Someday, Red Hat Linux may have problems booting on your computer. If you see a message such as kernel panic , don t panic! You may not even have to restore your system from a backup. If you know the basic boot configuration files, you can quickly and easily diagnose and solve most boot problems.
To understand how Linux boot configuration files work, you need to understand the basic boot process, from hardware detection through runlevel management.
Then you can get into the nitty-gritty of the key boot configuration files for managing hardware, for finding your kernel, for starting your terminals, and for initializing services at the appropriate runlevel.
If you have a problem, the boot disk that you created during installation (you did create one, didn t you?) will normally get you around most problems. Otherwise, the Red Hat Linux installation boot disk, even the one on CD, can offer you a rich variety of rescue modes. This chapter covers the following topics: