Command-Line System Administration


In this chapter, you were given a crash course in Linux and Unix system administration at the command line. Although it's doubtful that you were able to absorb enough of this information to fly without a net, you can refer to parts of this chapter as you need them in the future.

To recount a few highlights in this chapter, you learned about the following:

  • The su command, which enables you to access the root account to perform administration tasks without having to log out of a user account and log back in as root

  • The ps, renice, and kill commands, which enable you to list running processes, adjust their priorities, or kill them forcefully

  • The chkconfig utility, which enables you to edit the list of running services on a per-runlevel basis, and the /etc/inittab file, which determines your default runlevel

  • The parted command, which enables you to create new partitions and file systems on storage devices

  • The mount and umount commands, which enable you to mount and unmount file systems for access to their contents, and the /etc/fstab file, which enables you to determine which file systems are automatically mounted at boot time

  • The adduser, userdel, groupadd, and groupdel commands, which enable you to add users, delete users, add groups, and delete groups, respectively

  • The gpasswd and newgrp commands, which are used by group administrators and users in the course of group management

  • The cron system, /etc/cron.* directories, and crontab command, which enable both the root user and normal users to schedule tasks of all kinds for periodic execution

Linux and Unix system administration is a very involved topic, enough to have already merited volume upon volume of published documentation. We at least managed to scratch the surface in this chapter.

For more involved system administration documentation for Linux systems, consult The Linux System Administrator's Guide, which can be found at and Sams Teach Yourself Unix System Administration in 24 Hours.

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