Linux troubleshooting skills that were once useful only for hackers and ubergeeks have become necessities for computer professionals and serious technology enthusiasts. Once confined to the computers of free software proponents, Linux systems have found their way into desktop computers, small office servers, hand-held computers, enterprise operations, and anywhere else computer processors might be found.
If you can troubleshoot Linux, demand for your skills will grow exponentially in the time to come.
Despite the fact that there are now scores of different Linux systems, the core components of those systems are still strikingly similar. The kernel, hundreds of basic commands, and the approach you need to take to track down problems are very much the same among most Linux systems.
The goals of Linux Troubleshooting Bible are to help you:
Set up and fix Linux desktop, laptop, workstation, and server systems.
Develop Linux troubleshooting expertise that can easily transition to many different Linux systems.
To provide detailed, working instructions to learn Linux troubleshooting, we chose Fedora Core 1 as the example Linux distribution for this book. In fact, we are strong proponents of Fedora for those who want to:
Become proficient in a free Linux distribution that can be used in the same ways that Red Hat Linux was traditionally used.
Learn how to dig up resources that can help you maintain Linux systems yourself, without paying expensive subscription fees.
Develop a set of troubleshooting skills that will transition up to enterprise-quality Linux distributions.
Most of the techniques described in this book will work exactly the same on Red Hat Enterprise and Red Hat Linux (versions 8 and 9, in particular) as well. In the next section, we explain why we believe Fedora is an excellent choice for both learning Linux troubleshooting and for using as desktop and server systems, in many situations.
Once you have studied the troubleshooting techniques in chapters of this book, you may find that you want to spread those skills to other Linux distributions. For that reason, we provide two appendixes (Appendixes B and C) to help you understand the challenges you will face transitioning to two other popular Linux distributions: SUSE and Debian.
For the moment, however, I recommend that you have a Fedora Core system in front of you (or a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system) if you care to step through the information laid out in this book.