Chapter 1. Class #1 - Introduction & the Linux Boot Process

Table of Contents

Course Introduction
Course Goals
Preparation Recommendations
Choosing a Platform for Practice and Study
How this Material is Organized
Class Schedule
The Linux Boot Process
Boot, Reboot, Shutdown
Runlevels
BIOS
The GRUB Bootloader
New in RHEL 7: GRUB 2
The init Process
The inittab File
Reference Material for this Chapter

RHCE information.

The Instructor:

Please introduce yourselves:

Course Introduction

The textbook for this course will be "RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Study Guide" and "RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Practice Exams with Virtual Machines" - both by Michael Jang. There are links to both books below.

Here are direct links to the textbooks on Amazon:

This class will reference the book, as it is invaluable for your background reading, later reference, and out-of-class practice and study. The content in these documents is meant to expand, enhance, and elaborate on the material presented in the textbook. While the textbook isn't necessary, it is strongly recommended for a thorough understanding and comprehension of the material and discussion we will undertake during the course.

[Caution] Limits of this Online Curriculum

This curriculum as posted online is not meant to be a substitute for the textbook or attendance in class. It is to be viewed as a series of notes to accompany and enhance the lecture material and exercises offered in class. The class moves quickly. The body of material offered in this course could (and does) fill several volumes of technical manuals.

Course Goals

What this course hopes to do - and not do do - is listed here for clarity.

  1. Primary Goal: Introduction to the material and tools needed to prepare for the RHCE Exam (which assumes passage of the RHCSA Exam).
  2. Secondary Goal: Introduction to the material and tools needed to prepare for the RHCSA Exam.
  3. Tertiary Goal: Acquiring high-level Enterprise-oriented Linux administration skills.
  4. NOT a Goal of this course: Acquiring basic or user-oriented Linux skills. These are assumed as prerequisite for this course.

Preparation Recommendations

There are three possible pracice and study environments:

  1. Scenario 1 -- A single virtualization-capable system with multiple vm "guests".
    • Host must have a 64 bit CPU with HW virtualization extensions.
    • 4 GB or more of RAM recommended as a minimum -- 2GB is likely an absolute minimum.
    • 60 GB of HDD space recommended as a minimum -- enough for the host OS and several VMs.
  2. Scenario 2 -- Several Rackspace or Amazon VMs.
  3. Scenario 3 -- Several physical systems, networked together
    • These can be 32-bit (i386 / i686) or 64-bit (x86_64) systems.
    • Each should have 768 MB of RAM as a minimum.
    • Each should have 12-20 GB of HDD space as a minimum.
[Caution] Caveats for Scenario #3

You may be unable to practice a few of the objectives (those related to virtualization) in scenario #3.

Additionally, take initiative -- form a study group and/or find other participants. Here are some suggestions:

  • In class
  • At work
  • Linked-In groups
  • Local LUGs
  • MeetUps

Finally, practice, practice, practice! Take the exam objectives and work to ensure that you can configure and secure every service, and implement every feature named in the course objectives. Repetition is the key to retention and success. Highlight areas on the objectives where you need review and bring your questions to class. Work each of the exercises and practice exams until you can perform the tasks "cold". On the day you take the test, it is prudent to consider that you will be anxious, nervous, unfamiliar with the computer, unfamiliar with the test environment, and more. You will need to know the material well to compensate for these elements.

Choosing a Platform for Practice and Study

The following list offers three options for Operating System setup that will be sufficient for practicing the material offered in this class. Please note that each of these platforms is based upon the Red Hat OS, therefore will be sufficient for practicing all the RHCE exam objectives as well.

How this Material is Organized

This class material is organized by topic. We won't follow the sequence of the book directly. There will be references to the appropriate sections in the book as necessary.

Class Schedule

This class will meet 12 (twelve) times. Each class will be approximately four hours long. In order to keep the class on track, each class will begin promptly at 6:00 PM. The class will be part lecture, part lab, and very interactive. The table below gives an approximate breakdown of the classroom sessions. Note that the chapters as outlined in the index roughly correspond to the class schedule. NOTE also that this schedule may "flex" based upon the demands and progress of the class.

Table 1.1. Class Schedule

Class Session Topics
Class #1 Personal & Class Introductions & the Linux Boot Process
Class #2 Linux Filesystem Management
Class #3 Software & User Management
Class #4 Networking, Routing & SSH
Class #5 Securing Linux: IP Tables, SELinux & TCP Wrappers
Class #6 Virtualization via KVM & the Bash Shell
Class #7 System Administration & System Logging Configuration
Class #8 NTP, Remote Access, & System Reporting
Class #9 HTTP & FTP
Class #10 NFS & Samba
Class #11 DNS & SMTP
Class #12 iSCSI, Miscellaneous Topics, & Conclusion