GNU/Linux is an operating system for your computer. It's made up of the Linux kernel, created by Linus Torvalds, and a variety of other software. It is commonly called "Linux" after the kernel.GNU/Linux originated as the GNU project, which aims to create an operating system entirely out of something called "free software." Free software is not the same thing as freeware: freeware costs nothing, whereas free software is not always free in the sense of cost. Rather, the word "free" refers to freedom. Because of its licensing terms, no one owns free software, so once you obtain it no one can tell you what you can or cannot do with it.
Linux and other free software is covered under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
the guide: how to do things with gnu/linux
Available for free, this is How to do Things With GNU/Linux. I don't spend much time writing guides these days (well, not in my spare time, anyway). Rather, I wrote this while studying for the Red Hat Certification test. I took quite a lot of notes and converted them into this guide for my own reference, and now I've made it available under a Creative Commons license as specified in the guide. The license basically allows you to freely use the guide for noncommercial purposes as long as you give me credit for it. The current guide was updated in September of 2005. Not as recently as I would like. It is rather Red Hat- and Fedora-centric, and these days I use the Debian-based Ubuntu, so at some point I hope to update the guide to cover Debian-based systems.
I wrote it using OpenOffice.org, which can save documents to PDF without any add-on software, so you can download the guide as a PDF or in the new OpenDocument format, which is the default file format of OpenOffice.org and a new ISO standard. To download the OpenDocument file you may have to right-click and do a Save As, since most web browsers do not know how to deal with these files.
Shell scripts are a useful means of speeding up a task. I've written a few for the Bash shell, and posted them online for free in case they are useful to anyone else.
- Web Image Gallery - Makes an image gallery, which is how I create the ones on my site. The script is smart enough to differentiate between portrait and landscape images and treats each differently. It does all of the resizing and moving of images, creating thumbnails separately and storing them in a separate location. A watermark is placed in the lower right corner (in this case copyright.png, a transparent PNG image, but a quick edit to the script would change that to your needs). It also generates HTML code in an output file of your choice. License: GPL.
- Wallpaper Image Gallery - A modification of the image gallery script. This puts all the files in the same target directory but names them differently. In addition to thumbnails it does three separate sizes of large images. License: GPL.
- Server Updates - Script to send you a simple administrative update via e-mail. Useful on servers for which you have a short attention span. This basically takes output you can easily get at the shell and packages it nicely for your review, and with the cron daemon it can make a good daily update. License: GPL.