Introduction to Linux

These pages are an introduction to the Linux operating system as used in an Asterisk PBX installation. Normally, a server does not have an X window GUI installed and access is either through the command line prompt, ssh'ing into the server to the command line prompt or through a web based GUI interface. X windows is not used because the admininstrator (root in Linux) rarely uses it and X windows uses up valuable server resources and affects the server's performance. It is foolish to waste server resources on services that will rarely be used.

This section is divided into the following areas:

Introduction to Linux - Linux is a derived from Unix. This page discusses the history of Unix, how Linux fits into the picture and the common distributions of each.

Linux User Interfaces - There are two main user interfaces available for the Linux operating system. This page introduces the command line interface and the graphical user interface (GUI). Unlike Microsoft products where the user is limited to the one window GUI that is offered, Linux offers many different choices of GUI interfaces.

Linux Filename Conventions - Each operating system has unique file naming conventions - rules on what letters, numbers and characters are allowed in a filename. This page discusses the Linux operating system's file naming conventions and compatability with other operating systems.

Basic Linux Commands - For the majority of the time that you use the command line interface, you will only use a small number of commands. This page details the basic commands that you need to know.

Access and Permissions - The major difference between the Linux and Microsoft operating system is the way that security is implemented for files. Linux treats files the same way that it treats users. Each file is owned by a particular user and has user rights. This limits what the file can do if it is hacked. This page discusses the access and permissions rights associated with files.

Links, Instances and Processes - Linux provides various powerful levels of control of the file system that include providing links to the original file, monitoring and destroying instances and putting processes into the background. This page takes a look at what you can do to processes and files.

Linux Shell Programs - The power of Linux comes from the basic concept that everything is a program that can be swapped out for another program. The command line shell is just a program and you are not limited to the default one that the operating comes with. This page discusses the various different shells that are available and the standard shell (bash) that is used with Linux.

Users and Groups - This page dicusses creating and modifying users and groups in the Linux operatings system and the files associated with them. It also shows some commands used to provide elementary communications between users.

Directory Structure - This page dicusses the directory structure of the Linux operating system. It can be confusing at first but there is some logic behind it.

Handy Network Troubleshooting Commands - When setting up or troubleshooting a Linux based server, you will need to test the network configuration. This page lists the basic networking troubleshooting commands that you will need to know.

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Copyright July 2013 Eugene Blanchard