Linux Essentials, 2nd Edition

Sybex, 2015

by Christine Bresnahan and Richard Blum


Learn Linux, and take your career to the next level!

Linux Essentials, 2nd 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.

Access lessons that are organized by task, allowing you to quickly identify the topics you are looking for and navigate the comprehensive information presented by the book
Discover the basics of the Linux operating system, including distributions, types of open source applications, freeware, licensing, operations, navigation, and more
Explore command functions, including navigating the command line, turning commands into scripts, and more
Identify and create user types, users, and groups
Linux Essentials, 2nd Edition is a critical resource for anyone starting a career in IT or anyone new to the Linux operating system.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Selecting an Operating System 1

What Is an OS? 1

Investigating User Interfaces 4

Where Does Linux Fit in the OS World? 8

What Is a Distribution? 13

Chapter 2 Understanding Software Licensing 21

Investigating Software Licenses 21

Looking at the Free Software Foundation 24

Looking at the Open Source Initiative 26

Looking at the Creative Commons 29

Using Open Source Licenses 30

Chapter 3 Investigating Linux’s Principles and Philosophy 35

Exploring Linux through the Ages 35

Using Open Source Software 38

Understanding OS Roles 41

Chapter 4 Using Common Linux Programs 47

Using a Linux Desktop Environment 47

Working with Productivity Software 55

Using Server Programs 62

Managing Programming Languages 68

Handling Software Packages 71

Chapter 5 Managing Hardware 75

Learning about Your CPU 75

Identifying Motherboard Capabilities 78

Sizing Your Power Supply 80

Understanding Disk Issues 81

Managing Displays 89

Handling USB Devices 93

Managing Drivers 94

Chapter 6 Getting to Know the Command Line 99

Starting a Command Line 99

Running Programs 104

Using Shell Features 107

Getting Help Using man Pages 110

Getting Help Using info Pages 117

Finding Additional Documentation 120

Chapter 7 Managing Files 127

Understanding Where Things Go 127

Navigating Files and Directories 133

Manipulating Files 137

Manipulating Directories 145

Chapter 8 Searching, Extracting, and Archiving Data 151

Using Regular Expressions 151

Searching for and Extracting Data 153

Redirecting Input and Output 161

Archiving Data 166

Chapter 9 Exploring Processes and Process Data 175

Understanding Package Management 175

Understanding the Process Hierarchy 181

Identifying Running Processes 182

Using Log Files 187

Chapter 10 Editing Files 193

Understanding the Role of Text Files 193

Choosing an Editor 195

Launching an Editor 196

Editing Files with pico or nano 198

Editing Files with vi 202

Chapter 11 Creating Scripts 211

Beginning a Shell Script 212

Using Commands 212

Using Arguments 215

Using Variables 216

Using Conditional Expressions 219

Using Loops 220

Using Functions 221

Setting the Script’s Exit Value 223

Chapter 12 Understanding Basic Security 227

Understanding Accounts 227

Using Account Tools 234

Working as root 237

Chapter 13 Creating Users and Groups 245

Creating New Accounts 245

Modifying Accounts 253

Deleting Accounts 259

Managing Groups 262

Chapter 14 Setting Ownership and Permissions 267

Setting Ownership 267

Setting Permissions 271

Using Special Permission Bits and File Features 278

Chapter 15 Managing Network Connections 285

Understanding Network Features 285

Configuring a Network Connection 287

Testing Your Network Connection 299

Protecting Your System from the Bad Guys 303

Appendix A Answers to Review Questions 307

Appendix B LPI ’s Certification Program 327

Index 331


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