Mastering Linux Administration

Mastering Linux Administration

In recent years, Linux has become increasingly prevalent across a wide variety of computing platforms, including desktop computers, enterprise servers, smartphones, IoT devices, and on-premises and cloud infrastructures. Consequently, the complexity of related administrative tasks, configuration management, and DevOps workloads has also grown considerably. Now, perhaps more than ever, Linux administration skills are highly relevant.

But there’s an evolutionary twist to the making of a modern-day Linux administrator. Tedious manual administrative operations are gradually replaced by orchestrated and automated workflows. One-off magic commands and scripts are replaced by declarative manifests invoked on demand while scaling up or down system configurations based on computing needs. Yesterday’s Linux administrator progressively morphs into a DevOps persona.

There are countless books on Linux administration, and some of them will still be relevant for years to come. But Mastering Linux Administration is written with the admin-turned-DevOps in mind. We’ll start with the basic concepts and commands addressing the most common areas of everyday Linux administration tasks. You’ll learn how to install Linux on a desktop PC and virtual machine. Next, we’ll introduce you to the Linux filesystem, package managers, users and groups, processes, and daemons. After a quick primer on networking and application security, we’ll make the leap from on-premises to the cloud, exploring containerized workloads using Docker and Kubernetes. Together, we’ll walk in the clouds by deploying Linux in AWS and Azure. You’ll work with hands-on application deployments using EKS and AKS, the Kubernetes fabrics of AWS and Azure, respectively. Finally, we conclude our journey with Ansible and configuration management automation, taking us full circle to a DevOps-centric view of Linux.

We can only hope that by the end of the book, you’ll be on the path to becoming a proficient Linux administrator with a versatile DevOps mindset.

Who this book is for

The intended audience for this book includes users with beginner- to intermediate-level Linux administration skills who are not shy of rolling up their sleeves and getting dirty with the Linux command-line terminal, working with scripts and CLI tools, on-premises and in the cloud. For most of the book, a regular desktop computer or laptop will suffice. Some of the chapters, such as those exploring Kubernetes and Ansible, may require a relatively powerful machine to set up the related lab environments.

The public cloud sections require AWS and Azure accounts if you want to follow along with the practical examples. Both cloud providers provide free subscription tiers, and we highly encourage you to sign up for their services.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Installing Linux, provides a practical guide to installing Linux on a personal computer or virtual machine. The chapter includes hands-on workshops for working with Ubuntu and RHEL/CentOS Linux distributions.

Chapter 2, The Linux Filesystem, explores the Linux shell and filesystem, with the related commands for manipulating files and directories.

Chapter 3, Linux Software Management, introduces some of the most common Linux package managers, including DEB, RPM, APT, YUM, Snap, and Flatpak.

Chapter 4, Managing Users and Groups, looks at working with users and groups and managing the related system permissions.

Chapter 5, Working with Processes, Daemons, and Signals, takes a deep dive into Linux processes and daemons and the related inter-process communication mechanisms.

Chapter 6, Working with Disks and Filesystems, introduces some of the most common Linux filesystem types, such as Ext4, XFS, and btrfs. The chapter also covers disks, partitions, and logical volume management in Linux.

Chapter 7, Networking with Linux, is a concise primer on Linux networking internals, including the OSI and TCP/IP models, networking protocols, and services. The chapter also briefly touches upon network security.

Chapter 8, Configuring Linux Servers, explores some of the most common Linux networking servers and services, such as DNS, DHCP, NFS, Samba, FTP, and web servers.

Chapter 9, Securing Linux, looks at the Linux application security frameworks, including SELinux and AppArmor. The chapter also covers different firewalls and firewall managers, such as Netfilter, iptables, nftables, firewalld, and ufw.

Chapter 10, Disaster Recovery, Diagnostics, and Troubleshooting, provides a high-level overview of Linux disaster recovery and troubleshooting practices, including backup-restore and troubleshooting common system issues.

Chapter 11, Working with Containers and Virtual Machines, explores virtual and containerized Linux environments, focusing on different hypervisors and Docker Engine.

Chapter 12, Cloud Computing Essentials, is a brief overview of cloud technologies, describing the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS solutions and service providers.

Chapter 13, Deploying to the Cloud with AWS and Azure, looks at Linux deployments in the cloud, using AWS EC2 instances and Azure VMs.

Chapter 14, Deploying Applications with Kubernetes, provides a practical guide to using Kubernetes on-prem and in the cloud with EKS and AKS.

Chapter 15, Automating Workflows with Ansible, explores automated configuration management workloads using Ansible.

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