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Moving to the Linux Business Desktop

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Moving to the Linux Business Desktop


  • Sorry, this book is no longer in print.
Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-142192-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-142192-9

Switch your business to Linux: proven techniques for working IT Professionals

This is the complete technical resource for migrating your business desktops to Linux, administering them efficiently, and using them to drive cost savings throughout your organization. Respected Linux Journal columnist Marcel Gagné walks you step-by-step through planning and managing the transition, getting users up and running, and keeping them happy. Gagné covers hardware, productivity applications, messaging, coexistence with Windows environments, support, and much more. This is also the first book with in-depth coverage of using Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) thin clients to dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of computing.

  • Deploy Linux with your existing PCs, printers, and IT/network infrastructure
  • Centrally manage users and security through Webmin's convenient Web interface
  • Deliver reliable email services with Postfix, or integrate Linux mail clients with Microsoft Exchange servers
  • Configure Windows file sharing with Samba, and Linux file sharing with NFS
  • Secure network communications with Linux firewalls and OpenSSH
  • Plan and deploy LTSP thin clients and diskless workstations and the server support for them
  • Provide LDAP directory services to all your clients
  • Support users by "remote control"—without leaving your desk

From network security to spam reduction, automated backup/restore to collaboration groupware, Gagné offers specific solutions and proven techniques for leveraging the full power of Linux in your business.

Say goodbye to the expense, hassle, and insecurity of Windows desktops! Say hello to business computing the way it's supposed to be—with Linux!

About the Author

Marcel Gagné is best known as the author of the Linux Journal's "Cooking with Linux" series, winner of the Readers' Choice award for favorite column for three straight years. He has written two highly acclaimed Addison-Wesley books: Moving to Linux and Linux System Administration: A User's Guide.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents



1. Introduction.

    What Is Linux?

      Is Linux Really Free?

      The GPL.

      So What Do I Gain?

      What Do I Lose?

      Some Tips on Using this Book.

      Quick Tips and Shelling Out.

    Meet Your Desktop.

    Help Me!

      The Linux Documentation Project.

      Linux User Groups.

    About the CD.

      Want to Try Linux Right Now?

    It’s My Philosophy.


2. Overview of Deployment Options.

    Getting Linux.

    Getting a Free Copy of Linux.

    Package Managers and Updates.

    Dual Booting.

    Preserving Your Data.

    A Linux-Only System.

    Windows on Linux.



    Desktop Considerations.

      Making The Switch…Easy!

    Transitional Applications.

    Breaking Free!.


3. Installation.

    Getting Ready for Your Installation.

    Hardware Considerations.

    Dual Booting Revisited.

      A Sample FIPS Session.

    An Installation Comparison.

      A Very Generic Install.

    A Mandrake Linux Install.

    Putting On the Fedora.

    A SUSE Install.

    Not So Tough Installs.

    Starting and Stopping Linux.

    And Now…Linux!


4. Getting Your Hands Dirty.

    Getting to Know You…KDE.

      A Few Words about X.

      Logging in.

     Becoming One with the Desktop.

    Your First Application.

    Windows, Title Bars, and Menus, Oh My!

      The Title Bar.

      On to the Menu Bar.

      Resizing Windows.

    Command Central.

    A Polite Introduction to the Command Line.

    Changing Your Password.

5. Customizing the Desktop.

    I Am Sovereign of All I Survey.

      Changing the Background.

    Save My Screen, Please!

    Moving Things Around.

    Is That a Theme or a Motif?

      Window Decorations.

      Themes and Styles.

    Adding Icons and Shortcuts to Your Desktop.

      Miscellaneous Changes.


6. Using Konqueror for File Management.

    Files, Directories, and the Root of All Things.

    Wherever You Go….

      Navigating the Navigation Panel.

      Enhancing Konqueror.

      Uh, Roger, Copy That….

      Creating New Directories.

       “I’ve Changed My Mind,” or Renaming Files.

      Copying Files and Directories (and Moving, Too!).

      Wait! What about Links?

    Which Brings Us to Permissions.

      Deleting Files and Directories.

      My World, My Way.


7. Installing New Applications.

    Linux and Security.

    Identifying Software Packages.

    The Many Faces of Software Installation.

      SUSE Software Package Installs.

    Mandrake’s urpmi.

      Mandrake’s urpmi Made Even Easier.

    Searching for Common Ground.


      Installing Packages.

      Dealing with Dependencies.

    RPMs, the Shell Way.

      Rebuilding RPMs from Source.

    Debs, The Shell Way.

       Great, But Can You Tell Me What Is Already There?

      Finding Out a Package’s Current Release Level.

      What Is That Strange File?

      Using apt-get to Install or Update Software.

      Educating apt-get.

    Look, Use the Source.

    The Extract and Build Five-Step.

      Step 1: Unpacking the Archive.

      Steps 2 through 5: Building Your Programs.

      README, Please!

    Getting Your Hands on Software.


8. Devices and Services.

    Yes, It Runs with Linux!

    Plug and Play.

    Getting Familiar with Your Hardware.

      PCI Devices.

      USB Devices.

    Modems versus Winmodems.

      The Winmodem/Linmodem Roundup.

    Devices under the Skin.

      Major Minor.

    What? More Devices?

    Services and Runlevels.

      Daemons and Other Not-So-Scary Things.

      The inittab File.

      The rc.local File and Runlevels.

      Switching between Runlevels.

      The chkconfig Command.

    Runlevels the Graphical Way.

      Creating Your Own Startup Scripts.


9. Network and Internet Connections.

    Before You Begin.

    Getting on the Net.

    Connecting to the Net with a Modem.

      Cable Modems and High-Speed DSL.

      Getting Down to the Details.

    A Light-Speed Introduction to TCP/IP, Part 1.

      Protocols and Suites.

      Services and Ports.

      IP Addresses, Networks, and Subnets, Oh My!

      IP Addresses and Networks.

      Subnets, Netmasks, and Broadcast Addresses.


    Setting Up Your PC Network.


      Setting the IP Address.


      Using netstat.

    Domain Name Services (DNS).

      The /etc/hosts File.

      Will the Real DNS Please Stand Up.

    Setting Up Your Own Name Server.

      Defining Your Domain.

      The /etc/named.conf File.

      The /etc/named.conf File.


      Your Own Zone File.

      And Now the Reverse DNS Zone.

      Does It Work?

      What’s All This about Lame Servers?

      Who Gets to See the Information?

      DNS Wrap-up.

    Time Synchronization.




10. Becoming One with the Shell.

    Linux Commands: An Easy Start.

    Working with Files.

      File Naming Conventions.

      Listing Files with Emotion!

    A Peek at Metacharacters.

    File Permissions in the Shell.

      Not-So-Hidden Files.

      Strange Filenames That Just Won’t Go Away.

    More on rm, or “Oops! I didn’t really mean that.”.

    Making Your Life Easier with alias.

      Forcing the Issue.

    Standard Input and Standard Output.

    Pipes and Piping.

      tee: A Very Special Pipe.


      The Road to Nowhere.

    Linux Commands: Working with Directories.

    There’s No Place Like $HOME.

    More on File Permissions.

    User and Group Ownership.

    Who Can Do What?

    Who Was that Masked User?

       The setuid Bit.

    File Attributes.

    Finding Anything.

    Using grep.


      Forests and Trees.

      Interrupting, Suspending, and Restarting Processes.

    Killing Processes.

    Working With Editors.

    Meet Kate.

    I Am vi, the Great and Powerful.

      :q, :w, :wq, and ZZ.

      Recovering a vim Session.

      Power vi: Start-up Options.

    Still More Editors: Emacs, Pico, and NEdit.


11. Web-based Administration.

    Introducing Webmin.

      Running Webmin.

    Modular Functionality.

    Creating Webmin Users.

    Upgrading Webmin.

    Moving On.


12. Users and Groups.

    When Not to Use the root User.

    Managing Users.

    Managing Groups.

      Adding Groups.

      Modifying Groups.

      Removing Groups.

    Adding Users.

    About Home Directories.

    Group Participation.

    Email-Only Accounts.

      Yet More User-Creation Controls.

    Modifying a User Account.

    Deleting a User Account.

    Checking the Password File.


    Other User Adminstration Tools.

    What Next?

      I Logged In from Where?

13. Backup and Restore.

    Backup Everything? And to What?

    Basic Tools in Every Linux System.

      Using cpio.

      Working with tar.

      Backing Up Windows Workstations.

     Selecting a Backup Medium.

    K3b for a Friendlier Burn.

      Getting Familiar with K3b.

      Ready to Burn that Backup?

    Keeping Your Data in rsync.

       “Data, Meet rsync.”.

      No Remote Necessary.

    Backing Up with dump.

      Restoring with–You Guessed It–restore.

    Other Backup Solutions.

    Final Words.


14. Printers and Printing.

    Selecting Printers for Linux.

      Getting Information on LPD.



    Other Printer Administration Tools.


15. Electronic Mail.


      Setting Up Postfix.

      Stopping and Restarting Postfix.

      Setting Up Users and Aliases.

      A Quick Conversation About hash.

      Setting Up the POP3 or IMAP Server.

    Not-So-Stupid Postfix Tricks.

      The Multiple Domain, Similar Address Dilemma.

      The Multidrop Domain.

      Stop the Spam!

      Track Those Emails.

    Postfix via Webmin.


16. LDAP.

    Introducing LDAP.


      LDAP in Depth.

    GQ, A Graphical LDAP Tool.

    Other Graphical LDAP Clients.

    Going Further.


17. Web Services.

    The Apache Web Server.

    Building Apache from Source.

    A Brief Visit to PHP Land.

    Basic Apache Configuration.

      Common Changes.


      Plugins, Plugins, and More Plugins.

    An Introduction to PostgreSQL.

    Raising The Bar: eGroupWare.

      Moving On.


18. Samba.

    Getting and Building Samba.

    Adding Samba Users.

    Configuring the Server.

    The PC Side.

    Printing with Samba.

      Printing from the Windows Client.

    Accessing the Network Neighborhood.

    The GUI Way to Administer Samba.

    Backing Up Windows Workstations.


19. Linux File Sharing (NFS).

    How Does NFS Work?

       Making a Remote File System Available.

      Mounting an NFS Partition.

      Specifying Mounts with /etc/fstab.

    Simplifying Network Mounts with Linux autofs.

    Network Information Service.

      Configuring the NIS Master Server.

      Configuring the NIS Client.


20. Thin Clients: The Server.

    How Thin Clients Work.


      Setting Up DHCP.

      Assigning Fixed DHCP Addresses.

    A Trivial Primer On TFTP.

    LTSP 4.0 Installation Procedures.

      Configuring LTSP 4.


      How Many SCREENs?

    Help Me!


21. Thin Clients: The Clients.

    Converting PCs to Thin Clients.

      Alternative Thin-Client Hardware.

    Advanced Thin-Client Configuration.

    Linux Thin Clients, via Windows.

      Enter Cygwin.

    Performance Tips.


22. Remote Control.

    Virtual Network Computing (VNC).

    KDE Remote Desktop Connection.

    rdesktop for Windows Control.


23. Security.


    Controlling Access to Your System.

       What Is a Script Kiddie?

    The Basics: TCP Wrappers.

    An iptables Firewall.

    Graphical Firewall Tools.





24. Email Clients.

    Be Prepared.


      The Importance of Being Networked.

    Let’s Communicate!

      Receiving Mail.

      Your Little Black Book.

      Attached to You.

      Send Now or Later.


      Sending and Receiving Mail.

      What to Use?

    Other Options.


25. Getting Organized.


      Adding an Event.

      So Much To-Do.

      Printing Your Calendar.

      Wow! Déja-vu (Recurring Events).

      Inviting Others to an Event.

      Importing Calendars.


      Creating Appointments.

       The Makings of a Meeting.

      Tasks and Other To-Dos.

    Other Tools.


26. Surfing the Net.


      Page Home for Me.

    Cool Konqueror Tricks.

      Split Views.

      Super-Speedy Searches.

      Go for the Big Screen.


      Ban the Pop-Ups Forever!

      Keeping Tabs on the Web.


      Working from Home.

      Mozilla Does Tabs, Too.

      Still Don’t Like Pop-Up Ads?

      Cookie Control.

      The Mozilla Sidebar.

    Wrapping up.


27. Word Processing (It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…).

    OpenOffice.org Writer.

      Write Now!

      The Hunt for Typos.

      What Language Is That?

      Saving Your Work.

    Printing Your Document.

      Toolbars of Every Kind.


     To Word, or Not to Word?

    Personalizing Your Environment.

      Screen Fonts.

    Running on AutoPilot.

    Navigating Style.

      Navigating the Rivers of Text.

    Speaking of Document Elements.

    Direct PDF Exports.

    More! Give Me More!

    Other Options.


28. Spreadsheets: Tables You Can Count On.

    Starting a New Spreadsheet and Entering Data.

      Basic Math.

      Saving Your Work.

      Complex Charts and Graphs.

    Magical Totals.

    Nice, Colorful, Impressive, and Dynamic Graphs.

    Final Touches.

      A Beautiful Thing!



29. Presentation Graphics: For Those Who Need No Introduction!

    Getting Ready to Impress.

      Inserting Slides.

      Adding Color.

      Printing Your Presentation.

    Instant Web Presentations.

      How About A Little Flash? Shocking!

    So What’s with the Penguin?

    Extra! Extra!


30. Office Graphics and Art (Just Call Me Leonardo).

    Working with a Digital Camera.

    Picture-Perfect Konqueror.


    Sharing a Scanner on Your Network.

    Scanning under KDE: Kooka.

      Saving Your Work.

    Optical Character Recognition.

    Welcome to the GIMP.

      The First Time.

      Easy Logos with the GIMP.

      Saving and Opening Your Work.

      Printing Your Masterpiece.

      Tools, Tools, and More Tools.

      Now, on to the Tool Icons.

    Touching Up Photographs.

      So What Is Script-Fu?

      Becoming a GIMP Guru.


31. Instant Messaging.

    What is Jabber?


      Adding Kopete Contacts.

    Instant Messaging with GAIM.

    What about Windows Users?


32. Video Conferencing.


      The Road Ahead.



Appendix A. The GNU General Public License.

Appendix B. Automation and Scripting.

    cron: Punching Linux’s Clock.

      Testing Your Job.

      Editing the crontab.

      Could I See an Example?

    Running Jobs with at.

    A Question of Permissions.

    An Introduction to Writing Shell Scripts.

    Shells as Far as the Eye Can See.

    It’s Commands All the Way Down.

      Passing Parameters.

      A First Look at Variables.

      More on Variables.

      Special Characters.

      You Can Quote Me on That.

    Really Programming the Shell.

    Specifying the Shell.



About the CD-ROM.


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