Bill Jonas on Thu, 4 Oct 2001 11:37:41 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] A few newbie questions :-)

On Thu, Oct 04, 2001 at 10:52:57AM -0400, kaze wrote:
> :-) Just installed RH 7.1 on my laptop (dual booting with W2K AS), but want
> to patch it prior to putting it on the Internet. How do you know what
> patches are needed and where do you get them from? Are there Linux patches
> in addition to distribution specific ones?

Generally one would subscribe to the security mailing list of the maker
of their distribution.  I couldn't find it right away on, but
it *is* there, I've seen it before.  In the mean time, has links to
documents covering errata and security advisories.

> :-) How do you set up hibernation under Linux? (Like where you save memory
> and state to disk and shut down totally, then power back up to exactly where
> you were insofar as windows open, programs running etc..)

That might be a hardware-specific thing; I'm not sure.  There are
userland tools for sleep mode (like /usr/bin/apm).  I've never attempted

> :-) I know you can run *n*x just as a CLI. But can you just run X-Windows
> _without_ Gnome or KDE? What would you get?

I'm not sure if you mean just running X by itself, or with another
window manager.  I'll answer both questions:

1.) Try it. ;)  Invoke 'X' by itself  at the command line.  (If you
already have X running and don't want to close your X session, try
running 'X :1.0' to start a second X server on a different virtual
console.)  Not very interesting, eh?  Generally, you'll want to have at
least one program for the X server to start up and monitor, so that the
server will exit when that program dies.  This can be as simple as
saying 'startx /usr/bin/X11/xterm' or as complicated as running KDE or

2.) That's not to say that KDE and GNOME are the *only* window managers
out there; many people prefer others.  I currently use Sawfish.  A
friend of mine uses Enlightenment.  A lot of people still like fvwm.
IceWM, fvwm95, AfterStep...

> :-) Is it straightforward to upgrade to new versions of kernels or
> distributions or easier / better to reinstall? Is this all about planning
> partitions?

Reinstalling can be a real pain, because then you have to reconfigure
everything, make sure you get all the stuff installed that were using
before, back up your data, restore, etc.  However, it often can be
simpler.  Also, if your system is serving you well and there's not some
new feature in the latest version that you really want, it's not a bad
idea to just keep using what you have until there's a compelling reason
to upgrade.  You'll want to keep on top of the security updates from
your vendor, though, and install those as they come out.  Red Hat, for
example, will provide security fixes and RPMs of newer kernel versions

As to the second part of the question, I'm not sure what you're asking.
Certainly, if you have a good partitioning scheme, it can make
reinstalling (and to some degree, upgrading) easier.  For example, if
you have /home on its own partition, you can always install another
distribution without having to back up your data (although it's a good
idea in case you mistype which partition you want...) and simply
mounting the /home partition under /home in your new install.


Bill Jonas    *    *
"They that can give up  essential  liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."        -- Benjamin Franklin

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