There are a lot of great Linux Web sites out there, but a few of them rise above the crowd. Whether you're looking for the latest software or a Linux-related job, these are the sites you'll want to check out.
After a few months of poking and prodding and occasionally even randomly clicking around every Linux site we could find, there are a few inescapable conclusions to be made: 1) There are a lot of Linux-related sites out there. 2) You don’t need to know about every single one. In fact, you can probably get by with just a hundred. So, for the benefit of those of you who are looking to beef up your bookmark files, we present “The Linux Magazine 100 Best Linux Web Sites.” –Editors
If you’ve absolutely, positively gotta have that open source application, Freshmeat is the place to look. The most venerable of download sites, Freshmeat has thousands of categorized links to awesome open source apps. Freshmeat adds about 10 to 30 links a day of new applications as well as postings about updated ones.
Originally a Windows software haven, Tucows expanded its horizons a few years back and has become one of the most trafficked Linux download sites around. Fair enough, since Linux has powered their servers since the beginning.
Woven Goods for Linux is a German site that features downloads and documentation for Linux, in English and German. The site has a nice comprehensive listing of every Linux distribution you can imagine.
Tired of tracking down pesky ISO images? LinuxISO.org has links to the most popular Linux distribution ISOs in one easy-to-find place. Of course, that doesn’t help you download the distro any faster with your 56k modem, but they can only do so much. Those of you with DSL or cable modems will be in heaven.
If you find yourself poking about the Net looking for the latest software in RPM (the Red Hat Package Manager) format, then this is the site for you. You can use it to find any RPM package in existence, and they’re all indexed and sorted in a variety of different ways. For example, you can search for a package by category (e.g., games), date of creation, package maintainer, or name.
Netscape should simply add a navigation button to its browser (right next to “Home”) so you can more easily jump to the Daily Static on User Friendly. No self-respecting geek misses the adventures of the gang from Columbia Internet on this site. In addition to hosting the productivity virus…er, cartoon, User Friendly features a dating service for geeks (still five to one in favor of males, but at least you have a slightly better shot of finding a fem geek if you’re looking) and UFie community areas.
Segfault is the Onion of Linux sites. They specialize in very silly send-ups of Linux personages (for example “Pope, RMS Discuss Open Source”) and gratuitous Microsoft-bashing. You won’t find much useful information on Segfault, but you should get a good laugh.
User Friendly isn’t the only geek comic on the Web. Sluggy Freelance dates back to 1997 and features a very odd cast of characters that must be seen to be understood. Happily, the Sluggy site is newbie-friendly and hosts a new-reader’s guide to Sluggy Freelance. Take a day off from work and browse the entire archive.
Imagine a cross between the Saturday Night Live news and Slashdot, and you’ve got a pretty good idea what Humorix is. Humorix is dedicated to poking fun at Linux, Microsoft, and pretty much anything that gets in their line of fire.
Ever feel like you don’t quite know the jargon? Don’t quite grok the concepts behind geek-speak? Then drop in on the Jargon File. This is a huge compendium of geek jargon from way-back-when up to the present. You’ll find entries like “Bit Bucket” and “404″ as well as treatises on Hacker Writing Style and Lamer-speak. The Jargon File is edited by Eric Raymond. (Does this guy ever sleep?)
The self-proclaimed “News for Nerds” site originally started as “Chips ‘n’ Dips.” Since then, it has become the place for geek gossip. Hundreds of thousands of gearheads and Anonymous Cowards check the site daily to get their dose of tech stories and unfiltered feedback from the community. While CmdrTaco’s and Hemos’ grammar may leave something to be desired, their taste in geek chic is unparalleled. Now part of the VA Linux family of sites, Slashdot holds the distinction of coining two new additions to the English language. The Slashdot Effect and being “slashdotted” are both in common usage outside of the Linux community.
Linux Today follows Rolling Stone Magazine’s fine motto of “All the News that Fits” — and since it’s the Web, it all fits. With its mile-long hodgepodge of news stories, press releases, and rants, Linux Today is a nice starting point for one-stop access to most of the headlines of interest to the Linux community.
If you’re looking for all the news that matters in brief, don’t miss your dose of the Linux Weekly News. From security issues to social issues, the Boulder, CO gang presents a well-balanced editorial commentary on all the happenings in the community every Thursday like clockwork.
Wired may run only a couple of Linux-specific news stories every week, but they always have something of interest to the technophile, and they do something that many of the link-driven Linux news sites don’t seem to have time for: They write stories.
Red Hat’s foray into the Linux news arena contains some interesting features and articles written by big-league professional journalists. The site posts a few pieces of original content each week, generally of very high editorial quality.
Linux Hardware.net has an extensive database of hardware known to work with Linux. You can either browse the database or use their search engine to quickly find the hardware that you’re looking for. Linux Hardware.net also allows searches of Usenet groups. The Linux Friendly Hardware Vendor list is yet another handy feature for those pricing hardware.
Even though hardware support under Linux is becoming less and less of an issue every day, there are still quite a few pieces of hardware that might give a Linux user fits. The Linux Hardware Database is the place to go to find out what kinds of components are compatible with Linux.
Every geek loves benchmarks, especially if their hardware is on top. The LBP has a database of benchmark results, as well as GPLed benchmarking software available for download. If performance matters to you, then check this site out before you buy.
It isn’t Linux specific, but this site is so cool it doesn’t really matter. Whether you’re looking for reviews, news, or tips on overclocking, Tom has it all. A great place to go for information on cutting-edge graphics and microprocessor hardware.
If you’re struggling with putting Linux on your laptop, this site is exactly what you’re looking for. For five years, University of Texas graduate student Kenneth Harker has been sorting laptop-related links as well as testimonials from real users on what it took to get Linux up and running on their notebooks.
If you’re wondering whether that old Macintosh in your closet will support Linux or not, LinuxPPC. org is the place to go. It is the home to the Linux/PPC project, which does the work porting Linux to the Mac, and it has links to Linux/Macintosh mailing lists, FAQs, software, and the odd petition to Apple.
So, you just couldn’t resist the Jell-O-colored fishbowl-shaped iMac, and now you want to run Linux on it? No problem! The iMac Linux page will help you get up and running with the little Christmas-ornament-turned-computer in no time.
Printing under Linux can be a pain, as can buying a new printer to work with Linux. The Printer Compatibility Database gives a very comprehensive listing of printers that work with Linux, including a summation of how they work with Linux. You can also find the Linux Printing HOWTO and other useful printing resources on the site.
It may take a bit of poking around to find what you’re looking for, but this site is about more than just winmodems. It has a massive list of consumer-grade modems and info on whether or not they work with Linux (click on the “View the entire table” link) as well as some helpful Linux modem links.
If you’ve been wondering what it’s going to take to make that scanner of yours work with Linux, the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) page can tell you what’s up. Not only does this site host the most popular Linux scanner software, it also features a hardware-compatibility database.
The fact of the matter is that there’s no one site out there that offers everything the Linux newbie would possibly want to know, but newcomer Penguin Magazine can really help out. Launched earlier this year by one-man Linux-publishing sensation Scott Haven, the site has great content like step-by-step “walkthroughs” on X Windows and the Linux filesystem. If you are tired of reading stories that assume you know way more about Linux than you really do, Penguin Magazine will come as a breath of fresh air.
One of the Linux sites that has done very well after being acquired by a Big Company is LinuxPlanet, which was snapped up by the Internet.com folks during its brief Linux feeding frenzy last year. With moderated discussion forums, reviews, and tutorials on real-world topics such as printing and finding documentation, LinuxPlanet can be a useful, if not-quite-comprehensive, site for the newbie.
The Beginners Linux Guide is part of the Irish Linux User Group Web site. It is a very useful site that features well-written tutorials on how to use basic Linux commands, vi, installation information, and more.
Linux, it’s not just for Yanks anymore. Linuxdot.org is based in the United Kingdom and hosts an excellent guide for the newbie, appropriately titled the Newbie’s Linux Manual. The Newbie’s Linux Manual features sections on everything from partitioning a hard disk to a simplified introduction to MySQL.
Linuxnewbie.org is a conglomeration of news headlines, discussion forums, and the famous Newbieized Help Files. The NHFs are designed to help newbies get used to using Linux and configuring parts of their systems. You can also join in discussions or check out the Linuxnewbie.org bookshelf for recommended books.
LinuxArtist.org is easily the most comprehensive site for graphics under Linux that we’ve seen so far. Whether you’re into two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphics, LinuxArtist.org has a barrel-full of links and mailing lists for artists who use Linux to create their masterpieces.
When you think about graphics and Linux, you’ve got to think GIMP. The GIMP Web site is the place to go if you want to get the best graphics program available on the market for Linux. There are plenty of resources and downloads for the GIMP in addition to some fine artwork that’s been done with the GIMP.
It’s not the prettiest page on the Net, but you’ll find a wealth of information about 3D applications for Linux, as well as 3D hardware that is supported under Linux. The 3D software for Linux page also has links to references for using 3D under Linux and current news and events about 3D graphics in Linux.
The GraphicsMuse site is a great resource for anyone looking for information on working with graphics under Linux. At this site, you can find a number of graphics resources, recommended books, and original content about the GIMP and other nifty graphics projects.
Have you ever had the nagging suspicion that the X Window System might not quite be for you? These folks are not crazy about the design of X, and they’re working to do it one better. They have a plan and, more important, they have beta code.
Since 1995 (a time of slim pickings in the Linux game world, by the way), the Linux Game Tome has been the place to go for Linux Gaming. Now maintained on the happypenguin.org domain, the Tome has news, screen shots, reviews, and commentary on the latest toys for the Penguin — over 400 of them at last count. The Tome has a nice search engine that lets you browse the reviews by game type, rating, name, or even by the date the game was added to the site.
Downloads, HOWTOs, forums, and news — especially news — Linux Games is a great place to get plugged into the happenings of the Linux Game scene. Without a doubt, this site has the most Linux-games news coverage on the planet.
Don’t be misled, unless you’ve got a killer sound system, this site has nothing to do with tectonics. It does have a nice HOWTO on getting Quake up and running with Linux, Quake news, and an active discussion forum.
If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for the Linux game developer, well…sorry there really isn’t one. But the Linux Game Development Center hopes to be that soon. Right now, they have some interesting news, tutorials, and interviews aimed at developers, but this site’s future plans are what make it most interesting — things like a code repository and listing of development tools and new projects are in the works.
Right now, Loki is the company in commercial Linux gaming. From Civilization to Quake III, to Railroad Tycoon II, Loki Software, Inc. is porting the most popular games around to Linux. So if you’re wondering if a recent hit game has been ported to Linux, this is a good place to look.
Linux Journal’s Web site is one step beyond its print magazine, featuring bits from its newsstand edition and a few features that are not carried in the print edition. In addition, LJ’s site features the LJ Career Center, discussion forums, and the famous Linux Software Wishlist. Want to convince your boss to use Linux? Check out LJ’s Linux in the Enterprise section.
LinuxWorld delivers a number of original Linux stories each week that touch on everything from software reviews to coverage of big stories in the Linux marketplace. LinuxWorld is probably best-known for Nick Petreley’s regular anti-Microsoft diatribe, “The Penguin Brief.”
The Linux Gazette is published by Linux Journal and is part of the Linux Documentation Project. It has been going strong with volunteer-driven submissions since 1995. (If you check their archives you can see a really, really old Red Hat logo). The Linux Gazette features tutorials and tips for the more advanced Linux user, as well as a help-wanted section, where readers can send ideas for future articles.
Salon began covering Linux and open source in earnest in 1998. While Salon doesn’t feature the kind of community feel that many other online Linux magazines have, it does have a good dose of edgy and interesting coverage.
This volunteer-driven online magazine has been publishing since way back in 1997, each month offering new, and somewhat esoteric, articles on technical topics. It is published in a variety of languages, including English.
In only a year, VA Linux’s Linux.com has become one of the most compelling Linux sites on the Net. Under the guidance of site manager Trae McCombs and his army of volunteers, Linux.com has added tons of useful features and resources for the Linux community. Linux.com’s recent partnership with O’Reilly & Associates has added some top-quality, professionally written content to the mix.
Think Yahoo!, but for Linux. LinuxStart features a good selection of links, divided into sensible topic areas. If you are trying to migrate your Web mail from Hotmail, Linux-Start features Web-based e-mail. You can even host your Web page with them.
Linux Online, better known to some as Linux.org, is one of the original Linux advocacy sites and is the granddaddy of Linux portals. It isn’t the slickest site on the Net, but the wealth of Linux resources on Linux Online make it a must-visit.
Linsight bills itself as “Linux Information for the Linux Age.” Linsight is actually composed of several sections, including a developer’s section called LinDeveloper and Linsider, the place to track the rapidly changing Linux marketplace. LinEvents tracks the thousands of Linux-focused events happening all year, and LinTraining will show you where you or your staff can get Linux training.
SourceForge is VA Linux’s portal for developers. SourceForge gives developers a place to house their open source projects, including CVS facilities and bug-tracking and patch-managing utilities. SourceForge gives a home to all the Linux and open source developers who don’t have the resources to set up a server themselves. You can also browse SourceForge and download the software that is being developed and maybe even contribute patches to the projects.
While not specifically limited to Linux or open source software, the Catalog of Free Compilers and Interpreters does have quite a few compilers of interest to the open source developer. The Catalog features a wide range of programming tools and compilers.
SourceXchange is the place for the Linux and open source software developer to get paid. Link up with a commercial company that is willing to pay to scratch an itch with open source software. Need some open source code? Post a project and name your price — there might just be a developer out there who has the code you need.
CoSource is another site dedicated to hooking up open source developers with people who need code and are willing to pay for it. CoSource currently has nearly 250 requests on the table to the tune of $71,500.
Want to get up close and personal with the Linux source code? Do you get lost when you try to do this? The Linux Source Navigator has carved up the code into an easily navigated hierarchical folder system, which makes finding the code you need a snap.
With its recent redesign, LinuxMall.com is starting to look more like a Linux portal than a shopping site, but then again, LinuxMall is more than your average e-commerce site. The site has plans for a number of ambitious new community features like discussion forums and has even started up its own news service. What other shopping site could get a regular Q&A session with Linus Torvalds?
These folks have the coolest Linux paraphernalia, hands down. Forget about the $1.99 distribution CDs, you won’t find any software here. But if you want to write fridge poetry with the words “compile,” “telnet,” and “regexp” in it, this is the place to go.
This new entry into the Linux shopping market is backed by Creative Computers, Inc., the same people who do PCMall and MacMall. eLinux has a wide selection of Linux hardware and software, as well as a decent FAQ database provided by Linuxcare.
KernelNotes.org is the place for all things kernel. Not quite ready to make the jump to the 2.2 series? That’s okay, they have got you covered with the old stable release on-site, as well as the developer’s unstable release. The best feature of the KernelNotes, though, is its tips for upgrading various distributions to the latest kernel, something that comes in handy when you’ve got to upgrade the kernel but aren’t a hacker supreme.
The Linux Kernel Archives subscribes to the KISS theory: keep it simple, stupid. You’ve got your choice of Linux kernel, unstable kernel, and kernel source code. The Linux Kernel Archives is the place to go when you’re looking for the latest stable or development Linux kernel.
Don’t have the time to read the nearly 6 MB worth of postings to the Linux kernel-development mailing list each week? The folks at Kernel Traffic have you covered. Kernel Traffic is a weekly newsletter that summarizes the main topics of the week so you don’t have to follow the entire discussion just to get to the juicy bits, if you consider kernel coding juicy, that is.
A stable version has yet to materialize, but the GNU Project is making progress on the Hurd kernel. The Hurd kernel is an exercise in microkernel design, which might be interesting to all the Comp Sci majors out there. The GNU/ Hurd site features instructions on how to install the Hurd into a Debian distribution.
Hosted on the User Friendly site, the Geekfinder is a great resource for job-hunting geeks. The Geekfinder is not limited to Linux-only jobs; you can search a wide variety of postings to find the job perfectly suited to your skill set. You can also search by state and area code for the job of your dreams.
When looking for a Linux guru, go where the geeks are: Linux.com’s Jobs page. In addition to the job postings, Linux.com’s jobs site has a number of useful articles and links for the prospective Linux job hunter.
Launched last year, eLance is a new marketplace for all kinds of freelance services, including computer work. You can list yourself and your hourly rates in their “Fixed-Price” section (where you can hire someone for anywhere between $3 and $300 per hour), or you can browse through the various RFPs on the site to see if there is a freelance job that suits you.
If you want to broaden your search beyond Linux-specific job sites, Hotjobs.com is a good place to start. This site posts about five to 10 new Linux-related jobs each day and does not seem to suffer from the “black hole” effect that afflicts some listing-rich but response-poor job sites.
Linux may not be just for geeks anymore, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its geek appeal. For all you budding scientists, check out SAL (Scientific Applications on Linux). You’ll find open source, shareware, and commercial applications for doing various scientific applications for Linux.
One of the coolest projects for Linux is the Beowulf cluster, best known for helping scientists tie together a bunch of very cheap computers, which go on to outperform some of the fastest supercomputers.
If you are running enterprise-level applications on Linux, or just really want to be sure the Quake server never crashes, the High-Availability Linux Project site is for you. Find out all about cluster management, Linux-HA software, and a ton of links to sites about HA.
The granddaddy of all Linux doc sites, the LDP has been hosting FAQs, man pages, HOWTOs, and Linux Guides for a long time. The LDP boasts a substantial collection of Linux information in a variety of formats. The HOWTOs on this site are the definitive place to start for any Linux problem you may be trying to troubleshoot. The LDP recently got a facelift and has experienced a resurgence, thanks to some new blood.
Linux Journal provides an excellent resource site for the Linux newbie and guru alike. Find out all about what Linux is — and where you can get it, meet other people who use it, and read more about it.
What good is free software if you don’t know how to use it? Happily, the wonderful folks with the GNU Project have provided a comprehensive section of documentation for Emacs Lisp, GNU C, using the GDB debugger, and a whole lot more. If you’re in a philosophical mood you can read Richard Stallman’s essay on Free Software and Free Manuals. (Here’s a hint: he’s for them.)
Get a handle on the editor that strikes fear into the heart of newbies everywhere, Vim. Vim is the most popular vi clone for Linux, and the Vim homepage has tons of information on using Vim and how to customize it.
Wanna make X purty? Hook up with the folks at Themes. org. They’ve got the stash of themes and utilities for the most popular desktops and window managers. All the goodies you’ve ever wanted to dress up your desktop, as well as X resources and news updates on window managers and other popular packages. Themes.org has sections for SawMill, Afterstep, Enlightenment, WindowMaker, KDE, and a lot more.
KDE’s home page is the place to go to get any information about developing for the K Desktop Environment, or simply to keep updated on the latest application releases for KDE. KDE also has links to related projects like K Office.
Gnome.org is one of the best-organized sites out there for a free-software project. Get the latest scoop on development of GNOME, join the GNOME mailing list, or start downloading! Developers can check out the latest additions to the CVS, and GNOME users will find a lot of useful documentation on the site.
The XFree86 Project site will give you the lowdown on the windowing system that ships with Linux, where to get the current release, and an excellent FAQ about the project. The XFree86 site is a must-read for anyone new to Linux, even if your video card is running smoothly.
The Window Managers for X site is the most comprehensive site about X window managers. Everything from ancient to the latest and greatest window managers can be found on the site. Don’t quite know the difference between a window manager and a desktop environment? Learn the basics here.
The Debian Web site is extremely user friendly and chock full of information about Debian GNU/Linux and using Linux in general. For the adventurous, you can even find out how to run Debian using the GNU/ Hurd kernel rather than the Linux kernel we all know and love. You won’t find an 800 number support line on the site, but there are plenty of links to various support resources you can use for free!
Red Hat’s Web site has changed more times in the last year than most politician’s platforms. But unlike the politicians, RedHat.com just keeps getting better. Its most recent incarnation is easy to navigate and has plenty of links and downloads for Red Hat users.
The SuSE Web site is straight down to business — no attempt to be a “portal” site or something that it isn’t, it simply has all the relevant information you’d need to find out what you want to know about SuSE Linux. SuSE’s Web site is especially friendly to anyone looking to see if Linux is compatible with their hardware.
One thing you can’t accuse the Slack-folks of is too many flashy graphics or slow downloads. The Slackware site is a nice, clean, black-and-white design with links to all the important stuff for Slackware users. Now be warned, the world seems to be divided into two types of people: those who love the Way of Slackware and those who hate it.
The Linux-Mandrake site is an excellent Web site for users of the Linux-Mandrake distro. Whether you’re a newbie looking for support or a developer wanting to play with the latest code in their “cooker,” the Linux-Mandrake site puts it all within easy reach.
Want to find the nearest (or farthest) Linux user group to you? The Linux User Groups WorldWide site is the most comprehensive listing of LUGs anywhere. LUGs are listed by location to allow potential LUG members to hook up with a local LUG. If you happen to be nowhere near a LUG, the Linux User Groups WorldWide page gives helpful pointers on how to start one.
Probably the most active LUG in the world, and certainly the one most frequently in the spotlight, the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group homepage contains quite a bit of interesting history and useful links.
Linux Journal sponsors GLUE, the list of Groups of Linux Users Everywhere. LUGs that sign up can also participate in a number of offers from various Linux-friendly companies all over the world. GLUE also has a number of resources for LUGs, including tips on where to meet.
It’s true, Chix do dig Linux. Deb Richardson founded LinuxChix intending to have a mailing list that would be friendly to women using Linux. LinuxChix quickly became even more popular than Deb had expected, and local LinuxChix LUGs started popping up all over the globe.
Webmasters who want to make the Web a better place to live will book-mark this site. Founded in 1994 by Web creator Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web page is the place to go if you want to know if your Web site is up to standard — literally. You can validate your HTML or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) here, and check out the work that’s going on with emerging Web standards like XML, because the W3C is where they get created.
Not into the whole command-line thing, but want to take advantage of the World’s most popular Web server? The Comanche project provides a GUI for Apache. Not only does the Comanche project provide good software, but the site is easy to navigate and provides helpful user and programmers guides online.
For all the most recent developments in the Apache space, ApacheWeek. com can’t be beat. There are a number of resources and helpful articles for the sys admin who is using Apache, as well as great news coverage of recent developments in the Apache community.
What do you give the sysadmin who has everything? A link to Sendmail.net. Sendmail.net’s original content, including their “RFC’s for the rest of us” is a cut above the average site. If you’re having trouble getting Sendmail configured properly, or want a little help getting things just right, be sure to visit Sendmail.net’s message board and resource pages.
O’Reilly and Associates’ Perl site is the most authoritative, comprehensive, and resource-packed Perl site out there. It could be a bit more eclectic, but we’re sure that Perl creator Larry Wall is working on that.
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