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I'm a Linux newbie and my goal during 2006 is to really learn what this Linux thing is, how it is put together, and how to fix it when it breaks. I have a test machine with SUSE 10.0 on it and I can go wild - if I totally break it I can always wipe the hard drive and re-install. This is the only way I will learn this, up until now I have been afraid to tinker.
Anyway, I am learning that....well, let me first say that I realize Linux is just a kernel HOWEVER, when my machine comes up with SUSE 10.0 and KDE and Kaffine and amaroK and Kooka I think of it as all Linux because what you see is what you get.
So, I'm learning that this Linux world is very modular - Kooka talks to Sane which talks to some libraries. If you are not happy with your version of Sane you just drop an older version in there and it will all work. The same is true of Arts - it is a module for sound that is used by KDE system notifications. I don't know what else uses Arts or what libraries it needs.
Does there exist somewhere a high-level graph or document that explains what the modules are, what they are used for, and what talks to what? At this high level are all distros pretty much the same?
Here is a web site that appears to show all the KDE packages,
a description of what they do,
their run-time dependencies (what do they need in place to function),
and their reverse dependencies (who depends upon them to function).....
Yes, I was LOOKING for SANE in there and didn't see it and wondered.
Here is my goal - and since this is my goal I don't know if I want to take your advice about simplifying the dependency list.
Let's say that my Linux distro is a hotel with many floors and many rooms. During 2006 I would like to visit all the rooms, see how they are arranged, see what furniture they have, and how the view is from the windows - but I also want to know how they are put together.
Now, to be really dangerous let's view this hotel as a puzzle. Let's say that Kooka is on the top floor and is built on Sane which is on the second floor and that is built on another layer that then sits on the foundation which is the kernel.
Which key pieces in the kernel when removed will cause that entire part of the building to collapse? What other parts will collapse? If for instance I rename some file and reboot Linux, what will fail, how will that appear and how will I know by looking at the errors what has failed and how to fix it?
Do you think this is a good way to learn the inner workings of Linux or am I totally crazy?