OpenSUSE Linux Rants

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December 10, 2008

Linux E-books for All

by @ 9:14 am. Filed under ebook, General Linux

OpenSUSE Linux Rants

If there’s one thing I love, it’s writing about Linux to help out new users. Perhaps the work that has given me the best return is “The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read – an introduction to Linux for Windows users”. But return in terms of what? Well, here’s the total amount of money I made from writing this book: $0.00 USD. The greatest satisfaction for me was all of the feedback I got from people expressing appreciation. That’s what I love. Writing about Linux to help out new users.

So one thing that I really get a kick out of is when I see that Linux ebook posted on other sites, the most flattering of which is here on

Well, this morning, I found another article on the Daily Artisan called “Open Source E-Books for Linux, which listed the Easiest Linux Guide. Stuff like that is nice to see.

I really need to get to work on a new one for the OpenSUSE 11 platform, huh?

August 7, 2007

Announcing Direct Access to openSUSE Linux Rants ebook Library

by @ 1:50 am. Filed under ebook, General SUSE, SUSE Blog News

After a few weeks’ worth of work, family vacations, my father having a stroke, and the full-time job of having a 2-year-old and 3-month-old (not to mention work and all that other stuff), the great news has arrived!

Announcing full access to the ebook library for everyone who wants it! There were many people who contacted me about the YAST book, “YAST – Installation and Management of Software”. The common theme was, “We don’t want to have to wait through the course to get the free ebooks, we want them NOW! Because I like to give people what they want, I have made it possible for everyone to get every ebook on this site in 2 clicks. Hopefully that’s up to par for what you want. You can request these books from the form in the left nav of

Here is the current run-down of ebooks available here (and a nice, fat plenty more are on their way):

openSUSE 10.2 – Start-Up Manual (236 pgs)

This manual provided by the good folks at Novell goes over many things you’ll want to know when learning to use openSUSE Linux 10.2. The table of contents reveals the main topics of this book:

  1. Installation with YAST
  2. Setting Up Hardware Components with YAST
  3. Installing or Removing Hardware
  4. Accessing the Internet
  5. Managing Users with YAST
  6. Changing the System Language with YAST
  7. Basic Concepts
  8. Shell Basics
  9. Mobile Computing with Linux
  10. Managing Network Connections with NetworkManager
  11. Copying and Sharing Files
  12. Help and Documentation
  13. Common Problems and Their Solutions
  14. GNU Licenses
  15. Index

Investigation 101 – Gathering Information about Hardware, Filesystem, and Processes (22 pgs) – NEWEST BOOK

Sometimes, you need to gather information about your Linux system. This can be so that you know what is happening on your system, or so that you can install hardware, or so that you can better describe details to other people who are trying to help you resolve an issue.

As I was writing this e-book, I found that there are quite a number of ways to gather some very useful information about your computer.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. YAST Knows Hardware
  3. Sysinfo – A Linux Box System Information Retriever
  4. System Commands / Command-line Tools
  5. w
  6. who
  7. lastlog
  8. last
  9. netstat
  10. ps
  11. top
  12. tail
  13. lsof
  14. lspci
  15. lsusb
  16. mount
  17. fstab
  18. fdisk
  19. system log
  20. dmesg
  21. free
  22. whowatch
  23. Other Helpful Resources
  24. Conclusion

YAST – Installation and Management of Software (23 pgs)

One of the very first things that users need to know is how to install software in Linux. This book is a no-nonsense introduction to mastering the basics of using YAST to manage your system software. It also provides a few tips on how to get all the latest software from all the great servers.

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Open YAST
  3. Installation Sources
  4. Finding YAST Installation Sources
  5. Registering Installation Sources in YAST
  6. Installing Software in YAST
  7. Uninstalling Software in YAST
  8. Conclusion

The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read – an introduction to Linux for Windows users (162 pgs)

Last year I published this book for SUSE 10.1, though almost all of it is relevant to openSUSE 10.2. It was mainly written for people who are competent with using Windows, who have never attempted to use Linux but are interested in giving it a try.

When I was first learning Linux, I got so lost so fast in so many areas, it was hugely overwhelming for me. I was impressed that I was able to download Linux, burn it onto CDs, and get it installed. But once I got that far, I was excited, but my excitement was short-lived. I had no idea what to do next, how to install software, or what software even to install for what I needed. I didn’t understand the concept of Open Source software. I didn’t know where to go for help. I most assuredly did not know a thing about the command line. 10 years of using Windows was of very little help. I felt that though I was a fairly able computer user, I had stepped into a situation where such experience did me little good.

In the book, I try to explain some concepts of how Linux is similar to Windows, helping people become familiar with it very quickly. I also explain some of the most important differences, many of which are improvements from the environment to which they have become accustomed. The book also dispels many myths that may serve to hamper the adoption of Linux more fully. The overall purpose is to give people a bridge from what they already know to the powerful, fascinating world that is the Linux operating system. Because that world can be a little daunting at first, it’s nice to have a little help getting used to things. This is what the “Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read” is designed to do.

Table of Contents:

  1. Who should read this book
  2. An introduction before we start
  3. More familiar than you think
  4. Common Myths
  5. Things to know about Linux
  6. Getting Help and Learning More
  7. General reading material
  8. Forums
  9. Mailing Lists
  10. Other Resources
  11. How do I get Linux?
  12. Download Linux and put it onto CDs
  13. Purchasing Linux Installation CDs
  14. Installing SUSE Linux
  15. Installation Options
  16. Linux-only Installation
  17. Sharing the computer between Linux and Windows
  18. Introduction to Users and Groups
  19. Get to Know Your Desktop
  20. What is KDE?
  21. The K Menu
  22. The Kicker Panel
  23. The KDE Control Center
  24. Changing Mouse Behavior
  25. Changing Time and Date Display Format
  26. Window Themes
  27. Desktop Preferences
  28. Konqueror: filesystem and web browser
  29. Browsing through your files
  30. As a web browser
  31. Kicker Panel
  32. Installing Applications
  33. Applications
  34. OpenOffice
  35. OpenOffice Writer
  36. OpenOffice Calc
  37. Thunderbird
  38. Setting up your email account
  39. Sending and receiving email
  40. Firefox
  41. So you want to use the command line?
  42. View directory contents with ‘ls’
  43. Make a directory with ‘mkdir’
  44. Remove a directory with ‘rmdir’
  45. Change to a directory with ‘cd’
  46. What directory am I in? Using ‘pwd’
  47. Copying files with ‘cp’
  48. Moving files with ‘mv’
  49. Deleting files with ‘rm’
  50. Viewing text files with ‘cat’
  51. Viewing text files with ‘less’
  52. What time is it? What is the date? Using ‘date’
  53. Using ‘man’ to find help
  54. Conclusion

You will find the form to get the ebooks in the left nav on, my openSUSE Linux blog. There are a number of other ebooks on the way. These won’t take as long to get finished, so we’ll have some new ones for you shortly.

For those who have not yet checked out the free “Intro to Linux” course, that is also still available, moved over to the right nav on


June 13, 2007

New Free e-book Available!

by @ 6:41 am. Filed under ebook, freebies, How-To, SUSE Tips & Tricks

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to another wonderful Wednesday morning. I just wanted to let you know that I have completed another free ebook. It is 25 pages and covers the basics of managing software with YAST. It goes over what Installation Sources are, how to get a full list of them, and how to put them in. I also cover the basics of adding and removing software via YAST. The goal of such a book is to give people who have not yet had a chance the ability to get started quickly learning the basics of YAST so they can jump right in and be immediately productive in openSUSE, one of the best distributions of Linux available today.

A short table of contents includes:

Open YAST……………………………………………6
Installation Sources………………………………….8
Finding YAST Installation Sources………………………9
Registering Installation Sources in YAST……………….10
Installing Software in YAST…………………………..17
Uninstalling Software in YAST…………………………21

To get this book, you just sign up for the free “Introduction to Linux” course available from the left nav of my site: After the last class comes to you, a few days later, the free ebook arrives as a special bonus.

For anyone who has signed up previously, you will get a link in an email that you can use to download the ebook. If you are interested in the ebook, go ahead and enroll in the free Introduction to Linux course (available from my site). The course covers:

For anyone who may just be getting started using Linux, this course is for you!

June 6, 2007

Free eBook on Linux Filesystem Permissions and How to Manage Them

by @ 9:30 am. Filed under ebook, freebies, General Linux, General SUSE, How-To, SUSE Tips & Tricks

I am going to recycle this post, as it got pushed down the list quite soon after it was posted, and it actually contains more Linux-relevant information than temper tantrum.


I suppose it may be a good time again to post something relevant to the topic of Linux. I’m sure that it would likely help if it were of any quality whatsoever. Every once in awhile I do actually write something that I am proud of, and take joy in posting it and sharing it with the rest of the community. The prospect of being able to help someone out is always appealing to me, truth be told.

Well today, I have something that I think may be helpful to everyone. I recently put together a class on Linux Filesystem Permissions and how to manage them. Those involved mentioned that they were impressed with my manner of teaching, and that the material was helpful and relevant. Because of these comments, I am even slightly more motivated to provide this class to you.

Thus, for an ebook of the material covering Linux Filesystem Permissions, feel free to download it here. If you have comments, suggestions, questions, feedback, or concerns, please post them here.

March 21, 2007

KchmViewer, CHM files, and Resetting Windows Admin Passwords with Linux

by @ 6:56 am. Filed under ebook, review, SUSE Tips & Tricks

So I am reading through my billions of RSS articles yesterday, and I see this one regarding an ebook, called “Advanced Linux Networking.” I head over to the page, and download the book, only to see that it is in a format that I haven’t seen for awhile, CHM. At first, I wonder how I will be able to view it. After a quick search through YAST, I find that there is a package called kchmviewer.

This little application seems to do pretty well with these CHM files. I was able to open the ebook and read it just fine with KchmViewer:


click image for larger version

So should you ever need an app to view CHM files, check this one out. It’s a nice application.

As another testament to why I love Linux, let me relate a story.

At work, we have this ‘facilities’ guy (who shall remain nameless) who sets up computers for all the new hires each week. The other day, I was working away at my desk when he comes up and asks me if I have a few minutes. He says to me, “Don’t you have a Linux CD that can reset an Administrator password on a Windows machine?” I reply, “Why yes I do.” He says, “I think I may need to enlist your services.” I head over to his desk with my CD and boot the computer off it, showing him the prompts and what to choose from the menus. When all was said and done, the Administrator password on that Windows machine had been reset. He was able to reboot it and get right in without any trouble whatsoever.

Linux really is great.

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