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Multitool Linux Practical Uses For Open Source Software
by Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis, and Steven Murphy
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This unique, practical resource delivers specific Linux-based open source solutions to dozens of today's most common computing and business challenges. Each modular chapter covers all you need to know to solve a specific set of problems -- with extensive examples, and detailed guidance on acquiring and running the Linux-based open source software you'll need. Multitool Linux begins by reviewing the skills and mindset you need to make the most of Linux and open source software. The authors present comprehensive coverage of Linux as a solution for networking problems, covering remote control applications, routing, virtual private networks, file and print services for Windows clients, email, Web services, and more. The book covers a wide range of Linux-based security solutions, including secure logins, file transfers, email security, and encryption. The book also includes a full section on multimedia, ranging from video production to CD burning, 3D graphics to image processing. Each chapter includes pointers to URLs with the latest versions of every open source package covered in the book. For all Linux users and developers who want to use Linux to solve a wider variety of problems.
Resource-packed guide delivers pragmatic solutions for real-world development needs-all using open source software tools. Softcover.
From the Back Cover
This resource-packed guide delivers pragmatic solutions for real-world Linux development needsâall using open-source software tools. Viewing Linux as a well-stocked toolbox, Multitool Linux shows programmers and sophisticated users how to create a wide variety of exciting and useful applications for business and entertainment, from speech synthesis and video production to network security.
The book begins with a general introduction to Linux and a look at working with its source code. A wide variety of programming projectsâencompassing communications, privacy, music and audio, graphics, photography, and much moreâare then explored in-depth. Each chapter is filled with examples, helpful screenshots, step-by-step tutorials, lists of open-source tools, and URLs for sites where those tools can be obtained for free.
Many of the tools discussed in the book will work not only with Linux, but with any flavor of UNIXâfrom FreeBSD up to expensive, proprietary versions of UNIX running on high-speed massively parallel hardware.
Multitool Linux shows you how to:
If you want to learn how to install and operate Linux, look to other books and manuals. But if you have installed the software and are asking the question, "Now what?" Multitool Linux provides valuable and entertaining answers.
About the Author
Peter Curtis is a Web applications designer for HealthPartners, a Minnesota HMO, where he runs a combined Linux and Windows network. He has extensive experience as a UNIX, Perl, C/C++, and Java programmer.
Steven Murphy is a UNIX and Linux programmer for HealthPartners. He is also a professional musician who uses Linux in his various musical and video editing tasks.
Jeremy Anderson teaches UNIX classes at Hennepin Technical College. He has expertise in UNIX, Linux, Perl, C/C++, and Java programming.
Michael Schwarz is a J2EE developer for Carmichael Security and has worked on Linux since its emergence. He is a frequent contributor to Linux Journal.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You've Been Hoodwinked!
You picked this book up thinking it was about Linux. Hah! We fooled you completely! This book is only tangentially about Linux. It is really about a number of pieces of Free Software (note the capitals--there's more about this in Chapter 1) that are frequently packaged with Linux in common distributions.
There are quite a few books out there on how to install Linux, how to administer Linux, how to program for Linux, and how to secure Linux. What we believed was lacking, however, was some guide for those who are new to Free Software and Open Source software as to just what you can do with a Linux system once you have one.
This book is all about things you can do either with a base Linux distribution or with software that is readily available on the Web for the Linux platform. Every single piece of software we cover in this book is available under one or another "open source" license, meaning that you can get the software for free and redistribute it freely. In all cases the source code is available for you to see and modify for your own use. The differences in the licenses tend to govern what you are allowed to do with the modified source code.
The authors have a definite bias (which you should know about up front) in favor of the GNU Public License (the GPL), which allows you to do anything with the source code except refuse to give away any work derived from it. We cover some of the reasoning behind various source code licenses in Chapter 1.
Now, how, exactly, did we fool you? Well, although all of the software we cover here runs on Linux on Intel-based PCs, most of it will run on any flavor of Unix, from the BSD-derived systems of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD (all of which are freely available and open source and run on Intel PCs), on up to the most closed and expensive commercial proprietary versions of Unix running on the most expensive high-speed massively parallel hardware.
Why You Want This Book
Let's face it: It's a Windows world. If you have an Intel-based PC, the odds are you own a copy of one or another of the dozens of versions of Microsoft Windows. The odds are, also, that you didn't have any choice in the matter. The hardware comes with Windows preinstalled. There are tons of software packages available for from $20 to $20,000 for PCs running that operating system, and they are right there in your local SuperCompuMegaHut. What more could you want?
In the most selfish sense, you might want all of that software for from $0 to $0. You can do that with the commercial software. This is called "piracy," and it is, quite rightly, against the law. It turns out, however, that those of us who write software also would like to get software for free. So some of us started writing code and giving it away. We get paid back in the form of the other free software written by other programmers.
At this point, thanks to people like Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation and Linus Torvalds (author of the Linux kernel), you can now have a complete multiuser network server operating system and a whole slew of applications for free. You can also, if you are a programmer, get all the source code for all of it and add features or fix bugs yourself, if you are so inclined.
Even if you are not a programmer, you benefit from this openness because bugs get found and fixed much more rapidly in this model than in the closed, commercial, distributed media model. And you don't have to pay an upgrade price every few months.
Still, as we said, it is a Windows world. People who are not computer scientists know Windows. They know Microsoft Office. They know only this way of doing things. And Linux is different. So how do I do useful things like I do with my Windows PC? And what can I do with a Linux PC that I never even imagined doing with my Windows PC?
That's what the rest of this book is about. At one of our darkest hours, we thought of calling this book Hooray! I've installed Linux...Now What? Fortunately, our editors stared at us dumbfounded until we came to our senses. But that is still what the book is about. It is about some of the practical things you can do with Free Software.
How This Book Is Organized
This book is organized as follows:
The bulk of the book is the toolbox section. Each chapter begins with a resource box, which includes our "patented" Difficult-o-Meter, a list of the programs being presented, their versions, and URLs where the software may be obtained. Every effort has been made to provide accurate and timely information. But because this book was over a year in the making, there will be newer versions of most of these packages by the time you read this.
Why You Might Not Want This Book
If you are looking for a book to help you install or administer Linux, this is not the one for you. There are many such books on the market, frequently on the same shelf where you found this one. This book is meant to show you some interesting things you can do with a Linux box.
Naturally, we think this is a great book to acquire while you're getting that book on installing and administering Linux.
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