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2. Network Sources and Resources

Q: Where Is the Latest Kernel Version on the Internet?
Q: Where Is the Documentation?
Q: Where Is the Linux Stuff on the World Wide Web?
Q: What News Groups Are There for Linux?
Q: What Other FAQ's and Documentation Are There for Linux?
Q: How Can I Get Linux Without FTP Access?
Q: How To Get Information without Usenet Access
Q: What Mailing Lists Are There?
Q: Where Are Linux Legal Issues Discussed?
Q: Where is Information about Unmaintained Free Software Projects?
Q: Are the News Groups Archived Anywhere?
Q: Where Can I To Find Information About Security Related Issues?
Q: Where Can I Find Linux System Specifications?

A: If you need or want to configure and compile your own kernel, the web page at lists the current versions of the development and production kernels.

If you want to download the source code, FTP to, where ``xx'' is the two-letter Internet domain abbreviation of your country; e.g., ``us'' for United States, ``ca'' for Canada, or ``de'' for Germany. Kernel versions 2.2.x are archived in the directory [pub/linux/kernel/v2.2], as are patches for the prerelease versions. The kernel source code is archived as a .tar.gz file, and as a .tar.bz2 file.

Follow the instructions in any of the standard references to compile the kernel, as you would with any other custom kernel. The [Documentation] subdirectory contains information by the authors of various subsystems and drivers, and much of that information is not documented elsewhere.

If you want to participate in kernel development, make sure that you sign on to the linux-kernel mailing list to find out what people are working on. Refer to the answer: ``What Mailing Lists Are There?''

There is a story about the features of the 2.4 series kernels at

A: Look in the following places, and the sites that mirror them.

For a list of Linux FTP sites, refer to the answer for: ``''

If you don't have access to FTP, try the FTP-by-mail servers:

A complete list of HOWTO's is available in the file HOWTO-INDEX at The mini-HOWTO's are indexed at

In addition, translations are available from and mirrors worldwide. The HOWTO's and other documentation have been translated into the following languages:

  • Chinese (zh)

  • Croatian (hr)

  • French (fr)

  • German (de)

  • Hellenic (el)

  • Indonesian (id)

  • Italian (it)

  • Japanese (ja)

  • Korean (ko)

  • Polish (pl)

  • Slovenian (sl)

  • Spanish (es)

  • Swedish (sv)

  • Turkish (tr)

Additional documents are always in preparation. Please get in touch with the coordinators if you are interested in writing one. Contact and submission information is at

There is also a LDP HOWTO page at

The Guide Series produced by the Linux Documentation Project is available from Please read them if you are new to Unix and Linux.

And, of course, a number of people have written documentation independently of the LDP:

Documentation for kernel developers is on-line:

To find out about Linux memory management, including performance tuning, see Rik van Riel's Web page at

The Linux Consultants-Guide has a directory of Linux consultants.

Gary's Encyclopedia lists over 4,000 Linux related links. Its URL is

There is also a FAQ specifically for the Red Hat Linux distribution, at

A: In addition to the Linux Documentation Project Home Page:, there are many pages that provide beginning and advanced information about Linux.

These two pages provide a good starting point for general Linux information: Linux International's Home Page, at, and the Linux Online's Linux Home Page at

Both of these pages provide links to other sites, information about general information, distributions, new software, documentation, and news.

Documentation for kernel developers is on-line:

The tutorial, Unix is a Four Letter Word..., is located at It is a general introduction to Unix operating systems and is not Linux specific.

Additionally, here is a certainly incomplete list of Web pages devoted to Linux:

Searching for ``Linux'' on Web Search Engines will provide copious references to Linux Web sites. Try:

Google also has a Linux-specific section at

Further information about about Web search engines is in the Web and Internet Search Engine Faq:

Refer also to the answer for: ``What Other FAQ's and Documentation Are There for Linux?''

A: Comp.os.linux.announce is the moderated announcements group. You should read this if you intend to use Linux. It contains information about software updates, new ports, user group meetings, and commercial products. It is the only newsgroup that may carry commercial postings. Submissions for that group should be e-mailed to

Comp.os.linux.announce is archived at:, and

Also worth reading are the following other groups in the comp.os.linux.* and alt.uu.comp.os.linux.* hierarchies you may find many common problems too recent for the documentation but are answered in the newsgroups.

  • alt.uu.comp.os.linux

  • alt.uu.comp.os.linux.questions

  • alt.os.linux

  • alt.os.linux.mandrake

  • comp.os.linux.admin

  • comp.os.linux.advocacy

  • comp.os.linux.alpha

  • comp.os.linux.answers

  • comp.os.linux.development

  • comp.os.linux.development.apps

  • comp.os.linux.development.system

  • comp.os.linux.embedded

  • comp.os.linux.hardware


  • comp.os.linux.m68k

  • comp.os.linux.misc


  • comp.os.linux.networking

  • comp.os.linux.portable

  • comp.os.linux.powerpc

  • comp.os.linux.questions

  • comp.os.linux.redhat


  • comp.os.linux.setup

  • comp.os.linux.test

  • comp.os.linux.x


Remember that Linux is POSIX compatible, and most all of the material in the comp.unix.* and* groups will be relevant. Apart from

hardware considerations, and some obscure or very technical low-level issues, you'll find that these groups are good places to start.

Information about e-mail clients (MUA's), mail transfer agents (MTA's), and other related software are in the comp.mail.* groups, especially:

  • comp.mail.misc

  • comp.mail.pine

  • comp.mail.sendmail

Questions and information about News reading software are in:


Please read ``If this Document Still Hasn't Answered Your Question....'' before posting. Cross posting between different comp.os.linux.* groups is rarely a good idea.

There may well be Linux groups local to your institution or areacheck there first.

See also ``How To Get Information without Usenet Access''

Other regional and local newsgroups also existyou may find the traffic more manageable there:

  • fr.comp.os.linux (France).

  • de.comp.os.linux.* (Germany).

  • aus.computers.linux (Australia).

  • hr.comp.linux (Croatia).

  • it.comp.linux (Italy).

A search of can provide an up-to-date list of News groups.

[Axel Boldt, Robert Kiesling]

A: The easiest thing is probably to find a friend with FTP access. If there is a Linux user's group near you, they may be able to help.

If you have a reasonably good email connection, you could try the FTP-by-mail servers at, or

Linux is also available via traditional mail on CD-ROM. The file, and the file contain information on these distributions.

A: A digest of comp.os.linux.announce is available by mailing the word "subscribe" (without the quotes) as the body of a message to Subscribing to this list is a good idea, as it carries important information and documentation about Linux.

Please remember to use the *-request addresses for your subscribe and unsubscribe messages; mail to the other address is posted to the news group.

A: The Linux developers now mainly use the Majordomo server at Send a message with the word "lists" (without the quotes) in the body to get a list of lists there. Add a line with the word, "help," to get the standard Majordomo help file that lists instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the lists.

Currently, the kernel list is archived at:, and

Please do not post off-topic material to the mailing lists. Most of them are used by Linux developers to talk about technical issues and future developments. They are not intended for new users' questions, advertisements, or public postings that are not directly related to the mailing list's subject matter. Comp.os.linux.announce is the place for all public announcements. This is a common Internet policy. If you don't observe this guideline, there's a good chance that you'll be flamed.

There is a linux-newbie list where, "no question is too stupid." Unfortunately, it seems that few experienced users read that list, and it has very low volume.

There are numerous Linux related mailing lists at Go to the categories page and choose "Linux." There are also mailing list subscription links at:

The Mailing Lists Available in Usenet page is: The list information is also on:, and is posted to the groups: news.announce.newgroups, news.lists, and news.groups, among others.

A: There are Web pages at:, and:

Please try to contact the original author(s) via e-mail, or the person who listed the software as unmaintained, before even thinking to place a license on the package.

A: The Usenet Linux news groups are archived at contains archives of comp.os.linux.announce. These are mirrored from, which also archives comp.os.linux, comp.os.linux.development.apps, and comp.os.linux.development.system.

A: There's a page of Linux related security information at:

Another site is:, which has information about Internet security and privacy issues.

For information about the Weekly Linux Security Digest email newsletter and numerous security related databases, look at

A: As a start, look at the Linux Standards Base, The site contains information about test software, file system organization, and shared library naming conventions.

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