Build fun projects with a PC,
 Linux, some free software,
 and a few extra

Click for Linux books by Christopher Negus

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Linux Toys II
Toys Hardware
Linux Toys
Starting Linux
Advancing Linux
Book Reviews
About Us
Linux Toys II (Wiley Publishing, November 2005) is the latest book in the Linux Toys series.  The original intent of Linux Toys was to help people use old PC hardware with free and open source software to create fun, interesting and useful projects.  Many of the projects described in Linux Toys II (such as Linux Terminal Server Project) will run on a 10-year-old Pentium or even a 486, while other projects (such as the MythTV project) will get best results from the hottest PC you can afford.

The nine projects in Linux Toys II range from fun multimedia projects (bootable movies with eMoviX) to setting up a server (Gallery digital photo gallery) to creating a whole computer lab with inexpensive thin clients (Linux Terminal Server Project). Each project includes step-by-step instructions for gathering parts, then installing and configuring software.

Unlike the original Linux Toys, where my co-author Chuck Wolber and I tried to piece together software from various sources to create our projects, nearly every project in Linux Toys II is based on established, thriving open source initiatives. Most projects in Linux Toys II are software oriented, with the exception of chapters on MythTV and Devil-Linux. My friend Tom Weeks wrote those chapters and put together some excellent custom home entertainment and firewall PCs, respectively.

The projects in Linux Toys II include:

Project 1: (Chapter 3) Creating a Web Photo Gallery
Build a server to display and share photos on the Web using the Gallery project.

Project 2: (Chapter 4) Building a Personal Video Recorder with MythTV
Record, play, and manage TV shows, music, movies, and digital photos using MythTV.

Project 3: (Chapter ) Make Bootable Movies with eMoviX
Add home or TV movies to a CD or DVD to play from any PC.

Project 4: (Chapter 6) Customizing a Live Linux Pen Drive
Create a custom, bootable Damn Small Linux on pen drive.

Project 5: (Chapter 7) Automating Home Lights and Gadgets with X10
Control lighting and X10 appliances from your PC with HeyU or BottleRocket.

Project 6: (Chapter 8) Setting Up a Game Server with BZFlag
Set up a game server and clients using the BZFlag tank battle game.

Project 7 (Chapter 9) Building a Dedicated SOHO Firewall
Build your own firewall router with built-in ports using Devil-Linux.

Project 8 (Chapter 10) Running an Internet Radio Station with Icecast
Use Icecast to broadcast streaming audio on the Internet.

Project 9 (Chapter 11) Building a Thin Client Server with LTSP
Use old PCs as terminals from a single server, using Linux Terminal Server Project.

Some of these projects will be challenging for Linux enthusiasts, others can be done by anyone with basic computer skills (and the Linux primer at the back of the book). Because Linux Toys II projects are based on existing, on-going initiatives, you can go directly to forums, Source Forge sites, and mailing lists to get further information, updated software or to become a contributor yourself.

The site is here to provide more information about the projects covered in Linux Toys II, as well as the original Linux Toys

-- Chris Negus, November, 2005 (chris - at -
Linux Toys II Projects:
  Web Photo Gallery
  MythTV PVR
  eMoviX Bootable Movie 
  Damn Small Linux
          on a Pen Drive
  X10 Home Lighting
  BZFlag Gaming Server 

  Devil-Linux Firewall
  Icecast Internet Radio
  Linux Terminal Server

Contributing author Thomas Weeks for

MythTV and Devil-Linux