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|Title: ||Advanced administration of the GNU/Linux operating system, february 2010|
|Authors: ||Jorba Esteve, Josep|
Suppi Boldrito, Remo
|Issue Date: ||16-Feb-2010|
|Publisher: ||Universitat Oberta de Catalunya|
|Type: ||Lecture notes|
|Abstract: ||GNU/Linux systems have reached a considerable degree of maturity, making them suitable for integration into any work environment, from a desktop PC to a large company server.
This course's main objective is to introduce us to the world of GNU/Linux systems administration.
We will learn how to provide the services required for different user and machine environments from GNU/Linux. The field of systems administration is enormous, involves many tasks, handling many problems and requires extensive hardware and software knowledge, with a bit of psychology coming in handy for dealing with systems' end users.
This course does not intend to deal with a specific GNU/Linux distribution, but we have selected a couple of distributions to serve as examples: Debian and Fedora (and Red Hat derivatives). Regarding the field of administration, we will try to administrate from the lowest possible level, usually from the command line and configuration files. Where applicable, we will discuss higher-level tools, but we need to be careful with these since they tend to be highly dependent on the distribution and even on the version of the distribution; also, these tools tend to vary a great deal between versions. Low-level administration is usually much more difficult but at least we know what we are doing and where we can see the result, plus it gives us a lot of additional knowledge about the different technologies that are used.
The distributions we have selected are: Debian GNU/Linux Etch (4.0), and Fedora Core 7 (based on Red Hat), used at the time of this document's revision (the first edition at the end of 2003 was based on Debian Gnu/Linux Woody 3.0 and Red Hat 9). The Debian distribution is a paradigm within the open-source movement, for not belonging to any company and being produced solely through the contributions of its volunteers worldwide. Also, Debian integrates exclusively free software (additional software may be added separately).
On the other hand, Fedora Core is the distribution with the broadest community support and is the base of the Red Hat distributions, one of the most solvent companies in business terms, which is perhaps why it is the one that offers most business level support (through paid-for services). For Debian and Fedora, support depends on volunteers and shared user knowledge.
Because systems administration is such a broad field, this manual only intends to introduce us to this exciting (and of course, also sometimes frustrating) world. We will look at some typical tasks and also at how to handle problems; but administration is a field that is learned on a daily basis, through everyday work. And we would like to warn you that this manual is an open text, which with its findings and its more than likely faults can be added to with comments of its (inflicted) users. Meaning that all comments and suggestions for improving the materials are welcome.
Finally, we would mention that this manual reflects the state of the distributions and administration tools at the time that it was published (first edition at the end of 2003 and second edition in spring 2007).|
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