Linux : Java Glossary

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Linux penguin logo  Linux
Linux is a UNIX-like operating system. It comes in many variants called distributions. Linus Torvalds started the project off as a hobby. Companies bundle up different combinations of publicly available software and add a custom installer. You download the distribution and burn it to DVD, (about 3 gig) or order a DVD to arrive by mail. To install, you just boot from the DVD and follow your nose. There are also small distributions that will fit on a CD. You can even run from CD, never installing to hard disk.

Linux works fine on obsolete computers with slow CPUs and tight RAM. Consider installing it on one of your old boat anchors for experiments, rather than installing it via the more complex dual boot.

Sun supports Java on Linux. The independent Blackdown Java seems to have been abandoned.

This document is designed to help a naïve user install and get started with, Ubuntu, Red Hat Fedora Core 8 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, especially if you have a Windows background. Since I originally wrote this essay, everything has changed for the better. All current distributions have vastly improved installers. You can now install in under an hour from a single DVD. This installation process will leave you with a working system connected to the Internet with a full set of development tools, databases, an office productivity suite and all the Internet utilities including Apache. To get to the comparable state with Windows can easily take several days. Windows requires many reboots and when you are done installing the OS, you still need to download and install all the applications.

Please take anything you read here with a large grain of salt. Please let me know of any errors or omissions. I had an exceedingly frustrating time getting Linux to work. Further, I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of documentation. Most of what I wrote here is what people told me. I did not do it from personal experience. I hope to make your way a little easier.

Introduction Other Hardware Installing Java
Terminology Shells emacs
Equivalents GUIs Credits
Installation Hints Login Scripts Distributions
Hard Disk Partitions Re-Installing Books
Partitioning Gotchas Naming Links
Video and X-Windows Gotchas
Internet Access Symbolic Links


This essay was mostly written in the spring of 1998. Since that time Linux has evolved amazingly. I spent 1999-10-16 at the West Coast Computer Faire, lecturing on Java, viruses and backups and talking with all kinds of people. People told me things that made me really wonder if the PC world is in for a major shakeup. Now on 2007-04-12 Ubuntu Linux is easier to fathom than Vista.
  1. I talked with various Linux users. They showed me how Linux had changed in the year last year and a half since I gave up on it as too nerdy. It is evolving about five times faster than Windows in terms of ease of use. It now has whiz bang wow-the-earthlings stuff like animated wallpaper. It runs Windows apps (Win 3.1 and Win95 with wine). It looks snazzy and modern. It has lost that klunky DOS look, even in the GUIs. KDE as GUI manager has made a world of difference. It runs many more devices than before. It can do simultaneous CPU-intensive tasks like Mp3 without even breathing hard. Caldera is no longer used.
  2. Windows 2000 client retails for about  $282.00 USD . If you have the patience, you can download Linux, along with all kinds of apps such as Star Office, free. Even if you buy the CD at full retail you will spend only $20.00 CAD to $40.00 CAD . Mr. Gates started out with DOS, an ersatz CPM-86. He blew away the competition not because his DOS was superior, but because it was much cheaper. I wonder if he has forgotten this.
  3. I heard a report that a major US company had a server farm of 5000 servers, geographically distributed, all running NT server. About once every 60 seconds a server would fail and require a reboot. They switched to the much more stable and free Linux.
Granted these are just stories and I can’t back them up. However, I did make the Linux people show me all kinds of things and I can vouch that Linux is evolving at a breakneck speed.


A Linux distribution. It would include pre-complied device drivers, OS, GUI, and applications, together with an installer. In the bad old days you had to collect source for all the pieces and compile and link them yourself, selecting from hundreds of variants. Now various groups do that work for you and present their easy-to-install products mostly from public domain sources.
KDE (K Desktop Environment) : A species of X-windowing system that manages your desktop. It is slightly more like Windows than GNOME.
A species of X-windowing system that manages your desktop Originally it meant GNOME (Gnu Network Object Model Environment) but the current project has wandered so it now has little to do with networking.
To search, particularly using a regex expression, a number of files.
RPM (Red Hat Program Manager). A scheme for distributing software bundles in an easy-to-install way. It was originally Red Hat’s invention and now nearly everyone supports it. You use an installer program such as UP2DATE, YUM (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) or AGET to unpack the bundle and install it. Must programs can install anywhere. The installer creates a symbolic link to them in /usr/bin, which has much the same effect at lower overhead as putting them on the path does in Windows.
The command line interface. To get at the command line interface, click Applications ⇒ Accessories ⇒ Terminal. This strange name betrays Linux’s history when people typed commands at terminals connected to Unix mini computers.


These are the closest equivalents I could find to the following Windows utilities and concepts.
Windows Linux Notes
+ (concatenation) cat
< (input redirect) <
> (output redirect) > 1> redirects stdout, normal output.
2> redirects stderr.
2>&1 redirects stderr to go to wherever stdout is going.
| (pipe) | tee splits the stream to both the console and a file.
alias (4DOS) alias to temporarily turn off an alias and get at the original meaning of a word, precede it with a \. To permanently turn it off use unalias.
attrib chmod
There are three sets read/write/execute permission attribute bits for each file, one for the owner, one for the group the file belongs to and one for the universe at large. Each file has an owner and a group. A lead dot on a filename is similar to the DOS (Disk Operating System) hidden attribute. You need ls -a to see them. Any easy way to maintain this information is with Midnight Commander, mc.
autoexec.bat /etc/*rc*,
.login, .profile, .bash_profile, .bash_login,
.bashrc, .cshrc .
/etc/*rc* execute when you first boot.
.login, .profile, .bash_profile, .bash_login execute when you first login.
.bashrc, .cshrc execute when you first start a script.
beep echo -en \a
boot manager LILO, ELILO, GRUB To modify the Linux boot manager modify /etc/lilo_config then run lilo to parse it and poke the information into the various absolute locations on hard disk. Grub uses BIOS (Basic Input Output System) to access the disk.
browser Firefox Most distributions include Firefox. Opera, Arena, Lynx (a fast text-only browser)
call myscript.bat . myscript . means run in the same process. Without the ., the new scripts starts up a new process. exec myscript stops the current script and starts a new one.
cd cd, pwd cd changes to a directory, default the $HOME directory, where pwd tells you where you are now, PWD (Print Working Directory).
config.sys contents of /etc/sysconfig.
close kill
com1: dev/ttyS0
command bash, sh, csh, Zsh, exec, perl
command line interface Terminal interface
copy cp -p, scp scp can be used inside or outside of an SSH (Secure Shell) (secure remote) session. When you use it outside one, it will automatically login, do the copying work and logout. -R is recursive like XCOPY /S. Watch out cp ignores directories and files beginning with .
del rm
dialler ppp
dial up networking rsh (regular) almost never used anymore because it transmits files in clear text, ssh -v (secure) See SSH. You no longer need to compile ssh yourself. It will come preconfigured with the distribution. The easiest way to set up communication with another host is to exchange public keys via email and insert the host’s key in the known_hosts file and the user’s key in the authorized_keys file. You can use a null passphrase by typing ssh-keygen -p.
dir ls, dir ls -F will mark each executable with a *, directories with a / and symbolic links with a @. Often ls is aliased to ls -F by default.
Disk Explorer mc On Gnome desktops the Windows Explorer equivalent is Nautilus. Also consider Midnight Commander. You will have to install this manually. You will have to mount the CD-ROM (Compact Disc — Read Only Memory) first with:
cd /
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
and get to the directory where the install files are with:
cd /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS
then install:
rpm -i mc-3.2.11-2.i386.rpm
DOS box Terminal
echo %MU% echo $MU
edit Editors include: emacs, xemacs, nedit, kde, vi, vim, gvim, joe, pico, jedit, gedit, Slickedit. gedit is the Gnome graphical editor. Gedit and vi should both work out of the box. vi is usable with only the standard keys, so it can be used to recover severely broken systems because it is usable when no other editor will work. Linux editors are highly configurable. They are almost unusable out the box. You need to edit text files that control how they work. Catch 22! Without special configuring, even simple things like the Del key won’t work properly. I think the authors deliberately make the default configurations infuriating to force you, like a tormented oyster, into learning the configuring tools and creating a pearl. Slickedit can be configured to behave in perfectly standard CUA (Common User Access) fashion. Others can be coerced grudgingly to sort of behave in a CUA way. The advantage of vi is it is small and ubiquitous.
empty afile : > afile
empty the trash rm -R '#'* to get rid of the #xxx files emacs leaves behind as backup. The single quotes ensure # is not treated as a comment.
Eudora Evolution or mutt, Pine, Mozilla Thunderbird or Ximian.
exit exit
fdisk gparted, fdisk, sfdisk, cfdisk and parted.
file/disk space used, Norton FS du -s /myDir
find locate xxx
find / -name xxx -mount
which xxx
type xxx
whence xxx
find / -name xxx -print to list all files called xxx. You need to enclose the name in single quotes if you’re using wild card characters.

find / -type f -print | xargs grep -l String To Search For
find / -type f -print | xargs grep -li String To Search For

You need to arrange for updatedb to periodically update the database that locate uses. The database does not get updated as a side effect of creating, deleting or copying or moving files. Normally, cron runs updatedb every night. You only need to run it yourself if you want to use the database immediately after an install.
finger finger
free disk space
df -k /myDir
help man -k, info, apropos. You’d usually use apropos foo to find a man page and man foo to read it. whatis rpm, would briefly tell you what the RPM command does. You need to run mkwhatis before apropos and whatis will work. Mkwhatis is run automatically overnight to pick up the day’s changes.
ide Eclipse Check out the various IDEs to see which ones will run under Linux. Also IntelliJ Idea and Netbeans.
IE (Internet Explorer) Firefox Opera, Arena
if %x == orange echo fruit if [ ${x} = orange" ]
echo fruit
if not exist myfile.txt echo oops if [ ! -f myfile.txt ]
echo oops
install RPM UP2DATE, YUM or AGET
Internet Explorer Firefox Opera, Arena
md mkdir
more more, less
MS DOS prompt shell, bash, sh
password passwd passwd is used to change your password. Passwords are stored in the /etc/passwd file in encrypted form. If any are in plain text, the account was not properly set up. The root user can set other people’s password with passwd someUserId.
pause read -p
move mv
Netscape Netscape, Opera, Firefox
Paint, Paintshop Pro, Photoshop etc. The Gimp
path echo $PATH
print lpr
cp afile /dev/lp0
lpr adds files to the print queue. nenscript converts text files to PostScript
SVN (Subversion)/ CVS (Concurrent Versions System)/PVCS (Polytron Version Control System) SVN/CVS CVS is included in most distributions. If it is not included in yours, you can download the source for the cvs version control software from nongnu. Subversion is a considerable improvement on CVS.
rd rmdir, rm -r
# comments in scripts
remote shell rsh, ssh See dial up networking.
rename mv
replace cp -u
resync cp --recursive --update dir1/* dir2
cp --recursive --update dir2/* dir1
To resynchronise two directory trees to make them identical, propagating the newest version of each file in the directory to the other. You can use the short switches -R and -u. Also rsync, which can synchronise two disks by doing the minimum work needed to bring the copy into line with the master. Wget (which is also available for Windows). Use it to retrieve a complete web page hierarchy unless robots.txt says it mustn’t.
set env | sort, setenv, export
shortcut link, ln -s /usr/local/netscape/netscape netsc Soft Links will be left dangling if the original file is deleted. See section later on soft links.
spawn &
splice cut split
subst mount, umount, ln -s- Before you can use a CD-ROM disc you must mount it with a command like this:
cd /
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
/mnt/cdrom must be a preexisting, but unused, directory where the CD-ROM files will appear. Further, it may not be the current directory. Any files there will be invisible during the time the directory is being used as a mount. Don’t expect a meaningful error message if you violate any of these rules. Every time you change discs you must umount and re-mount, as if you were changing a removable disk pack on an ancient mainframe. Mounts are easier to do with the X Windows control-panel. Edit your etc/fstab to have two lines in it one for /dev/cdrom and one for /dev/had. Use mount point /mnt/cdrom and options iso9660,noauto,ro 0 0.

Modern distributions will automount removable devices ( USB (Universal Serial Bus), CD (Compact Disc), DVD (Digital Video Disc)) and put an icon on the desktop. Right-click the Icon and Eject appears on a drop-down menu. Clicking it unmounts the device.

task list top, ps, ps aux | grep roedy
task scheduler cron is used to run regularly scheduled tasks. at runs a task once at a given time.
tasks tasks, jobs
telnet telnet. Telnet is used only for debugging and for accessing legacy applications and sometimes for configuring routers. It has the problem of transmitted plain text passwords.

minicom and kermit, are the equivalent of the Windows serial port terminal emulator combined with the xmodem/ymodem file transfer facilities.

TS (Text Search) grep -i Abc myfile
grep '$' myfile
grep $USER: myfile
grep looks for regular expressions. -i allows case insensitive matches. If your string contains any magic regular expression character such as []$\{}<>, or space then you need to enclose it in apostrophes. If you want $ environment expressions expanded, use quotes.
type cat
uninstall rpm -e uninstallPackageName The catch is, you don’t use the same package name to install as to uninstall! To find out the uninstall names, do a rpm -q -a | less. Very likely you will want to uninstall the existing Java and replace it with the latest.
who is logged on? w  
Windows startx, Gnome, KDE, X-Windows, Fvwm (F*cking Virtual Window Manager) Fvwm
WinAmp XMMS and Audacious
WinFTP ftp, ncftp sftp does encrypted ftp and gftp gives you a GUI (Graphic User Interface), similar to Windows WS-FTP.
WinZip tar -xvzf afilename.tar.gz
tar -xvf afilename.tar
gunzip afilename.gz
zip and unzip are compatible with Windows PkZip and WinZip.
with emacs configured with (auto-compression-mode 1).
word open office word processor of some sort will likely come bundled with your distribution. Also Kate, the KDE Text Editor for small jobs.
xcopy cp -R /sourceDir /targetDir
find. -name '*.c' -print | cpio -pd /targetDir
tar cf - myfiles* | (cd /targetDir; tar xf -)
The first form copies the entire directory and Recursively copies the subdirectories. The second form selects just some of the files by wildcard. find lists the files to copy and cpio makes the copies. -d means create new directories as needed. The third form uses the tar, tape backup utility. cpio can be persuaded to avoid copying over top of newer files.
.zip .tar, .tar.gz, .gz Watch out trying to download .tar.gz files with Windows. The names will sometimes get mangled since Windows does not like more than one dot per name. You will have to correct them once you get them to Linux. See WinZip entry for various utilities to pack/unpack these files.

Installation Hints

Before you start installing Linux, go into the Windows Control Panel and glean every obscure fact you can about your hardware, in particular your video card, video chip, RAMDAC (RAM Digital-to-Analog Converter), clock chip and amount of video RAM (Random Access Memory). You will want your modem manual to concoct a good modem init string, one that insists on hardware compression, that insists on some base speed etc. There is button to print out a multipage summary. Write down the technotrivia about how your TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) and LANs (Local Area Networks) are configured.

Installing Hard Disk Partitions

There are three ways of handling hard disk partitions:
  1. Live

    Using the Ubuntu or Knoppix CD. You boot and go, putting your data on your Windows partitions. You don’t install Linux on your hard disk. All your Linux apps are on the CD. This is fine for a trial, but you will probably want to install on hard disk for faster performance.
  2. Automatic

    Let the installer figure out what partitions are needed, create them and format them. This might be reasonable for an all-Linux machine.
  3. Manual partitioning

    This gives you fine control. You would likely want to use this method if you have other OS (Operating System) es already installed or if you want to leave room for future ones.

Manual Partitioning

I have tried on three separate occasions, wasting two frustrating days each time trying to create a machine with both Linux and Windows an it. It is in theory possible, but I could not find the trick. I managed to destroy my Windows partitions and one time even screw up a disk table so badly only a hex editor could undo the damage. Unless you are very bright or very lucky I suggest dedicating an old clunker to Linux rather than trying to dual boot. They tools you might use include: Here is how you might partition a Linux-only disk:
Linux-only Partitioning
Name Size in MB Purpose
boot 1000 MB kernel boot image(s)
/ 2 GB login, essential programs, temp disk, root.
var 2 GB system logs, NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) files, mailboxes
usr 15 GB standard Linux programs
home 15 GB /home holds all user logins and their private data
swap 8 GB 4 × RAM

Partitioning Gotches

The various problems I had trying to get Windows, Ubuntu, Boot-It and GRUB working together included:

You can mount your DOS/Windows partition, either read-only or read-write. You don’t set it up during the sysgen. You add it later with a bit of fussing. You first need to mkdir a /windows directory as the mount point. Then you need to use the control-panel in X-Windows to add a new partition. Add, not edit! You need to set its type to vfat not DOS It will be added to the /etc/fstab the auto option, so it will be automatically remounted on any reboot. If you want to set it up before you get X-Windows working, you can edit the /etc/fstab to insert an entry of type vfat, mount point /win and options auto,noexec,nosuid,nouser,rw 0 0. You need to do one mount /dev/sda1 manually and from then on it seems to work automatically.

There are several jobstreams running during the install. You can flip back and forth with Alt-F1 Alt-F2 etc. or Ctrl-Alt-F1 if under X Windows. To get back to X-Windows use Alt-F7.

Installing Video and X-Windows

Most installers can sort out X-Windows without problems. If they can’t, the easiest approach may be to start the Knoppix Live CD, copy down the X configuration values and then edit them in your distribution. Knoppix has the best X-term hardware probe and auto-configuration tools.

If you are a masochist, you will love Xfree86. It is almost like a build-it-yourself driver toolkit but more frustrating. If you want to spend less than a month of your life solving the problem of making the screen display something, use Red Hat 5.0 and the enclosed commercial Metro-X drivers and use configX. Be careful to fill in both panels one for the monitor and one for the video card and don’t touch the add button.

Use Xconfigurator to configure X-Windows and X or startx to start it. Once you have X working you can use the control-panel that you can access inside X to configure a second printer, configure ppp access, add users etc.

If Xconfigurator does not work, you may have to start over from scratch installing Linux or use RPM to make sure you have the right video driver. Look over all the choices, don’t just grab the first one that looks good. If X still does not work, try installing fewer video modes in particular leave out some of the higher resolution ones. I found the old xf86config line-oriented configuration program gave better results, though it was more awkward to use. Without it I could not get at the high resolution modes and I could not change modes with Ctrl-Alt-Keypad+ and Ctrl-Alt-Keypad-. If X hangs on fireup, hit Alt-F1 and you will be able see some error messages about why it failed. Use xvidtune within X-Windows to fine tune the configuration so that the image is sized and centered properly on the monitor in all modes. Not that xvidtune does not change your XF86Config file for you. It just displays settings you can manually add to it. It may be easier to use your monitor’s adjustments, then adjust other OS ’s to those settings.

The first entry on the modes line is the one your X-Windows will come up in. When you hit Ctrl-Alt-+, it should step through them in order.
Modes 640x480 800x600 1024x768 "1280x1024 "

You can control which colour depth your X-Windows comes up in with: startx -- -bpp 16

In theory you should by able to permanently configure this by creating a file in your home directory called .xserverrc with the line exec X :0 -bpp 16 in it. However, I have not got that to work myself.

To properly solve this configuration problem you have to have entries that exactly match the documented modes supported by your video bios. This may require setting up modes that are specific to a colour depth because your video card my require different rates for different colour depths with the same resolution. I have yet not found documentation on how to generate the required magic numbers.

After that is done, you can start thinking about configuring your .fvwmrc file to configure the menus etc.

Installing Internet Access

Installing PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) and Internet access used to be a nightmare. You could easily spend a day farting around. Now the installers handle it all for you automatically.

Installing Other Hardware

If you are lucky, your distribution will automatically install drivers for your off-beat hardware. If not, you have some hacking to do.

The standard install program ignores much of your hardware, e.g. tape backup, sound card, scanner. To use these devices you must generate a new kernel, or find a pre-built one that has the support you need. I’m told

CD /usr/src/linuxmake config
Though I have not had quite the nerve to try it yet.

For a sound card you may want  $20.00 USD commercial drivers from

More Shells Than You Can Shake A Shtick At

autoexec script when run
/etc/*rc* when the system boots
/home/yourname.login, .profile, .bash_profile when you log in
.cshrc, .bashrc whenever you start a new shell
The different names .login, .profile, etc. are used by different shells, which allows them to coexist more or less amicably. The C shell uses .login, the Bourne and Korn shells use .profile, BASH (Bourne Again Shell) normally looks for .bash_profile first but may also read .profile.


I am a puzzled by the Unix folk having so many ways of handling the GUI. I have heard of Gnome 1 2 3, KDE, X-Windows, Xfce, Unify

Because we get a choice over the L&F. Everything uses X11, aka X-windows: that’s the underlying display technology for all graphical displays on UNIX/Linux but it doesn’t do window management/desktops. X-term is a non- graphical way of using X11 as a text-mode terminal — rather like a DOS box, but capable of talking to both local and remote hosts.

To do anything useful with X11 you use a window manager: all distros pick one to use as default and each has its own style of handling the desktop, decorating application windows, launching applications, etc. etc. — hence the religious wars and differences of opinion over them. The common ones are Gnome and KDE (the two commonest ones), Xfce (very basic, but lightweight. If you run up VNC (Virtual Network Computing), the default desktop for it is Xfce) and Unity (currently restricted to Ubuntu, introduced because they hate Gnome 3 but its reportedly disliked just as much). The true answer is even more complex, since the GUI is layered and you can mixed pieces together from different desktop environments, window managers and toolkits.

Gnome 1,2,3 are just versions of Gnome — think Java 2,3,4,5 6 …

Which does Java use?

None, but Swing has a limited ability provide the same look and feel as the native windows manager for the system the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is installed on as well as Java’s cross-platform Metal look & feel, e.g. G3 buttons and text entry boxes have rounded corners, but Java doesn’t and its default button background gradient is different, as is the main menu bar though the appearance is fairly close. The title bar and its drop-down menus are, however, identical. AWT (Advanced Windowing Toolkit) uses GTK (the Gimp ToolKit). SWT (Standard Widget Toolkit) uses GTK.

When you write a C program do you have to pick a GUI manager? or do they share a common core API (Application Programming Interface)?

No, they have different APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). My distro uses Gnome by default but can support KDE. Almost all the apps I use are Gnome apps, but I do use one or two KDE apps. They run OK, but have a slightly different look & feel and drag in a whole bunch of KDE support libraries — but a decent package installer deals with that automatically. Package installers also differ: Red Hat distros such as Fedora and Red Hat clones use YUM, Ubuntu and the other Debian clones use APT.

Login Scripts

You adapt a login to its task by customising the shell environment. If the changes only apply to this login you do it by editing $HOME/.bash_profile.

However, you often want to make changes that apply to all users. This used to be done by editing /etc/profile — something that needed to be redone after a reinstall. Now there’s a better way. /etc/profile shouldn’t need changing because its final act is to run every script it finds in /etc/profile.d. So, make a short script setting the customisations for everything to do with a particular program or package and drop it into /etc/profile.dand keep a copy in a safe place. That way after a clean install, you just drop this set of scripts into /etc/profile.d

Here is a Java customisation script,

The second and third items in the paths that form the definitions of JAVA_HOME to MSTOR are symbolic links. This means that is independent of software versions and is installation-proof:


When you install. Keep notes on what worked. Sooner or later you will have to re-install and those notes will be invaluable. Before you reinstall, save a copy of your /etc directory and your root .bash_profile outside Linux. The master copies will likely be destroyed. You can do quite a bit of your re-install simply by copying selected configuration files back into /etc, or by comparing old and new versions.

Be very careful about copying files to and from a Windows partition. You will lose the owner, the attribute bits and files and directories beginning with . will not be copied. Files will be redated.

Naming Your Computer

If you have registered your own DNS (Domain Name Service) domain, e.g., your computers will have names like and If you have not, your computer name should match the last two parts of your ISP (Internet Service Provider) ’s domain. So for example if your ISP ’s computer were called, your computer’s hostname should be something like

Simply editing /etc/HOSTNAME is not sufficient. Change the name with the X Control Panel netconfig.

Your computer also has another name, localhost@localdomain with dummy IP (Internet Protocol)


Here are a grab bag of miscellaneous things that bit me at some point in my early Linux career. Symbolic links have many uses: The basic idea is:
  1. In some directory,
  2. you put an alias name, a link to:
  3. some other file or directory that exists elsewhere.
Let us say that you had a file A/x and you wanted to be able to access it alternatively by that alias B/y. Here are 
cd /B
ln -s A/x y

Installing Java

You must ensure your environment 
These may go in your .bash-profile or your /etc/profile.


EMACS (Extensible Macro System) is an editor that comes in both text (emacs) and X-windows (xemacs) versions. You once could get the four *.rpm files for xemacs from the website. Even without source, the download is 20 MB! To further complicate the matter, the text version behaves differently in text mode and under X-windows. Emacs is a powerful editor with a great many features. Everything (even the mouse button) works in a totally non- CUA way. Windows users will feel all thumbs and possibly even seasick when no command works in the familiar way.

Emacs is designed solely for the convenience of advanced users. You might think if it as a suite of word processing LISP (List Processing language) functions. You edit a file by running in an interactive programming mode where you compose and execute a LISP program on the fly where each keystroke invokes one LISP function.

To begin to make it friendly, (bind home jump to start of line instead of start of file, bind end jump to end of line, bind ^@ behave like Shift-^@ and bind ^- to behave like ^C_) create a .emacs file in your $HOME directory like this:

(global-set-key [home] 'beginning-of-line)
(global-set-key [end] 'end-of-line)
(global-set-key [?\C-2] 'set-mark-command)
(global-set-key [?\C--] 'advertised-undo)
When you have the key bindings set up the way you like, you might copy your .emacs file to /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/default.el to set it for everybody.

Here is a table of the basic commands to get you started. M-x in Linux-speak means Alt-x, C-x means Ctrl-x and S-x means Shift-X.

Keystrokes Effect
Home or M-< Move to beginning of file
End or M-> Move to end of file
PgDn or C-v Page down
PgUp or M-v Page up
M-% Replace text
C-@ or C-space Place mark at cursor location
C-g cancel current command.
C-x C-f load a file
C-x C-s Save a file
C-x C-c Exit Emacs with option to save
C-x u Undo the last change
C-x 1 go back to having a single window
C-x 2 Split the window in two
C-x o Other window
C-d Delete a character
M-d Delete a word
C-g Cancels the current command
C-k Cuts text from cursor to end of line
M-q Justifies the current paragraph
C-s Search for text
C-t Transposes two characters
M-t Transposes two words
M-u Capitalises current word
C-w Cuts text between cursor and mark
M-w Copies text between cursor and mark
C-y Paste/Uncuts text
In emacs under X-windows by default, Shift-C-@ and does not have a binding for M-w. Have fun!


As you might guess, many people helped compile this document. If you would like to be added to this list, please tell me.
Andrew Langmead
Bob Friesenhahn
Daniel Kulp
Harvey Fishman
James Janney
Matija Grabnar
Joanne Dow
Alan Ogden
Keven Kreiser
John Strom
C. D. Inchauste
Martin Gregorie


A distribution is a collection of Linux software including an OS kernel, device drivers, GNOME, KDE, an editor, some compilers that has been tested together.
Linux Distributions
Distribution cost
Ubuntu Download free. Easiest for the novice. Supported by a combination of professionals and volunteers. It is good for getting your feet wet since you can also run it from CD without installing it and you ran run it under Windows.
Red Hat Fedora free
Red Hat Desktop $80.00 USD to  $339.00 USD Depending on how many machines and how much support you want. Last revised/verified: 2008-01-27
Debian Download free with jigdo.
Centos Download free. CENTOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) Binary clone of Red Hat. Basically it is Red Hat without the professional support. This is legal since Red Hat is open source.
Slackware Download free with BitTorrent. On hold since the main person holding it together got sick. Supports GNOME only. For hard core hackers.
Knoppix Download free with BitTorrent.
Gentoo $4.00 USD Last revised/verified: 2008-01-27
SuSe Personal free Last revised/verified: 2008-01-27
Oracle Java Desktop Personal: with Solaris free Last revised/verified: 2008-01-27


book cover recommend book⇒The Official Ubuntu Book (9th Edition)to book home
by Matthew Helmke, Elizabeth K. Joseph, Jose Antonio Rey 978-0-13-451342-3 paperback
publisher Prentice Hall 978-0-13-451249-5 eBook
published 2016-07-30 B01IFCKT96 kindle
Aimed at first time users.
Australian flag abe books anz abe Canadian flag
German flag abe Canadian flag
German flag Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag abe American flag
French flag abe American flag
French flag Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Kobo American flag
India flag Google play American flag
UK flag abe O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Running Linux, fifth editionto book home
by Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Matt Welsh 978-0-596-00760-7 paperback
publisher O’Reilly recommended 978-0-613-91175-7 hardcover
published 2005-12-29 978-0-596-55300-5 eBook
  B0043EWUNE kindle
Good introduction to Linux and Unix in general
Australian flag abe books anz abe Canadian flag
German flag abe Canadian flag
German flag Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag abe American flag
French flag abe American flag
French flag Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Kobo American flag
India flag Google play American flag
UK flag abe O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
book cover recommend book⇒Peter van der Linden’s Guide to Linuxto book home
by Peter van der Linden 978-0-13-187284-4 paperback
publisher Prentice Hall
published 2005-08-18
Peter is fun to read. So many texts are so dry you have to force yourself to plod through. With Peter it is more like a good novel you can’t put down. This is a book for people wanting to get started with Linux written in standard English. Peter has a knack for bringing the esoteric down to earth and making it simple.
Australian flag abe books anz abe Canadian flag
German flag abe Canadian flag
German flag Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
Spanish flag Chapters Indigo eBooks Canadian flag
Spanish flag abe American flag
French flag abe American flag
French flag Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Kobo American flag
India flag Google play American flag
UK flag abe O’Reilly Safari American flag
UK flag Powells American flag
UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
Cygwin: simulate Linux under Windows
Gentoo distribution
HTML Cheat Sheet
Java Cheat Sheet
Knoppix distribution
Linux Links
Red Hat
Sun Java Deskop Linux
The Linux Documentation Project: HOWtos, man pages, guides and FAQsFAQs in many languages besides English
Ubuntu: free Linux distribution

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