This chapter covered various administrative aspects of the Linux operating system, including system configuration and log files, backup and archival procedures, and building applications from source code.
The chapter started out with system configuration files. Unlike other operating systems, where the system configuration is stored in some binary format or other, Linux and most other UNIX derivatives store their configuration information in plain text files. This allows you to easily see and edit this configuration without much effort, and makes it easier for you to back up these files as part of your full or incremental backup procedures.
We then proceeded to look at log files. As you may have seen, the core Linux components , such as the kernel, as well as other services and applications, log all types of information to these text files. If you pay close attention to the content in these log files, you can find and diagnose all types of issues from hardware failures to security alerts.
System configuration and log files are very important aspects of your operating system. For you to keep your Linux system running even when faced with a severe crash, you need to implement a useful backup strategy. We discussed all types of backup and archival strategy, including what tools to use; how, when, and where to back up; and what types of issues you need to watch for.
The chapter finished with an explanation of how to compile applications from source code. There will be many occasions where you will find an application in source code form only; no binary RPM package may be available. You can use the various development tools with the techniques discussed in the chapter to build applications. In fact, the same strategy and techniques can be used to build the most complex application of them all: the Linux kernel (covered in Chapter 12).