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Old 07-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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How do I tell if my basic linux system is set up correctly?

I'm new to linux but have successfully installed linux/Debian etch onto an older compter system of mine at home. I can connect to the internet via external modem and dial-up. And I'm the only user on this a personal computer.

My question is, is there any way to determine whether or not the basic installation that I've done is sound?

Are there any commands/utilities/builtins that could be run to determine this empirically? Or to point out any potential problems or existing problems?

Or is it enough that the system seems stable and doesn't crash and programs don't hang?

I'm not sure just exaclty how it *should* look so I'm not sure whether or not it is good or I'm just a step or two away from catastrophy.

I know that this is somewhat of a nebulous topic/question but I have a basic knowledge of the look and feel for a windows install. I'm running pretty blind here with linux/Debian etch. And while I've not met with any significant problems yet(that I know of) I'd like to be able to keep it that way.

Don't even know if there's any good answers to this question, but I thought that I'd ask anyway.

Old 07-25-2008, 01:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pantherlehr
I'm not sure just exaclty how it *should* look so I'm not sure whether or not it is good or I'm just a step or two away from catastrophy.
It sounds like step #1 would be getting the paranoia under control.

Seriously though, if your system is stable and doing the job you need it to do, I wouldn't worry about it. Your system logs (especially /var/log/messages) provide insight into the overall health of your system, in that you'll often see angry complaining if/when something is going wrong.

Don't forget to plan and implement an appropriate backup scheme. Given that things can sometimes break without notice, you should have current backups available for all data that you can't function without.
Old 07-25-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
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The most fundamental question you have to ask is "Does it do what I want it to do?".

Mostly that comes down to, does it have, installed and configured, the software that I am going to use for my next task. It is clear then, that if all you ever do is software compiling, the abscence of a presentation program isn't an error, just a lack of a need (or vice versa).

The exceptions comes down to, broadly, security (unless you stretch things a bit by saying "continue to do what I want it to do in spite of this that or the other threat"). So, backups, firewalls that kind of thing may not be immediately obvious as a 'want', but when things are in danger of going pear-shaped, you could be very glad of them.
Old 07-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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I would suggest scanning through the logs. You may be alerted of problems with some programs or the system. Some things that look like errors during bootup might be normal.

In the boot up log, look for the word "Please". What follows could be a suggestion for changes in the bios which might improve performance or fix problems.

However, I'm sure you've heard the adage, if it ain't broke don't fix it. However, still apply security patches.

P.S. I must have skipped over part of anomie's post. Sorry for being repetitive.

Last edited by jschiwal; 07-25-2008 at 08:06 PM.
Old 07-25-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Thankx for the replies!

It all helps.

But what would be the names of some of the logs/logfiles/system logs that I should or could check?

Linux seems to be pretty good at pointing out a problem or concern, I just need to know where to look.

Again, thankx much!



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