This hands-on lab provides learners with a foundational insight into managing the deployment and configuration of a Linux server. You will learn about the GUI administration tools available that sometimes simplify administrative tasks. You will learn how to automate a Linux installation by using a kickstart file. For the CentOS distribution of Linux, you will become familiar with the RPM and YUM package managers for managing software installations. You will also become familiar with the systemctl command that allows you to manage services (e.g., start, stop, restart, and view status) on your system and process related commands (e.g., ps, pidof, pstree, and top) to manage and monitor system processes. Finally, you will deploy and test a basic Apache web server deployment.
Understand the scenario
You are a system administrator for a company deploying Linux servers. You will use a default installation of CentOS 7 Linux. Your tasks are to deploy GUI administration tools to create users, manage Kickstart's answer files, manage software, processes, and services, and configure the server to host a web site using Apache.
Install and Use GUI Administration Tools:
As a Linux administrator, you will become accustomed to using the command-line interface (CLI); however, sometimes it will be more convenient to perform some administrative tasks using a graphical user interface (GUI). In this section, you will learn about some of the GUI-based administrative tools available in CentOS 7. You will learn how to install the packages for the GUI, and you will practice using them.
Modify a Kickstart File:
Another feature of some Linux distributions is the kickstart file. This file is an answer file that helps you automate the installation and configuration of your operating system. This task will install a GUI-based kickstart package and review the options available for configuring a kickstart file. Some of the definitions that you can configure for your kickstart file include defining the time zone, your installation method, the firewall configuration, and whether to install a GUI or CLI configuration.
Install Software with RPM and YUM:
In Red Hat-derived distributions of Linux (like CentOS 7), you will use YUM and RPM to manage software packages. In this lab, you will learn how to use the rpm and yum commands to install different software packages. You will learn some of the switches to use with the yum and rpm commands.
Configure a YUM Repository:
For this task, you will create a repository for storing software packages, called a YUM repository. A YUM repository is a local or remote location where you will retrieve software install and update packages. In this case, you will use the vim text editor to create and edit a local-repository.repo configuration file.
Services may be started, stopped, restarted, enabled, and disabled by using the systemctl command. Restarting a service may be useful for troubleshooting. Restarting a service is also required after editing the service's configuration file. For this task, you will gain familiarity with using systemctl to manage different services.
Configure Server Startup Options:
Many Linux systems are configured to boot up to the command-line interface (CLI) because it is more efficient (i.e., it takes more time and resources to load the GUI). However, some Linux systems may also be able to boot to a GUI for a more user-friendly or intuitive experience. In this section, you will learn how to change the boot configuration from GUI to CLI and back.
Manage Linux Processes:
Every instance of running code on a Linux system is called a process. Each process is identified by a unique Process ID (PID) number. Administrative tasks will use this PID. For this task, you will gain experience using common process-related commands (such as ps, pidof, pstree, and top) to review, manage, and monitor processes.
Deploy an Apache Web Server:
Linux may be used to host the Apache web server service. In this section, you will install and start the Apache web server service. Then you will launch your browser and navigate to the new default web page to ensure that the service is running.
Lab Summary Conclusion:
In this hands-on virtual lab, you will learn how to manage the deployment of a Linux server. You will learn how to automate the server's configuration using kickstart, manage software packages using YUM and RPM, manage common services, manage and monitor processes, switch between CLI and GUI configurations, and set up an Apache web site.
Other Challenges in this series:
- This lab prepares you for the Linux Deployment series.