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Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, Second Edition. Chapter 2 Preparing for Linux Installation. Objectives. Describe common types of hardware and their features Obtain the hardware and software information necessary to install Linux. Understanding Hardware: Central Processing Units (CPUs).

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Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, Second Edition

Chapter 2

Preparing for Linux Installation


Objectives l.jpg
Objectives

  • Describe common types of hardware and their features

  • Obtain the hardware and software information necessary to install Linux

Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, 2e


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Understanding Hardware:Central Processing Units (CPUs)

  • Core component of any computer

    • Also known as microprocessor or processor

  • Two main components:

    • Arithmetic logic unit (ALU): Mathematical calculations and logic-based operations executed here

    • Control unit (CU): Instruction code or commands loaded and carried out here

Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, 2e


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Understanding Hardware: CPUs (continued)

  • Processor architecture: Arrangement of a processor’s integral electronics

  • Two main processor architectures:

    • Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC)

    • Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC)

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Understanding Hardware: CPUs (continued)

  • Clock speed: Internal time cycle of a processor

    • Determines speed that processor executes commands

    • Measured in Megahertz (MHz)

  • A processor may require one cycle to complete a command or may be superscalar

  • Amount of information a processor can process at one time is a major factor in clock speed

    • Measured in binary digits (bits)

    • The more information that can be worked on at once, the faster data can be manipulated

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Understanding Hardware: CPUs (continued)

  • Cache: Temporary store of information

    • Cache size and location affect a processor’s ability to calculate larger volumes of data

  • Level 1 (L1) cache: Cache stored in the processor itself

  • Level 2 (L2) cache: Cache stored in a separate computer chip

    • Connected to processor via high speed link

  • Level 3 (L3) cache: Cache stored on a separate computer chip

    • Connected directly to processor

Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, 2e


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Understanding Hardware: CPUs (continued)

  • Multiple processors can work together

    • Perform the same tasks faster

    • Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP): Allows OS and memory to use both processors simultaneously for any task

    • ASymmetric Multi-Processing (ASMP): Each processor given a set of tasks to complete independently

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory

  • Storage area for information that is directly wired through circuit boards to the processor

  • Two main categories:

    • Random Access Memory (RAM)

      • Volatile memory

    • Read Only Memory (ROM)

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory―RAM

  • Requires constant supply of electricity to maintain stored information

  • Directly related to computer performance

  • Two major categories:

    • Dynamic RAM (DRAM)

    • Static RAM (SRAM)

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory―RAM (continued)

  • Three main types of DRAM sticks:

    • Single In-line Memory Modules (SIMM)

      • No longer produced

    • Dual In-line Memory Modules (DIMM)

    • Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Modules (SODIMM)

      • Used in portable notebook computers and Macintosh systems

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory―RAM (continued)

  • Three recent DIMM technologies:

    • Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (SDRAM)

    • Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory (DDR SDRAM)

    • Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory (RDRAM)

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory―ROM

  • Read-only Memory: Physical memory that can be read but not written to

    • Nonvolatile

  • Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) ROM: Stores programs used to initialize hardware components when starting computer

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Understanding Hardware:Physical Memory―ROM Variants

  • Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM): Can only be written to once

  • Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM): Contents can be repeatedly erased and rewritten as a whole

  • Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM): Whole or partial contents can be repeatedly erased/rewritten

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives

  • Most information in a computer maintained using nonvolatile media, not consisting of integrated circuits

    • Hard disk

    • Floppy disk

    • CD-ROM, DVD

    • CD-RW, DVD-RW disk

    • Zip disk

    • Flash Memory

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives―Hard Disk Drives

  • Not directly wired to the processor

    • Pass through a hard disk controller card

      • Controls flow of information to and from the hard disk drive (HDD)

  • Two types of controller cards:

    • Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE)

      • Also known as Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) controllers

    • Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives―HDDs (continued)

Table 2-1: IDE HDD configurations

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives―HDDs (continued)

  • Partitions: Small, manageable sections of a hard drive

  • Filesystems: Specify how data should reside on the hard disk itself

    • A partition must be formatted with a filesystem

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives―HDDs (continued)

  • Primary partitions: Major unique and separate HDD divisions

  • Extended partitions: Partitions that can be further subdivided into logical drives

  • Master Boot Record (MBR): Table of all partition information for a hard disk

    • Stored outside of all partitions

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Understanding Hardware:Disk Drives―HDDs (continued)

Table 2-2: Example partitioning scheme for a primary master IDE HDD

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Understanding Hardware: Disk Drives―Other Information Storage Devices

  • Removable media: Information storage media that can be removed from the computer

    • Transferable between computers

  • Floppy disks: Store information electro-magnetically

    • Used in floppy disk drives

  • Zip disks: Similar to floppy disks

    • Can store much more information

    • Used in zip drives

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Understanding Hardware: Disk Drives―Other Information Storage Devices (continued)

  • DVDs and CD-ROMs: Use lasers to read reflected light pulses

    • Greater data transfer speed

    • Larger storage capacity

    • More resistance to data loss than floppy disks or ZIP disks

  • Flash memory drives: Use EEPROM chips to store information

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components

  • Bus: Pathway information takes from one hardware device to another via a mainboard

  • Mainboard (also called a motherboard): Circuit board that connects all other hardware components together via slots or ports on the circuit board

  • Peripheral components: Attach to the mainboard of a computer

    • e.g., video cards, sound cards, and network interface cards (NICs)

    • Connected via an Input/Output bus represented by different slots or ports on the mainboard

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • Three common slots for peripheral devices:

    • Industry Standard Architecture (ISA): Information transfer at 8 MHz

    • Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI): Information transfer at 33 MHz

      • Can use Direct Memory Access (DMA)

    • Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP): Information transfer over 66 MHz

      • Designed for video card peripherals

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

Figure 2-1: Mainboard components

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • Other peripherals may have external connections to mainboard

    • PS/2

    • COM (Serial)

    • LPT

    • USB

    • IEEE1394 (Firewire)

    • PCMCIA

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • PS/2 ports: Connect keyboards and mice to computers

  • COM ports: Connect a variety of peripherals to the mainboard

    • Serial port

  • LPT ports: Most commonly connect printers to the mainboard

    • Parallel ports

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) port: Connects peripheral components such as mice, printers, and scanners

    • Hot-swappable: Can be attached to the computer while it is running

  • FireWire (IEEE1394): Hot-swappable variant of USB commonly used to connect SCSI hard disks, scanners, digital cameras, and CD-RW drives

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) ports: Allow a small card to be inserted into the computer with electronics necessary to provide certain functionality

  • Advanced Power Management (APM): BIOS feature that shuts off power to unused peripheral devices

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Understanding Hardware: Mainboards and Peripheral Components (continued)

  • Interrupt Request Line (IRQ): Specifies a unique channel from a device to the CPU

  • Input/Output (IO) address: Small working area of RAM where CPU can pass information to and receive information from a device

  • Plug-and-Play (PnP): OS and peripheral devices that automatically assign the correct IRQ, I/O address, and DMA settings

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Understanding Hardware: Video Adapter Cards and Monitors (continued)

  • Video adapter cards: Provide graphical display when connected to a monitor

    • Commonly referred to as video cards

  • Resolution: Total number of pixels that can be displayed on a computer video screen

  • Color depth: Total set of colors that can be displayed on a computer video screen

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Understanding Hardware: Video Adapter Cards and Monitors (continued)

Table 2-3: Memory requirements for screen resolution and color depths

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Understanding Hardware: Video Adapter Cards and Monitors (continued)

  • Refresh rate: Rate at which information displayed on a video screen is refreshed

    • Measured in Hertz (Hz)

    • Two types of refresh rates:

      • HSync (horizontal refresh)

      • VSync (vertical refresh)

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Understanding Hardware: (continued)Keyboards and Mice

  • Facilitates user input and direction

  • Variety of ways to connect to motherboard

    • Serial port

    • Large circular AT 5-pin connector

    • Small circular PS/2 6-pin connector

    • USB connection

    • Wireless or radio connection

  • Check hardware components against a Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

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Gathering Preinstallation Information (continued)

Table 2-4: Red Hat 7.2 hardware requirements

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Gathering Preinstallation Information (continued) (continued)

Table 2-5: Sample pre-installation checklist

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Gathering Preinstallation Information (continued) (continued)

Table 2-5 (continued): Sample pre-installation checklist

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued)

  • Tools and resources to check hardware against a preinstallation checklist:

    • Computer manuals

    • Windows System Information tool (if Windows already installed)

    • Windows Device Manager (if Windows already installed)

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued) (continued)

Figure 2-2: The Windows System Information tool

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued) (continued)

Figure 2-3: The Windows Device Manager

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued) (continued)

Figure 2-4: The Windows Display applet

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued) (continued)

Figure 2-5: System Power-On Self Test (POST)

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued) (continued)

Figure 2-6: BIOS Setup Utility

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Gathering Software Information (continued)

  • Identifying system network configuration:

    • Hostname

    • IP address

    • Netmask

    • Gateway

    • DNS servers

      • Resolve FQDNs

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Gathering Software Information (continued) (continued)

  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server: Server on network providing IP configuration to requesting computers

    • If selected during installation, Linux will attempt to get IP settings from a DHCP server on the network

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Gathering Software Information (continued) (continued)

Table 2-6: Common Linux packages

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Gathering Software Information (continued) (continued)

Table 2-6 (continued): Common Linux packages

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Summary (continued)

  • Understand the hardware before an installation

    • Allows you to make appropriate choices

    • Verify that the installation was successful

  • CPUs process most instructions in a computer

  • Two CPU architectures: RISC and CISC

  • Computer memory can be volatile (RAM) or nonvolatile (ROM)

Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, 2e


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Summary (continued) (continued)

  • Most information is stored on hard disks, floppy disks, and CD-ROMs in a nonvolatile manner

    • Two main types of hard disks: SCSI and IDE

  • Peripheral components (video adapter cards, sound cards, mice, keyboards, NICs) attach to mainboard via an expansion slot or port

  • Common expansion slots: ISA, PCI, and AGP

  • Common ports: PS/2, serial, parallel, USB, FireWire, and PCMCIA

Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, 2e


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Summary (continued) (continued)

  • All peripherals must have a unique IRQ and I/O address to communicate with the processor

    • Can use DMA to bypass some processor operations

  • Hardware information can be gathered from computer manuals, BIOS, or other OSs

  • Can set software information at installation

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