Chapter 1 provides an overview of the tasks involved in Linux system administration. In this chapter, you briefly revisit the key tasks that you perform as a system administrator, learning where, in this book, you can find more information about a specific task. System administration is essentially the work required to keep your Red Hat Linux system working properly.
You can group the tasks into two broad categories: system administration and network administration. The first category refers to keeping the system itself up and running, while network administration focuses on the LAN and Internet services.
Typical system and network administration tasks include the following:
Adding and removing users—This chapter shows you how to add or remove user accounts using Red Hat User Manager and the useradd and userdel commands.
Installing, configuring, and upgrading the operating system and various utilities—Chapter 2 covers how to install Red Hat Linux, and Chapters 4 through 6 focus on how to configure and set up specific hardware in Red Hat Linux. Chapter 21 describes how to upgrade or reconfigure the Linux kernel.
Installing new software—Chapter 21 shows you how to use the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) as well as the Package Management GUI tool to install software. In that chapter, you also learn how to unpack and build software from source archives that you can download from various Internet sites.
Making backups—Chapter 20 covers backing up and restoring files and directories by using the GNU tar utility.
Mounting and unmounting file systems—The mount and umount commands appear in various chapters, such as Chapters 8 and 10. The current chapter shows you how to mount MS-DOS file systems. You also learn to use the mtools utilities to access Windows/DOS files. This chapter also introduces you to the User Mount Tool for mounting file systems.
Monitoring the system’s performance—This chapter describes a few utilities for monitoring system performance. I describe this topic further in Chapter 20.
Starting and shutting down the system—Chapter 7 describes how to start and shut down your Red Hat Linux system.
Maintaining the network configuration files—Chapter 6 describes various TCP/IP configuration files.
Setting up PPP and SLIP—You learn about PPP and SLIP in Chapter 13.
Monitoring network status—Chapter 6 presents some utility programs that you can use as network diagnostic tools.
Setting up host and network security—You have to protect the system files and your network against attacks from the outside. Chapter 22 describes how to secure your system and Internet services.
Monitoring security—You have to keep an eye on any intrusions, usually by checking the log files. Chapter 22 covers this topic.
As you can see from the comments next to the items in the list of system administration tasks, I cover many of these system administration topics in other chapters of this book. For topics covered elsewhere, please turn to the referenced chapter for more information.