Download: The Linux System Administrator’s Guide.

Taken from Introduction: The Linux System Administrator’s Guide, describes the system administration aspects of using Linux. It is intended for people who know next to nothing about system administration (those saying “what is it?”), but who have already mastered at least the basics of normal usage. This manual doesn’t tell you how to install Linux; that is described in the Installation and Getting Started document. See below for more information about Linux manuals.

System administration covers all the things that you have to do to keep a computer system in usable order. It includes things like backing up files (and restoring them if necessary), installing new programs, creating accounts for users (and deleting them when no longer needed), making certain that the filesystem is not corrupted, and so on. If a computer were, say, a house, system administration would be called maintenance, and would include cleaning, fixing broken windows, and other such things.

The structure of this manual is such that many of the chapters should be usable independently, so if you need information about backups, for example, you can read just that chapter. However, this manual is first and foremost a tutorial and can be read sequentially or as a whole.


  • About This Book [ Acknowledgments ~ Revision History ~ Source and pre-formatted versions available ~ Typographical Conventions ]
  • Chapter 1. Introduction [ Linux or GNU/Linux, that is the question ~ Trademarks ]
  • Chapter 2. Overview of a Linux System [ Various parts of an operating system ~ Important parts of the kernel ~ Major services in a UNIX system ]
  • Chapter 3. Overview of the Directory Tree [ Background ~ The root filesystem ~ The /etc directory ~ The /dev directory ~ The /usr filesystem ~ The /var filesystem ~ The /proc filesystem ]
  • Chapter 4. Hardware, Devices, and Tools [ Hardware Utilities ~ Kernel Modules ]
  • Chapter 5. Using Disks and Other Storage Media [ Two kinds of devices ~ Hard disks ~ Storage Area Networks – Draft ~ Network Attached Storage – Draft ~ Floppies ~ CD-ROMs ~ Tapes ~ Formatting ~ Partitions ~ Filesystems ~ Disks without filesystems ~ Allocating disk space ]
  • Chapter 6. Memory Management [ What is virtual memory? ~ Creating a swap space ~ Using a swap space ~ Sharing swap spaces with other operating systems ~ Allocating swap space ~ The buffer cache ]
  • Chapter 7. System Monitoring [ System Resources ~ Filesystem Usage ~ Monitoring Users ]
  • Chapter 8. Boots And Shutdowns [ An overview of boots and shutdowns ~ The boot process in closer look ~ More about shutdowns ~ Rebooting ~ Single user mode ~ Emergency boot floppies ]
  • Chapter 9. init [ init comes first ~ Configuring init to start getty: the /etc/inittab file ~ Run levels ~ Special configuration in /etc/inittab ~ Booting in single user mode ]
  • Chapter 10. Logging In And Out [ Logins via terminals ~ Logins via the network ~ What login does ~ X and xdm ~ Access control ~ Shell startup ]
  • Chapter 11. Managing user accounts [ What’s an account? ~ Creating a user ~ Changing user properties ~ Removing a user ~ Disabling a user temporarily ]
  • Chapter 12. Backups [ On the importance of being backed up ~ Selecting the backup medium ~ Selecting the backup tool ~ Simple backups ~ Multilevel backups ~ What to back up ~ Compressed backups ]
  • Chapter 14. Keeping Time [ The concept of localtime ~ The hardware and software clocks ~ Showing and setting time ~ When the clock is wrong ~ NTP – Network Time Protocol ~ Basic NTP configuration ~ NTP Toolkit ~ Some known NTP servers ~ NTP Links ]
  • Chapter 17. The Linux Kernel Source
  • Chapter 18. Finding Help [ Newsgroups and Mailing Lists ~ IRC ]

This Linux guide is available FREE at The Linux Documentation Project website, we merely collect the information, Online Free Ebooks neither affiliated with the author(s), the website and any brands nor responsible for its content and change of content. (Read our disclaimer here or here before you download the document from the website written above by clicking the below link).

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