I'm trying to understand all the text that screams by when my server boots up. Is that really intended to be human readable? About how many lines scream by? Is there a way I can count them? Is there an overall structure to what screams by (e.g. kernel, hardware recognized, network recognized, overall OS coming up)?
Once the system has started, you can use the
dmesg command (maybe better
dmesg | less) to read the kernel ring buffer. This buffer will include the messages during the boot if you use them just after it. Also, you can read
/var/log/syslog, deppending on your Linux distribution).