New HOWTO: The Linux Kernel HOWTO - page 8
Table of Contents
7. Additional packages
Your linux kernel has many features which are not explained in the
kernel source itself; these features are typically utilized through
external packages. Some of the most common are listed here.
The linux console probably has more features than it deserves. Among
these are the ability to switch fonts, remap your keyboard, switch
video modes (in newer kernels), etc. The kbd package has programs
which allow the user to do all of this, plus many fonts and keyboard
maps for almost any keyboard, and is available from the same sites
that carry the kernel source.
Rik Faith (firstname.lastname@example.org) put together a large collection of linux
utilities which are, by odd coincidence, called util-linux. These are
now maintained by Andries Brouwer (email@example.com). Available
via anonymous ftp from sunsite.unc.edu in /pub/Linux/system/misc, it
contains programs such as setterm, rdev, and ctrlaltdel, which are
relevant to the kernel. As Rik says, do not install without thinking;
you do not need to install everything in the package, and it could
very well cause serious problems if you do.
As with many packages, this was once a kernel patch and support
programs. The patches made it into the official kernel, and the
programs to optimize and play with your hard disk are distributed
gpm stands for general purpose mouse. This program allows you to cut
and paste text between virtual consoles and do other things with a
large variety of mouse types.