Roderick W. Smith's Web Page

This is the web page of Roderick W. Smith, aka On sub-pages accessible from this one you'll find information about me, my interests, and the books I've written. You'll also find links to outside sites I find worthwhile.


I'm a Linux expert based in the Boston/Providence/Worcester area. I've written about 25 books on Linux and other computer topics, as well as a couple of open source programs. I'm currently employed by Canonical, which produces the Ubuntu Linux distribution, although these pages are my own personal effort, not official Canonical communications.

Books and Articles


I'm the author of many books on Linux and multi-OS computing. Counting revisions and co-authored titles, the number reaches 20, as of August 2009, so I won't bore you with a list here; instead, see my books page.

Between 2003 and 2008, I was the author of the "Guru Guidance" column for Linux Magazine. A search on that site turns up my articles, but you'll need to register to read them.

To date, I've written several articles for IBM developerWorks:


I have three open source projects to my name (although one is so trivial that calling it a "project" may be stretching matters:

My Web Pages

In addition to my books, published articles, and programs, I've written several Web pages on a wide range of topics. Some of these are so old that I've officially retired them. Those that aren't too stale are:

Personal Interests

For the past ten years, I've managed to build a career out of one of my interests: computers. I'm particularly interested in Linux and other Open Source software. I've written a few C and Pascal programs, but this isn't my greatest interest in the computer field. Instead, I enjoy learning about system administration, networking, and so on, and sharing that knowledge with others.

Another interest of mine is science fiction. I've got a web page with some of my favorite SF books. I'm also a big fan of Babylon 5, which has done more for the medium of TV science fiction (or TV in general) than anything to come before it. Sadly, I don't have as much time to read science fiction as I'd like.

In the summer of 1999, I took up sailing at Community Boating. I didn't really get very good at it in one season, but I did manage to capsize a boat once! (It was a squishy trip home after they pulled me out of the river.)

More recently, I've begun biking regularly along the Blackstone River Bikeway, which is within a mile of my house. It's great exercise and that particular bike path has some wonderful scenery.

Photography is a long-time interest of mine. In 2005 I put together a darkroom in my basement -- something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager! I prefer film photography to digital for several reasons. Film appeals to me more aesthetically, it enables me to create something without the help of a computer, I've always preferred simplicity in my cameras, and replacing my film cameras and lenses with digital equipment would be prohibitively expensive. Although I'm not a big poster of photos in online forums, I do have a Flickr page with a few samples of my photos. Mostly I use that page to demonstrate specific things, such as the results I get from outdated films.

Personal Statistics

Here are a bunch of links to other things I find interesting:

So, if you've gotten this far and would like to contact me, drop me some e-mail at