Thursday, May 28, 2009

Difference between Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux

Red hat Linux and SUSE linux don't have too much difference, the universal management tool: YaST makes it easier for Red hat Linux users to grasp SUSE Linux: The following is important difference between Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux in sysadmin perspective (based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10)

- Management tool
YaST is the central system management tool for SUSE Linux.
YaST is collection of modules,e.g "yast users " will go to user management module directly, yast -l to list all modules.

-- launch YaST:
yast: Start in text mode
yast2:Start in text mode/gui mode depending on the terminal capability

-Installation automation
Red Hat Linux: kickstart SUSE linux: AutoYast

- Boot
-- boot files:
/etc/init.d/boot #master boot control file called by init process
/etc/init.d/boot calls various scripts in /etc/init.d/boot.d/* to load modules/mount FS/activate network etc.
Files in /etc/init.d/boot.d/Sxxboot.* are sym link to /etc/init.d/boot.*, e.g. (/etc/init.d/boot.d/S08boot.localfs -> ../boot.localfs).
They are executed in ascending order.
Finally, /etc/init.d/boot call /etc/init.d/boot.local (like /etc/rc.local in RedHat Linux for user defined startup command )

-- Service control
Both can use chkconfig tool to control service, in addition. SuSE linux has rcSVCNAME command linked to the start script to control service directly . e.g
#file /usr/sbin/rcsshd
/usr/sbin/rcsshd: symbolic link to `/etc/init.d/sshd'

- User
New user added to users group by default, RedHat Linux added to new private group
For bash, local profile use ~/.profile, RedHat Linux use ~/.bash_profile

- Network
/etc/sysconfig/network/* #all network related config files
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth-id-MA-CA-DD-RE-SS #interface config files
/etc/HOSTNAME #set hostname,the file name is upper case.
/etc/sysconfig/network/routes #static routes

- Security
Red Hat Linux: SElinux
SuSE Linux: AppArmor
Both are based on Linux Security Modules (LSM) to overcome the limitation of traditional Discretionary Access Control (DAC), but the configuration details are totally different. The default configuration may cause weird issue, AppArmor can be turned with script /etc/init.d/boot.apparmor

Detailed document for Migrating from RedHat to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10

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