LPI Linux Certification/LPIC2 Exam 201/Detailed Objectives

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The following material is directly from the Linux Professional Institute at Objectives 201 reprinted with their permission. Note that their inclusion in this book in no way signifies endorsement on the part of LPI.


This is a required exam for LPI certification Level 2. It covers advanced system administration skills that are common across all distributions of Linux.

Each objective is assigned a weighting value. The weights range roughly from 1 to 10, and indicate the relative importance of each objective. Objectives with higher weights will be covered in the exam with more questions.

Topic 201: Linux Kernel[edit]

2.201.1 Kernel Components[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidates should be able to utilize kernel components that are necessary to specific hardware, hardware drivers, system resources and requirements. This objective includes implementing different types of kernel images, identifying stable and development kernels and patches, as well as using kernel modules.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

zImage 
bzImage 

2.201.2 Compiling a kernel[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidates should be able to properly compile a kernel to include or disable specific features of the Linux kernel as necessary. This objective includes compiling and recompiling the Linux kernel as needed, implementing updates and noting changes in a new kernel, creating a system initrd image, and installing new kernels.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/usr/src/linux/ 
/etc/lilo.conf 
make options (config, xconfig, menuconfig, oldconfig, mrproper zImage, bzImage, modules, modules_install)
mkinitrd (both Red Hat and Debian based)
make 

2.201.3 Patching a kernel[edit]

Weight
2

Description: Candidates should be able to properly patch a kernel for various purposes including to implement kernel updates, to implement bug fixes, and to add support for new hardware. This objective also includes being able to properly remove kernel patches from existing production kernels.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

Makefile 
patch
gzip 
bzip 

2.201.4 Customizing a kernel[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidates should be able to customize a kernel for specific system requirements by patching, compiling, and editing configuration files as required. This objective includes being able to assess requirements for a kernel compile versus a kernel patch as well as build and configure kernel modules.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/usr/src/linux 
/proc/sys/kernel/
/etc/conf.modules, /etc/modules.conf 
patch 
make 
modprobe 
insmod, lsmod 
kerneld
kmod 

Topic 202: System Startup[edit]

2.202.1 Customizing system startup and boot processes[edit]

Weight
2

Description: Candidates should be able to edit appropriate system startup scripts to customize standard system run levels and boot processes. This objective includes interacting with run levels and creating custom initrd images as needed.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/iddddnit.d/ 
/etc/inittab 
/etc/rc.d/ 
mkinitrd (both Red Hat and Debian scripts) 


Topic 203: Filesystem[edit]

2.203.1 Operating the Linux filesystem[edit]

Weight
3

Description: Candidates should be able to properly configure and navigate the standard Linux filesystem. This objective includes configuring and mounting various filesystem types. Also included, is manipulating filesystems to adjust for disk space requirements or device additions.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/fstab 
/etc/mtab 
/proc/mounts 
mount and umount 
sync 
swapon
swapoff 

2.203.2 Maintaining a Linux filesystem[edit]

Weight
4

Description: Candidates should be able to properly maintain a Linux filesystem using system utilities. This objective includes manipulating a standard ext2 filesystem.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

fsck (fsck.ext2) 
badblocks 
mke2fs 
dumpe2fs 
debuge2fs 
tune2fs 

2.203.3 Creating and configuring filesystem options[edit]

Weight
3

Description: Candidates should be able to configure automount filesystems. This objective includes configuring automount for network and device filesystems. Also included is creating non ext2 filesystems for devices such as CD-ROMs.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/auto.master 
/etc/auto.[dir] 
mkisofs 
dd 
mke2fs 

Topic 204: Hardware[edit]

2.204.1 Configuring RAID[edit]

Weight
2

Description: Candidates should be able to configure and implement software RAID. This objective includes using mkraid tools and configuring RAID 0, 1, and 5.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/raidtab 
mkraid 

2.204.2 Adding new hardware[edit]

Weight
3

Description: Candidates should be able to configure internal and external devices for a system including new hard disks, dumb terminal devices, serial UPS devices, multi-port serial cards, and LCD panels.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/proc/bus/usb 
XFree86 
modprobe 
lsmod 
lsdev 
lspci 
setserial 
usbview 

2.204.3 Software and kernel configuration[edit]

Weight
2

Description: Candidates should be able to configure kernel options to support various hardware devices including UDMA66 drives and IDE CD burners. This objective includes using LVM (Logical Volume Manager) to manage hard disk drives and partitions as well as software tools to interact with hard disk settings.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/proc/interrupts 
hdparm 
tune2fs 
sysctl 

2.204.4 Configuring PCMCIA devices[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidates should be able to configure a Linux installation to include PCMCIA support. This objective includes configuring PCMCIA devices, such as ethernet adapters, to autodetect when inserted.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/pcmcia/ 
*.opts 
cardctl 
cardmgr 

Topic 209: File and Service Sharing[edit]

2.209.1 Configuring a samba server[edit]

Weight
5

Description: The candidate should be able to set up a Samba server for various clients. This objective includes setting up a login script for Samba clients, and setting up an nmbd WINS server. Also included is to change the workgroup in which a server participates, define a shared directory in smb.conf, define a shared printer in smb.conf, use nmblookup to test WINS server functionality, and use the smbmount command to mount an SMB share on a Linux client.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

smbd, nmbd 
smbstatus, smbtestparm, smbpasswd, nmblookup
smb.conf, lmhosts 

2.209.2 Configuring an NFS server[edit]

Weight
3

Description: The candidate should be able to create an exports file and specify filesystems to be exported. This objective includes editing exports file entries to restrict access to certain hosts, subnets or netgroups. Also included is to specify mount options in the exports file, configure user ID mapping, mount an NFS filesystem on a client, using mount options to specify soft or hard and background retries, signal handling, locking, and block size. The candidate should also be able to configure tcpwrappers to further secure NFS.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/exports 
exportfs 
showmount 
nfsstat 

Topic 211: System Maintenance[edit]

2.211.1 System logging[edit]

Weight
1

Description: The candidate should be able to configure syslogd to act as a central network log server. This objective also includes configuring syslogd to send log output to a central log server, logging remote connections, and using grep and other text utils to automate log analysis.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

syslog.conf 
/etc/hosts 
sysklogd 

2.211.2 Packaging software[edit]

Weight
1

Description: The candidate should be able to build a package. This objective includes building (or rebuilding) both RPM and DEB packaged software.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/debian/rules 
SPEC file format 
rpm 

2.211.3 Backup operations[edit]

Weight
2

Description: The candidate should be able to create an offsite backup storage plan.

Topic 213: System Customization and Automation[edit]

2.213.1 Automating tasks using scripts[edit]

Weight
3

Description: The candidate should be able to write simple Perl scripts that make use of modules where appropriate, use the Perl taint mode to secure data, and install Perl modules from CPAN. This objective includes using sed and awk in scripts, and using scripts to check for process execution and generate alerts by email or pager if a process dies. Candidates should be able to write and schedule automatic execution of scripts to parse logs for alerts and email them to administrators, synchronize files across machines using rsync, monitor files for changes and generate email alerts, and write a script that notifies administrators when specified users log in or out.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

perl -MCPAN -e shell 
bash, awk, sed 
crontab 
at 

Topic 214: Troubleshooting[edit]

2.214.2 Creating recovery disks[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidate should be able to: create both a standard bootdisk for system entrance, and a recovery disk for system repair.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/fstab
/etc/inittab 
Any standard editor
Familiarity with the location and contents of the LDP Bootdisk-HOWTO
/usr/sbin/rdev 
/bin/cat 
/bin/mount (includes -o loop switch) 
/sbin/lilo 
/bin/dd 
/sbin/mke2fs 
/usr/sbin/chroot 

2.214.3 Identifying boot stages[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidate should be able to: determine, from bootup text, the 4 stages of boot sequence and distinguish between each.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

boot loader start and hand off to kernel
kernel loading
hardware initialization and setup
daemon initialization and setup 

2.214.4 Troubleshooting LILO[edit]

Weight
1

Description: Candidate should be able to determine specific stage failures and corrective techniques.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/boot/boot.b 
Know meaning of L, LI, LIL, LILO, and scrolling 010101 errrors
Know the different LILO install locations, MBR, /dev/fd0, or primary/extended partition.
Know significance of /boot/boot.### files 

2.214.5 General troubleshooting[edit]

Weight
1

Description: A candidate should be able to recognize and identify boot loader and kernel specific stages and utilize kernel boot messages to diagnose kernel errors. This objective includes being able to identify and correct common hardware issues, and be able to determine if the problem is hardware or software.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/proc filesystem 
Various system and daemon log files in /var/log/ 
/, /boot, and /lib/modules 
screen output during bootup
kernel syslog entries in system logs (if entry is able to be gained)
location of system kernel and attending modules
dmesg 
/sbin/lspci 
/usr/bin/lsdev 
/sbin/lsmod 
/sbin/modprobe 
/sbin/insmod 
/bin/uname 
strace 
strings 
ltrace 
lsof 

2.214.6 Troubleshooting system resources[edit]

Weight
1

Description: A candidate should be able to identify, diagnose and repair local system environment.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/profile && /etc/profile.d/ 
/etc/init.d/ 
/etc/rc.* 
/etc/sysctl.conf 
/etc/bashrc /etc/ld.so.conf 
(or other appropriate global shell configuration files)
Core system variables
Any standard editor
/bin/ln 
/bin/rm 
/sbin/ldconfig 
/sbin/sysctl 

2.214.8 Troubleshooting environment configurations[edit]

Weight
1

Description: A candidate should be able to identify common local system and user environment configuration issues and common repair techniques.

Key files, terms, and utilities include:

/etc/inittab 
/etc/rc.local
/etc/rc.boot 
/var/spool/cron/crontabs/ 
/etc/`shell_name`.conf 
/etc/login.defs 
/etc/syslog.conf
/etc/passwd 
/etc/shadow 
/etc/group 
/etc/profile 
/sbin/init 
/usr/sbin/cron 
/usr/bin/crontab