Book Image

Linux Essentials - Second Edition

By : Christine Bresnahan, Richard Blum
Book Image

Linux Essentials - Second Edition

By: Christine Bresnahan, Richard Blum

Overview of this book

Linux Essentials, Second Edition provides a solid foundation of knowledge for anyone considering a career in information technology, for anyone new to the Linux operating system, and for anyone who is preparing to sit for the Linux Essentials Exam. Through this engaging resource, you can access key information in a learning-by-doing style. Hands-on tutorials and end-of-chapter exercises and review questions lead you in both learning and applying new information—information that will help you achieve your goals! With the experience provided in this compelling reference, you can sit down for the Linux Essentials Exam with confidence. An open-source operating system, Linux is a UNIX-based platform that is freely updated by developers. The nature of its development means that Linux is a low-cost and secure alternative to other operating systems, and is used in many different IT environments. Passing the Linux Essentials Exam prepares you to apply your knowledge regarding this operating system within the workforce.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)

How This Book Is Organized

This book consists of 15 chapters plus this introduction. The chapters are organized as follows:

Chapter 1: Selecting an Operating System This chapter provides a birds-eye view of the world of operating systems. The chapter will help you understand exactly what Linux is and the situations in which you might want to use it.

Chapter 2: Understanding Software Licensing This chapter describes copyright law and the licenses that both Linux and non-Linux OSs use to expand or restrict users’ rights to use and copy software.

Chapter 3: Investigating Linux’s Principles and Philosophy This chapter covers Linux’s history and the ways in which Linux, and other OSs, are commonly used.

Chapter 4: Using Common Linux Programs This chapter covers the major categories of Linux software, and it provides pointers to some of the most popular Linux programs.

Chapter 5: Managing Hardware This chapter provides advice on how to select and use hardware in Linux. Specific topics range from the central processing unit (CPU) to device drivers.

Chapter 6: Getting to Know the Command Line This chapter tackles using typed commands to control Linux. Although many new users find this topic intimidating, command-line control of Linux is important.

Chapter 7: Managing Files This chapter describes how to move, rename, delete, and edit files. Directories are just a special type of file, so they are covered here as well.

Chapter 8: Searching, Extracting, and Archiving Data This chapter summarizes the tools that you can use to find data on your computer, as well as how you can manipulate data archive files for data transport and backup purposes.

Chapter 9: Exploring Processes and Process Data This chapter describes how to install programs in Linux and how to adjust the priority of running programs or terminate selected programs.

Chapter 10: Editing Files This chapter introduces the topic of editing text files. This includes the basic features of the pico, nano, and vi text-mode text editors, as well as some common configuration file and formatted text file conventions.

Chapter 11: Creating Scripts This chapter describes how to create simple scripts, which are programs that can run other programs. You can use scripts to help automate otherwise tedious manual tasks, thus improving your productivity.

Chapter 12: Understanding Basic Security This chapter introduces the concepts that are critical to understanding Linux’s multiuser nature. It also covers the root account, which Linux uses for most administrative tasks.

Chapter 13: Creating Users and Groups This chapter covers the software and procedures you use to create, modify, and delete accounts and groups, which define who may use the computer.

Chapter 14: Setting Ownership and Permissions This chapter describes how to control which users may access files and in what ways they may do so. In conjunction with users and groups, ownership and permissions control your computer’s security.

Chapter 15: Managing Network Connections This chapter covers the critical topic of telling Linux how to use a network, including testing the connection and some basic network security measures.

Broadly speaking, the chapters are arranged in order of increasing complexity in terms of the tasks and systems described. The book begins with background information on Linux and the philosophies that drive its development. Subsequent chapters describe basic user tasks, such as moving files around. The book concludes with the tasks that are of most interest to system administrators, such as account management and network configuration.

Each chapter begins with a list of the topics covered in that chapter. At the end of each chapter, you’ll find a few elements that summarize the material and encourage you to go further:

The Essentials and Beyond This is a one-paragraph summary of the material covered in the chapter. If something sounds unfamiliar when you read it, go back and review the relevant section of the chapter!

Suggested Exercises Each chapter includes two to four exercises that you should perform to give yourself more hands-on experience with Linux. These exercises do not necessarily have “correct” answers; instead, they’re intended to promote exploration and discovery of your own computer and of Linux.

Review Questions Each chapter concludes with a series of 10 review questions, in multiple-choice, true/false, or fill-in-the-blank format. (Answers to review questions appear in Appendix A.) These questions can help you test your knowledge and prepare you for the Linux Essentials exam. Note, however, that these questions are not taken from LPI’s exam. You should not memorize the answers to these questions and assume that doing so will enable you to pass the exam. Instead, study the text of the book and use Linux.

To get the most out of this book, you should read each chapter from start to finish, perform the suggested exercises, and answer the review questions. Even if you’re already familiar with a topic, you should skim the chapter; Linux is complex enough that there are often multiple ways to accomplish a task; you may learn something even if you’re already competent in a given area.