To quote from the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file, the Linux Documentation Project (LDP) is '' ... a loosely knit team of volunteers who provide documentation for many aspects of Linux.'' That's a classic example of an understatement. The Linux Documentation Project web site (www.tldp.org) provides an incredible amount of extremely useful information about using Linux, using specific programs, performing specific classes of tasks, and much more. The LDP provides this information in several different forms:
■ FAQs, which are sets of frequently asked questions on various topics
■ Guides, which are books or medium-length documents on a variety of topics
■ HOWTOs, which literally explain how to use a specific application or perform specific types of tasks
All of these are often available in multiple languages and are also provided in a variety of formats such as plain text, HTML, PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format), PostScript, and SGML/XML source code (where relevant). The LDP site also provides back issues of the Linux Gazette (http://linuxgazette.net/) and LinuxFocus (www.tldp.org/linuxfocus/index.shtml) online magazines.
The LDP is the writer's side of the open source movement — open source documentation that rivals and sometimes exceeds commercial documentation on using Linux. As with any open source project, your mileage may vary — the LDP documentation is contributed by a variety of people with varying levels of expertise. To make the documentation that it provides as useful as possible, documents such as the guides provided by the LDP are divided into two general classes — Current/Maintained and Older/Unmaintained guides. This helps you determine how recent and up-to-date the information contained in these guides may be. The LDP is also a distribution-neutral project, which means that most of the documentation provided is not specific to any Linux distribution. You may find that some of the documentation provided there recommends configuration changes that may be out of date or unnecessary because your Linux distribution (such as SUSE) may have already implemented them. Regardless, the Linux Documentation Project is a world-class effort to provide detailed documentation about using Linux, provide a central source for locating that documentation, and deliver it in as many different languages as possible.
The next few sections provide details on the types of documents provided by the LDP, locations for finding the most up-to-date lists, and, where relevant, information about how these documents are delivered with SUSE Linux.
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