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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Distribution: RH 6.2, Gen2, Knoppix,arch, bodhi, studio, suse, mint
each application can be individually compiled and optimized for certain
the intel c compiler is better with intel processors, and can be downloaded
for free from the intel developers web site. to get good results with
that compiler will take some time, or some good website with suggestions
for compiler optimizations.
The Slackware kernel probably won't be optimized, or even have SMP multiprocessor support turned on. Although Slackware does have a bunch of alternate kernels available, I would just configure and compile my own for such a system, just to make sure it is the way you need it. Slackware is a good distro to do this with because they don't use "fancy" patches, just the standard kernel as distributed on www.kernel.org. Compiling your own kernel isn't hard, but does require a little reading up on all the configuation options as well as you need to know how to switch your bootloader (lilo, grub, syslinux, loadlin, etc) over to it.
Ok, then... so I'm new to Linux. Will you guys be able to help walk me through this process when I get everything ready? I need to make sure everything is done right the first time, because I will be deploying a major site on it, and can't afford to take the time to take it down to reconfigure, recompile, or reinstall an Operating System.
Unfortunately it is a little more involved that the above link suggests.
For one, there is a lot of options in the Linux Kernel Config. Expect to spend a fair amount of time figuring out what each one does so you can build the best possible kernel for your hardware, or at the very least: One that will boot.
Also, a lot can go wrong with a bootloader config. Make sure you have a bootable CDROM or floppy that can get you into your system in case you make it not boot otherwise. The nice thing is that the idea here is to keep your old kernel as a backup selection in the boot loaders menu in case you have to use it.
Finally, if you get X running on the system, you might use "make xconfig" instead of "make menuconfig" because you might like it better.
All that said, I think it is really worthwhile to learn how to do all this. I almost always run customized kernels on my computers. They boot much faster and support all my hardware without looking around for hardware I don't have.