Use and Edit Files in the etc Directory

More than 2300 system configuration files and directories reside under the /etc directory if you carry out a default install of the software included with this book. Some major software packages, such as Apache, OpenSSH, and xinetd, have directories of configuration files under /etc. Other important system-related configuration files in /etc are

• fstab The system file system table is a text file listing each hard drive, CD-ROM, floppy, or other storage device attached to your PC. The table indexes each device's partition information with a place in your Linux file system (directory layout) and lists other options for each device when used with Linux. Nearly all entries in fstab can be manipulated by root using the mount command.

• inittab The system initialization table defines the default runlevel, also known as run-control level or system state. Changes to this file can determine whether your system boots to a graphical or text login, as well as whether dial-up remote access is enabled. (You learn about default runlevels in the section "System Services and Runlevels" located in Chapter 15, "Automating Tasks.")

• modprobe.conf This configuration file contains directions and options used when loading kernel modules to enable various types of hardware, such as sound, USB, networking, and so on (discussed in the section "Managing Modules" in Chapter 35). The contents of this file are used during boot time, and the file can be manually edited or automatically updated by Ubuntu.

• passwd The list of users for the system, along with user account information. The contents of this file can be changed by various programs, such as useradd or chsh.

• printcap The system's printer capabilities database (discussed in the section "Overview of Ubuntu Printing" in Chapter 12, "Printing with Ubuntu").

• shells A list of approved shells (command-line interfaces).

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