Ever wanted to learn how the internals of your Linux desktop work? Yes, we’ve already published detailed “how it works” articles about things like sound, the kernel, LVM, PAM and filesystems, but in this article we’re going to take a wider view and explain how everything in a modern Linux distro works, start to finish.
We’ve opted for a top-down view, tackling each stratum of Linux technology from the desktop to the kernel as it appears to the average user. This way, you can descend from your desktop comfort zone into the underworld of Linux archaeology, where we’ll find plenty of relics from the bygone era of multi-user systems, dumb terminals, remote connections and geeks gone by. We’re also going to be showing you some commands you can use to poke around on your own system, because where’s the point of learning stuff you can’t use?
This is one of the things that makes Linux so interesting: you can see exactly what has happened, why and when. This enables us to dissect the operating system in a way we couldn’t attempt with some alternatives, while at the same time, you learn something about why things work the way they do on the surface. Sound awesome? Sure it does – read on!