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Linux Interview Questions and Answers

In order to run fsck on the root partition, the root partition must be mounted as

You cannot run fsck on a partition that is mounted as read-write.

In order to improve your system's security you decide to implement shadow passwords. What command should you use?

The pwconv command creates the file /etc/shadow and changes all passwords to 'x' in the /etc/passwd file.

Bob Armstrong, who has a username of boba, calls to tell you he forgot his password. What command should you use to reset his command?
passwd boba

The passwd command is used to change your password. If you do not specify a username, your password will be changed.

The top utility can be used to change the priority of a running process? Another utility that can also be used to change priority is ___________?

Both the top and nice utilities provide the capability to change the priority of a running process.

What command should you type to see all the files with an extension of 'mem' listed in reverse alphabetical order in the /home/ben/memos directory.
ls -r /home/ben/memos/*.mem

The -c option used with ls results in the files being listed in chronological order. You can use wildcards with the ls command to specify a pattern of filenames.

What file defines the levels of messages written to system log files?

To determine the various levels of messages that are defined on your system, examine the kernel.h file.

What command is used to remove the password assigned to a group?
gpasswd -r

The gpasswd command is used to change the password assigned to a group. Use the -r option to remove the password from the group.

What command would you type to use the cpio to create a backup called backup.cpio of all the users' home directories?
find /home | cpio -o > backup.cpio

The find command is used to create a list of the files and directories contained in home. This list is then piped to the cpio utility as a list of files to include and the output is saved to a file called backup.cpio.

What can you type at a command line to determine which shell you are using?
echo $SHELL

The name and path to the shell you are using is saved to the SHELL environment variable. You can then use the echo command to print out the value of any variable by preceding the variable's name with $. Therefore, typing echo $SHELL will display the name of your shell.

What type of local file server can you use to provide the distribution installation materials to the new machine during a network installation?
A) Inetd

E - You can use an NFS server to provide the distribution installation materials to the machine on which you are performing the installation. Answers a, b, c, and d are all valid items but none of them are file servers. Inetd is the superdaemon which controls all intermittently used network services. The FSSTND is the Linux File System Standard. DNS provides domain name resolution, and NNTP is the transfer protocol for usenet news.

If you type the command cat dog & > cat what would you see on your display? Choose one:
a. Any error messages only.
b. The contents of the file dog.
c. The contents of the file dog and any error messages.
d. Nothing as all output is saved to the file cat.


When you use & > for redirection, it redirects both the standard output and standard error. The output would be saved to the file cat.

You are covering for another system administrator and one of the users asks you to restore a file for him. You locate the correct tarfile by checking the backup log but do not know how the directory structure was stored. What command can you use to determine this?
Choose one:
a. tar fx tarfile dirname
b. tar tvf tarfile filename
c. tar ctf tarfile
d. tar tvf tarfile


The t switch will list the files contained in the tarfile. Using the v modifier will display the stored directory structure.

You have the /var directory on its own partition. You have run out of space. What should you do? Choose one:
a. Reconfigure your system to not write to the log files.
b. Use fips to enlarge the partition.
c. Delete all the log files.
d. Delete the partition and recreate it with a larger size.


The only way to enlarge a partition is to delete it and recreate it. You will then have to restore the necessary files from backup.

You have a new application on a CD-ROM that you wish to install. What should your first step be?
Choose one:
a. Read the installation instructions on the CD-ROM.
b. Use the mount command to mount your CD-ROM as read-write.
c. Use the umount command to access your CD-ROM.
d. Use the mount command to mount your CD-ROM as read-only.


Before you can read any of the files contained on the CD-ROM, you must first mount the CD-ROM.

When you create a new partition, you need to designate its size by defining the starting and ending _____________.

When creating a new partition you must first specify its starting cylinder. You can then either specify its size or the ending cylinder.

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