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Other Resources

The Internet is full of resources to find out more about your Linux system. The most obvious places are the home page of the particular distribution you have, but there are many, many more sites that provide information, such as Linux.Org and the Linux Documentation Project, as we discussed in the section on Linux documentation. For a collection of links that I have found useful, check out the main "More Info" page.

One extremely useful place to find information is netnews. Actually, it would be more appropriate to say "places" as there are thousands of newsgroups, hundreds which apply to computers and dozens which apply specifically to Linux. Most are archived on www.deja.com, which, as of this writing, is being redirected to Google Groups. They have a 20 year archive of the various news groups, not just those related to computers. Here you can also post, but you need to register first.

If you have a Internet Services Provider (ISP) that also provides its own news server, then you might want to consider a local newsreader such as knode, which comes with the KDE. Using a local reader has the advantage of being able to subscribe to newsgroups from various topics, such as both Linux and music, allowing you to easily bounce between the groups you like.

Newsgroups are broken into "hierarchies", or general groupings of particular topics. For example, the "comp" hierarchy is about computers, the "rec" hierarchy is for recreation. For the comp.os.linux newsgroup, click here.

Other good sources of information are mailing lists. The difference between a mailing list and newsgroup is that a copy of each message sent to a mailing list is also sent to every single member. This means that depending on the mailing list and how many you get, you could have hundreds of email messages each day. With newsgroups, you download them as you need them. Depending on your newsreader, you might download all of the messages (which could take quite a long time) or you can download just the headers and then the contents of the messages as you need to.

Mailing lists also have the advantage of being able to filter messages into sub-directories based on their content, sender and so forth. Also, most mailing lists allow only members to submit messages, whereas typically anyone can post to a newsgroup. This means there is often a lot of junk in the newsgroups, such as advertisements, Linux opponents who just want to start arguments and so forth. Since you are required to provide your email address for a mailing list, you cannot be so anonymous and things are usually a lot more pleasant.

To get a list of some of the currently available mailing lists send a message to majordomo@vger.kernel.org, which contains just the word "lists". To get detailed help information send a message with the word "help".

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Copyright 2002-2009 by James Mohr. Licensed under modified GNU Free Documentation License (Portions of this material originally published by Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc). See here for details. All rights reserved.
  
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