2008 Edition

About the Authors

Andrew Hudson is a regular contributor to Linux Format magazine, the UK's largest Linux magazine. His particular area of expertise is Red Hat-based distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux and The Fedora Project, having worked with the original Red Hat Linux since version 5. Seemingly obsessed with performance, he spends many an evening trying to squeeze more performance out of legacy hardware. Andrew lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife Bernice and son John. Andrew does not like Emacs. Andrew can be contacted at andy.hudson@gmail.com.

Paul Hudson is a recognized expert in open-source technologies. He is Editor of Linux Format magazine, a professional developer, and full-time journalist for Future Publishing. His articles have appeared in Mac Format, PC Answers, PC Format, PC Plus, and Linux Format. Paul is passionate about free software in all its forms and uses a mix of Linux and BSD to power his desktops and servers. Paul likes Emacs. Paul can be contacted through http://hudzilla.org.


To my family, for their love and support — Andrew

To Mum and Dad, for all their love, help, and support — Paul


Andrew Hudson

This is where I get to mention a few people, and I'd like to specifically thank Dallas Releford, Michael Thurston, and Mark Taber for keeping Paul and me going. My wife Bernice and son John allow me to shut myself away and write for endless evenings, but I do it all for them. Juggling a book, being a father and husband, and also working full-time is no mean feat, and it's all worth it.

Finally I want to thank God for the many blessings He has given me. My life would not be anything without Him, and I am eternally grateful for His grace.

Paul Hudson

Although only two names appear on the cover of this book, it is the culmination of many years of writing, refining, testing, rewriting, exploration, and passion from many people. I feel lucky to be part of the team and want to thank the others for their enthusiasm and humor — it makes a huge difference to know that everyone who works on this book enjoys the topic!

I'm grateful to the entire team at Pearson for their help and feedback — it's great to work with people who really care about free software and want to help others along that same journey. Of course, Andrew and I both owe a huge debt to our good friend Hoyt Duff, who we hope is somewhere sunny buffing up a classic car!

My family's contribution to this work has been immense. Andrew was brave in accepting the job of co-writing, but it turns out that we work in tandem very well — he has done a marvelous job, and we are both very proud of this end result. My wife, Ildiko, managed to put up with even more months of me doing no housework, although I think that the minute I am finished with this it is back to the grindstone for me (why do you think these acknowledgments are so long?). My parents have been immensely supportive throughout, and I love them dearly.

Finally, none of this work would have been possible without the grace of God. Andrew and I have been blessed to be able to write this book, and I pray it blesses you even more.

We Want to Hear from You!

As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, what areas you'd like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way.

You can email or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book — as well as what we can do to make our books stronger.

Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of mail I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message.

When you write, please be sure to include this book's title and author as well as your name and phone or email address. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the author and editors who worked on the book.

Email: opensource@samspublishing.com

Mail: Mark Taber

Associate Publisher Sams Publishing 800 East 96th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240 USA

Reader Services

Visit our website and register this book at www.informit.com/sams for convenient access to any updates, downloads, or errata that might be available for this book.


Welcome to Fedora Unleashed, 2008 Edition! This book covers the free Linux distribution named Fedora and includes a fully functional and complete operating system produced by the Fedora Project, sponsored by Red Hat.

Fedora is directly descended from one of the most popular Linux distributions ever: Red Hat Linux. Those of you who know nothing about Linux might have heard of Red Hat; it is enough to know that it is the largest Linux vendor in North America. Fedora benefits directly from many Red Hat engineers as well as the wider contributions from free soft ware developers across the world.

If you are new to Linux, you have made a great decision by choosing this book. Sams Publishing's Unleashed books offer an in-depth look at their subjects, taking in both beginner and advanced users and moving them to a new level in knowledge and expertise.

Fedora is a fast-changing distribution that can be updated at least twice a year. We have tracked the development of Fedora from very early on to make sure that the information contained in this book mirrors closely the development of the distribution. A full copy of Fedora is included on the DVD, making it possible for you to install Linux in less than an hour!

This book provides all the information that you need to get up and running with Fedora. It even tells you how to keep Fedora running in top shape, as well as how to adapt Fedora to changes in your needs and requirements. Fedora can be used at home, in the work place, or, with permission, at your school and college. In fact, you might want to poke around your school's computer rooms: You will probably find that someone has already beaten you to the punch—Linux is commonly found in academic institutions. Feel free to make as many copies of the software as you want. No copyright lawyers are going to pound on your door, because Fedora is freely distributable all over the world.

After this brief introduction, you will get straight into the distribution, learning how to install and configure Fedora and find your way around the Gnome graphical interface and learning about the command line. We also take you through installing software, managing users, and other common administrative tasks. For the more technically minded, we cover some starting steps in programming across several languages—why not pick one and give it a go? Through the book, you will also find information on multimedia applications, digital graphics, and even gaming for after hours when you are finished tinkering. After you make it through the book, you will be well equipped with the knowledge needed to use Linux successfully. We do assume that you are at least familiar with an operating system already (even if it is not with Linux) and have some basic computer knowledge. We round off the book by giving you some reference points for you to access via the web, and we also explore the origins of Fedora and Linux.

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