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The smartest, fastest, most effective preparation for the latest Linux+ exam

  • Complete and concise: get all the knowledge you need, without wading through thousands of pages!
  • Authoritative coverage by key LPI insider and long-time Linux trainer Ross Brunson
  • Fully reflects the latest exams
  • Test-taking strategies, tips, notes, and two full sample exams delivered by the advanced PCPT test engine


  • Copyright 2020
  • Pages: 896
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Edition eBook
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-530137-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-530137-1

CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Cert Guide, Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test

The exciting new CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Cert Guide, Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test is a digital-only certification preparation product combining an eBook with enhanced Pearson Test Prep practice test software. The Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test contains the following items:

  • The CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004Premium Edition Practice Test, including four full practice exams and enhanced practice test features
  • PDF and EPUB formats of the CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Cert Guide from Pearson IT Certification, which are accessible via your PC, tablet, and smartphone

About the Premium Edition Practice Test

This Premium Edition contains an enhanced online version of the Pearson Test Prep practice test software with four full practice exams. In addition, it contains all the chapter-opening assessment questions from the book. The online version enables you to access the practice tests that come bundled with our best-selling study guides via the Internet on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone device with Internet connectivity. The new web-based version also enables you to download the software to your desktop, so you can use the practice test even when you don't have an Internet connection. The desktop version syncs with your online version when an Internet connection is established, to update and track your progress. This integrated learning package offers these additional benefits:

•          Enables you to focus on individual topic areas or take complete, timed exams

•          Contains direct links from each question to detailed tutorials, to help you understand the concepts behind the questions

•          Presents unique sets of exam-realistic practice questions

•          Tracks your performance and provides feedback on a module-by-module basis, laying out a complete assessment of your knowledge to help you focus your study where it is needed most

Pearson Test Prep online system requirements:

Browsers: Chrome version 40 and above; Firefox version 35 and above; Safari version 7; Internet Explorer 10, 11; Microsoft Edge; Opera.

Devices: Desktop and laptop computers, tablets running on Android and iOS, smartphones with a minimum screen size of 4.7". Internet access required.

Pearson Test Prep offline system requirements:

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7; Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 Client; Pentium-class 1 GHz processor (or equivalent); 512 MB RAM; 650 MB disk space plus 50 MB for each downloaded practice exam; access to the Internet to register and download exam databases

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction xxxvi

Part I: Software Management

Chapter 1 Installing Linux 3

Hardware and Linux Installation 3

    Installing Linux as a Study Tool 4

    Setting Up a Virtualized Environment 4

    Downloading ISO Files 6

    Installing an Ubuntu Virtual Machine 8

    Installing Ubuntu on a Virtual Machine 10

    Getting to the Command Line 11

    The Importance of Snapshots 12

Summary 13

Chapter 2 Package Installation and Management 15

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 15

Software in a Linux System 18

    Shared Libraries 18

    Working with Shared Libraries 20

    Determining Required Libraries 20

Installing Software from Source 22

    Components of a Source Code Install 23

    The Makefile 23

    Example of a Compilation of Source Code 24

Packages and Package Managers 25

    The Most Common Package Types 25

    Package Managers 26

    Debian Package Management 26

    Using Repositories 32

    Installing Remote Packages 36

    Upgrading the System 38

    Removing Packages 39

    Graphical Managers 39

RPM and YUM Package Management 40

    The RPM Database 40

    RPM Package Files 41

    The rpm Command 42

    Package Management with YUM 52

    Configuring YUM 56

    Dandified YUM 59

    zypper 59

    Syncing or Mirroring Repositories 65

    Alternative Method of Acquiring Software 65

Summary 66

Chapter 3 Virtualization 73

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 73

What Is Virtualization? 75

Types of Virtualization/Hypervisors 75

    Local Virtualization 76

    Other People’s Linux Boxes 76

    Cloud Virtualization 76

    Bootstrapping VMs 77

    Amazon Machine Images 77

    Cloud Installation Tools 77

    Template Formats 79

    OVA/OVF Templates 80

    Configuring Templates 80

    YAML Ain’t Markup Language 80

    JSON Bourne 80

    Container Images 80

Virtualization Storage 81

    Thin vs. Thick 81

    Persistent Volumes 81

    Blobs and Blocks 82

Networking Considerations 82

    Bridging 82

    Overlay Networks 82

    NAT 83

    Local 83

    Dual-homed 83

Summary 84

Chapter 4 The Boot Process 89

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 89

The Linux Boot Process 91

    What Is the Boot Process? 91

    System Boot Options 91

    Boot Loaders 97

Boot Loaders and Files 98

    GRUB Legacy 98

    GRUB2 99

    Common Commands at Boot Time 104

When Kernels Panic 106

    Identifying a Kernel Panic 106

    Getting More Information 106

    Kernel Panic Causes 106

Summary 107

Chapter 5 Managing System Services 111

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 111

systemd 113

    What’s Different About systemd? 113

    Units in systemd 114

    systemd Targets and Runlevels 116

    Wants and Requires 117

    Booting with systemd 117

    Commands to Manage systemd 118

    Troubleshooting System Boot Times 123

    Setting Environment Parameters for systemd Services 123

    Setting Hostnames on systemd Systems 123

Down Memory Lane with SysVinit 124

    Freshen That Up for You? 125

    SysVinit Boot Sequence 126

    Managing System Runlevels 127

    Determining the Default Runlevel 128

    Setting the Default Runlevels 129

    Changing Runlevels 129

    Shut Down and Reboot from the Command Line 129

Summary 130

Chapter 6 System Performance 135

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 135

Managing Processes 137

    Viewing Processes 137

    What’s the Diff? 138

    The free Command 139

    Blocks and Buffers 139

    Pages, Slabs, and Caches 140

    Interpreting Displayed Information from free 140

    System Uptime 142

Sending Signals to Processes 142

    Killing Processes by PID 144

    Killing Processes by Using Other Criteria 144

    Finding What Is Using a Resource 146

Job Control 147

Managing Process Priorities 149

Leaving Programs Running After Logout 151

    Using screen for Multiple Console Sessions 152

Summary 155

Part II: File Management

Chapter 7 File Manipulation 161

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 161

File and Directory Operations 163

Tips for Working with Linux Files 163

    Basic Navigation 163

    Advanced Navigation 164

    Listing Files and Directories 165

    Determining File Types 166

    Touching Files 168

    Copying Files and Directories 169

    Copying Objects Between Systems 172

    Everything and the Kitchen rsync 173

    What’s the Diff? 175

    Moving Objects 177

    Creating and Removing Directories 179

    Removing Objects 180

    Where Are Those Files? 180

    Getting a grep 184

    Which Command Will Run? 188

    Researching a Command 189

    Linking Files 190

Working with Input/Output Streams 193

    Standard In 194

    Standard Out 194

    Standard Error 194

    Here Documents 195

    Redirection of Streams 196

    Redirecting Standard Input 197

    Redirecting Standard Output 197

    Redirecting Standard Error 197

    Redirection Redux 198

    Understanding /dev/tty 199

    Pipes 199

    Executing Multiple Commands 202

Summary 205

Chapter 8 File Processing 211

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 211

Reading File Contents 214

    Training the cat Command 214

    When cat Goes Backward 215

    cat vs. echo 215

    more or less? 216

    head or tail? 218

    Viewing Binary Files Safely 220

Filters 221

    Sorting 221

    Numbering Lines 222

    Cutting Columns 223

    Feeling a Bit (awk)ward 223

    Translating Files 225

    He sed, She sed 225

    Using grep and Friends 228

A Tour of the vim Editor 234

    The Message Line 234

    Editing in vi 234

    Searching in vi 240

nano, nano 241

    Why nano and not Pico? 241

    nano’s Interface 242

    That’s a Wrap 243

Summary 243

Chapter 9 File Permissions and Escalation 249

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 249

Working with Permissions 252

    Permission Trio Bits 252

Manipulating Permissions 254

    Octal Notation Mode 255

Special File Permissions 258

    Special Bit Permissions 259

    Setting the SUID Bit on Files 260

    Setting the SGID Bit on Files 261

    Setting the SGID Bit on Directories 262

    Setting the Sticky Bit 263

Finding Files by Permission 263

Access Control Lists 264

    Not Enough Granularity 264

    ACLs to the Rescue 265

    Viewing ACLs 265

    Setting an ACL 265

    We All Wear Masks 267

Understanding Permission Problems 267

Default Permissions 268

    Using umask 268

Up to the ulimit 270

Changing User Ownership 271

Changing Group Ownership 272

    Aging Passwords 273

User Privilege Escalation 274

    The su Command 275

    The sudo Command 276

    The sudoedit Command 277

Summary 278

Chapter 10 SELinux and AppArmor 283

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 283

SELinux Configurations 285

    SELinux Mode 287

    SELinux Policy 288

    SELinux Booleans 288

SELinux Contexts 290

AppArmor 292

    aa-disable 292

    aa-complain 292

    aa-unconfined 293

    /etc/apparmor.d/ 293

    /etc/apparmor.d/tunables 293

Summary 293

Chapter 11 File Compression and Storage 297

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 297

Archive and Restore Utilities 299

    Using tar 299

    Using Compression Utilities 301

    Listing Archive Files 307

    Using cpio 308

    Using the dd Command 309

Compression Tools 310

Backing Up Is Hard to Do 311

    Backup Types 312

    Other Backup Types 312

Off-Site/Off-System Storage 313

    Backups Over the LAN/WAN 313

    Everything and the Kitchen rsync 314

Integrity Checks 315

Summary 315

Part III: Account Management

Chapter 12 User and Group Management 321

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 321

User Account Fundamentals 324

    What Accounts Are What? 324

Group Accounts 327

    Group Entries in /etc/group 328

    Group Passwords 329

Adding Users and Groups 330

    Adding Users with useradd 330

    useradd Defaults 331

    skel Templates 331

    Adding Groups with groupadd 332

Modifying Users and Groups 333

    Modifying User Accounts with usermod 333

    Modifying Groups with groupmod 334

Removing Users and Groups 335

    Removing Users 335

    Removing Groups 336

The Shadow Suite 337

    Encrypted Passwords and Shadow Fields 337

    shadow File Permissions 338

Changing Passwords 339

    Aging Passwords 340

    User Variables 341

    Using Disk Quotas 342

    A Login Shell Session 347

    A Non-Login Shell Session 348

    User Identity Query Options 348

Summary 351

Chapter 13 Account Security 355

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 355

Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAMs) 357

    Password Policies 357

    LDAP Integration 358

    User Lockouts 359

    The /etc/pam.d Directory 359

    pam_tally2 and faillock 359

Secure Shell 360

    SSH Components 360

Terminals PTY/TTY 366

    Moving Between Terminals 367

    securetty 367

Public Key Infrastructure 367

Using TCP Wrappers for Securing Services 369

    inetd and TCP Wrappers 369

    xinetd and TCP Wrappers 369

    The hosts.allow and hosts.deny Files 370

    Wrapper Read Order 371

    Format of hosts.allow and hosts.deny 371

    Sample Configurations 371

    Using Rule Options 373

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Clients 374

    IPsec 374

    SSL and TLS 374

    DTLS 375

    Transport and Tunnel Modes 375

Summary 376

Chapter 14 Logging Services 381

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 381

System Logging 383

    systemd and syslog 383

    systemd Logging 389

    Dealing with Open Files 398

Summary 399

Part IV: Device Management

Chapter 15 Linux Devices 403

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 403

Understanding Linux Hardware 405

    Types of Devices 406

    Peripheral Compatibility 407

    Enumerating Your Peripherals 408

    The Proc Filesystem 409

Managing Printers and Printing 412

    The Print Spooler 412

    The CUPS Daemon 413

    Configuring CUPS 415

    CUPS Maintenance 420

    Command Line Tools 422

    Troubleshooting Printing 428

Linux Graphical User Interfaces 429

    Linux Desktops 430

Accessibility Options 432

    Sticky/Repeat Keys 432

    Slow/Bounce/Toggle Keys 433

    Mouse Keys 433

    High Contrast/Large Print Desktop Themes 434

    Screen Reader 434

    Braille Display 435

    Screen Magnifier 435

    Onscreen Keyboard 435

Remote Desktop 435

Summary 436

Chapter 16 Hardware Troubleshooting 441

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 441

Storage Monitoring and Configuration 444

    ioping 444

    I/O Scheduling 445

CPU Monitoring and Configuration 446

    Basic CPU Load Information 446

    Detailed CPU Load Information 448

Memory Monitoring and Configuration 450

    Basic Memory Usage Information 450

    Detailed Memory Usage Information 451

    Out of Memory Killer 452

    Swap Space 452

Troubleshooting Additional Hardware Issues 455

    Memory 455

    Printers 455

    Video 455

    Communications Ports 456

    USB 458

    Keyboard Mapping 461

    Hardware or Software 461

    Commands 462

Summary 465

Chapter 17 Kernel Modules 471

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 471

Understanding Kernel Modules 473

Managing Kernel Modules 474

    Loading and Unloading Modules Manually 475

The modprobe Command 477

Summary 480

Chapter 18 Storage Concepts 485

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 485

Basic Partitions 487

    Partitions 487

Filesystem Hierarchy 488

Device Mapper 490

    RAID 490

    Logical Volume Manager (LVM) 491

Filesystem Types 493

Summary 494

Chapter 19 Storage Configuration 499

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 499

Disk Partitioning Tools 501

    fdisk 501

    parted 504

Managing LVM 505

Managing Software RAID 506

Creating Filesystems 507

    The mkfs Command 507

    Filesystem Creation Options 508

Advanced Filesystem Commands 510

    Filesystem Checker 511

    Tuning Filesystems 512

    XFS Commands 512

Mounting and Unmounting 513

    Viewing Partition and Filesystem Device File Information 514

    The Filesystem Table 516

    Manually Mounting Filesystems 518

    Unmounting Filesystems 518

Space Utilization 519

    Using iostat 519

    Using du 519

    Using df 520

Summary 521

Part V: Network Management

Chapter 20 Network Configuration 527

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 527

Conceptual Overview of Networking 529

    Necessary Configuration Information 530

    IP Addresses 530

    Networks and Hosts 531

    Address Class Ranges 531

    Network Masks 532

    Using Default Network Masks 533

    Gateway Addresses, or “Do I Dial with the Area Code?” 534

    Broadcast Addresses 535

    Custom Network Masks 535

    Determining a Custom Network Mask 535

    Additional Protocols 538

    Common Ports 539

    IPv6 541

Managing Interfaces 542

    Viewing IP Information 542

    Red Hat Interface Configuration 544

    Debian Interface Configuration 545

    Viewing and Configuring Gateway Addresses 546

    /etc/netplan 549

    /etc/sysctl.conf 550

Network Configuration Utilities 551

    Network Utility Examples 552

    ss 555

Bonding 566

    Aggregation 566

    Active/Passive 568

    Load Balancing 568

Summary 569

Chapter 21 Network Troubleshooting 575

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 575

Key Network Troubleshooting Concepts 577

Network Troubleshooting Tools 578

    The traceroute Command 579

    The tcpdump Command 582

    Wireshark 583

    The arp Command 586

    The nmap Command 587

    The nc Command 591

    The whois Command 593

    The iftop Command 594

    The iperf and ipset Commands 594

Summary 595

Chapter 22 Linux Firewalls 599

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 599

The iptables Command 601

    Overview of Filtering Packets 601

    Important Terms 604

    Using iptables to Filter Incoming Packets 605

    Filtering by Protocol 607

    Multiple Criteria 608

    Filtering Based on Destination 608

    Changing the Default Policy 609

    Revisiting the Original Rules 610

    Saving the Rules 610

    Using iptables to Filter Outgoing Packets 611

    Stateful Rules 612

    Logging Rules 612

    Implementing NAT 613

Additional Firewall Technologies 614

    firewalld 614

    ufw 614

    Dynamic Rule Sets 615

Summary 618

Part VI: Automation

Chapter 23 Orchestration 623

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 623

Automation and Orchestration 625

    Agent vs. Agentless 625

    Procedures and Attributes 625

    Infrastructure Automation 626

    Infrastructure as Code 626

    Inventory 626

    Automated Configuration Management 626

    Build Automation 627

Summary 627

Chapter 24 Automate Tasks 631

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 631

Job Control 633

Leaving Programs Running After Logout 634

The cron System 635

    Configuring crontabs 635

    Other Files 640

    Restricting Access 642

Running ad hoc Jobs 642

    The at Command 643

    The batch Command 644

Summary 645

Chapter 25 Manage Localization 651

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 651

Time Zones 653

    Displaying and Setting System Time 653

    Displaying and Setting the Hardware Clock 654

    Setting Time Zones 655

    The timedatectl Command 656

Character Encoding 656

Representing Locales 657

    Fallback Locales 658

    Contents of a Locale 659

    The localectl Command 660

    How Linux Uses the Locale 660

Chapter 26 BASH Scripting Essentials 667

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 667

Basics of Scripting 669

    Environment Variables and Settings 670

    Variable Expansion 672

    The PATH Variable 673

    Running a Script 674

    Good Design 675

Shell Script Commands 675

    Using the Output of Another Command 675

    Conditionals 676

    Testing Files 678

    An Easier Test Syntax 679

    Testing Strings 680

    Testing Integers 680

    Combining Multiple Tests 681

    Case Statements 682

    Loops 683

    Interacting with Other Programs 686

    Returning an Error Code 687

    Accepting Arguments 687

Chapter 27 Git 693

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 693

Version Control Concepts 695

    The First Generation 695

    The Second Generation 696

    The Third Generation 697

    Installing Git 700

Git Concepts and Features 701

    Git Stages 702

    Choosing Your Git Repository Host 703

    Configuring Git 703

    Getting the Status of Files 706

    The .git Directory 708

    Telling Git to Ignore a File 708

Handling Branches 709

Executing Diffs 711

    Comparing Versions 713

    Dealing with Whitespace 713

    Comparing Branches 714

Merging Files 716

Part VII: Security and Server Management

Chapter 28 Server Roles 727

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 727

Server Types 729

    NTP 729

    SSH 730

    Certificate Authority 730

    Name Server 730

    DHCP 731

    SNMP 731

    File Servers 731

    Authentication Server 732

    Proxy 733

    VPN 733

    Database 733

    Print Server 734

    Mail Server 734

Server Features 734

    Web 734

    Logging 735

    Containers 735

    Monitoring 735

    Load Balancer 736

    Clustering 736

Summary 736

Chapter 29 Security Best Practices 741

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 741

Host Security Best Practices 743

    Boot Security 743

    Shared IDs 744

    Separation of OS Data from Application Data 744

    The auditd Daemon 745

    CVE Monitoring 745

    USB Devices 745

    Disk Encryption 745

    Restrict cron Access 746

    Disable Ctrl+Alt+Del 746

    MOTD 746

Authentication Security Best Practices 746

    Multifactor Authentication 746

    RADIUS 748

    TACACS+ 748

    LDAP 748

    Kerberos 749

Service Security Best Practices 749

    SSH Security Policies 749

    Enforce Use of PKI 750

    Chroot Jail Services 750

    Denying Hosts 751

    Change Default Ports 751

    Disabling or Uninstalling Unused and Unsecure Services 751

    SSL/TLS 753

Banners 753

Summary 753

Part VIII: Final Preparation

Chapter 30 Final Preparation 757

Exam Information 757

Getting Ready 759

Tools for Final Preparation 760

    Pearson Test Prep Practice Test Software and Questions on the Website 760

    Customizing Your Exams 762

    Updating Your Exams 763

    Chapter-Ending Review Tools 764

Suggested Plan for Final Review/Study 764

Summary 764

Glossary 765

Appendix A Answers to the “Do I Know This Already?” Quizzes and Review Questions 783

Appendix B CompTIA Linux+ XK0-004 Cert Guide Exam Updates 811

Appendix C Study Planner



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We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020