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You've got Linux installed and running, but what do you do when the printer spits out a bunch of gibberish? Or you set up a network but only guests can login and users can't? Or it just won't connect to the Web--no matter what you try?
Solving the innumerable problems that arise on a Linux machine or network can be a full-time job. Fortunately, Brian Ward has written The Linux Problem Solver to ease the pain. The Linux Problem Solver helps solve difficult Linux snafus by integrating troubleshooting techniques with clear explanations and tutorials of Linux tools. With the first half of the book focusing on configuration tools, and the second half focusing on maintenance, this book guides you through the maze of advanced problems that confront any Linux user or system administrator. An indispensable quick reference, The Linux Problem Solver covers solutions to over 100 problems, including how to:
Each chapter covers a specific Linux issue with a clear treatment of common pitfalls including the symptom, the problem, and the fix, and you'll soon understand problems as they arise.
The CD-ROM directly supports the book's contents, with configuration files and many programs not included with most Linux distributions. The CD also doubles as an emergency boot disk with diagnostic recovery tools. Together with the book, this package is a must for anyone serious about starting or maintaining a Linux network.
Contrary to the license agreement in the book, all programs on the CD (except for nvi) are GPL and covered by the GNU Public License. You can get the source for every binary included on the CD-ROM at http://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux and ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu . The nvi license can be found at http://www.bostic.com/vi/docs/LICENSE.
Brian Ward, author of The Linux Problem Solver, first gained fame as the writer of the Linux kernel HOWTO document, a public-domain piece of the Linux operating system's documentation set. In this volume, he steps up from the kernel's secret recipe and presents high-quality advice on Linux system administration. More specifically, he tells you what to try when your Linux system starts to misbehave, whether as a result of faulty configuration or the consequence of an attack. He also gives advice on setting up services in the first place. Generally, Ward is neutral on the question of Linux distributions, attempting to explain features that they have in common, and explaining differences where necessary.
In a lot of ways, this book is an example of traditional Linux documentation, with discussions of what various commands do and when you should use them. However, Ward has added problem-and-solution boxes amid the documentation paragraphs. The boxes describe a symptom (rdist is too slow), state the likely problem (-ocompare is slow), and suggest a solution (think twice about using -ocompare). You're kind of out of luck if the analysis of the problem doesn't pan out on your machine, but, for easy reference, there's a handy list of problems in an appendix. Pay special attention to the chapter on printing, which does a great job of explaining how this universally required service works (and can fail to work) under Linux. --David Wall
Topics covered: The Linux operating system for power users and system administrators who have a fair bit of experience in modifying and using Linux. How to install, configure, reconfigure, and repair services that have to do with networking, printing, user environments, and Internet services. How to do administration work, such as backup operations, kernel modifications, and installations from source.
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