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Linux Bible, 9th Edition by Christopher Negus

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Working with Text Files

IN THIS CHAPTER

Using vim and vi to edit text files

Searching for files

Searching in files

When the UNIX system, on which Linux was based, was created, most information was managed on the system in plain-text files. Thus, it was critical for users to know how to use tools for searching for and within plain-text files and to be able to change and configure those files.

Today, most configurations of Linux systems can still be done by editing plain-text files. Even when a graphical tool is available for working with a configuration file, the graphical tool rarely provides a way to do everything you might want to do in that file. As a result, you may find a need to use a text editor to configure a file manually. Likewise, some document file types, such as HTML and XML, are also plain-text files that can be edited manually.

Before you can become a full-fledged system administrator, you need to be able to use a plain-text editor. The fact that most professional Linux servers don't even have a graphical interface available makes the need for editing of plain-text configuration files with a non-graphical text editor necessary.

After you know how to edit text files, you still might find it tough to figure out where the files are located that you need to edit. With commands such as find, you can search for files based on various attributes (filename, size, modification ...

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