This is mainly aimed at people who have recently finished the base installation of linux, and finding it difficult to configure it for their own use.i've included the problems which are posted the most. Itâ€™s not possible to think about all the possible difficulties a person may face, so please add to this thread to make it more useful. Correcting the display Certain distributions like debian,mandrake etc do not correctly detect the refresh rate and resolution of the monitor.this is due to an incorrect value of the modelinein the XFree86Config file.to fix this,go to here, and supply the requisite values for getting the correct modeline. Now find the XFree86Config file using the #locate command.open the file in any editor and copy that value of modeline in the â€œmonitorâ€? block in the following format Modeline â€œ[resolution]@[refresh rate]â€? [value of modeline] Now go to the â€œscreenâ€™ block and add the resolution @refresh rate(without hz) under the default colour depth in the line listing ur available screen resolutions. Restart X and the problem should be solved. Accessing the windows partitions Most modern distros automatically detect the windows partition,if present,while a few others donâ€™t.to be able to view your windows files when ur logged into linux,u need to mount the partition that houses those files. First create the directories to mount the partitions in using#mkdir /directorypath In my case,the directories are placed in /mnt,so the command is mkdir /mnt/directoryname .now mount the necessary partition using#mount device path mont-point ,where device path is the name of the partition as in /dev,and mount-point is the name of the directory u created. To make the mounting permanent,ie to make sure the mounting occurs automatically u boot,u need to edit the /etc/fstab file.details of the file can be found here. Kernel recompilation The phrase â€œkernel recompilationâ€? presents the picture of a geek to most of the new linux users,but itâ€™s absolutely not true.in fact,itâ€™s just tweaking the heart of the system in the most user friendly way possible.because u can change the way the linux kernel works,you can tailor the system to ur needs,which results in more optimized performances. However,tweaking the kernel is not always necessary,unless you need to enable a few features that are not enabled by default.for example,if your windows partition uses the ntfs filesystem,then ur kernel needs to have ntfs read support.but some distros like fc3 do not have ntfs read support enabled by default.to make these changes,u need to change the kernel.you can always keep a backup of your default kernel and boot through it to avoid messing up the system. The kernels-source is generally located in thr /usr/src directory.or else, u can download the latest stable kernel from www.kernel.org.if uâ€™ve downloaded the kernel,first uncompress it using #bunzip2 filename.tar.bz2or #gunzip filename.tar.gz (if the extension is .gz).then untar it using #tar -xvf filename.tar Enter the directory containing the kernel source and issue the following commands one after another: a)#make mrproper(prepares the kernel installation directories for a rebuild) b)#make xconfig(this is the most important step where you get to configure all the kernel features.if this is ur first time,go through the help files associated with each of the kernel modules.if you are recompiling the kernel for some specific purpose,first configure that option before you forget it) c)#make dep(this is to fix the dependencies that have not been fixed manually) d)#make clean(not necessary if you are using this ource for the first time.this coomands cleans up the source tree for a complete rebuild) e)#make bzImage(this creates a compressed image of the kernel with the options you selected.this step may take some time,depending on the options you selected and the system memory. Now copy the kernel image to the /boot directory using #cp bzImage /boot/bzImage. After the file is placed in the /boot directory,edit the /boot/grub/grub.conf and add the new image to the boot list. Then reboot your machine to boot using your new kernel.