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Linux Interview Questions and Answers

What key combination can you press to suspend a running job and place it in the background?

Using ctrl-z will suspend a job and put it in the background.

The easiest, most basic form of backing up a file is to _____ it to another location.

The easiest most basic form of backing up a file is to make a copy of that file to another location such as a floppy disk.

What type of server is used to remotely assign IP addresses to machines during the installation process?

C - You can use a DHCP server to assign IP addresses to individual machines during the installation process. Answers a, b, d, and e list legitimate Linux servers, but these servers do not provide IP addresses. The SMB, or Samba, tool is used for file and print sharing across multi-OS networks. An NFS server is for file sharing across Linux net-works. FTP is a file storage server that allows people to browse and retrieve information by logging in to it, and HTTP is for the Web.

Which password package should you install to ensure that the central password file couldn't be stolen easily?
B) tcp_wrappers
C) shadow
D) securepass
E) ssh

C - The shadow password package moves the central password file to a more secure location. Answers a, b, and e all point to valid packages, but none of these places the password file in a more secure location. Answer d points to an invalid package.

When using useradd to create a new user account, which of the following tasks is not done automatically.
Choose one:
a. Assign a UID.
b. Assign a default shell.
c. Create the user's home directory.
d. Define the user's home directory.


The useradd command will use the system default for the user's home directory. The home directory is not created, however, unless you use the -m option.

You want to enter a series of commands from the command-line. What would be the quickest way to do this?
Choose One
a. Press enter after entering each command and its arguments
b. Put them in a script and execute the script
c. Separate each command with a semi-colon (;) and press enter after the last command
d. Separate each command with a / and press enter after the last command


The semi-colon may be used to tell the shell that you are entering multiple commands that should be executed serially. If these were commands that you would frequently want to run, then a script might be more efficient. However, to run these commands only once, enter the commands directly at the command line.

You attempt to use shadow passwords but are unsuccessful. What characteristic of the /etc/passwd file may cause this?
Choose one:
a. The login command is missing.
b. The username is too long.
c. The password field is blank.
d. The password field is prefaced by an asterisk.


The password field must not be blank before converting to shadow passwords.

When you install a new application, documentation on that application is also usually installed. Where would you look for the documentation after installing an application called MyApp?
Choose one:
a. /usr/MyApp
b. /lib/doc/MyApp
c. /usr/doc/MyApp
d. In the same directory where the application is installed.


The default location for application documentation is in a directory named for the application in the /usr/doc directory.

What file would you edit in your home directory to change which window manager you want to use?
A) Xinit
B) .xinitrc
C) XF86Setup
D) xstart
E) xf86init

Answer: B - The ~/.xinitrc file allows you to set which window man-ager you want to use when logging in to X from that account.
Answers a, d, and e are all invalid files. Answer c is the main X server configuration file.

What command allows you to set a processor-intensive job to use less CPU time?
A) ps
B) nice
C) chps
D) less
E) more

Answer: B - The nice command is used to change a job's priority level, so that it runs slower or faster. Answers a, d, and e are valid commands but are not used to change process information. Answer c is an invalid command.

While logged on as a regular user, your boss calls up and wants you to create a new user account immediately. How can you do this without first having to close your work, log off and logon as root?
Choose one:
a. Issue the command rootlog.
b. Issue the command su and type exit when finished.
c. Issue the command su and type logoff when finished.
d. Issue the command logon root and type exit when finished.

Answer: b
You can use the su command to imitate any user including root. You will be prompted for the password for the root account. Once you have provided it you are logged in as root and can do any administrative duties.

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