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Linux filesystem administration

From file permission details to backing up files

James Lee

Step up your Linux administration game with a deep dive into the Linux filesystem. Over two three-hour sessions, using a mix of lectures and hands-on exercises, James Lee explores advanced Linux filesystem concepts and skills, walking you through working with file permissions and attributes, locating and searching files, linking files, using file quotas, disk partitioning, archiving and backing up files, and using LVMs and RAID.

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

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • Linux filesystem concepts and tools
  • How to find and search files
  • How to use the inode table and file links
  • The difference between a hard link and a soft link

And you’ll be able to:

  • Modify file permissions and ACLs
  • Use file quotas
  • Create archive and Zip files
  • Create and mount disk partitions
  • Archive and back up files
  • Implement LVMs and RAID

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a Linux administrator who wants to learn advanced Linux filesystem concepts.
  • You're a Linux user who wants be able to execute advanced commands in the shell and navigate the filesystem.


  • A basic knowledge of Linux, including using the Linux shell and navigating the Linux filesystem (cd, pwd, ls –l, etc.)

Required materials and setup:

About your instructor

  • In the early 1990s, James Lee installed Red Hat on an unused piece of hardware he found in the closet and hasn't looked back since. James uses Linux both personally and professionally and is particularly happy that, over his career in technology, he's never had to use Windows. He’s worked with many Linux distributions, including Red Hat, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu, and recently booted Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi 3. Nowadays, he does most of his development work on a MacBook Pro but spends more time in Darwin than macOS—often with multiple active SSH sessions to various Linux servers. James is also an open source advocate and instructor; he’s delivered countless training courses on open source products such as Linux, Perl, and Python.


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

Day 1

File permissions (30 minutes) - Lecture: File permission basics; advanced uses of chmod and chown; writable directories; simultaneous file edits - Hands-on exercise

File attributes (30 minutes) - Lecture: ACLs; getacl and setacl - Hands-on exercise

Break (10 minutes)

Locating and searching files (20 minutes) - Lecture: The find command; grep; basic regexes - Hands-on exercise

Break (10 minutes)

Locating and searching files (20 minutes) - Lecture: The find command; grep; basic regexes - Hands-on exercise

Linking files and low-level file I/O (45 minutes) - Lecture: The inode table; what is a file in Linux?; hard and soft links; low-level file I/O (stat, readlink, lsof, etc.) - Hands-on exercise

Break (10 minutes)

Quotas (20 minutes) - Lecture: Quotas overview; configuring quotas; managing quotas - Hands-on exercise

Filesystem types (45 minutes) - Lecture: ext(2,3,4); JFS; ReiserFS; Btrfs - Hands-on exercise

Day 2

Disk partitioning and mounting disk partitions (45 minutes) - Lecture: Disk partitioning overview; using fdisk; using mount - Hands-on exercise

Working with the archive and backups (25 minutes) - Lecture: Archive commands (tar, gzip, gunzip); backup strategies - Hands-on exercise

Break (10 minutes)

LVMs (40 minutes) - Lecture: LVM overview; creating LVMs; managing LVMs - Hands-on exercise

Break (10 minutes)

RAID disks (65 minutes) - Lecture: Introduction to RAID disks; creating RAID; managing RAID - Hands-on exercise