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Chapter 2. Exam 101 Study Guide

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2.1. Exam Preparation



LPI Exam 101 is thorough, but you should find it fairly straightforward if you have a solid foundation in Linux concepts. You won't come

across questions that intend to trick you, and you're unlikely to find ambiguous questions.

Exam 101 mainly tests your knowledge of facts, including commands and their common options, important file locations, configuration

syntax, and common procedures. Your recollection of these details, regardless of your level of Linux administration experience, will

directly influence your results.

For clarity, the material in the following sections is presented in the same order as the LPI Topics and Objectives. However, you may

choose to study the Topics in any order you wish. To assist you with your preparation, Tables 2-1 through 2-5 list the Topics and

Objectives found on Exam 101. Objectives within each Topic occupy rows of the corresponding table, including the Objective's number,

description, and weight. The LPI assigns a weight for each Objective to indicate the relative importance of that Objective on the exam on

a scale of 1 to 8. We recommend that you use the weights to prioritize what you decide to study in preparation for the exams. After you

complete your study of each Objective, simply check it off here to measure and organize your progress.



Table 2-1. Hardware and architecture (Topic 1.101)

Objective



Weight



Description



1



1



Configure Fundamental BIOS Settings



3



1



Configure Modem and Sound Cards



4



1



Set Up Non-IDE Devices



5



3



Set Up Different PC Expansion Cards



6



1



Configure Communication Devices



7



1



Configure USB Devices



Table 2-2. Linux installation and package management (Topic 1.102)

Objective



Weight



Description



1



5



Design Hard Disk Layout



2



1



Install a Boot Manager



3



5



Make and Install Programs from Source



4



3



Manage Shared Libraries



5



8



Use Debian Package Management



6



8



Use Red Hat Package Manager



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Table 2-3. GNU and Unix commands (Topic 1.103)

Objective



Weight



Description



1



5



Work on the Command Line



2



6



Process Text Streams Using Filters



3



5



Perform Basic File Management



4



5



Using Streams, Pipes, and Redirects



5



5



Create, Monitor, and Kill Processes



6



3



Modify Process Execution Priorities



7



3



Search Text Files Using Regular Expressions



8



1



Perform Basic File Editing Operations Using vi



Table 2-4. Devices, Linux filesystems, and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (Topic 1.104)

Objective



Weight



Description



1



3



Create Partitions and Filesystems



2



3



Maintain the Integrity of Filesystems



3



3



Control Mounting and Unmounting Filesystems



4



3



Managing Disk Quota



5



5



Use File Permissions to Control Access to Files



6



1



Manage File Ownership



7



1



Create and Change Hard and Symbolic Links



8



5



Find System Files and Place Files in the Correct Location



Table 2-5. The X Window System (Topic 1.110)

Objective



Weight



Description



1



5



Install and Configure X11



2



3



Set Up a Display Manager



4



5



Install and Customize a Window Manager Environment



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Chapter 2. Hardware and Architecture (Topic 1.101)

This Topic requires general knowledge of fundamental PC architecture facts that you must know before attempting any operating system

installation. It includes these Objectives:



Objective 1: Configure Fundamental BIOS Settings

This Objective states that candidates should be able to configure fundamental system hardware by making the correct

settings in the system BIOS. This Objective includes a proper understanding of BIOS configuration issues such as the use

of LBA on integrated device electronics (IDE) hard disks larger than 1024 cylinders, enabling or disabling integrated

peripherals, and configuring systems with (or without) external peripherals such as keyboards. It also includes the correct

setting for IRQs, DMAs, and I/O addresses for all BIOS administrated ports and settings for error handling. Weight: 1.



Objective 3: Configure Modem and Sound Cards

An LPI 101 Candidate must ensure devices meet compatibility requirements (particularly that the modem is not a

winmodem). The candidate should also verify that both the modem and sound card are using unique and correct IRQs,

DMAs, and I/O addresses; if the sound card is plug-and-play (PnP), install and run sndconfig and isapnp; configure the

modem for outbound PPP, SLIP, and CSLIP connections; and set the serial port speeds. Weight: 1.



Objective 4: Set Up Non-IDE Devices

This Objective states that the candidate should be able to configure SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy") devices using the SCSI

BIOS as well as the necessary Linux tools. He should also be able to differentiate between the various types of SCSI. This

Objective includes manipulating the SCSI BIOS to detect used and available SCSI IDs and setting the correct ID number for

different devices, especially the boot device. It also includes managing the settings in the computer's BIOS to determine the

desired boot sequence if both SCSI and IDE drives are used. Weight: 1.



Objective 5: Set Up Different PC Expansion Cards

This Objective states that a candidate should be able to configure various cards for the various expansion slots. She should

know the differences between ISA and PCI cards with respect to configuration issues. This Objective includes the correct

settings of IRQs, DMAs, and I/O ports of the cards, especially to avoid conflicts between devices. It also includes using

isapnp if the card is an ISA PnP device. Weight: 3.



Objective 6: Configure Communication Devices

The candidate should be able to install and configure different internal and external communication devices such as modems,

ISDN adapters, and DSL switches. This Objective includes verification of compatibility requirements (especially important if

that modem is a winmodem), necessary hardware settings for internal devices (IRQs, DMAs, and I/O ports), and loading and

configuring suitable device drivers. It also includes communication device and interface configuration requirements, such as

the right serial port for 115.2 Kbps and the correct modem settings for outbound PPP connections. Weight: 1.



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Objective 7: Configure USB Devices

Candidates should be able to activate USB support, use and configure different USB devices. This Objective includes the

correct selection of the USB chipset and corresponding module. It also includes knowledge of the basic architecture of the

layer model of USB as well as the different modules used in the different layers. Weight: 1.



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3.1. Objective 1: Configure Fundamental BIOS Settings



Setting up a PC for Linux (or any other operating system) requires some familiarity with the devices installed in the system and their

configuration. Items to be aware of include modems, serial and parallel ports, network adapters, SCSI adapters, hard drives, USB

controllers, and sound cards. Many of these devices, particularly older ones, require manual configuration of some kind to avoid

conflicting resources. The rest of the configuration for the system hardware is done in the PC's firmware, or Basic Input/Output System

(BIOS).



3.1.1. BIOS

The firmware located in a PC, commonly called the BIOS, is responsible for bringing all of the system hardware to a state at which it is

ready to boot an operating system. Systems vary, but this process usually includes system initialization, the testing of memory and other

devices, and ultimately locating an operating system from among several storage devices. In addition, the BIOS provides a low-level

system configuration interface, allowing the user to choose such things as boot devices and resource assignments. Quite a few BIOS

firmware vendors provide customized versions of their products for various PC system architectures. Exams do require an

understanding of the basics. For example, a laptop BIOS may differ significantly from a desktop system of similar capability from the

same manufacturer. Due to these variations, it's impossible to test specifics, but the LPIC Level 1 exams do require an understanding of

the basics

At boot time, most PCs display a method of entering the BIOS configuration utility, usually by entering a specific keystroke during

startup. Once the utility is started, a menu-based screen in which system settings can be configured appears. Depending on the BIOS

vendor, these will include settings for disks, memory behavior, on-board ports (such as serial and parallel ports), the clock, as well as

many others.



3.1.1.1. Date and time



One of the basic functions of the BIOS is to manage the on-board hardware clock. This clock is initially set in the BIOS configuration by

entering the date and time in the appropriate fields. Once set, the internal clock keeps track of time and makes the time available to the

operating system. The operating system can also set the hardware clock, which is often useful if an accurate external time reference,

such as an NTPD server (see Chapter 18), is available on the network while the system is running.



3.1.1.2. Disks and boot devices



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Another fundamental configuration item required in BIOS settings is the selection of storage devices. Modern PCs can contain a variety

of removable and fixed media, including floppy disks, hard disks, CD-ROMs, CD-RWs, DVD-ROMs, and Zip and/or Jaz drives. Newer

systems are able to detect and properly configure much of this hardware automatically. However, older BIOS versions require manual

configuration. This may include the selection of floppy disk sizes and disk drive parameters.

Most PCs have at least three bootable media types: an internal hard disk (IDE or SCSI, or perhaps both), a CD-ROM drive (again IDE or

SCSI), and a floppy disk. After initialization, the BIOS seeks an operating system (or an operating system loader, such as the Linux

Loader [LILO]) on one or more of these media. By default, many BIOS configurations enable booting from the floppy or CD-ROM first,

then the hard disk, but the order is configurable in the BIOS settings.

In addition to these default media types, many server motherboard BIOS (as well as high-end system motherboards) support booting

from a network device such as a NIC with a bootable ROM. This is often used when booting diskless workstations such as Linux-based

terminals.



On the Exam

You should be familiar with the general configuration requirements and layout of the BIOS configuration screens for a

typical PC.



3.1.2. Resource Assignments



Some of the details in the BIOS configuration pertain to the internal resources of the PC architecture, including selections for interrupts

(also called IRQs), I/O addresses, and Direct Memory Access (DMA) channels. Interrupts are electrical signals sent to the PC's

microprocessor, instructing it to stop its current activity and respond to an asynchronous event (a keystroke, for example). Modern

devices in PCs often share interrupts, but older hardware requires manual verification that interrupt settings are unique to avoid conflicts

with other devices.

I/O addresses are locations in the microprocessor's memory map (a list of defined memory addresses) reserved for input/output devices

such as network interfaces. The microprocessor can write to the devices in the same way it writes to memory, which simplifies the device

interface. If multiple devices inadvertently share the same I/O address, the system might behave oddly or crash.

DMA allows some devices to work directly with memory through a DMA channel, freeing the microprocessor for other tasks. Without

DMA, data must be read from I/O ports for a device and stored in memory, all by the microprocessor. A device that has DMA capabilities

has direct access to memory and writes its own data there when the microprocessor is busy with computation. This can improve

performance.

These are all finite resources, and it is important to avoid conflicting settings. Common devices such as serial and parallel ports have

standard assignments, as shown in Table 3-1.



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Table 3-1. Common device settings

Device



I/O address



IRQ



DMA



ttyS0 (COM1)



3f8



4



[a]

NA



ttyS1 (COM2)



2f8



3



NA



ttyS2 (COM3)



3e8



4



NA



ttyS3 (COM4)



2e8



3



NA



lp0 (LPT1)



378-37f



7



NA



[b]

lp1 (LPT2)



278-27f



5



NA



fd0, fd1 (floppies 1 and 2)



3f0-3f7



6



2



fd2, fd3 (floppies 3 and 4)



370-377



10



3



[a]

[b]



[a]



NA: not applicable.



[b]



lp1 uses IRQ 5. Some older PC audio devices commonly use this interrupt, which could be a problem if two

parallel ports are required.



Most PCs don't contain all of these devices. For example, a typical configuration includes two serial ports, ttyS0 and ttyS1. These two

ports can be used to attach external modems or terminals and occupy interrupts 4 and 3, respectively. For systems with additional serial

ports installed, ttyS0 and ttyS2 share interrupt 4, and ttyS1 and ttyS3 share interrupt 3. However, the system design does not allow these

ports to concurrently share the interrupt and exchange serial data. Otherwise, communications would fail if both ports from either pair

were used together.



On the Exam

You don't have to memorize all the possible device settings for the PC architecture, but you should be ready to

answer specific questions regarding some of the more common ones, such as interrupt settings for serial and parallel

ports. You should also be able to identify conflicting I/O and IRQ assignments given a scenario.



3.1.3. 1024-Cylinder Limit



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With most PC operating systems, data loaded by the BIOS to boot the operating system is found at the beginning of the disk in the

Master Boot Record (MBR). Windows users rarely have to think about the MBR because there is no alternate location for the boot

record. With Linux, however, the user can place the boot loader (LILO or GRUB) into either the MBR or the root partition. This flexibility

can lead to a problem for the BIOS and boot loader, and it can cause a failure at boot time. The failure can occur because the BIOS

must load the boot loader into memory and start it, but the BIOS can't always access portions of the disk beyond the 1024th cylinder. If

the BIOS can't read all of the boot loader, the boot fails. Also, older versions of LILO must have a kernel image located within the first

1024 cylinders for similar reasons. These limitations aren't significant, but do require planning during the partitioning of disks at

installation time. This Topic is discussed further in Objective 2 of Chapter 14.



On the Exam

Be aware that LILO and kernels should be installed below cylinder 1024 on larger disks.



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3.2. Objective 3: Configure Modems and Sound Cards

Modems and sound cards, while non-essential, are two of the most common pieces of hardware installed in a Linux system;

unfortunately, they are also two of the most problematic to configure. This Objective covers the tasks required to complete modem and

sound card configuration.



3.2.1. Modems

A modem (a word derived from modulate and demodulate) is that familiar device that modulates a digital signal into an analog signal for

transmitting information via telephone lines. A modem on the other end of the connection demodulates the signal back into its digital

form. Modems can also add digital compression and error correction capabilities to increase speed and reliability.



3.2.1.1. Modem types



Modems are serial devices, where data enters and exits one bit at a time. Traditionally, modems were external devices attached via

cable to industry standard RS-232 serial ports, such as those still found on most PCs. This arrangement continues to work well, because

the data rates of telephone connections are still below the maximum rate of the serial ports. As a result, external devices yield solid

performance. Internal modems (ISA or PCI bus cards that reside inside a PC) were developed to reduce costs associated with external

modems (namely, the case, power supply, and shipping charges) and offer the same functionality as an external modem.

Most internal modems present themselves to the PC as a standard serial port. In a typical PC with the first two serial ports built in

(/dev/ttyS0 and /dev/ttyS1), an internal modem will appear as the third port (/dev/ttys2). This means that from a programming point of

view, internal modems are indistinguishable from external modems. While there is some variation in modem configuration across

manufacturers, the differences are small, and most serial-port-style modems will work with Linux. One exception is a modem designed

specifically to work with the Windows operating system. These so-called winmodems rely on the CPU and a special software driver to

handle some of the communications processing, and thus lack the full hardware capabilities of standard modems. As such, winmodems

are not compatible with Linux unless a Linux-specific driver is available. Information on such support is available from

http://www.linmodems.org.



3.2.1.2. Modem hardware resources



As with any add-on card, particularly cards configured manually, the user must be careful to avoid resource conflicts. Modems shouldn't

cause much difficulty since they're simple serial ports. However, you should confirm that the correct interrupt and I/O addresses are set

on your modem. If the modem shares an interrupt with another serial port, that port cannot be used at the same time as the modem.



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