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Intro Linux

Intro Linux

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Introduction to Linux
A Hands on Guide
Machtelt Garrels
Xalasys.com
<tille wants no spam _at_ xalasys dot com>

Version 1.18 20050524 Edition
Copyright \u00a9 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Machtelt Garrels
First published December 2002

Table of Contents
Introduction.........................................................................................................................................................1

1. Why this guide?...................................................................................................................................1 2. Who should read this book?.................................................................................................................1 3. New versions and availability..............................................................................................................1 4. Revision History..................................................................................................................................2 5. Contributions.......................................................................................................................................4 6. Feedback..............................................................................................................................................4 7. Copyright information.........................................................................................................................4 8. What do you need?...............................................................................................................................5 9. Conventions used in this document.....................................................................................................5 10. Organization of this document...........................................................................................................6

Chapter 1. What is Linux?.................................................................................................................................8

1.1. History..............................................................................................................................................8
1.1.1. UNIX.......................................................................................................................................8
1.1.2. Linus and Linux.......................................................................................................................9
1.1.3. Current application of Linux systems...................................................................................10
1.2. The user interface............................................................................................................................10
1.2.1. Is Linux difficult?..................................................................................................................10
1.2.2. Linux for non\u2212experienced users..........................................................................................11
1.3. Does Linux have a future?..............................................................................................................11
1.3.1. Open Source..........................................................................................................................11
1.3.2. Ten years of experience at your service................................................................................12
1.4. Properties of Linux.........................................................................................................................13
1.4.1. Linux Pros.............................................................................................................................13
1.4.2. Linux Cons............................................................................................................................14
1.5. Linux Flavors..................................................................................................................................15
1.5.1. Linux and GNU.....................................................................................................................15
1.5.2. GNU/Linux............................................................................................................................16
1.5.3. Which distribution should I install?......................................................................................16
1.6. Summary.........................................................................................................................................17
1.7. Exercises.........................................................................................................................................17

Chapter 2. Quickstart.......................................................................................................................................19

2.1. Logging in, activating the user interface and logging out..............................................................19
2.1.1. Introduction...........................................................................................................................19
2.1.2. Graphical mode.....................................................................................................................19
2.1.3. Text mode..............................................................................................................................21
2.2. Absolute basics...............................................................................................................................21
2.2.1. The commands......................................................................................................................21
2.2.2. General remarks....................................................................................................................22
2.2.3. Using Bash features...............................................................................................................23
2.3. Getting help.....................................................................................................................................24
2.3.1. Be warned..............................................................................................................................24
2.3.2. The man pages.......................................................................................................................24
2.3.3. More info...............................................................................................................................26
2.4. Summary.........................................................................................................................................29
2.5. Exercises.........................................................................................................................................29

Introduction to Linux
i
Table of Contents
Chapter 2. Quickstart

2.5.1. Connecting and disconnecting...............................................................................................30 2.5.2. Passwords..............................................................................................................................30 2.5.3. Directories.............................................................................................................................30 2.5.4. Files.......................................................................................................................................31 2.5.5. Getting help...........................................................................................................................31

Chapter 3. About files and the file system......................................................................................................33

3.1. General overview of the Linux file system.....................................................................................33
3.1.1. Files.......................................................................................................................................33
3.1.2. About partitioning.................................................................................................................35
3.1.3. More file system layout.........................................................................................................37
3.2. Orientation in the file system..........................................................................................................40
3.2.1. The path.................................................................................................................................40
3.2.2. Absolute and relative paths...................................................................................................42
3.2.3. The most important files and directories...............................................................................42
3.2.4. The most important configuration files.................................................................................45
3.2.5. The most common devices....................................................................................................46
3.2.6. The most common variable files...........................................................................................47
3.3. Manipulating files...........................................................................................................................48
3.3.1. Viewing file properties..........................................................................................................48
3.3.2. Creating and deleting files and directories............................................................................51
3.3.3. Finding files...........................................................................................................................54
3.3.4. More ways to view file content.............................................................................................58
3.3.5. Linking files..........................................................................................................................59
3.4. File security.....................................................................................................................................61
3.4.1. Access rights: Linux's first line of defense............................................................................61
3.4.2. The tools................................................................................................................................62
3.5. Summary.........................................................................................................................................67
3.6. Exercises.........................................................................................................................................69
3.6.1. Partitions................................................................................................................................69
3.6.2. Paths......................................................................................................................................69
3.6.3. Tour of the system.................................................................................................................69
3.6.4. Manipulating files..................................................................................................................70
3.6.5. File permissions.....................................................................................................................70

Chapter 4. Processes.........................................................................................................................................71

4.1. Processes inside out........................................................................................................................71
4.1.1. Multi\u2212user and multi\u2212tasking...............................................................................................71
4.1.2. Process types.........................................................................................................................71
4.1.3. Process attributes...................................................................................................................73
4.1.4. Displaying process information.............................................................................................74
4.1.5. Life and death of a process....................................................................................................76
4.1.6. SUID and SGID.....................................................................................................................78
4.2. Boot process, Init and shutdown.....................................................................................................80
4.2.1. Introduction...........................................................................................................................80
4.2.2. The boot process....................................................................................................................80
4.2.3. GRUB features......................................................................................................................80

Introduction to Linux
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