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Building Linux Servers: DHCP, DNS, and Directory Services

Topic: System Administration
David Prowse

Every aspiring systems administrator or DevOps engineer, and just about anyone already working in IT should have a solid foundation in Linux server technology. Much of today’s technology depends on Linux services -- such as DHCP, DNS, and directory services – and knowing the basics is the key to building an efficient computer network. Building Linux Servers: DHCP, DNS, and DS (directory services) is a hands-on course focusing on the installation, configuration, and analysis of Linux services that can act as the core servers of a network's infrastructure.

Important: This course requires that you have two pre-installed Debian virtual machines and one Fedora server virtual machine. Details and instructions are in the course setup section.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Install a Linux-based DHCP server, configure it to supply TCP/IP information to clients, and test its functionality with various client computers. For this course we will focus on the ISC Kea DHCP Server.
  • Build a Domain Name System (DNS) server, configure it to provide name resolution within our Linux domain, and test it with client computers. For this course we will use the BIND DNS system.
  • Install and configure directory services within Linux, create basic user accounts and test the functionality of the server from client computers. For this course we will focus on FreeIPA.

This training course is for you because...

  • You wish to improve your resume with the addition of highly-sought after Linux knowledge.


Basic knowledge of:

  • Linux commands such as cd, ls, apt install, ip a, curl, git
  • Linux editing with either vim or nano
  • Computer networking and Virtualization

Course Set-up

To follow along with the labs in this course, participants are encouraged to install and configure their own lab environments prior to the course.

Step-by-step/video tutorials for this are available here: https://prowse.tech/bls-ddd

The following are required:

  • A virtualization environment. The exact environment does not matter, as long as you can install multiple virtual machines and that they can communicate with each other. If you don’t have one, the recommended solution is VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
  • Two installed Debian Linux virtual machines. These virtual machines should be installed as command-line only with no GUI. Download Debian here: https://www.debian.org/distrib/.
  • One installed Fedora Server virtual machine. Download Fedora Server here: https://getfedora.org/en/server/download/.
  • The ability to SSH into the virtual machines.

Recommended Preparation

About your instructor

  • Dave Prowse is an author, technologist, and technical trainer. As a consultant, he supports a variety of servers, virtualization platforms, and software. He has written two dozen books for Pearson Education, including the well-received CompTIA A+ Exam Cram and CompTIA Security+ Cert Guide. He also develops video content, including the CompTIA A+ LiveLessons video course. He has taught many computer courses in Linux and CompTIA certifications, both in the classroom and on the Internet. David has 20 years of experience in the IT field, and loves to share that experience with his readers, watchers, and students. He runs the website dprocomputer.com in support of his books, videos, and webinars.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction: 20 minutes

  • Course introduction
  • Analysis of instructor environment
  • Pre-work

Segment 1: Installation and Configuration of DHCP Length: 50 minutes

  • Theory: What is DHCP?
  • Installing DHCP
  • Modifying DHCP configuration files
  • Testing client connectivity
  • DHCP performance testing (time allowing)

Segment 2: Installation and Configuration of DNS Length: 50 minutes

  • Theory: What is DNS?
  • Installing a DNS Server
  • Configuring DNS
  • Testing client connections and host resolution

Segment 3: Installation and Configuration of Directory Services Length: 80 minutes

  • Theory: What is directory services?
  • Downloading and installing directory services software
  • Configuring the DS server to work with DNS
  • Setting up basic user and computer account
  • Connecting client systems
  • Testing client user connections

Segment 4: Analysis and Q&A Length: 20 minutes

  • Testing the and analyzing the various virtual machines
  • Q&A

Course wrap-up