Next Page

  1. Introduction
  2. Abbreviated Boot
  3. The Boot Process
  4. Startup and Run Levels
  5. Initialization Scripts
  6. Runlevel Scripts
  7. Login Process
  8. Bash Shell
  9. Filesystems
  10. LILO, Kernel and Root Filesystem
  11. The Kernel
  12. Passwords, Users, Groups, and Quotas
  13. The Environment
  14. The /etc/sysconfig directory
  15. The /proc filesystem
  16. Process Control
  17. Devices
  18. Daemons Services
  19. Inetd and Network Services
  20. Programs and Libraries
  21. Security and PAM
  22. The printer services
  23. Mouse support with gpm
  24. Mail
  25. News
  26. UUCP
  27. LDAP
  28. NFS and RPC
  29. Samba, NetBIOS, WINS, nmbd
  30. Identd (auth)
  31. Telnet and FTP
  32. Apache web server
  33. DNS and named
  34. How X Works
  35. X Scripts
  36. Support for Text
  37. Keymapping for Programs
  38. Keycode Table
  39. Example Keymap File
  40. Terminfo Commands
  41. VT100 ESC sequences
  42. Kernel Revisited
  43. Configuration Files
  44. Credits

How Linux Works CTDP Guide Version 0.6.0 June 1, 2000


Most of this documentation is based on analysis of script files and learning about how the system works based on information in code and man pages. Some of this document is based on man pages produced by the Linux community. Some other documentation is based on files in under /usr/doc such as /usr/doc/initscripts-4.48/sysconfig.txt.


This document explains the operation of Linux using the following categories:

  • Booting - Explains how Linux boots from LILO, the kernel, init, getty, login, the shell, startup scripts, and the mounting of filesystems.
  • Configuring for startup - Explains how to configure LILO, and the Kernel with respect to the root filesystem and more.
  • System - Explains much about running the system with regard to users, system configuration and where information is stored, controlling processes and more.
  • Networking
  • X - Explains how X works beginning with the startup script "startx".
  • Text - Explains how the system uses text support and how to configure it at various levels.
  • More - More about the kernel and configuration files.


The goal of this document is to help the reader understand the overall operation of Linux. The Linux kernel plays a very prominent role in the operation of the system.