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The Linux operating system comes in a variety of distributions, also known as distros or flavors. Linux repair, therefore, is usually best left to someone who is very familiar with the particular distribution in need of repair. If there is no one available who is familiar with the specific distribution in question, the next best option is to turn to someone who at least understands the basic Linux file system. Other tips for Linux repair include keeping up with the root password, hiring someone with experience working on the command line or who is preferably a Linux administrator. Familiarity with the desktop environment of the system and with the type of installation in question also are very helpful.
All of the aforementioned tips for Linux repair when selecting a repair technician can also be followed by the user of the system him or herself. Most of the skills and knowledge needed to repair Linux can be gained at a comfortable learning pace while using distributions, because most of them are stable enough to allow sufficient time to acquire familiarity and understanding before problems arise. One of the most important tips to follow is the need to keep up with the root password if one is needed for administrative tasks on the system. Some distributions run as root all of the time, so there really is no password for a root user. It is almost always necessary to know the root password in the event a system needs repair, because many files cannot be configured without administrative rights.
Familiarity with the distribution in need of repair is probably second to the importance of knowing the root password, because although all Linux distributions are based on the Linux kernel, significant difference are found in the file systems of some of them. Knowing exactly where system files are stored saves time when troubleshooting for Linux repair. Experience with the desktop environment can also be very helpful when only light repair is needed. The two most widely used environments are GNOME and the K desktop environment (KDE). There are also different "stations" or versions of Linux, such as those used for server operations, distributions used by software developers and the personal work station for basic home computing.
Although it might not be considered a "tip" for Linux repair, knowledge of the basic structure and philosophy behind Linux can be extremely helpful. For example, under Linux, almost everything is a file, and these files can be configured by anyone with the root password and a basic but solid knowledge of programming, especially in languages such as C and Python. Sometimes a few configuration changes in one or two files solves what appears to be a repair issue. Most avid Linux users also belong to at least one active online community of users for their particular distribution. This is basically the equivalent of a collaborative effort by users worldwide to offer mutual technical support to one another.
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