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Systems Administration#

The tasks below are common operations you're going to perform when working with operating systems locally, remotely, on hardware, in virtualisation, and more.

These are the tasks that businesses need you to be competent in so that you can implement solutions for them. The operating system is, after all, how we launch and maintain running software, so knowing how-to manage an operating system is an important part of the job.

We're going to review the following administrative tasks:

  • Secure SHell (known as SSH) for remote access
  • The shell
  • Manual pages
  • The root user
  • File systems
  • File management
  • File permissions
  • Environment variables
  • User management
  • Software management
  • Service management
  • Resource utilisation

Each of these task's changes based on the operating system being managed. I'm going to provide resources for Linux only. This is because Linux is the most common operating system you'll find being used in businesses all over the world. It enables and powers most of the Internet. It's also free and production ready, so a lot of businesses are happy using it knowing it doesn't cost them anything. And it doesn't cost you anything neither.

Using a Virtual Machine you can easily run Linux locally and experiment with it. We'll cover doing that in the chapter on virtualisation, but for the time being you're probably best

The only thing to keep in mind with regards to Linux is there are a lot of distributions available, and companies can use a variety, sometimes multiple at the same time. In the interest of keeping things simple, I'll provide resources for Ubuntu as I'd argue it's probably the most common distribution in use today.


Before going an any further, make sure you have your DigitalOcean account set up and a Droplet (VM) ready to go. Something you can SSH into.