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Tigger, please understand there are NO stupid questions at LQ.
The only thing that's really stupid is NOT asking, OK?
To get the runlevel type "/sbin/runlevel" in the console. The second character it shows is the runlevel you're in. For instance, if it says "3" that means the init script links are in /etc/rc.d/rc3.d .
If you do not want to maintain those links manually (is not hard tho), use ntsysv, tksysv, chkconfig or whatever Red Hat system applet does the trick.
help, i cannot edit these files because they are read only. The file i am trying to edit is rc5.d.
rc5.d is a directory (/etc/rc.d/rc5.d), and is not to be edited.
Look inside the directory: "ls -al /etc/rc.d/rc5.d". If you're going to edit system files, make sure you're root. Also if you're going to edit files manually, make sure you back them up.
Also in /etc/rc.d/rc5.d are no files, but symbolic links. The actual files reside in /etc/rc.d/init.d, the links in /etc/rc.d/rc5.d change the start/stop behaviour and the place in the startup sequence a service is started/stopped as. Read for instance "man chkconfig" for details.
Don't edit the files. What you need to do is turn off unneded services. First look at the list:
It will show a table. Numbers mean runlevels (3 is console mode with network, 5 X-Window <- the most popular one).
To turn a service off/on use something like this:
chkconfig --level 3 nfs off
it turns off service nfs on level 3.