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Old 02-04-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
fc6_user
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Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Montpellier, France
Distribution: Fedora Core 6, Mandriva, Knoppix, Debian
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Utilities in Linux and FC6


FC6 is now installed on my laptop and cohabiting peacefully with Windows. I've been using FC6 for a few weeks now, and was wondering about utilities software and how it all works! In Windows, I check for errors, eliminate useless files, delete restore points, then defragment the hard disk... I run my anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-malware programs, etc... I check and see how much space is available on my C:\ drive...

When I make a mistake, I simply go to a previous restore point. Or, if I install something that causes problems, I simply uninstall it. How do you do all of this on Linux?

And, after doing a general update on FC6, you are offered several possibilities to boot (similar to restore points, I assume). Can these previous settings be deleted? In other words, if I "yum update" 4 or 5 times, I'll have 4 or 5 boot choices. If the last of these is working fine, how do I go about deleting the others? Would this save disk space?

How does all of this work on Linux, and more specifically, on FC6...?

Cheers.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 07:41 PM   #2
ilikejam
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Glasgow
Distribution: Fedora / Solaris
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Hi.

The options you are given at boot are just different kernels. There are no 'restore points' with Linux.

If you want to get rid of the unused kernels, you can uninstall them with 'rpm -e <kernel-<version>>'
To find which kernels are installed, you can do:
Code:
rpm -qa | grep kernel-
This will give you a list of the kernels installed. For example, on my machine I have:
Code:
[0 dave@cronus ~]$ rpm -qa | grep kernel-
kernel-2.6.18.1cronus-6
kernel-2.6.19.2cronus-2
so I would do:
Code:
rpm -e kernel-2.6.18.1cronus-6
to get rid of the old kernel.

Be careful, though. If you make a mess here, you could end up with a non-bootable Linux system. It's unlikely, though, as RPM will not uninstall all the kernels, unless you specifically tell it to. You'll only be saving space on the /boot partition, though, so it won't make any difference to the amount of space you have to keep normal files in /home/<user>.

If you install something you don't want, just uninstall it, using 'rpm -e <package>', or use the GUI package manager (pup) from the menu.

There's no need for anti-virus software, because there simply aren't any notable virii on Linux.

Defragmenting isn't necessary on Linux, because the ext3 filesystem you will be using on Fedora doesn't fragment the way Windows filesystems do (until the disk gets above around 90% full, anyway).

To be honest, if you're using your machine as a desktop/workstation, there's no need for housekeeping, except for running 'yum update' every week or so. Unix/Linux tends to be a 'set and forget' affair - if it's working, it's all good. Don't worry about it.

Dave
 
Old 02-06-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
fc6_user
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Registered: Jan 2007
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Dave,

Thanks so much for the clear explanations.

I've tried that first command you gave me, but I get an extra line:

[linux@localhost ~]$ rpm -qa | grep kernel-
kernel-2.6.18-1.2798.fc6
kernel-headers-2.6.18-1.2869.fc6
kernel-2.6.18-1.2869.fc6
[linux@localhost ~]$


What is "kernel-headers..."?

So, I could get rid of 2.6.18.1.2798.fc6.

I imagine if you do the 'yum update' thing every week you end up with quite a long list of kernel versions! (I have a dual boot system which lists all of the kernel versions when choosing between Windows and Linux). I didn't think it'd be important to update so often, but, hey, if it gets things working better, why not!?

Thanks again. I'm new to the Linux community and things have certainly got off to a good start!

Cheers
 
Old 02-06-2007, 04:51 PM   #4
ilikejam
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Glasgow
Distribution: Fedora / Solaris
Posts: 3,109

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Hi again.

The kernel-headers package contains the c header files used to compile kernel modules which aren't already included in the kernel package. You'll need this if you're going to be compiling drivers (like the nVidia graphics drivers from their website).

You can probably safely remove 2.6.18.1.2798.fc6 . It's not *really* advisable to remove a running kernel, so do 'uname -r' to see what kernel you are currently using.

Kernel updates don't happen all that often (looking through the Fedora package-announce list, there seems to be one about every month), so I wouldn't worry about it. If the boot list gets too long, just remove the old versions.

Dave
 
  


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