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Linux Guide to Linux Certification

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Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, Second Edition

Chapter 1

Introduction to Linux


Operating systems l.jpg

Operating Systems

  • Computers have two fundamental components:

    • Hardware: Physical components inside a computer

    • Software: Set of instructions or programs that understand how to use the hardware of the computer in a meaningful way

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Operating Systems (continued)

  • Hardware components include:

    • Processor (CPU)

    • Physical memory (RAM)

    • Hard disk, floppy disk, and CD-ROM drives

    • Sound and video cards

    • Circuit boards

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Operating Systems (continued)

  • Two different types of programs are executed on a computer:

    • Applications

    • Operating system (OS) software

  • Device Driver: Software containing instructions that the OS uses to control and interact with a specific type of computer hardware

  • User Interface: An application program that allows the user to interact with the OS and other application programs

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Operating Systems (continued)

Figure 1-1: The role of operating system software

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Operating Systems (continued)

  • Graphical user interface (GUI): Component of an OS that provides a user-friendly interface

  • System services: Applications that handle system-related tasks

    • Printing

    • Scheduling programs

    • Network access

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Operating Systems (continued)

Figure 1-2: A Linux graphical user interface

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The Linux Operating System

  • OS used to run a variety of applications on a variety of different hardware

  • Has the ability to manage thousands of tasks at the same time

  • Allows multiple users to access the system simultaneously

    • Multiuser and multitasking OS

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Versions of the Linux Operating System

  • Core component is called the Linux kernel

    • Written almost entirely in the C programming language

  • Software can be used to modify appearance of Linux, but the kernel is common to all Linux

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Identifying Kernel Versions

  • Linux kernel versions are composed of:

    • Major number

    • Minor number

      • If odd, referred to as a developmental kernel

      • If even, referred to as a production kernel

    • Revision number

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Identifying Kernel Versions (continued)

Table 1-1: Latest revisions of common Linux kernels

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Licensing Linux

  • Open Source Software (OSS): Programs distributed and licensed so that the source code is available to anyone who wants to examine, utilize, or improve upon it

    • Format and structure of source code follows rules defined by the programming language in which it was written

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Licensing Linux (continued)

  • Implications of OSS:

    • Developed very rapidly through widespread collaboration

    • Bugs (errors) are noted and promptly fixed

    • Features evolve quickly based on users’ needs

    • Perceived value of the software increases because it is based on usefulness, not on price

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Licensing Linux (continued)

Table 1-2: Software types

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Types of Closed Source Licenses

  • Most closed source software is sold commercially

    • e.g., Microsoft or Electronic Arts software

  • Freeware: Distributed free of charge; source code is not available

  • Shareware: Initially free, but requires payment after a period of time or usage

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Linux Advantages:Meeting Business Needs

  • Common software available for Linux includes:

    • Scientific and engineering software

    • Software emulators

    • Web servers, Web browsers, and e-commerce suites

    • Desktop productivity software

    • Graphics manipulation software

    • Database software

    • Security software

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Linux Advantages:Ease of Customization

  • Ability to control the inner workings of an OS

    • To use Linux as an Internet Web server, compile the kernel to include only the support needed to be an Internet Web server

      • Results in a much smaller and faster kernel

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Linux Advantages: Ease of Obtaining Support

  • Linux documentation can be found on the Internet

    • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • HOWTO documents

  • Linux Newsgroups

  • Linux User Group (LUG): Open forum of Linux users who discuss and assist each other in using and modifying the Linux OS

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Linux Advantages: Cost Reduction

Table 1-3:Calculating the total cost of ownership

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The History of Linux

Figure 1-4: Timeline of UNIX and Linux development

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UNIX

  • Evolved from Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (MULTICS)

  • The first true multitasking, multiuser OS

  • Written in the C programming language

    • Portable OS

  • OS from which Linux originated

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UNIX (continued)

  • Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)

    • Version of the original UNIX source code

  • Common flavors of UNIX today include:

    • Sun Microsystems’s Solaris

    • Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX

    • IBM’s AIX UNIX

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Linux

  • First developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991

    • Published under the GNU license

  • Linux kernel developed collaboratively and centrally managed

    • Linux is simply a by-product of OSS development

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Linux Distributions

  • Red Hat and SuSE

  • Distributions may appear different on the surface, but run the same kernel

  • Most distributions ship with a GUI that can be further customized to suit needs of the user

    • Core component of this GUI is X Windows

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Linux Distributions (continued)

  • GUI environment: X Windows in combination with a window manager and desktop environment

  • Two competing GUI environments in Linux:

    • GNU Object Model Environment (GNOME)

    • Kommon Desktop Environment (KDE)

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Linux Distributions (continued)

Figure 1-5: The GNOME Desktop

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Common Uses of Linux

  • May be customized to provide services for a variety of companies in a variety of situations

  • Workstation services: Services used on a local computer

  • Server services: Services made available for other computers across a network

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Internet Servers: Mail Services

  • Mail transfer agent (MTA): An e-mail server

  • Mail delivery agent (MDA): Service that downloads e-mail from an MTA

  • Mail user agent (MUA): Program that allows e-mail to be read by a user

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Internet Servers:Routing and FTP Services

  • Routing: Provides interconnection between separate networks

    • Core service necessary for Internet to function

    • Linux provides support for routing and is easily customizable

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Services: Most common and efficient method for transferring files over the Internet

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Internet Servers:Firewalls and Proxy Services

  • Firewall: Protects companies from outside intruders on the Internet

    • Linux has firewall support built into the kernel

  • Proxy server: requests Internet resources such as Web sites and FTP sites on behalf of the computer inside the company

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Internet Servers:Web Services and News Services

  • Web services: Web servers host information (text, pictures, music, binary data, and video)

    • Can also process programs known as Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts and provide secure connections

  • News services: News servers allow users to post messages in forums called newsgroups

    • Most Web servers do not provide means for users to communicate

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Internet Servers: DNS Services

  • Computers communicating on a network need to be uniquely identified

    • Each computer is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address

      • Long string of numbers

      • Allows computers to identify and reference each other

  • Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN): Masks IP addresses with user-friendly names

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File and Print Servers

  • Linux is well-suited for centrally sharing resources

    • More economical to share files and printers over a network

    • Inherently fast and light

    • A distribution specific to a certain task can be installed on the central server

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Application Servers

  • Application server: Intermediary between a client computer and a database

  • Database: Organized collection of data that is arranged into tables of related information

  • Database Management Systems (DBMS): Set of programs designed for creation, modification, manipulation, maintenance, and access of information from databases

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Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification, Second Edition

Chapter 2

Preparing for Linux Installation


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Objectives

  • Describe common types of hardware and their features

  • Obtain the hardware and software information necessary to install Linux

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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

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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

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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)

  • 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

  • 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: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

Table 2-4: Red Hat 7.2 hardware requirements

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Gathering Preinstallation Information (continued)

Table 2-5: Sample pre-installation checklist

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Gathering Preinstallation Information (continued)

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

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Gathering Hardware Information

  • 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)

Figure 2-2: The Windows System Information tool

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued)

Figure 2-3: The Windows Device Manager

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued)

Figure 2-4: The Windows Display applet

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued)

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

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Gathering Hardware Information (continued)

Figure 2-6: BIOS Setup Utility

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Gathering Software Information

  • Identifying system network configuration:

    • Hostname

    • IP address

    • Netmask

    • Gateway

    • DNS servers

      • Resolve FQDNs

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Gathering Software Information (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)

Table 2-6: Common Linux packages

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Gathering Software Information (continued)

Table 2-6 (continued): Common Linux packages

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