UNIX™ System Administration
Private Training

Course Summary

This four-day course introduces Linux and Unix users to the tasks needed to administer their own system. The course begins with administering user accounts and groups, then moves into file, file system, and disk management. Various archiving commands are shown along with backup strategies. Students will learn about process and job scheduling as well as startup and shutdown procedures. The course finishes with security, system tuning, and networking topics. Generic system administration concepts are covered and related to specific vendors’ systems.

UNIX administrators and anyone involved with the UNIX System V, Release 4 operating system.
Course Length
4 Days
Fundamentals of UNIX, and some system administration experience recommended.


Explain the responsibilities of a UNIX system administrator and perform many of the “hands-on” tasks required to manage a UNIX system.

Describe the design and operation of UNIX file systems.

Manage user accounts, including adding and deleting users, changing user account attributes, and controlling password requirements.

Communicate with users using standard mail and interactive dialogue utilities.

Manage UNIX processes, including starting and killing jobs in the background, and scheduling jobs to run once or repeatedly at selected times.

Administer disks and file systems.

Startup and shutdown UNIX systems.

Administer the print spooling system.

Give details of UNIX security issues and implement techniques for secure system software and hardware.

Reconfigure the UNIX kernel to handle new peripherals or add-on software packages.

Monitor the performance of a multi-user UNIX system and do simple performance tuning operations.

Detailed Outline

  1. Course Introduction
    • Course Objectives
    • Overview
    • Suggested References
  2. Overview of System Administration
    • System Administrator Responsibilities
    • A Brief History of UNIX
    • Evolving Standards
    • Navigating the Documentation
  3. User Administration
    • What is a “user” in UNIX?
    • The /etc/passwd File
    • Groups
    • The /etc/group File
    • Passwords
    • Adding Users
    • Deleting Users
    • Modifying User Attributes
    • The Login Process
    • /etc/profile and .profile
    • Communicating with Users: /etc/motd
    • Communicating with Users: The wall Command
  4. File System Basics
    • The Hierarchy
    • Files
    • Directories
    • Device Files
    • Character and Block Devices
    • The/dev Directory
    • Links
    • Symbolic Links
    • A File System Tour
    • The df Command
    • The du Command
    • The find Command
  5. Advanced File System Concepts
    • The Physical File System
    • The Inode File
    • File Storage in Disk Blocks
    • The Superblock
    • The Free List
    • Slices and File Systems
    • File System Types
  6. Disk Management
    • Making a File System
    • The mkfs Command
    • Sharing Filesystems
    • The mount Command
    • The fstab File
    • The fsck Command
    • The lost+found Directory
    • The prtvtoc Command
  7. Backups
    • Backup Strategies
    • Backup Tools
    • The tar Command
    • The cpio Command
    • The dump Command
    • Network Backup Strategies
  8. UNIX Processes
    • Overview of Processes
    • Process Space
    • Process Table
    • The fork/exec Mechanism
    • The ps Command
    • Background Processes
    • The kill Command
    • Scheduling Jobs
    • The cron Daemon
    • The at Command
    • The crontab Command
    • Format of cron Files
    • Access to Scheduling Facilities
  9. System Startup and Shutdown
    • Run States
    • The init Daemon
    • /etc/inittab
    • The inittab Actions
    • The init Command
    • The rc Scripts
    • Single-User Mode
    • The shutdown Command
  10. UNIX System Security
    • Security Overview
    • Physical Security
    • Account Security
    • SUID and SGID Settings
    • File and Directory Permissions
    • Software Security
  11. Performance Monitoring and Tuning
    • Performance Issues
    • Methods of Improving Performance
    • Swapping and Paging
    • The sar Utility
    • Using sar
    • The truss Command
  12. IP Addressing
    • Basic Network Needs
    • Ethernet Addresses
    • IP Addresses
    • DNS vs /etc/hosts to Resolve IP Addresses
    • Network Addresses
    • Network Classes
    • Broadcast Addresses
    • Subnet Masks
  13. Configuring TCP/IP
    • The /etc/hosts File
    • The ifconfig Command
    • The /etc/services File
    • The inetd Daemon
    • The /etc/inetd.conf File
    • Simple TCP/IP Troubleshooting:
    • The ping and netstat Commands
  14. The LP Print Service
    • Printing Overview
    • The lp, lpstat, and cancel Commands
    • Adding a Printer
    • The lpadmin Command
    • The accept and reject Commands
    • The enable and disable Commands
    • Adding a Networked Printer
    • Other Administrative Commands
  15. Network Utilities
    • Network Services
    • telnet – Terminal Emulator
    • ftp – File Transfer
    • rcp – Remote Copy
    • rlogin – Remote Login
    • rsh – Remote Commands
  16. Kernel Reconfiguration
    • Overview of Reconfiguration
    • Kernel Parameters
    • Steps to Reconfigure a Kernel
    • Specific Steps for SVR4
  17. Overview of NIS
    • What is NIS?
    • Why Use NIS?
    • NIS Design and Implementation
    • NIS Maps
    • Configuring NIS