This top part contains my points of interest. I have them here for two reasons, in fact ALL of these pages are here for two reasons. One, for reference to anyone who finds my pages and two, for my own personal reference. It is my way of carrying notes .. lightly.
Linux - Why??    Biggest reason:  It is a departure from the dictated way of doing things with a 'Puter. Everything is not done, or attempted to be done, for you. (Course that is changing.) This allows, encourages, forces you to read and investigate the computer operations. Now if you like to do this, everything is great. On the other hand, if you don't then you will have lots of heart aches. (Can have some of those even if you like to research!!) Annndd... Linux Is Not Windows
   The second reason:  It is more reliable. Although, at times I wonder how true that is. I do things in Dos/Windows and Linux that cause problems and or crashes. I have been told   "You can't do that".   Hmmmm... I say, "Why not??" Never seem to get a satisfying answer. But you might here:   Why Linux is Great.
Best of ALL its FREE.
Distributions Distrowatch Even though RedHat was not included in this list (because it is not free??), I do believe it should get consideration since it was one of the first main distributions available... and with support!
Software GIMP, Open Office / LibreOffice, AlternativeTo
Startup/td> Linux Startup - Bootchart
Apache? Just what is Apache?   This question is answered quite adequately by clicking on it. But, in short, it is a "Fine Web Server". Apache is used by more Web sites than any other server software.
Do I need Samba? Yes, if you want to share files between Linux and Windows. Samba is a "Server Message Block" protocol used to exchange the data between the two systems.
   Windows, Linux and Samba
TCP/IP - what? Transfer Control Protocol / Internet Protocol - The neccessary rules and regulations for moving data amongst computer systems. TCP/IP networks: some theory
C / C++ and/or
Java / JavaScript
Shells Shells are command line interpreters. They read the commands that you type on the command line or from a file with a list of commands that you have created. It passes these commands on to the kernel and when the operation is finished the shell will display the result. There are a lot of simple commands but on the other hand there are a lot of complicated commands. It takes time, patience and practice to get good at shell programming. Course that is required of almost anything that you learn.
HTML / PHP HTML is the Hyper Text Mark up Language used for the Internet. PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is the current definition but it started out as Personal Home Page Tools. It all started with Rasmus Lerdorf. As usual, it got on the Web and gained support from many. It is a server side scripting language that is embeded in the HTML code. The coding is similar to C.
MySQL / Oracle -
- -

The Following is my interpretation of info that I have obtained other places and just through messing around with the Linux system. Part of this more or less came from a book called:   "Linux Network Servers" by Craig Hunt / SYBEX.

1. BIOS Your standard 'Basic Input / Output System'.   When your computer is powered on it needs a starting point. This is where the BIOS comes in. It is normally some battery operated CMOS and ROM chips.
2. MBR Master Boot Record - This is a small program, that typically resides on the first sector of the hard disk. It will examine your partition information and proceed to the default boot sector.
3. LILO or GRUB LInux LOader - There is a LILO.conf file in /etc that contains instructions for lilo to use during the boot process. After any changes to the configuration file you must run lilo to make them available to the loader.
GRand Unified Bootloader - To make changes to GRUB, edit the grub menu list in /boot/grub/ or use YAST.
Both Load the kernel, which in turn ...
  ...Initializes all the devices.
Init Console Basic console keyboard and display - no graphics.
Speed and Mem calc Chk Checks system speed and memory and how much.
Check the CPU Checks for CPU type and if it is OK.
PCI bus init Initializes the PCI bus if there is one in your system.
TCP/IP init Here we setup communications to the outside world. (internal and external)
Serial port init This sets up your RS-232 connection usually used for modem connection.
Disk Drive init This is obvious, we are setting up drive info so we can read them.
4. Init Process inittab /etc/inittab is the standard configuration file and more or less determines what the system will look like after is it is fully loaded. (main config file of /sbin/init)
5. /etc/init.d/boot The init.d subdir was moved from /sbin to /etc around version 6.4 or 7.0.

In inittab the action is specified as bootwait so nothing else will happen untill this script is finished. It will:

  • /etc/init.d/boot.proc - Mount the /proc and /dev/pty file systems.
  • /etc/init.d/ - Initialize multiple device handling.
  • /etc/init.d/setserial - provides serial ports configuration
  • /etc/init.d/boot.swap - Activate swap space and the shared memory system.
  • - Start the update daemon.
  • - Check filesystems.
  • - Remount the root file system in read-write mode.
  • - Initialize database for kerneld.
  • /etc/init.d/boot.localfs - Mount local filesystems according to /etc/fstab.
  • - Reinit quota.
  • - Rebuild the cache file of the dynamic linker (
  • - Set time zone.
  • /etc/init.d/boot.localnet - Initialize the network loopback device.
  • - Set hostname and NIS domainname.
  • /etc/init.d/boot.clock - Set and adjust the CMOS clock.
  • - Clean up.
  • - Initialize /var/run/utmp.
  • - Reinit /etc/psdevtab.
  • - Start bootup client scripts.
  • - Setup ISA PnP.
  • - Start user-defined bootup script. boot.local
  • /etc/init.d/boot.klog - Save boot messages in /var/log/boot.msg.
  • - Enable dynamic IP patch.
  • - Insert memstat module for xosview.
  • - Check if this is the first system boot.
After this script is finished, the system is ready to go into the default runlevel, as specified by the initdefault line.

You can step through this boot process by changing a setting, PROMPT_FOR_CONFIRM, in the boot script found at /etc/sysconfig. The default is no and you will have to change it to yes. Then during the init it will ask you if you wan to confirm the settings and/or actions as they appear in the boot. This is good for learning and/or troubleshooting.

Refs: Proc
6. Runlevel init This is found in the inittab where the line specifies the initdefault. The runlevels for SuSE 7.0 thru 8.0 are as follows:
  # runlevel 0 is System halt (Do not use this for initdefault!)
  # runlevel 1 is Single user mode
  # runlevel 2 is Local multiuser without remote network (e.g. NFS)
  # runlevel 3 is Full multiuser with network
  # runlevel 4 is Not used
  # runlevel 5 is Full multiuser with network and xdm
  # runlevel 6 is System reboot (Do not use this for initdefault!)
The run level can be changed at boot time in LILO. At the bottom of the first screen is an entry box that has "linux" in it. You can add an "=1 or 2" or whatever level you desire. Just don't use 0 or 4.
7. rc-scripts These are found in subdirs under /init.d. Each subdir is named with the runlevel that it operates under. /rc1.d, /rc2.d, rc3.d, etc. Inside these dirs you will find files labeled with K01xxxx, K08xxxx, S05xxxx, S07xxxx, etc. The ones with a K will kill the process named if and only if they are not supposed to be running in that particular level. The ones with S naturally will start processes for this level if it is not already running.
8. rc.local or boot.local RedHat uses rc.local and SuSE uses boot.local. Both perform the same type of operation. They are called by boot at the end or close to it and will perform any "extra" initializations or startups that you desire.
9. halt.local This one is similar to the above except it will shutdown the special items or whatever you want done at system shutdown.
Dependencies Taken from SuSE forums, a fine explanation by user oldcpu:

Why are there dependency requirments for MPlayer? You need to understand a bit about the way Linux works.

Imagine a programmer wants to code program-A. But he doesn't want to re-invent the wheel and code 100% of the code, especially since most of the program he wants exists elsewhere. So his program-A uses library-B from someone else's program-B, and uses library-C from someone else's program-C, and also calls program-D and program-E. He also needs specific versions of those 4 programs. This means if you download program-A, in order for it to run you also need specific versions of program-B, program-C, program-D and program-E on your Linux PC.

The requirement to have these programs pre-installed (B to E) make these programs (B to E) dependencies of program-A, and they can be a real pain in the butt to locate and install.

Now if these programs (B to E) are part of your SuSE distribution CD, and if you install program-A using YaST, then YaST will identify and install programs B to E for you. But if they are not on your CD, and not yet on your linux PC, YaST will give you an error when you go to install program-A.

So, in the most part, MPlayer follows this philosophy, and it needs various programs installed, so it too can function. ....

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