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A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux



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Prentice Hall
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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the 6th edition with a publication date of 8/10/2011.

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any CDs, lab manuals, study guides, etc.
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  • Practical Guide to Red Hat(R) Linux(R) : A Fedora(TM) Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    Practical Guide to Red Hat(R) Linux(R) : A Fedora(TM) Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux®, A: Fedora¿ Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
    Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux®, A: Fedora¿ Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A
    Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, A
  • Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux 8, A
    Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux 8, A


Mark Sobell's books have earned a reputation as the most thorough and up-to-date guides to installing, configuring, and working with Linux. They've become legendary for their versatility as both tutorials and references, making them ideal for both entry-level and more advanced readers. Now fully updated for both Fedora Core 15 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Sobell's new edition of A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linuxwill walk you through every essential feature and technique you'll need now and for years to come.  Key topics covered include:  The command line and the GNOME GUI including GUI customization File sharing with Samba, NFS,  FTP, NIS and LDAP Internet server configuration including Apache, sendmail, NFS, and DNS/BIND State-of-the-art security techniques, including SELinux (Security Enhanced Linux), Access Control Lists, firewall setup using the Red Hat GUI and iptables, and a full chapter on OpenSSH "Meat-and-potatoes" system/network administration including CUPS printing, kernel building, backups, and more A practical introduction to bash shell scripting A superb primer on Perl scripting Finding, downloading, and installing software with yum As always, Sobell teaches you both the "hows" and the "whys" - and you will find answers and solutions faster than ever, thanks to this edition's completely revamped index system.

Author Biography

Mark G. Sobell is President of Sobell Associates Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in UNIX and Linux training, support, and custom software development. He has more than twenty-five years of experience working with UNIX and Linux systems and is the author of many best-selling books, including A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Second Edition, and A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux®, Third Edition, both from Prentice Hall.

Table of Contents

List of JumpStarts xxxix

Preface xli


Chapter 1: Welcome to Linux 1

The History of UNIX and GNU–Linux 2

What Is so Good About Linux? 6

Overview of Linux 11

Additional Features of Linux 16

Conventions Used in This Book 18

Chapter Summary 20

Exercises 20


Part I: Installing Fedora/RHEL Linux 23


Chapter 2: Installation Overview 25

The Desktop Live CD and the Install DVD 26

More Information 27

Planning the Installation 28

The Installation Process 43

Downloading and Burning a CD/DVD 44

Gathering Information About the System 48

Chapter Summary 49

Exercises 50

Advanced Exercises 50


Chapter 3: Step-by-Step Installation 51

Running a Fedora Live Session 52

Installing Fedora/RHEL 54

Installation Tasks 67

gnome-control-center/Displays: Configures the Display 85

Chapter Summary 85

Exercises 86

Advanced Exercises 86


Part II: Getting Started with Fedora/RHEL 87


Chapter 4: Introduction to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 89

Curbing Your Power (Superuser/root Privileges) 90

A Tour of the Fedora/RHEL Desktop 90

Getting the Most Out of the Desktop 112

Updating, Installing, and Removing Software Packages 122

Where to Find Documentation 125

More About Logging In 134

Working from the Command Line 139

Chapter Summary 142

Exercises 143

Advanced Exercises 144


Chapter 5: The Linux Utilities 145

Special Characters 146

Basic Utilities 147

Working with Files 149

(Pipe): Communicates Between Processes 156

Four More Utilities 157

Compressing and Archiving Files 159

Locating Utilities 164

Displaying User and System Information 166

Communicating with Other Users 170

Email 171

Tutorial: Using vim to Create and Edit a File 172

Chapter Summary 179

Exercises 182

Advanced Exercises 183


Chapter 6: The Linux Filesystem 185

The Hierarchical Filesystem 186

Directory Files and Ordinary Files 187

Pathnames 191

Working with Directories 194

Access Permissions 202

ACLs: Access Control Lists 208

Links 213

Chapter Summary 219

Exercises 221

Advanced Exercises 222


Chapter 7: The Shell 225

The Command Line 226

Standard Input and Standard Output 232

Running a Command in the Background 242

Filename Generation/Pathname Expansion 244

Builtins 249

Chapter Summary 250

Exercises 251

Advanced Exercises 252


Part III: Digging into Fedora/RHEL 255


Chapter 8: Linux GUIs: X and GNOME 257

X Window System 258

The Nautilus File Browser Window 266

The Nautilus Spatial View (RHEL) 272

GNOME Utilities 273

Chapter Summary 277

Exercises 277

Advanced Exercises 278


Chapter 9: The Bourne Again Shell 279

Background 280

Shell Basics 281

Parameters and Variables 301

Special Characters 315

Processes 316

History 319

Aliases 334

Functions 338

Controlling bash: Features and Options 340

Processing the Command Line 344

Chapter Summary 354

Exercises 356

Advanced Exercises 357


Chapter 10: Networking and the Internet 359

Introduction to Networking 360

Types of Networks and How They Work 362

Communicate Over a Network 381

Network Utilities 382

Distributed Computing 390

WWW: World Wide Web 400

Chapter Summary 402

Exercises 403

Advanced Exercises 404


Part IV: System Administration 405


Chapter 11: System Administration: Core Concepts 407

Running Commands with root Privileges 409

The init Daemon 426

System Operation 448

Rescue Installed System 457

Securing a System 458

System Administration Tools 469

Setting Up a Server 477

DHCP: Configures Network Interfaces 489

nsswitch.conf: Which Service to Look at First 494

Getting Help 497

Chapter Summary 497

Exercises 498

Advanced Exercises 499


Chapter 12: Files, Directories, and Filesystems 501

Important Files and Directories 502

File Types 514

Filesystems 519

Chapter Summary 528

Exercises 528

Advanced Exercises 528


Chapter 13: Finding, Downloading, and Installing Software 531

Introduction 532

JumpStart: Installing and Removing Packages Using yum 534

Finding the Package That Holds an Application or File You Need 537

yum: Keeps the System Up-to-Date 538

BitTorrent 545

RPM: The RPM Package Manager 547

Installing Non-rpm Software 551

Keeping Software Up-to-Date 553

wget: Downloads Files Noninteractively 555

Chapter Summary 556

Exercises 557

Advanced Exercises 557


Chapter 14: Printing with CUPS 559

Introduction 560

Fedora/RHEL Configures a Local Printer Automatically 562

JumpStart I: Configuring a Printer Using system-config-printer 562

JumpStart II: Setting Up a Local or Remote Printer 565

Working with the CUPS Web Interface 568

Configuring Printers 570

Traditional UNIX Printing 577

Print from Windows 579

Printing to Windows 581

Chapter Summary 581

Exercises 582

Advanced Exercises 582


Chapter 15: Building a Linux Kernel 583

Downloading, Installing, and Prepping the Kernel Source Code 585

Configuring and Compiling the Linux Kernel 588

Installing the Kernel, Modules, and Associated Files 594

GRUB: The Linux Boot Loader 595

dmesg: Displays Kernel Messages 597

Chapter Summary 598

Exercises 598

Advanced Exercises 599


Chapter 16: Administration Tasks 601

Configuring User and Group Accounts 602

Backing Up Files 605

Scheduling Tasks 611

System Reports 615

Maintaining the System 617

MySQL 635

Chapter Summary 643

Exercises 643

Advanced Exercises 644


Chapter 17: Configuring and Monitoring a LAN 645

Setting Up the Hardware 646

Configuring the Systems 650

NetworkManager: Configures Network Connections 651

Setting Up Servers 656

Introduction to Cacti 657

More Information 668

Chapter Summary 668

Exercises 669

Advanced Exercises 669


Part V: Using Clients and Setting Up Servers 671


Chapter 18: OpenSSH: Secure Network Communication 673

Introduction to OpenSSH 674

Running the ssh, scp, and sftp OpenSSH Clients 677

Setting Up an OpenSSH Server (sshd) 688

Troubleshooting 695

Tunneling/Port Forwarding 696

Chapter Summary 698

Exercises 699

Advanced Exercises 699


Chapter 19 FTP: Transferring Files Across a Network 701

Introduction to FTP 702

Running the ftp and sftp FTP Clients 704

Setting Up an FTP Server (vsftpd) 712

Chapter Summary 726

Exercises 726

Advanced Exercises 726


Chapter 20: sendmail: Setting Up Mail Servers, Clients, and More 729

Introduction to sendmail 730

Setting Up a sendmail Mail Server 732

JumpStart I: Configuring sendmail on a Client 733

JumpStart II: Configuring sendmail on a Server 734

Working with sendmail Messages 735

Configuring sendmail 739

SpamAssassin 744

Additional Email Tools 749

Authenticated Relaying 754

Chapter Summary 756

Exercises 757

Advanced Exercises 757


Chapter 21: NIS and LDAP 759

Introduction to NIS 760

Running an NIS Client 763

Setting Up an NIS Server 769

LDAP 776

Setting Up an LDAP Server 779

Tools for Working with LDAP 784

Chapter Summary 788

Exercises 789

Advanced Exercises 789


Chapter 22: NFS: Sharing Directory Hierarchies 791

Introduction to NFS 793

Running an NFS Client 795

Setting Up an NFS Server 801

automount: Mounts Directory Hierarchies on Demand 811

Chapter Summary 814

Exercises 815

Advanced Exercises 815


Chapter 23: Samba: Linux and Windows File and Printer Sharing 817

Introduction to Samba 818

Running Samba Clients 822

Setting Up a Samba Server 826

Troubleshooting 840

Chapter Summary 843

Exercises 844

Advanced Exercises 844


Chapter 24: DNS/BIND: Tracking Domain Names and Addresses 845

Introduction to DNS 846

Setting Up a DNS Server 858

Configuring a DNS Server 866

Setting Up Different Types of DNS Servers 879

Chapter Summary 889

Exercises 890

Advanced Exercises 890


Chapter 25: system-config-firewall and iptables: Setting Up a Firewall 891

JumpStart: Building a Firewall Using system-config-firewall 893

Introduction to iptables 895

Building a Set of Rules Using iptables 902

Copying Rules to and from the Kernel 908

system-config-firewall: Generates a Set of Rules 909

Sharing an Internet Connection Using NAT 910

Chapter Summary 914

Exercises 914

Advanced Exercises 915


Chapter 26: Apache (httpd): Setting Up a Web Server 917

Introduction 918

Running an Apache Web Server 920

Filesystem Layout 923

Configuration Directives 925

The Fedora/RHEL httpd.conf File 947

Advanced Configuration 950

Troubleshooting 956

Modules 957

webalizer: Analyzes Web Traffic 963

MRTG: Monitors Traffic Loads 964

Error Codes 964

Chapter Summary 965

Exercises 965

Advanced Exercises 966


Part VI: Programming Tools 967


Chapter 27: Programming the Bourne Again Shell 969

Control Structures 971

File Descriptors 1003

Parameters and Variables 1006

Builtin Commands 1018

Expressions 1032

Shell Programs 1040

Chapter Summary 1050

Exercises 1052

Advanced Exercises 1053


Chapter 28: The Perl Scripting Language 1057

Introduction to Perl 1058

Variables 1066

Control Structures 1073

Working with Files 1082

Sort 1086

Subroutines 1087

Regular Expressions 1090

CPAN Modules 1095

Examples 1098

Chapter Summary 1101

Exercises 1102

Advanced Exercises 1102


Part VII: Appendixes 1103


Appendix A: Regular Expressions 1105

Characters 1106

Delimiters 1106

Simple Strings 1106

Special Characters 1106

Rules 1109

Bracketing Expressions 1110

The Replacement String 1110

Extended Regular Expressions 1111

Appendix Summary 1113


Appendix B: Help 1115

Solving a Problem 1116

Finding Linux-Related Information 1117

Specifying a Terminal 1122


Appendix C: Security 1125

Encryption 1126

File Security 1131

Email Security 1131

Network Security 1132

Host Security 1135

Security Resources 1140

Appendix Summary 1143


Appendix D: The Free Software Definition 1145


Glossary 1149

JumpStart Index 1199

File Tree Index 1201

Utility Index 1205

Main Index 1211

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