Debian And Linux Resources On The Internet
The Internet home for Debian Linux is the www.debian.org Web site. Here you will find links for documentation, downloads, support, and information. There are, however, other sources of information as well.
One of the biggest advantages of using Debian is that it doesn't incorporate proprietary methods for implementing certain functions and features. This allows you to use the thousands of "generic" Linux Web pages available on the Web.
Over time a collection of Web pages has developed that tell you how to do specific things with Linux. These types of pages are referred to as a "HOWTO" and they are available on a vast array of subjects. The central repository for these pages is the Linux Documentation Project Web site, a link to which is given below. The HOWTOs are also mirrored on quite a few different sites. The format of these pages is very basic so that they can be read using text-based (non-GUI) browsers like Lynx.
Problems Are Good Things !
Don't get frustrated if you run into problems when working with Linux. Quite the opposite. Problems present the best learning opportunities you could ask for. Solving problems requires that you investigate not only what is happening, but how it is happening and why it is happening. Often, you'll have to do some research and search out relevant information.
If you have a problem with something, don't immediately run to a listserv or chat room to ask for help. Analyze, investigate, and try and narrow down the possible causes. You may just end up fixing the problem yourself, and learn something in the process. If you don't fix it, what you have learned will allow you to ask much more intelligent targeted questions when you do ask for help. There is nothing so useless as a request for help that simply states "it doesn't work".
- The official Debian Web site has several features that are helpful in setting up systems and resolving problems:
- The official installation manual is available in a variety of formats and languages for a variety of platforms at:
Other documentation, such as HOWTOs and FAQs are available at:
- There are numerous listservs ("mailing lists") that you can subscribe to. These are basically multi-threaded conversations conducted via e-mail. The most popular mailing list is debian-user. But be forewarned, you will get a lot of e-mail if you subscribe to this list. If you're the type who doesn't check e-mail often, you may be in trouble if you have a small quota (your mailbox size on your ISP's server) for your messages because the amount of e-mail generated by debian-user will fill up your mailbox quick. Those free e-mail services often have small quotas.
They have a Web-based form that you can use to subscribe to the various mailing lists (including lists for different languages) and debian-user (English) is the last one in the "Users lists" section.
- If you're thinking of subscribing to a mailing list so you can ask a question, you may want to try searching the archives first. The debian.org Web site compiles searchable archives of every message sent in the mailing lists. Chances are you question has already been asked and answered and you don't have to contend with the flood of e-mail you get when you subscribe. You can view the full archives at:
or you can search the archives using specific keywords. Both the Subject line and the body of the message will be searched.
Note that only the messages from the current quarter (3-month period) will be searched by default. If it's early in the quarter that may not be very many messages. Be sure to try repeating your search clicking on earlier quarters in the
- Debian.org also operates an IRC chat server at:
The #debian room is where you can ask for help with problems etc. (We show you how to set up a chat client and access the room on the
- There is also a weekly Debian newsletter that features information on conferences, the status of new releases, bugs, etc. The current issue is available here:
while an archive of articles can be found here:
- If you have a special project, advanced needs, or help with something specific that involves Debian Linux, they maintain a worldwide list of consultants who do this type of work at:
- www.debianhelp.org features message boards where you can post questions in a wide variety of topical areas from insallation, to Gnome, to networking. Click on the Topics link near the top of the home page. They also have a search feature which lets you search posted messages for information. They recommend doing this before posting a new message to cut down on repeats. Even though they have login boxes on some of the pages, you don't need to sign up to view or post messages.
- Another good resource is to simply use www.google.com to search for things. You can use their Web search engine to search for the exact text of an error message. Be sure to enclose the error message in quotes so it's searched for as a string. Example:
"unable to locate the gizmo"A lot of the Web results that you get may be Web pages that are archives of mailing lists.
When you do a Web search on Google it simultaneously does a search of newsgroup archives. If searching the Web didn't turn up anything beneficial, click on the "Groups" link near the top of the page to see any results of searching newsgroup message archives. If you go to their home page and click on the "Groups" link there, you can select the comp group and repeat the search. This will better target your results.
Many of the applications that come in the Debian distribution also have Web sites. When troubleshooting a problem, the most important thing to determine is if the problem is with the OS or with the application. Determining the source of any error messages will allow you to determine which site you should go to for help. These sites have their own FAQs and documentation specific to the application.
- BIND DNS Software - www.isc.org
Traditional and Dynamic DNS Hosting Services - www.easydns.com
- Apache Web Server - www.apache.org
- Sendmail E-mail Server - www.sendmail.org
- MailScanner Virus Scanner for E-mail Servers - www.mailscanner.info/
- Samba Windows Server Emulation - www.samba.org
- Snort IDS Intrustion Detection Software - www.snort.org
- MySQL Database - www.mysql.com
Windows myODBC driver for MySQL
- Squid Caching Proxy Server - www.squid-cache.org
- Open Office - www.openoffice.org
- XFree86 X-server - www.xfree86.org
- Gnome GUI - www.gnome.org
- Linux HOWTOs and FAQs galore at www.tldp.org (The Linux Documentation Project). A Web-based version of the
man pagesin a wide variety of languages is also available.
- Linux Networking - linux-ip.net/html/linux-ip.html
A VERY comprehensive site on Linux TCP/IP networking covering everything from configuration to routing.
- Open Printing - www.linuxprinting.org
Driver downloads and a compatibility database listing information on over 900 printers. They also have forums and on-line documentation covering the Linux printing utilities.
- The Linux Terminal Server Project site. Useful in computer lab and other LAN environments (even diskless workstations). A Debian package is available.
- Linux On Laptops - www.linux-laptop.net
Information and HOWTOs on running Linux on a laptop or notebook computer. Links to information specific to just about every manufacturer are avaiable.
- Linux Compatibility - www.linuxcompatible.org
This site is fairly new but will become a greater resource as content is added. Provides information on the compatibility of various systems and I/O devices with FAQs and forums.
- Kernel Archvies - www.kernel.org
Stock Linux kernels and patches available for download.
- Linux Journal - www.linuxjournal.com
Monthly on-line issues with oodles of information. The "More 2-Cent Tips" and "The Answer Gang" columns are full of neat and tricks and helpful answers. And even though it's a .com site, it's AD-FREE!
- Linux Links Portal - www.linuxlinks.com
A massive collection of links to Web sites, programs, and publications in 24 different categories.
- A comparison a Linux-to-DOS commands - www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/dosbatch.html
- Linux for S/390 - www.linuxvm.org
Home of the Linux/390 project with information and links for running Linux on the IBM S/390 (mainframe) platform.
- The Open Directory Project has a category of sites that are Debian specific. Note that quite a few of the links are simply "deep" links into pages on the debian.org site. The category is located at:
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