IN THIS CHAPTER
Doing graphical administration
Using the root login
Understanding administrative commands, config files, and log files
Linux, like other UNIX-based systems, was intended for use by more than one person at a time. Multiuser features enable many people to have accounts on a single Linux system, with their data kept secure from others. Multitasking enables many people to run many programs on the computer at the same time, with each person able to run more than one program. Sophisticated networking protocols and applications make it possible for a Linux system to extend its capabilities to network users and computers around the world. The person assigned to manage all of this stuff is called the system administrator.
Even if you are the only person using a Linux system, system administration is still set up to be separate from other computer use. To do most administrative tasks, you need to be logged in as the root user (also called the superuser) or temporarily get root permission. Users other than root cannot change, or in some cases even see, some of the configuration information for a Linux system. In particular, security features such as stored passwords are protected from general view.
Because Linux system administration is such a huge topic, this chapter focuses on the general principles of Linux system administration. In particular, it examines some of the basic tools you need to administer a Linux system for a personal ...