Configuration HOWTO

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
     1.1 Copyright
     1.2 Disclaimer
     1.3 Credits
     1.4 Description

  2. Configuration tools
     2.1 Control Center
     2.2 Display
        2.2.1 Step 1
        2.2.2 Step 2
     2.3 Keyboard
     2.4 Users
     2.5 Mouse
     2.6 Printer
     2.7 Bootloader
     2.8 Firewall

  3. Others
     3.1 Scanner
     3.2 Tablet


  ______________________________________________________________________

  1.  Introduction

  This document is one of the most important for LDP, because by
  configuring hardware and software you can get your own Linux box.
  This HOWTO was born in the Golden Age of developers, mainly for the
  command line. As it became too big and old for the current distros, I
  rewrote it more simple as I could.

  Fundamentally, to configure the system, Linux users have to write some
  configuration files. To do it easyer, today programs and wizards are
  avaliable to manage them. This programs may be quite different for the
  various distributions.

  In this HOWTO, I will speak about Mandrake-Linux and about Red Hat.


  1.1.  Copyright

  This document is Copyright © 2006-03-16  Gilbert O'Sullivan.
  Permission is granted to copy and distribute this document under the
  terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. This license is
  available from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html. Please note that
  the LGPL terms don't allow any modifications except for the
  translations.


  1.2.  Disclaimer

  This document is provided "as is". I put great effort into writing it
  accurately, but you use contained informations at your own risk.  In
  no event shall I be liable for any damages resulting from the use of
  this work.


  1.3.  Credits

  Many thanks to all other HOWTO authors and man pages writers, from
  which I have got my knowledge, and to all people who provided me with
  feedback.


  1.4.  Description

  Even if the earlier versions of this document discussed about several
  distributions, I chose Mandrake-Linux and Red Hat, because they are
  the most representative, with kernels range from 2.4.3 to 2.6.11, of
  wich last release you can easily purchase.  For more informations, or
  if you don't understand anything, you can refer to other HOWTOs, among
  which is available the source code of this document, at Linux
  Documentation Project <http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-
  INDEX/howtos.html> site.  The hardware we shall go to configure is for
  x86 architectures:  modem, printer, scanner. A tablet is very common
  also.


  2.  Configuration tools

  Fundamentally, this document is made in two sections: the first, for
  the machines with a big hard disk and a working graphical interface,
  the second, for other which are in low resources, forced to work by
  typing from the command line.


  2.1.  Control Center

  Of course, if you have a working graphical interface, to configure
  everything is very easy. As a matter of fact, starting from release
  8.0, each Mandrake-Linux release comes with drakconf package.  Other
  disrtibutions have their own control-center. This wizard allows to
  change the settings of

  ·  Users

  ·  Bootloader

  ·  Disk management

  ·  Display

  ·  Firewall

  ·  Network

  ·  Keyboard

  ·  Mouse

  ·  Printer

  ·  Services


  2.2.  Display

  Now let me explain how you can change X server configuration through
  the following two steps.
  2.2.1.  Step 1

  Linux operating system uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) called
  XFree, just because it is a free version of X windows system, wich was
  developed by X.org website members, also getting some IBM
  contyibutions.  Today, X server configuration is totally automatic, so
  in the end of your new Linux system installation, if you are lucky,
  you can reboot, without having anything to do. Nevertheless, often it
  happens that, in spite of an installation of a lot of packages, it
  display a message saying that you are not able to start X server.  The
  reason why this happens is that your monitor, or your graphic card, is
  not rightly detected. So you have only to update the whole
  installation, until to the Summary. Here, you can change your
  graphical interface settings, but, be very careful, when the
  opportunity knocks: when ask, disable the automatic starting Option
  for X server after the reboot. This allows to use your PC in text
  mode, so if you want to start X server, you have manually to run
  "startx" command.

  2.2.2.  Step 2

  If X server doesn't work yet, try with

  # XFdrake

  It allows to change current settings with minimal ones:


       Monitor:                SVGA (not interlaced) 1024 x 768
       Frequency:              60 Hz
       Graphic card:           VGA standard
       Resolution:             640 x 480
       Colours dept.:          8 bpp



  You can increase these values, by degrees, but without overclocking
  frequency speed. It may damages your monitor! When you are ready, run
  XFdrake again and select to start Xfree, upon booting.  This has
  always worked for me, so I suggest you to write down these values,
  before.


  2.3.  Keyboard

  First of some old raw applications, upon which was built current
  control-center. Of course if you work by typing from command line, it
  is very important to set your keyboard accordingly. For many countries
  and keyboard types appropriate keymaps are available already.  So you
  can give "loadkeys" command followed by the two last letters of any
  your country URLs.

  2.4.  Users

  Expecially if you want autologin, you have to add an user. Type
  "adduser" command, then set up his password whith "passwd -n",
  followed by the user name.

  2.5.  Mouse

  If you chose to work by typing from command line only, you have no
  need to configure your mouse. Nevertheless, whith a working graphical
  interface you cannot use itself to change wrong settings. Open a
  console as a root user and type "mousedrake".

  2.6.  Printer

  Lastly, if you want to set up your printer, you have to install CUPS
  driver. Type "printerdrake".

  2.7.  Bootloader

  The program which loads the kernel into the memory at the boot time is
  called bootloader. The bootloaders that come with Linux distributions
  are LILO and GRUB. If you want change LILO configuration, you have to
  open the file /etc/lilo.conf. using your favorite editor. In this file
  each line has its meaning.


       boot=/dev/hda              Install LILO in the MBR
       prompt                     If you want select another section
       timeout=50                 Wait five seconds before booting
       default=linux              The section to boot after the timeout

       image=/boot/vmlinuz-x.x.x
         label=Linux              Name we give to this section
         read-only                Start with a read-only root
         root=/dev/hda3           Location of the root filesystem

       other=/dev/hdaX            The host where Windows is installed
         label=windows



  Typical is how GRUB refers to hard drives and partitions.

  2.8.  Firewall

  If your system is attached directly to Internet, or is on a large
  public network, enable it to help prevent unauthorized access.

  3.  Others

  These have their own websites, where you can find everything you need.

  3.1.  Scanner

  SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) package, offers the suppport for
  scanners. It can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.mostang.com/pub/sane.
  Documentation are avaliable at SANE <http://www.mostang.com/sane>
  webpage, where you can also find several frontends and backends.

  3.2.  Tablet

  Today at The Linux Wacom Project <http://linuxwacom.sourceforge.net>
  website there are useful tools to manage a Wacom pen tablet: drivers,
  libraries, documentation for configuring and getting it running.  Not
  only but also diagnostic applications and of course mailing lists and
  FAQ. This website is maintained by John E. Joganic j-arkadia.com>