Axian Software Consulting and Training

Linux Use and Administration


Custom Classes:

Axian specializes in customizing our classes to meet your specific needs.  Please call or e-mail us with your requirements.

Axian, Inc.

4800 S.W. Griffth Dr., Suite 202, Beaverton, OR 97005

Phone: (503) 644-6106

Fax: (503) 643-8425

Call 644-6106, ext. 107


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Linux Use and Administration is designed to quickly bring experienced administrators and programmers up to speed in a Linux environment. Upon completion of the course, students will be comfortable working with Linux/Unix commands, and administering Linux systems.

Students will learn:

  • What Linux is: The relationship between Linux, Unix, and Microsoft Windows.
  • Installation, basic system administration, and customization.
  • Linux Tools including file operations and utilities, process control, documentation and printing.
  • Introduction to Shell programming.


  • Linux in a Nutshell by Jessica Perry Hekman
  • Red Hat Linux 5.2 Installation Guide by Red Hat Software
  • Linux/etc by Terry Griffin; articles reprinted from Computer Bits magazine, Nov. 1996 - Jan. 1999


This course will be taught in a classroom with one computer per student. The emphasis will be on hands-on use of the Linux system, with roughly one half of the total time being spent on labs and exercises. The Red Hat 5.2 Linux distribution will be used with the KDE desktop environment.

The class is divided into 16 sessions, each consisting of both lecture and lab. The lectures are intended to be interactive and will include review of the lab assignments. The sessions range from 0.5 hours to 5 hours, and are presented over a period of 5 days.


Students should have basic knowledge of the C programming language, and some system administration experience.


Course Outline

  • SESSION 1: Starting up: Installation of a Linux distribution (Red Hat 5.2)
    • Preparing the PC/Workstation for Linux
    • Multiple operating systems and disk partitioning
    • Hardware issues and compatibility (graphics accelerators, monitors, network cards, printers...)
    • Methods of Installation (local CDROM, nfs, ftp, smb)
    • Package selection (software choices)

  • SESSION 2: Starting up: Customizing the Linux Desktop
    • Window managers and Desktop environment
    • Installing KDE (K Desktop Environment)
    • User accounts and system administration. Customizing KDE.

  • SESSION 3: Starting up: Text Editing
    • Using Kedit ( the default graphical text editor for this course)
    • Basic vi and emacs 

  • SESSION 4: Starting up: Introduction to the Bash Shell
    • Shell choices (sh, bash, csh, tcsh, ksh, etc.)
    • logging in, logging out, shell initialization
    • Interactive shells
    • Pipes and redirection
    • aliases
    • environmental variables.
    • Creating and executing scripts.
    • Shell syntax. variables, conditionals, functions.
    • Debugging

  • SESSION 5: Linux Fundamentals: History of Linux
    • Unix
    • Other Unix-type OS's for the PC (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD)
    • Linux

  • SESSION 6: Linux Fundamentals: Linux today
    • Linux and Open Source Software (OSS) as a development environment. How revisions are made, bugs fixed, drivers written, technical support obtained.
    • Relationship with Gnu and the Free Software Foundation
    • Linux distributions
    • Linux resources.
    • Licenses and legalities.

  • SESSION 7: Linux Fundamentals: Linux architecture
    • Kernel; what is in the kernel, what is not.
    • modules
    • device drivers

  • SESSION 8: Linux Fundamentals: File system
    • layout. Use of /root, /bin, /sbin, /usr, /usr/local, /home, /etc, /tmp, /proc, /dev, etc.
    • symbolic links
    • mounting other file systems, such as MS
    • nfs, samba 

  • SESSION 9: Linux Fundamentals: window managers, desktops, GUIs
    • Relation to OS and the kernel
    • X (servers and toolkits)
    • Window Managers, Desktop Managers and combined window/desktop managers.
    • Virtual terminals
    • Keys (backspace, delete, stty, xmodmap)

  • SESSION 10: Linux Fundamentals: Differences
    • Differences between Linux and Windows 9x and NT
    • Differences between Linux and other commercial Unix operating systems

  • SESSION 11: Linux Tools: File operations
    • Some basics (again); environmental variables,
    • stdin/stdout/stderr, redirection, piping, special characters
    • Files and directory creation and manipulation
    • copying (cp)
    • moving, linking (mv, ln)
    • listing(ls, df, du)
    • finding (find, locate)
    • file types (file)
    • touch
    • security, permissions
    • users, passwords, groups
    • changing ownership, groups, permissions (chown, chgrp, chmod)

  • SESSION 12: Linux Tools: More file utilities
    • comparing files and patching (diff, diff3, cmp, patch)
    • Archiving and compression ( tar, cpio, gzip, zip/unzip)

  • SESSION 13: Linux Tools: Process control
    • starting processes, delayed, background, foreground (use of &, at, cron, bg, fg, nice)
    • killing/interrupting (kill, Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-C)
    • monitoring processes (ps, top, xosview) 

  • SESSION 14: Linux Tools: Documentation
    • man (and xman)
    • info
    • /usr/doc
    • foo -h, foo -help
    • HOWTO's 

  • SESSION 15: Linux Tools: Printing
    • lpr, lpq, lprm
    • local and network printers

  • SESSION 16: Linux Troubleshooting, Repair, and Recovery
    • Diagnostic tools
    • Methods of recovery and repair
    • Troubleshooting techniques