Originally posted by Red Squirrel
Ex: let's say I make a change to the network settings, I want to know what file is being edited, and what is being put in it, etc.
Yes, but you see-- if you take the example of something like network settings, any GUI tool that you might use to edit said settings isn't going to be editing just one
file, or running just one
If you think of a typical network settings wizard, you might be able to:[list=1][*] change drivers for the existing card, or load drivers for a new or secondary card (which is a kernel command, modprobe
)[*] change your IP address between static and DHCP-provided (/etc/conf.d/net
under Gentoo, but may be a different name or location under Debian)[*] set a gateway (/etc/conf.d/net
under Gentoo, but may be a different name or location under Debian)[*] set a hostname (/etc/conf.d/hostname
under Gentoo, but may be a different name or location under Debian)[*] set a domain name ( (/etc/conf.d/domainname
under Gentoo, but may be a different name or location under Debian)[/list=1]
...and this says nothing of other network-related options that might be available to the GUI but that I don't necessarily know what files are involved because I don't have/use that particular functionality-- wireless networking, Samba or NFS file exports/imports, dial-up settings.
I would suggest that you have a look at Rute
for a general overview of what files control what; you might also look at the Slackware Book
(because Slack is the most bog-standard distribution in existence, and there's no tweaks, rename-age or stupid 'wizards' between you and "how a Linux backend is supposed to be set up"). Once you've got that all straight in your head, then head to any Debian-specific (or "your Debian-based-distribution-specific") resources (which I wouldn't know where they are, not being a Debian user, but I'm sure they're out there) to find out how Debian does things differently from standard (or how your Debian-based distribution does things differently from Debian).
And don't forget... Linux is all Linux. So everything you find needs to be done in the "standard general Linux" documentation is all going to be found somewhere in your distribution. On my Gentoo system, the file to set the hostname may be called /etc/conf.d/hostname, and on your system it may be /etc/hostname, but we will
both have a file, with an amazingly similar format, that sets the hostname for our computers, because Linux requires that your computer have a name (even if that name is 'localhost'). So don't become alarmed if the "general" documentation seems slightly out-of-sync with your actual experience. The road may meander along alternate pathways, but all Linux distributions are pointed in the same direction, and ultimately reach the same destination. By diverse means, we arrive at the same end.
Hope this helps.