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  • Linux Smart Homes

    FOR

    DUMmIES

    by Neil Cherry

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  • Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

    Published byWiley Publishing, Inc.111 River StreetHoboken, NJ 07030-5774www.wiley.com

    Copyright 2006 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

    Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

    Published simultaneously in Canada

    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form orby any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permit-ted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior writtenpermission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to theCopyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600.Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing,Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or online athttp://www.wiley.com/go/permissions.

    Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for theRest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com, and related tradedress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the UnitedStates and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Linux is a registered trade-mark of Linus Torvalds. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. WileyPublishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.

    LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REP-RESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CON-TENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUTLIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CRE-ATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CON-TAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THEUNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OROTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF ACOMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THEAUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATIONOR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FUR-THER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFOR-MATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE.FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVECHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ.

    For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer CareDepartment within the U.S. at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002.

    For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport.

    Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print maynot be available in electronic books.

    Library of Congress Control Number: 2006923951

    ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-9823-4

    ISBN-10: 0-7645-9823-6

    Manufactured in the United States of America

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    1O/RZ/QX/QW/IN

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  • About the AuthorNeil Cherry has been working with computers, computer electronics, andsoftware since 1978. He has been playing with X10 since 1982. He beganautomating his home in 1992 when a friend gave him an X10 computer interface,and he started the Linux Home Automation Web site (www.linuxha.com) in1996. When hes not riding his bicycle or playing with home automation, heworks for AT&T Research Lab South, Middletown, NJ, as a Test Engineer. Youcan reach him by e-mail at linuxha@linuxha.com.

    About the ContributorsTerry Collings is the owner of TAC Technology, located in eastern Pennsylvania.He provides Linux consulting and training services to a variety of clients.Terry has been an adjunct faculty member at several colleges in his areawhere he taught A + and Network + certification courses. He also taughtcourses on UNIX, Linux, TCP/IP, and Novell Netware. Terry is the author ofRed Hat Enterprise Linux 4 For Dummies, has co-authored three editions ofRed Hat Networking and System Administration and contributed to severalother Linux books. He was the technical editor for the following books: KDEBible, The Samba Book, UNIX Weekend Crash Course, Red Hat Linux 9 ForDummies, Solaris 9 For Dummies, Fedora Linux 2 For Dummies, and LinuxTimesaving Techniques For Dummies.

    Gurdy Leete is a co-author of OpenOffice.org For Dummies, a technical editorfor Free Software For Dummies, and the co-author of five other popular com-puter books. Hes also an award-winning software engineer and a co-author ofthe Multitile plug-in for the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP). Gurdyteaches digital imaging, graphic design, Web design, video, and animation atMaharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, where he has been apioneer in using GNU/Linux applications in undergraduate art and designclasses. His blog, titled Free Software for Art, Music and Personal Creativity, isat www.peaceloveandhappiness.org.

    Mary Leete wrote Free Software For Dummies and co-wrote OpenOffice.orgFor Dummies. She has a B.S. in Computer Science and a Masters in ProfessionalWriting, and she lives to write code as well as write about it. Mary has exten-sive experience as a systems analyst and programmer with a multitude ofsoftware on way too many platforms. She is also a freelance Web designer, avideo producer, and an award-winning screenwriter, and she has writtenunder contract for the producer of The Buddy Holly Story, among others.

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  • Authors AcknowledgmentsI wish to thank my wife, Diane, for putting up with my years of experimentsand for not allowing me to kludge together anything. Shes kept me honestand helped make our home automation work better. Honey, I love you and Illtake you out to dinner but first just one more compile.

    Thanks to Terry Collings and Gurdy and Mary Leete who helped by writingvarious chapters that I was unable to. They really helped to make this bookpossible.

    Thanks to Nicole Sholly and Virginia Sanders, the editors who worked withme on this book. I doubt most people know the amount of work a book takesto get written and how much help the editors give to make a book successful.I really appreciate all the help thank you very much and I hope I get it now.Id also like to thank the rest of the folks at Wiley who are too numerous tomention. They do a lot of the work to help get a book put together and to thestores but seldom get mentioned.

    Thanks to Deepak Dube for his kind words of encouragement, without which Iwouldnt have thought I could write a book.

    Thanks also to Donald Brookman and Vincent Miller, my friends who alwaysask the most pertinent questions. (Are we there yet?!)

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  • Publishers AcknowledgmentsWere proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration formlocated at www.dummies.com/register/.

    Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

    Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

    Project Editor: Nicole Sholly

    Acquisitions Editors: Kyle Looper, Tiffany Ma

    Copy Editor: Virginia Sanders

    Technical Editor: Dan DiNicolo

    Editorial Manager: Kevin Kirschner

    Media Development Specialists: Angela Denny,Kate Jenkins, Steven Kudirka, Kit Malone

    Media Development Coordinator:Laura Atkinson

    Media Project Supervisor: Laura Moss

    Media Development Manager:Laura VanWinkle

    Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth

    Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case

    Cartoons: Rich Tennant(www.the5thwave.com)

    Composition Services

    Associate Project Coordinator: Tera Knapp

    Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers, Andrea Dahl,Denny Hager, Joyce Haughey,Stephanie D. Jumper, Barbara Moore,Heather Ryan, Alicia B. South

    Proofreaders: Leeann Harney, Heidi Unger

    Indexer: Techbooks

    Special Help: Andy Hollandbeck, Pat OBrien

    Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

    Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

    Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

    Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director

    Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

    Publishing for Consumer Dummies

    Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher

    Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director

    Composition Services

    Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services

    Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

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  • Contents at a GlanceIntroduction .................................................................1

    Part I: Bringing the Future Home...................................7Chapter 1: Exploring the Possibilities of Home Automation ........................................9Chapter 2: Filling Your Home Automation Toolkit with Linux Software....................23

    Part II: Connecting Multiple Computers without the Wires .......................................................37Chapter 3: Going Wireless ..................................................................................