Whilst great strides have been made by the Linux community to provide GUI’s for many tasks, it is still a command line driven OS at it’s heart. This, of course, is one of its strengths as everything can be scripted too. However, for none IT techies, it is very daunting.
Here I’m listing some of the system files I’ve had (or at least wanted) to change by hand. It’s a very quick reference, largely for my own benefit should I need to rebuild my system.
Even now you might need to hand crank this file to get all of the settings you need
SUSE does not include /sbin in the default path
Printer server subsystem (CUPS) configuration – may need to tweak the access permissions
Added some stuff to speed up printing from the FireFox web browser. See the article on Google Answers for details
What and how disk partitions get mounted at boot time – may need to change permissions or may wish to remove certain entries
Useful to override host name to address mappings for development and testing work
What people see if they log in to your system using a command line shell
Controls how network names are looked up. Tweaking this can make DNS lookups a lot faster
Configure access to Windows type resources on the host machine
Configure if/how the host system automatically mounts Windows resources from other machines so that they appear as Linux mounts. Use this rather than /etc/fstab if you want the embedded password only visible to the root user
Which users can sudo. You can also configure particular applications to automatically get sudo privaledges if you want to (hint: it is rather nice to set up a script that updates all installed software packages)
If you want to bridge two network interfaces (see the last post for information on why you would want to do this), you have to set things up by hand
SUSE has an excellent GUI for managing network interfaces but just occasionally you might need to manually tweak one
The SUSE network configuration GUI seems to have a tendency to loose the default route
Configure logging levels
UDEV handles automatic creation of device files based on event rules. On my system I had to tweak the permissions on a USB scanner so that the scanning software VueScan could get access. You can also add rules to run scripts when certain hardware is detected.
This list applies to a desktop machine running OpenSUSE 10.3
It is quite likely that some of these files do have a GUI but sometimes it is just easier to get in there and edit.