In This Chapter
Browsing the Web
Sending instant messages
Talking across the Internet
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net, and he won't bother you for weeks.
The Internet is a vast network of computers that spans the globe. Many different types of computers and operating systems work together to allow you access to information across this network. Linux, along with the other related UNIX operating systems, has long supported and worked with the Internet. Practically all the different services available on the Internet are available from your Linux desktop.
When you install Linux (see Chapter 3), you get one or more Web browsers, e-mail programs, and instant-messaging tools placed on your new system. In this chapter, we introduce you to some of those tools; you can use them to access different services on the Internet — such as Web sites, e-mail, newsgroups, and FTP — after your Internet connection is configured (see Chapter 8).
Many people attribute the explosive growth of the Internet to the graphical Web browser. The Internet has been around for much longer than the invention of the browser. It's just that most of the work done on the Internet was in plain old text, which held little attraction for those people who like pretty pictures. In the world of Linux, the most popular browser is arguably Firefox (
www.mozilla.org/products/firefox), the Web-browser portion of ...