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

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 Linux Toys II   FC-RHEL4 Bible   Linux Troubleshooting Bible cover   Linux Bible   Linux Toys   Red Hat Linux 9 Bible

      Linux Toys II     ¤     Hardware for Projects     ¤     Linux Toys     ¤     Starting with Linux

About Linux Toys II

Linux Toys II The projects covered in Linux Toys II are listed below.  To get started, all you need is a PC, the CD that comes with the book, and the book itself. While most of the projects can be run a pure software projects, some extra hardware is needed for others (see the Hardware for Projects page). There are several attributes of Linux Toys II that I want to mention before getting to the project descriptions:

* Bootable CD: The Linux Toys CD contains a custom version of Damn Small Linux, so you can boot the CD directly. Not only can you then use Damn Small Linux as the basis for a bootable Linux pen drive, but you can try out Linux from this CD without installing to your hard disk (if you are new to Linux).
* Support for different Linux distros: As with Linux Toys, most of the Linux Toys II projects are delivered in RPM packages and tested in Red Hat's Fedora Core Linux operating system. For Linux Toys II, however, we've also included software as tar/gzip archives (tarballs) that can be installed and used on many different Linux distributions. The CD also contains several entire ISO images (for Damn Small Linux, MoviX, and Devil-Linux) that can be burned to separate media and used for different projects.
* Praise for open source initiatives: Instead of trying to be a software developer for Linux Toys II, I've tried to stick close to software as it is delivered by open source initiatives. Most of these initiatives already have developers, forums, mailing lists, download sites and other resources in place. So, instead of me trying to duplicate or draw attention from those initiatives, I'm using their software as it is, singing their praises, and pointing you to them as ways of growing your Linux Toys II projects. Every project in this book has been reviewed by either the leader or a key developer for the software initiatives covered.

To learn about the Linux Toys II projects, scroll down or select the links below.

Projects in Linux Toys II:
  Web Photo Gallery  ¤   MythTV PVR Entertainment Center  ¤  eMoviX Bootable Movies  
  Damn Small Linux on a Pen Drive   ¤   X10 Home Lighting Control  ¤   BZFlag Gaming Server 

  Devil Linux Firewall  ¤  Icecast Internet Radio Station ¤  Linux Terminal Server Project
s Weeks
Contributing author Thomas Weeks (MythTV and Devil-Linux)

Project #1: Chapter 3 - Creating a Web Photo Gallery  (

Gallery is a Web-based software package that lets you publish and maintain collections of photo albums. The package contains extradordinary flexibility in configuring how the main gallery, the albums in that gallery and the photographs themselves are displayed and managed.

Sample Gallery Album
Project #2: Chapter 4 - Creating a Personal Video Recorder with MythTV   (

MythTV is a fascinating project for making your own personal video recorder. Our version (put together and documented by Tom Weeks) goes beyond the basic setup to build an entertainment-quality PC, with working VFD or florescent display, wireless keyboard, a SilverStonetek LC11M case, and two 250GB Hitachi Deskstar hard  drives.

MythTV entertainment center
Project #3: Chapter 5: Making Bootable Movies with eMoviX   (

EMoviX is a tiny Linux distro, designed primarily to play videos. Remaster a home video with eMoviX and burn it to CD or DVD.  Boot up the CD/DVD to begin automatically playing your video with eMoviX. Use the related MoviX project to play music and display images as well.

eMoviX boot screen
Project #4: Chapter 6 - Customizing a Live Linux Pen Drive   (

Damn Small Linux is a bootable, desktop-oriented Linux distro that fits on a 50MB business-card size CD. This project describes how to add custom applications, desktop preferences, and other feature to a version of DSL that runs on a pen drive or other USB flash medium.

Damn Small Linux desktop
Project #5: Chapter 7 - Automating Home Lights and Gadgets with X10   (

X10  is a specification for sending signals on a building's power lines to control lights and appliances. This project uses inexpensive X10 equipment with Heyu and BottleRocket software running in Linux to automate your home lighting and gadgets.

Use Heyu and BottleRocket software with X10
Project #6: Chapter 8 - Setting Up a Game Server with BZFlag   (

BZFlag is a tank battle game you can play with multiple players over a network. Using this project, try your hand at setting up your own BZFlag server and learn how to control and play the game.

BZFlag multi-player, networked tank battle
Project #7: Chapter 9 - Building a Dedicated SOHO Firewall   (

Devil-Linux is a firewall distribution that fits in about 200MB of disk space (usually a CD). Using Devil-Linux and some spare parts, Tom Weeks built and described how to configure a dedicated Small Office, Home Office firewall to protect your LAN.

Internal parts of a dedicated firewall PC
Project #8: Chapter 10 - Running an Internet Radio Station with Icecast  (

Icecast is a versatile tool to stream audio across networks. Using an Icecast server and IceS2 for audio source (as described in this project), you can set up your own Internet radio station. Stream music or talk radio with free audio codecs (Ogg Vorbis) that can be played on Linux, Mac or Windows audio players.

Stream audio from source client to Icecast to audio player
Project #9: Chapter 11 - Building a Thin Client Server with LTSP (

The Linux Terminal Server Project lets you set up a group of usable workstations using one good server and a whole bunch of inexpensive or throw-away PCs. Using LTSP you can centrally manage and maintain an entire computer lab of Linux systems for a fraction of the cost of new workstations.

Drive multiple thin client PCs with one LTSP server

© Christopher Negus, 2005