Linux Tools – CompTIA A+ 220-902 – 2.1

The Linux operating system provides many different options for administrative tools. In this video, you’ll learn about backup options, image recovery, disk management, and more.

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Because of the openness of the Linux operating system, there are often many ways to accomplish the same task. But in this video I’ll take you through some of the more common tools that you’ll find in Linux. The Linux distribution that you’re using probably has a backup utility as part of the Linux distribution. It’s such an important part of ongoing maintenance that it makes sense to be included with any Linux distribution.

You may want to check with the documentation for your distribution to find out which specific backup application is being used. This might be a graphical application, like this one, where I can choose to backup or restore directly from the user interface. You’ll notice there’s even scheduling built into this one. Or you may be able to run this from the command line.

Often a Linux distribution will include tar or rsync as backup options. This is one of the beauties of Linux, of course, is that you can really use many different methods to be able to accomplish a task. You just need to find the one that’s right for you so that you can backup and restore all of your files.

The Linux operating system may not have as many options for imaging a drive as other operating systems might, but the ones that are available are very useful and could be used in almost any Linux environment. A good option that comes with many distributions of Linux is dd. This stands for data description. It comes from an old name from one of the IBM job description language utilities that’s used to convert files.

But in Linux, we can use this not only to convert and copy files, we can do this across the entire drive and create an image very easily. There are also some very good 3rd-party utilities for imaging. I’ve used both GNU Parted and Clonezilla to be able to image all of my Linux devices onto a single file and then be able to restore that image back to that system.

As you’re probably aware, the file systems in Linux don’t require a lot of ongoing disk maintenance. So there aren’t a number of utilities that you must run every so often. One bit of disk maintenance that you may want to do occasionally is clean up the log space that’s in use. You’ll find most of the logs being stored in Linux under slash var slash log.

You might also want to manually force a file system check of the operating system. You can do this by adding a file to the root of the file system called force fsck. That’s forced file system check.

And you can create this file very easily by running a sudo touch slash force fsck. This command simply adds an empty file to the root of your file system called force fsck. And then when you reboot your system, the operating system sees the file, and it knows to perform a disk check.

The command line in Linux is a core piece of the operating system. There are some system administrators that rarely, if ever use, the graphical side of the operating system and prefer to do everything from the command line. From here you can run scripts, manage files, configure the operating system, set configuration settings, and do practically everything necessary to keep your Linux device running.

Just as Windows and Mac OS have screen sharing capabilities, you also have the same features within Linux. The screen sharing is something that allows you to see the graphical display that might be on another Linux device or another device that’s compatible with these protocols. There are many different options just like anything else in Linux. And your distribution might include UltraVNC, Remmina, FreeRDP, or one of the many other screen sharing applications.

If you’re managing a Linux system, there will probably be times when you need to administratively stop an application from executing. And there are a number of different commands we can use to do that. When running these commands, you will probably need to run with elevated permissions. And the way you do that in Linux is to include the sudo command in front of the commands you’re running. Sudo stands for superuser do, and it means that you’re going to run this command as a different user, in most cases, as the superuser.

One command you can run is the killall command. This will kill everything that has a certain name associated with it. For instance, if you wanted to stop every execution of Firefox on a particular device, you can use the sudo killall firefox command. If you want to do this in a graphical display, you can use the xkill command, instead of doing everything at the command line. But if there is an individual process ID that you would like to stop, you can simply use the kill command with the process ID and stop that single process from executing.