These exercises give you practice in:
- Learning whether a package is installed
- Searching for a package to be installed on the computer
- Installing a package using a network repository
- Finding detailed information on a package
- Learning which files have been installed from a package
- Removing a package from the computer
To get the most from the practice exercises in this series, you should have a working knowledge of basic Linux command-line tools. You must also have a Debian-based Linux installation on which to perform the exercises. (This article uses an Ubuntu 11.04 system as a reference, but any Debian or derivative distribution should work.) Some of the exercises require that the computer have a working Internet connection.
The bash shell is great, but you might be itching to explore the vast range of features of the Z shell (zsh), a text-mode command shell that can be used instead of bash. Before looking for a package, it makes sense to check if zsh is already installed.
- Use the
dpkgutility to determine whether the zsh package is installed.
If it's not already installed, you could hunt around for it in any number of repositories, but there's a good chance you'll find it in your distribution's online package database.
apt-cacheto search for packages that might provide zsh.
Found it? Time to install it.
apt-getto install the zsh package.
A package's status information can include version information, dependencies on other software, a description of the software, and whether it is properly installed, among other useful things. Say that you installed zsh and now you want to see if the installation went alright.
dpkgto find extended status information on zsh.
Packaged software of any complexity usually consists of multiple files.
dpkgto identify the files that were installed as part of zsh.
Is Z shell not meeting your needs? Get rid of it.
dpkgto uninstall the zsh package.
Follow these solution steps to check your work.
- The developerWorks article Learn Linux, 101: Debian package management (developerWorks, May
2010) describes the commands required to complete these exercises.
- The document Installing Debian Software with the Advanced Package Tool by Will
Trillich describes APT in detail.
- At the LPIC
Program site, find detailed objectives, task lists, and sample
questions for the three levels of the LPI's Linux systems administration
certification. In particular, look at the LPI-101 detailed objectives and the sample questions.
- Review the entire LPI exam
prep series on developerWorks to learn Linux fundamentals and
prepare for systems administrator certification based on LPI exam
objectives prior to April 2009.
Exam Preparation Resources for Revised LPIC Exams provides a list
of other certification training resources that LPI maintains.
Roderick W. Smith is a consultant and author of over a dozen books on UNIX and Linux, including The Definitive Guide to Samba 3, Linux in a Windows World, and Linux Professional Institute Certification Study Guide. He is also the author of the GPT fdisk partitioning software. He currently resides in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.