Configure and Use GUI Administration Tools in Linux

This IT Pro Challenge lab provides the learner with a new type of Linux administration challenge. Instead of a traditional server terminal the learner will use a Gnome GUI with CentOS7. Several key administrative tasks including firewall settings, network adapters and disk partitions will all be accomplished using the GUI instead of the terminal.

45 minutes
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Lab Overview:

The lab puts the learner in the position of a Linux administrator. Unlike other scenarios this lab required the use of a graphical user interface(GUI) instead of the terminal. Most of us are familiar with the Windows GUI that is common on most desktops, and although similar the Linux Gnome desktop does provide enough unique setup features and differences to require a bit of practice to get used to. All common administrative tasks will be required for the learner to show proficiency.

Use the Sundry GUI administrative tools:

The Sundry administrative tools provide control of several vital functions of the Linux device. For instance from this folder one can access the firewall rules that control what ports are open to incoming/outgoing network traffic. In addition security settings that utilize SELinux are also present here. SELinux provides several layers of security for file access than conventional Linux systems. It is also possible to manage printers.

Use the System Tools GUI administrative Tools:

There are certain menus and settings that are definitely easier to access and manipulate using a GUI. Some of these have to do with screen control. Network adapters are also easier to manage from a GUI in most cases. System information is also readily available versus on the terminal where very often you have to manually format the output. For example the need to constantly enter the ‘human readable’ option does not exist when using a GUI.

Use the Utilities GUI administrative tools:

Managing disk resources is also a task that makes a GUI extremely valuable. So much so that many traditional Linux Servers still use a GUI when setting up their initial disk partitions and language selections. One thing you will notice about Linux is the ease at which system partitions are created and mounted in the file system. Also note the existence of the Swap partition that acts as a temporary memory location when applications need space to store information. All of this is much easier to visualize than would be possible with the readout of the terminal.

Install and use additional GUI administration tools:

Another large difference between Linux and Windows is the amount of customization available in the GUI. Window’s tends to ship a single GUI that has set abilities depending on the version of Windows. Linux has a much more flexible setup. In this section of the lab you are invited to expand the utilities available in order to create even more system duties that can be handled from the GUI, and even choose which tool you like the best to accomplish the same tasks. Also note that this lab already had the Gnome GUI preloaded. In fact this single CentOS7 machine is capable of loading several other GUI types, and this is entirely up to the users preferences.

Lab Summary Conclusion:

Although Linux servers are usually administered from a terminal interface, it is possible to run Linux with a desktop GUI. There are some advantages to doing so depending on the task. Some tasks that require system information to be human readable, or a visualization, are remarkably simpler using a GUI. Another benefit that Linux has over other operating systems( ex: Windows) is the amount of customization to either a single GUI or even choosing an entirely different offering.