Best Practices for Linux – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 2.1

Linux is the most popular open-source operating system in the world, and it’s helpful to know how to keep the system performing well. In this video, you’ll learn about Linux resources for backups, disk maintenance, system updates, and more.

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There are many options available in Linux for backing up your system not only at the command line, but there are graphical utilities as well. You’ll probably even have one included with the distribution that you’re using. One popular solution for backups is tar. That stands for Tape Archive, and it’s one that makes it very easy to script a backup system using the tar utility. I also use one called rsync. I have multiple systems. I’ll copy a file onto one computer, and that computer running rsync will automatically synchronize that folder with another device on the network.

The file systems used in Linux don’t require ongoing maintenance, and you don’t need to schedule maintenance to occur every so often. If you think you are having a problem with a file system, you can always force a check of the file system. You would add a file to the root of your drive called Force File System Check, forcefsck, and you would add that file with a sudo touch /forcefsck. You would then reboot your computer, and if it saw the forcefsck file in the root directory, it would then perform a file check before mounting those volumes.

The only disk maintenance you may find yourself doing if it’s not done automatically for you is cleaning up any disk space that might be kept by log files, and you’ll find most of the files in Linux are stored under /var/log. In Linux, we, of course, need to also update our operating system and our applications, and the method of updating these will depend on the distribution that you’re using. You may want to check your distribution. You’re probably using -apt-get, or you may be using yum to perform these updates.

There are also graphical update managers if you don’t want to run these command line tools to be able to simply click and install the applications that need an update. These also have some patch management features built into them, so you can tell the operating system exactly when you would like these updates installed. You’ll often find these updates in a built-in software center that’s in your distribution. You can think of this as the Linux App Store for your OS.

Many of the drivers used in Linux are built into the kernel itself, so you probably won’t have to install a lot of device drivers, but if you are using a third party piece of hardware that’s not included in the kernel, you can absolutely install these drivers yourself. These are usually done with software updates in the graphical console, or you can install them at the command line.

Although the Linux operating system has relatively few viruses and malware that can infect it, you still need to be aware of these security concerns. One very popular open source antivirus engine is ClamAV. This may be something you might want to run on your Linux system, and you always, of course, want to make sure you have the latest signatures updated so that you are protecting your operating system from all of the latest malicious software.