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Old 01-18-2004, 07:11 PM   #1
mjewell
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need 2 remove kernel fat from boot and fine tune what's left


During the past four years or so, I have set up partitions on four different machines at different times using different versions of Redhat, Mandrake and now Slackware.

Each time, the process has gone a little better than the last time but stalls before I make the transition to day-to-day use. Maybe some of you newbies know what I mean. I don't know how to configure Linux well enough to trim the boot sequence to the minimum necessary amount of time that still gets all of the kernel bits and modules into place to run my hardware the way its supposed to run.

I have a decent machine with an nforce2 dual channel chipset, 1GB ram and a nice Radeon 9800 videocard. None of it works as it should in my Linux installation because I still don't know what I'm doing.

Here's what I think I need to do (but I'm VERY open to suggestions from my wiser LinuxQuestions brothers and sisters . . . ):

I think that I need to remove all the extra gunk from the kernel that I installed when I ran the automated installation. There's extra kernel and module in there that probably could come out and would make my machine boot faster. (For example, there's an Appletalk Daemon that's loading now when I boot. I don't know how or why I let that slip into the process.)

So that's number one. Number two is that I need to make sure that I've found the files needed to finetune the existing kernel and modules to run the hardware the way its supposed to run.

If this dilemma resonates for anyone, you may guess that I'm looking for a broader more conceptual strategy to get this done. Maybe even an encouraging word --

Comments, suggestions and well-wishing all welcome.

mj
 
Old 01-18-2004, 10:04 PM   #2
Eqwatz
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Use the services editor to turn off everything you don't need as far as services like apple talk, kudzu, automount--you get the pictue. Just like in windows XPpro/Win2000, you have to look each one up and find out what they do and upon what they are dependant.

This sounds stupid, but I don't know how to disable unused stuff like usb, serial and parallel-which I don't use. All I use is the ethernet, video, sound (sometimes), ps2 mouse, and ps2 keyboard. That's it. I'd love to free up those irqs--even if it is an emotional thing left over from 486-days.

Yes, I do disable all of the unused ports in the bios. Linux doesn't care.

Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-18-2004 at 10:06 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2004, 10:55 AM   #3
mjewell
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Thanks, Eqwatz -- it sounds like you've already beaten this particular demon (heh-heh) so I'm grateful for your guidance.

Can I run the services editor from the command line or is it better to do so from a GUI. (I'm using KDE on a Slackware 9.1 installation.)

I liked what you said about disabling the unused ports in BIOS. How do you know for sure whether there unused or not. I think my machine is using ports 110 and 25 for email (which I guess is fairly standard), but my understanding even of what a port *is* remains foggy. Any broadstrokes teaching here would be appreciated. Also -- I'm assuming the purpose of disabling the ports is to make the machine more secure, but I realize I should probably make that assumption explicit so you can tell me if its wrong.

I feel like I know just what you mean when you say its an emotional thing to want to deal with all of the usb, (etc. . . .) files. Remember I've been struggling with what are apparently very easy tasks for many other users for over three years. Misery loves company.

Thanks!
 
Old 01-20-2004, 01:16 PM   #4
Eqwatz
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Whoops. I didn't mean ports as in the ports used by services, I meant unused hardware on my machine. I have no USB devices or any serial or parallel devices ether. I use a ps2 mouse and keyboard and everything else is done over ethernet.

If you have a working gui, by all means fire it up from the Desktop.
Any time you need to make adjustments to your configuration it is alway best to use tools.

There are some tools only available through the command-line. But the number of those is getting smaller and smaller every year. The services tool is not one of them.

Avoid editing any configuration files using an editor--especially if you are unfamiliar with the syntax or distracted or tired. That kind of means you want to use tools--doesn't it?

The comment I was making was that Linux found all of the serial, parallel, and USB connections which were possible and assigned IRQs and drivers for them. It didn't care that I disabled the unused stuff in the bios, it blew that off and fired them up--even when I disabled Kudzu. Irritating. I have searched and searched, but either never came up with the right "key-words", either that or I am the only one who would like to use all of the hardware IRQs as effectively as possible--like having IRQs for each of the IDE devices instead of "sharing" them.

Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-20-2004 at 01:18 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2004, 10:14 PM   #5
mjewell
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I'm tempted to try a Linux from Scratch build in hope that I might learn enough to get more control over the system. That's was one of the big selling points for me, but I'm also a slow learner so . . . .

I too would like to shut down *everything* that I don't use just to see what its like to do it and because I want to understand the operating system better.

I started in with your suggestions and ran smack into a sound driver problem. Its not clear to me whether there's a hardware conflict b/t the sound on the mobo and the card, a driver problem or some other problem.

Now if I knew how to shut *everything* down and build it back up from scratch I know I could find the problem. It might take time, but I'd find it. As is, I keep trying stopgap recipes and don't really grapple with the fundamentals.

Anyway . . . Thanks for the patient help.

mj
 
Old 01-21-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
Eqwatz
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I downloaded all of the LFS stuff and have not as yet, done anything with it.

It has been better than a year. (More like three--lets be honest here.)

You are not a slow learner. Everyone is a slow learner. There is a lot of stuff out there and it is very easy to get side-tracked into stuff which is more interesting.

The best place to start is at the beginning. Read the various guides for installation and customization of Linux. There are many sources. If one person's guide doesn't grant understanding on something you want to do; search for another. http://www.google.com/linux is your very good friend.

There is a neato one called Rute User. But frankly, I wouldn't whole-heartedly recommend it to someone just starting out.
But it is a course in Linux administration in and of itself. You can use that as a guide of things to look up as you read through it.

All it takes is patience. First you become familiar with Linux, then you take on tasks of greater and greater complexity.

All in all, I consider myself a noobie--and I took administration courses for RH. I'm pretty sure I could pass the RH-admin. certification exam cold. But, realistically, that means nothing. What means the most is knowing how to search for information you need quickly, and being able to interpret and implement it in a timely fashon.

The documentation located in the kernel sources are a very good place to learn all about different aspects of the drivers and services which run on Linux.
I could do some review there myself. (I often do, like every time I manually build a kernel--but, generally I just read the stuff which directly has an affect on what I specifically want to do at the moment. This is not the same as sitting down and reading it all--several times, and looking up on the internet the things that are related to be sure of understanding everything.)

Big difference. I don't think I have done that since--maybe--Redhat-7.1? Could realistically be even longer. There is so much information. And let's face it, I'm not organized enough to create an indexed reference (in my own words) of the things I have read. Generally I fill up a legal pad, put it away and promptly lose it. Which means I have to look it up again. Oh, well.

Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-21-2004 at 11:46 AM.
 
Old 01-21-2004, 07:07 PM   #7
mjewell
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The encouragement is greatly appreciated. Linux is a hobby for me, and I don't have any native ability that anyone has been able to detect. I'm more of a bookworm. I'm really interested in learning about computers though, and Linux is perfect since its so hard that I could spend 100 years on it and still have more to learn.

I will look for Rute User. It may be too tough for me now but maybe someday.

Thanks again for the patient instruction and kind words.
mj
 
Old 01-23-2004, 05:10 PM   #8
Eqwatz
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Just remember, everything you learn for Linux applies to windows administration.

The processes are the same.

Just the way you go about doing each task is different between the two of them.

As security and robustness become more and more important, the differences between the two operating systems will continue to grow smaller and smaller.

It is becoming "patently" obvious that windows is "borrowing" more from open source every year. As much as I hate to say it, some of their implementation (and rewrites for obfuscation) of the individual ideas and services are actually better than the original Unix/Linux versions of doing things.
 
Old 01-23-2004, 05:37 PM   #9
mjewell
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I take your point that some of the MS rewrites of Unix/Linux codes is better but (respectfully!) beg to differ. Open source code is preferable --- even "bad" open source code, to proprietary code for the same reason that publishing scientific discoveries is better than failing to publish them. Its better for civilization.

Not to get too breathy but there's no reason I would bang my non-technical head against the wall of learning Linux unless I thought it was more civilized to do so.

Thanks again for the help btw. I'm making strides since I started reading posts on this board.
 
Old 01-24-2004, 07:46 PM   #10
Eqwatz
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They have actually done some pretty nifty things very recently.

Don't think that I'm against open source. I'm just saying that they have done some pretty good stuff.

I'm not talking about the kludges and reworked code going back to 3.11. I'm talking about the most recent intellectual property they have stolen.

They have some pretty darn efficient use of shared objects and memory management. Page faults have just about disappeared from native objects in their latest stuff. Other people's stuff still crashes them though.

I haven't tried 2.6 yet, they say it is faster and more efficient than the 2.4 series.

Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-24-2004 at 07:49 PM.
 
Old 01-24-2004, 08:01 PM   #11
FLOODS
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You could compile your own kernel, that won't load all that extra stuff you don't need.. It won't stop from loading the services, but.. I'm bad at explaining, here..!

http://www.linuxfocus.org/English/Ju...ticle252.shtml -- pretty in depth on all of the modules

http://www.newtolinux.org.uk/wiki/in...20own%20kernel -- much more straight forward, easy to follow.

If you need more info on it, just look up compile your own kernel or rolling your own kernel at google.com/linux

Also, if you don't feel sure that you can do it, just save the setup and wait until another day. It's really not that hard if you know what hardware you have, and what you want for security.
 
  


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