7. Overview

Chapter 1, discusses the history of Linux and covers basic networking information on UUCP, TCP/IP, various protocols, hardware, and security. The next few chapters deal with configuring Linux for TCP/IP networking and running some major applications. We examine IP a little more closely in Chapter 2, before getting our hands dirty with file editing and the like. If you already know how IP routing works and how address resolution is performed, you can skip this chapter.

Chapter 3, deals with very basic configuration issues, such as building a kernel and setting up your Ethernet card. The configuration of your serial ports is covered separately in Chapter 4, because the discussion does not apply to TCP/IP networking only, but is also relevant for UUCP.

Chapter 5, helps you set up your machine for TCP/IP networking. It contains installation hints for standalone hosts with loopback enabled only, and hosts connected to an Ethernet. It also introduces you to a few useful tools you can use to test and debug your setup. Chapter 6, discusses how to configure hostname resolution and explains how to set up a name server.

Chapter 7, explains how to establish SLIP connections and gives a detailed reference for dip, a tool that allows you to automate most of the necessary steps. Chapter 8, covers PPP and pppd, the PPP daemon.

Chapter 9, extends our discussion on network security and describes the Linux TCP/IP firewall and its configuration tools: ipfwadm, ipchains, and iptables. IP firewalling provides a means of controlling who can access your network and hosts very precisely.

Chapter 10, explains how to configure IP Accounting in Linux so you can keep track of how much traffic is going where and who is generating it.

Chapter 11, covers a feature of the Linux networking software called IP masquerade, which allows whole IP networks to connect to and use the Internet through a single IP address, hiding internal systems from outsiders in the process.

Chapter 12, gives a short introduction to setting up some of the most important network applications, such as rlogin, ssh, etc. This chapter also covers how services are managed by the inetd superuser, and how you may restrict certain security-relevant services to a set of trusted hosts.

Chapter 13, and Chapter 14, discuss NIS and NFS. NIS is a tool used to distribute administative information, such as user passwords in a local area network. NFS allows you to share filesystems between several hosts in your network.

In Chapter 15, we discuss the IPX protocol and the NCP filesystem. These allow Linux to be integrated into a Novell NetWare environment, sharing files and printers with non-Linux machines.

Chapter 16, gives you an extensive introduction to the administration of Taylor UUCP, a free implementation of the UUCP suite.

The remainder of the book is taken up by a detailed tour of electronic mail and Usenet news. Chapter 17, introduces you to the central concepts of electronic mail, like what a mail address looks like, and how the mail handling system manages to get your message to the recipient.

Chapter 18, and Chapter 19, cover the configuration of sendmail and exim, two mail transport agents you can use for Linux. This book explains both of them, because exim is easier to install for the beginner, while sendmail provides support for UUCP.

Chapter 20, through Chapter 23, explain the way news is managed in Usenet and how you install and use C News, nntpd, and INN: three popular software packages for managing Usenet news. After the brief introduction in Chapter 20, you can read Chapter 21, if you want to transfer news using C News, a traditional service generally used with UUCP. The following chapters discuss more modern alternatives to C News that use the Internet-based protocol NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol). Chapter 22 covers how to set up a simple NNTP daemon, nntpd, to provide news reading access for a local network, while Chapter 23 describes a more robust server for more extensive NetNews transfers, the InterNet News daemon (INN). And finally, Chapter 24, shows you how to configure and maintain various newsreaders.