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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Linux Sea - Complete Linux handbook with Gentoo as OS Reply with quote

Hi all,

I've been writing an online handbook on using GNU/Linux (mainly command-line driven). The idea was to elaborate a bit more on the Linux architecture (processes, file system, users and permissions, etc.) and use Gentoo Linux as the distribution to show the various aspects. Although the document is still far from "production-ready" (read: it still needs lots of information, many parts need to be written more elaborate, etc.) I believe it is quite usable for many people already.

The document is available online, a PDF version is available as well. I'd like to know what you think about the document. Mind you, it is not my intention to bring in the graphical aspects of (Gentoo) Linux (of course, extending the current introduction is possible).
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Linux Sea (PDF), an online e-book on Gentoo Linux
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Yttrium
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great! It's written very nice (I've only read parts of it though). I started using gentoo (and linux in general) ~6-12 months ago. It would have been great if I knew this before, because I spent a lot of time getting more or less simple tasks to work. There's still much I can learn from it now and I am surely going to read more of it. I'll recommend this to everyone who wants to know more about linux.

I also like the included exercises and that it focuses important commands and principles: It follows a central theme and might even answer questions you don't even know you've had.

I guess you've spent much time on it. Thanks for sharing this!
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XQYZ
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great, I bet I'll be able to learn some new tricks from it, so thanks a lot for making it available for us.
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Mike Hunt
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using it for a while, especially chapter 7 - Manually Configuring a Kernel. The step-by-step guidance helped me get a small, fast, very efficient kernel. :)
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ppurka
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice documentation. Thank you!
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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking about the kernel configuration, I'm going to update this in the near future with information on using Pappy's kernel seeds (they are popular and well designed) for the default settings.
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unixbhaskar
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:38 am    Post subject: thankx for your effort Sven Reply with quote

Kudo to you.

Keep up the good work man! :)
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few
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some notes about chapter 9.

In chapter 9 -> "Masked Packages"

At least masked by backtracking, by license and by EAPI are missing.

In chapter 9 -> "Uninstalling Software"
You use emerge -C when there are better alternatives. -C is only for cases when emerge --depclean doesn't want to remove it and you know what you are doing. First use
emerge --deselect <pkg>
to get it out of your world file and then either use
emerge --depclean
or
emerge --depclean <pkg>

In chapter 9 -> "Compiler Directives"

I would prefer -march="native". You might want to mention -mtune.

In chapter 9 -> "Portage Behavior"

You suggest using FEATURES="collision-protect" when emerge changed the default to FEATURES="-collision-protect protect-owned".
You might want to mention FEATURES="buildsyspkg".

In chapter 9 -> "Switching System Profiles"

There is a footnote talking about virtuals. This footnote only applies to old style virtuals.

other ideas for chapter 9:

You might want to mention app-portage/autounmask.
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sera
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy cow! Amazing what you have put together.

One of the more difficult concepts in Linux is the split between OS and WM/DM and the accompanying diversity. Mentioning Gnome and KDE is a must, but having xfce as the only other example isn't sufficient as this one fits in the very same category.
It would be nice if you could expand on this chapter. Wikipedia has a nice article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_manager

As we are talking about Gentoo mentioning Xresourses and app-defaults would probably fit this guide as well.

Keep it up.
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this great book :P
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aidanjt
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good work.

One thing I'd like to see in.. well.. any Linux documentation is a crash course in email handling (both local delivery and forwarding).
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pappy_mcfae
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sven Vermeulen,

I am very honored by your words. Thank you for including my project in yours.

Blessed be!
Pappy
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Pappy is doing a great job :P
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mjf55
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, great information, well written. Kernel configurations have always been problematic for me, now with your help in the book, those days will be gone. Thank you....
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In fact, nowdays we need some extra info when we configure a kernel,because each time that there is a new kernel, there is a lot of new stuff :P
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cach0rr0
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is pretty awesome work man, many thanks - now bookmarked!
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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

few wrote:
I have some notes about chapter 9.

In chapter 9 -> "Masked Packages"

At least masked by backtracking, by license and by EAPI are missing.


These functions are only available from Portage 2.2 onwards. I'm waiting with integrating this in the documentation until Portage 2.2 (or higher) is generally available. At that time, I will probably rewrite some paragraphs with new (imo better) best practices for Gentoo.

few wrote:

In chapter 9 -> "Switching System Profiles"

There is a footnote talking about virtuals. This footnote only applies to old style virtuals.


I'm not sure what you mean with this. Are there many types of virtuals?

Thank you for your feedback. Your other proposals have been integrated.
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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sera wrote:
Holy cow! Amazing what you have put together.

One of the more difficult concepts in Linux is the split between OS and WM/DM and the accompanying diversity. Mentioning Gnome and KDE is a must, but having xfce as the only other example isn't sufficient as this one fits in the very same category.
It would be nice if you could expand on this chapter. Wikipedia has a nice article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_manager

As we are talking about Gentoo mentioning Xresourses and app-defaults would probably fit this guide as well.

Keep it up.


You're right about the window managers versus desktop environments. I do talk about window managers at the beginning, but leave it at a single paragraph as most users use desktop environments anyway. There should definitely be a "Going Graphical Gentoo" explaining (Gentoo) Linux fully graphically, and only resorting to the console for rescue operations. Sadly, I'm one of those people who have little experience with graphical environments (I'm on Xfce just for firefox, all the other things I do are within uxterm with screen).
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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AidanJT wrote:

One thing I'd like to see in.. well.. any Linux documentation is a crash course in email handling (both local delivery and forwarding).


Good suggestion... although I'm not sure if local delivery / forwarding is something I want to include at this point. Rather, most users would probably have enough "work" with integrating their e-mail client with the IMAP server of their provider.

I think I'll sit on this for a few days ;-)
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nenemsis5
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice book . thanks alot could u try to make an pdf with an index plz
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Sven Vermeulen
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi nemesis5,

The PDF can be downloaded and has an index.
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slangdaddy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sven,

I just read the intriduction of your book and I have to say that I like it very much. I see that you use docbook to create the web pages, would you mind to share the sources ? I am using docbook for some documents at work and would like to see how other people use it.

Also, I'd like to translate your book into German, If you're interested.
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sera
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sven,

I went through the alsa section and have a few comments I'd like to add.

The default setup comes with the dmix plugin enabled. And most of the time there is nothing to be done at all. Also the default pcm devices could be mentioned.

The command aplay -l (instead of cat /proc/asound/cards maybe) and aplay -L could be mentioned too as they give quite a good overview of your hardware and pcm devices.

What are pcm devices/streams? If you can put that in words would be just great and probably unique on the whole Internet. :roll:

What happens if two different soundservers are needed at the same time because the stupid apps won't talk to alsa directly or to the other soundserver. How to setup those two? One using the other or both using dmix. Setting the useflags for soundservers when they are not required is asking for troubles in my experience.

Using alsactl when /etc/asound.conf and /.asoundrc can do the same is in my eyes wrong for fix setups. Alsactl is more of an audio development tool. The api at http://www.alsa-project.org/alsa-doc/alsa-lib/pcm_plugins.html for the default plugins and the files at /usr/share/alsa/ the pcm concept covers most of what's needed to understand the a bit special configuration system.

Instead of using the asound init script or alsactl one can for instance have a script or initscript asoundPPHome containing:
Code:
amixer set Master 60% unmute

one asoundPPOffice containing:
Code:
amixer set Master 20% unmute

and one asoundPPParty containing:
Code:
amixer set Master 100% unmute

This way you can have profiles and you do not run the risk of a very noisy startup of your laptop in a library. :wink:

A common use case is to upmix 2.0 to 5.1. An example on how to do that could be discussed and shed some more light on configuring alsa.

If you know of a good way to search for third party plugins like a low-pass filter (which would be needed for the upmixing example) would be nice as this is something I struggle myself.

Hope you can use some of the above.
Cheers,
sera

PS: About the wm/dm thingy, I meant all that people want is a wm plus a set of tools and that a dm is nothing more than a bundle of a wm plus a fix set of tools and this is a huge conceptual difference to MS. Not knowing you can choose that fine grained many think there is kde or gnome and nothing beside that.
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nenemsis5
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

would be nice if we can make this book to an wiki and ppl can all time update it. why not make it to open source document too. XD
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gentoo-dev
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nenemsis5 wrote:
would be nice if we can make this book to an wiki and ppl can all time update it. why not make it to open source document too. XD
Did you read it from the very beginning?
author wrote:
You are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit) the work as well as remix (adapt) the work under the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike 2.0 license, available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/be/deed.en
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