Mandrake

Mandrake ships with a tool called the Mandrake Control Center, which can be launched from the standard menus in KDE or GNOME or by typing drakconf in a shell. If you launch it as an ordinary user, it prompts for the root password to continue. This program is a typical GUI configuration tool. It provides categories of configuration options in a list along the left side of its window. When you click one of these categories, the tool displays a set of specific configuration tools in the right side of the window, as shown in Figure 9.3. Click one of these tools, and it will open in the right side of the window or in a separate window, providing subsystem-specific options.

Figure 9.3: The Mandrake Control Center displays one or more configuration tools for each configuration category.

Mandrake also ships with a variety of more specialized configuration tools, such as the rpmdrake tool for managing packages. The Mandrake Control Center can launch many of these tools itself. Many of these tools can modify files in /etc, but you can modify these files manually if you prefer. Some Mandrake-specific details include:

System Startup Procedure Mandrake's /etc/inittab calls /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit as the system initialization script. This script performs a large number of basic initialization tasks, such as mounting the device filesystem, setting the system clock, and so on. Mandrake's initthen switches to the runlevel specified in /etc/inittab and runs the startup scripts in the appropriate SysV startup script directory by calling /etc/rc.d/rc.

Location of SysV Startup Scripts Mandrake places its SysV startup scripts in /etc/rc.d/init.d and places links to these files for specific runlevels in /etc/rc.d/rc?.d, where ? is the runlevel number.

Runlevels and Starting X Mandrake uses the dm SysV startup script to start X and an XDMCP GUI login screen. This script is called using the name S30dm in runlevel 5 (causing the display manager to start)

and using the name K09dm in runlevel 3 (causing the display manager to shut down). The dm script in turn calls /etc/X11/prefdm, which reads /etc/sysconfig/desktop and uses the variable DISPLAYMANAGER to determine which XDMCP server to run.

cron Mandrake's default cron configuration includes an /etc/crontab file that calls files in the /etc/cron.interval directories, where interval is hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly, at the stated intervals. Except for the hourly run, these scripts run between 4:02 a.m. and 4:42 a.m.

Super Server Mandrake uses xinetd by default. The /etc/xinetd.conf file is the master configuration file, while /etc/xinetd.d holds files for specific servers that xinetd is to handle.

Mail Server Mandrake ships with Postfix as the default mail server. It's administered through files in /etc/postfix.

Network Configuration Mandrake uses the /etc/rc.d/init.d/network SysV startup script to start basic networking features. This script relies on variables stored in the /etc/sysconfig/network and (for PC Card devices) /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia files and files in the /etc/sysconfig/networking and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts directories. Therefore, you must edit these files to permanently change some networking details.

Local Startup Files If you want to change something about the system configuration that doesn't fit in well in the default script set, you can edit the /etc/rc.d/rc.local script. This script executes after the conventional SysV startup scripts.

Using the Mandrake Control Center can help new administrators and those unfamiliar with Mandrake's version of Linux to configure some basic system features. If you launch this tool accidentally, be sure to tell it to ignore any changes (by clicking Cancel or other abort buttons), should it ask you about committing your changes to the system.

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