


For a complete list, visit the Linux Documentation Project Web site.

The ebook you are reading was generated from its manuscript source data on 9 January 2002.