Intro to Linux

Urban Voice -- Instructor: Lenny Bailes

Day 4 Agenda

    1. Fix Red Hat Automatic Update Utility.

    This automatic feature was broken on August 28, 2003, due to the expiration of a Red Hat
    security feature. Without this feature, you cannot use the automatic Up2Date icon on your
    taskbar to install new versions of Red Hat distribution packages.

      2. Discuss Neal Stephenson's essay about Linux, "In the Beginning Was the Command Line")
      (which compares the distribution of computer operating systems to car dealerships).

"Customers come to this crossroads in throngs, day and night. Ninety percent of them go straight to the biggest dealership and buy station wagons or off-road vehicles. They do not even look at the other dealerships.

Of the remaining ten percent, most go and buy a sleek Euro-sedan, pausing only to turn up their noses at the philistines going to buy the station wagons and ORVs. If they even notice the people on the opposite side of the road, selling the cheaper, technically superior vehicles, these customers deride them cranks and half-wits.

The Batmobile outlet sells a few vehicles to the occasional car nut who wants a second vehicle to go with his station wagon, but seems to accept, at least for now, that it's a fringe player.

The group giving away the free tanks only stays alive because it is staffed by volunteers, who are lined up at the edge of the street with bullhorns, trying to draw customers' attention to this incredible situation. A typical conversation goes something like this:

Hacker with bullhorn: "Save your money! Accept one of our free tanks! It is invulnerable, and can drive across rocks and swamps at ninety miles an hour while getting a hundred miles to the gallon!"

Prospective station wagon buyer: "I know what you say is don't know how to maintain a tank!"

Bullhorn: "You don't know how to maintain a station wagon either!"

      3. Review:
list contents of directory in default view and details view
determine current directory
log into a different directory
make a copy of a file in the same directory
copy a file from one directory to another
delete a file
rename a file
create a directory
remove a directory
move a file

4. More Console Exercises

use cat, less, and more to view files
create a new file with touch
create symbolic links
change read/write file permissions with chmod (symbolic and "numeric rule of 7")
search for files with find and locate (use locate -u to update system database)
use pipes (< >) to save a search
use grep to search for word patterns in files (grep pattern file1 file2) (grep -l string * )
combine commands with $ ( ln -s $(locate '*.jpg') jpegfiles
use Ctrl+Z to suspend a program and fg to return to it.
using File command to examine filetypes
head and tail commands (Jang, p.223)


5. Practical Application Exercises

Read/review Jang, Chapters 8,3, 19
Pay particular attention to chapter 3. We'll reinstall RH Linux 9 in class, next week.
Practice installing RH Linux 9 at home (if possible). Take notes and report difficulties. (Feel free to email me, if you encounter difficulties.)


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