Linux System Administration: A User's Guide
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"Gagne is clearly an insider in the Linux community, familiar with both the technical details and the culture, which sets this book apart from others in the field."
--Joseph Sloan, Lead System Administrator, Mirai Consulting
This comprehensive, hands-on guide to Linux system administration provides you with the deeper understanding of the inner workings of Linux and the pragmatic techniques you need to become an outstanding Linux system administrator--whether you are a career administrator in a corporate environment or simply administering your home system.
Written both for those who are new to Linux and those who are already proficient and wish to hone their skills, Linux System Administration starts with the basics and builds up to more sophisticated material.
You will find complete coverage of all major system administration topics:
- Linux versus UNIX
- Installation tips and tricks
- Working effectively with the Linux command line
- Organizing and working with system users
- Disks, file systems, backup, and restore
- The inner workings of X and the graphical desktop
- Configuring and using scanners, CD-Recordables, and other devices
- Internet connectivity
- Finding, building, and installing software
- Kernel building and renovation
- Scripting and automation
- Network administration, electronic mail, and Web services
- Integrating Windows with Linux
- System logs and accounting
- Security and firewalls
- Performance monitoring and tuning
Using standard Linux tools (PostgreSQL, Apache, Perl, and more) this book will help you deploy a feature-rich corporate intranet featuring online discussion groups, bulletin boards, a company phone directory, and a document center. You will also learn everything you need to know to install a complete electronic mail and Internet gateway solution for your home or office on a single, shared connection. In addition, numerous anecdotes from the trenches, examples of techniques to try, and plenty of experience-based advice bring important concepts to life.
Written with good humor and enthusiasm for the profession of system administration, as well as a deep appreciation for the power and flexibility of Linux, Linux System Administration will teach you the tricks of the trade, guide your efforts, and serve as a definitive and comprehensive reference.
Table of Contents
The System Administrator's Job.
About This Book.
The Command Line Rules!
Is There Anything You Can't Do with Linux?
Regrets, I've Had a Few....
2. Linux versus Linux versus UNIX.
The Windows Question
A Question of Distribution.
So Which Linux Distribution Should You Choose?
Getting Others to Try Linux.
Sharing Space with Windows.
A Changing Landscape.
3. Help (and the Truth) Is Out There.
Show Me the PATH, man!
Graphical Man Pages.
info (the Command, That Is).
HOWTOs and Distributed DOCs
The Linux Documentation Project
Linux User Groups.
4. Linux System Installation.
Passing Boot Options
The 12 (13, 14, 15...) Steps to Any Installation.
Step 2: Selecting the Installation Type.
Step 3: Selecting a Language (Parlez-vous Francais?).
Step 4: Choosing a Keyboard Type.
Step 5: Selecting Your Mouse.
Step 6: Selecting a Time Zone.
Step 7: Creating a Partition
Step 8: Formatting the Partitions.
Step 9: To LILO or Not to LILO.
Step 10: Choosing and Installing Software Packages.
Step 11: Configuring the Network.
Step 12: Identifying Yourself.
Step 13: The Dreaded X Window Configuration.
Step 14: The Boot Disk Question.
The (Emergency) Boot Disk.
Shutting Down Linux.
5. Taking Command of Linux.
Working with Files.
Listing Files with Emotion!
File Permissions: A First Look
Making Your Life Easier with alias
Standard Input and Standard Output
tee: A Very Special Pipe.
The Road to Nowhere
Linux Commands: Working with Directories.
There's No Place Like $HOME
More on File Permissions
Who Can Do What?
Who Was That Masked User?
The setuid Bit
grep’ping for Dollars (or Anything Else for That Matter) and Piping.
Interrupting, Suspending, and Restarting Processes.
“I Am vi, the Great and Powerful”
Recovering a VIM Session
Power vi: Start-up Options.
Pico: A kinder, gentler editor.
6. Daemons and Runlevels.
The rc.local File and Runlevels.
Switching between Runlevels
The chkconfig Command.
Runlevels the Graphical Way.
The (Not) Last Word.
7. Users and Groups.
When Not to Use the root User.
Yet More User-Creation Controls.
Modifying a User Account.
Deleting a User Account
Checking the Password File
User and Group Administration the GUI Way.
Choosing Good Passwords
How Crackers Crack Your Passwords.
I Logged In from Where?
How Not to Be a “Sucker” .
8. Disks and File Systems.
Understanding Your File Systems.
The File System Tree.
The /usr File System.
The /var File System
The /tmp File System
The /proc File System
The /lost+found File System.
How Much Space Have I Got Again?
What's This about Inodes?
Mounting and Unmounting File Systems.
Creating File Systems.
Working with Quotas
Turning Quotas On and Off
Back to Grace
Letting the Users Know.
9. X and the Graphical Desktop.
Graphical Login Managers
The World beneath the Surface.
The xinitrc File.
The .xserverrc File
The Xresources File
Look, Ma! I Can Run Multiple Desktops!
Backing Up and Restoring the Desktop
Running X Applications Remotely
Choosing a Window Manager
The Tab Window Manager (twm).
Tweaking X and Dealing with Problems.
Tuning Video Modes with xvidtune.
The “Messed Up” X Session.
10. Dialing Up to the Internet with PPP.
Where the Information Goes
The Graphical Alternative.
Automagic PPP Connections.
11. Finding, Building, and Installing Software.
Installing and Building Software.
Compiling from Source.
Step 2: Building Your Programs.
Downloading and Installing Perl Modules.
Updating or Installing Packages on a Debian System.
Finding Out a Package's Current Release Level
What Is That Strange File?
Using apt-get to Install or Update Software.
Red Hat Package Manager.
Upgrading an RPM Package.
Uninstalling an RPM Package.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about an RPM Package, but Were Afraid to Ask.
RPM: The Graphical Alternatives.
installpkg: Slackware's Lonely Child.
12. Kernel Building and Renovation.
When Should I Rebuild My Kernel?
Downloading and Building a New Kernel.
Automatic Build and Install
What about the 2.4 Kernel?
13. Printers and Printing.
How Printing Works.
HP JetDirect Adaptors.
Printer Job Control.
Printing Anything to Any Printer.
Tying It Up: Advanced Filters with Ghostscript.
A Few PostScript Tricks.
Alternative Print Systems.
Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks.
14. Scripting and Scripting Languages.
It's Commands All the Way Down.
A First Look at Variables.
More on Variables
Really Programming the Shell.
Specifying the Shell.
Other Languages Worthy of Consideration.
15. Simplified Administration through Automation.
cron: Punching Linux's Clock.
Editing the crontab.
Could I See an Example?
Running Jobs with at
A Question of Permissions.
Other Tools for Automation.
Automatic Downloads: ncftp.
Automatic Web Fetch: wget.
Scripting for Interactive Sessions: expect.
Automating Interactive Automation.
16. Devices, Devices, and More Devices.
SCSI versus IDE
CD-ROMs and CD-RWs
17. Backups and Restores.
Basic Tools in Every Linux System.
Working with tar
Backing Up Windows Workstations.
Selecting a Backup Medium.
Restoring with (You Guessed It) restore.
Backing Up to a CD-RW
Backups the Graphical Way.
Kdat: Graphical and Free
18. Network Administration.
Services and Ports
IP Addresses, Networks, and Subnets, Oh My!
IP Addresses and Networks
Subnets, Netmasks, and Broadcast Addresses.
Setting Up Your PC Network (Act 18, Scene 2).
Setting the IP Address.
Domain Name Services (Act 18, Scene 3).
Will the Real DNS Please Stand Up.
Setting Up Your Own Name Server.
The /etc/named.conf File.
Listing of /etc/named.conf.
Your Own Zone File
And Now the Reverse DNS Zone.
Does It Work?
What's All This about “Lame Servers” ?
Who Gets to See the Information?
File Sharing Under Linux (Act 18, Scene 4).
Network File System.
Making a Remote File System Available.
Mounting an NFS Partition
Specifying Mounts with /etc/fstab
Simplifying Network Mounts with Linux autofs.
Network Information Service (Act 18, Scene 5).
Configuring the NIS Client.
The /etc/nsswitch.conf File.
Miscellaneous Network Tricks: Time Synchronization.
Wait! What about the GUIs?
19. Tools, Tools, and More Tools.
Graphical Administration Tools.
Tiny but Powerful Tools.
The Tiny Conclusion.
There's No Control Like Remote Control.
20. Proof of Concept, Part 1.
Building Your Own Corporate Portal.
Building Apache from Source.
Basic Apache Configuration.
The Basics of Web-Connected Databases.
An Introduction to PostgreSQL.
Perl DBI and DBD for Database Access.
The CGI Back End
The Face of the Intranet
21. Proof of Concept, Part 2.
What to Look for in an ISP.
Setting Up Your ISP Dial-up Connection with diald.
Automatic Remote Mail Pickup with fetchmail
IP Forwarding and Masquerading.
Putting It All Together.
Basic Firewall Services.
Setting Up the Mail Server with Linux.
Setting Up the POP3 Server.
Setting Up sendmail.
Your DNS Setup.
Setting Up Users and Aliases.
Setting Up Your Client MUAs.
Not-So-Stupid sendmail Tricks
The Multidrop Domain.
Stop the Spam!
22. Integrating Windows with Linux.
A Note on Passwords.
Configuring the Server.
The PC Side
Printing with Samba
Printing from the Windows Client.
The GUI Way to Administer Samba.
Backing Up Windows Workstations.
Running Windows on Linux.
23. System Logs and Accounting.
Looking at Your Log Files.
What the Names Mean
Cleaning Up and What the Numbers Mean.
syslogd: The Master Logger.
Back to the logger Program.
Automating the Log-Checking Process.
Web Site Log Analysis.
24. Secure Computing.
An Introduction to the Secure Shell.
Secure Sockets Layer.
OpenSSH (Right Back Where You Started).
PGP and GnuPG.
Building Trust Relationships.
Building a Secure Web Server.
Building the SSL-Enabled Apache Server.
25. Security: The Battle for Your System.
The Basics: Your TCP Wrappers.
What Your TCP Wrapper Is Telling You.
“Hey, My Logs Have Nothing in Them!”
Detecting the Cracker.
The Cracker's Not-So-Invisible Footsteps.
More Thoughts If You Have Been Cracked.
Port Scanners, Sniffers, and the Cracker's Tools.
PortSentry: Active Intrusion Detection and Response.
ipchains and Firewalls.
Quick and Easy Firewall Solutions.
Locating the Cracker and Reporting Him or Her.
26. Performance Monitoring and Tuning.
Monitoring and Analyzing Performance.
The top Command
The free Command
Working with vmstat
Performance Enhancing Tweaks.
File System Tweaks.
Improving Disk Drive Performance.
Appendix A: The All-Linux Office?
Appendix B: The GNU General Public License.