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LPI exam 102 prep, Topic 108: Linux documentation

Junior Level Administration (LPIC-1) topic 108

Ian Shields, Senior Programmer, IBM developerWorks
Ian Shields
Ian Shields works on a multitude of Linux projects for the developerWorks Linux zone. He is a Senior Programmer at IBM at the Research Triangle Park, NC. He joined IBM in Canberra, Australia, as a Systems Engineer in 1973, and has since worked on communications systems and pervasive computing in Montreal, Canada, and RTP, NC. He has several patents and has published several papers. His undergraduate degree is in pure mathematics and philosophy from the Australian National University. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from North Carolina State University. Learn more about Ian in Ian's profile on developerWorks Community.
(An IBM developerWorks Contributing Author)

Summary:  In this tutorial, Ian Shields continues preparing you to take the Linux Professional Institute® Junior Level Administration (LPIC-1) Exam 102. In this fourth in a series of nine tutorials, Ian introduces you to Linux® documentation. By the end of this tutorial, you will know how to use and manage local documentation, find documentation on the Internet, and use automated logon messages to notify users of system events.

View more content in this series

Date:  20 Sep 2006
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (478 KB | 21 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  20411 views

Before you start

Learn what these tutorials can teach you and how you can get the most from them.

About this series

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certifies Linux system administrators at two levels: junior level (also called "certification level 1") and intermediate level (also called "certification level 2"). To attain certification level 1, you must pass exams 101 and 102; to attain certification level 2, you must pass exams 201 and 202.

developerWorks offers tutorials to help you prepare for each of the four exams. Each exam covers several topics, and each topic has a corresponding self-study tutorial on developerWorks. For LPI exam 102, the nine topics and corresponding developerWorks tutorials are:

Table 1. LPI exam 102: Tutorials and topics
LPI exam 102 topicdeveloperWorks tutorialTutorial summary
Topic 105LPI exam 102 prep:
Learn how to install and maintain Linux kernels and kernel modules.
Topic 106LPI exam 102 prep:
Boot, initialization, shutdown, and runlevels
Learn how to boot a system, set kernel parameters, and shut down or reboot a system.
Topic 107LPI exam 102 prep:
Learn how to manage printers, print queues and user print jobs on a Linux system.
Topic 108 LPI exam 102 prep:
(This tutorial). Learn how to use and manage local documentation, find documentation on the Internet, and use automated logon messages to notify users of system events. See detailed objectives below.
Topic 109 LPI exam 102 prep:
Shells, scripting, programming and compiling
Coming soon.
Topic 111 LPI exam 102 prep:
Administrative tasks
Coming soon.
Topic 112 LPI exam 102 prep:
Networking fundamentals
Coming soon.
Topic 113 LPI exam 102 prep:
Networking services
Coming soon.
Topic 114 LPI exam 102 prep:
Coming soon.

To pass exams 101 and 102 (and attain certification level 1), you should be able to:

  • Work at the Linux command line
  • Perform easy maintenance tasks: help out users, add users to a larger system, back up and restore, and shut down and reboot
  • Install and configure a workstation (including X) and connect it to a LAN, or connect a stand-alone PC via modem to the Internet

To continue preparing for certification level 1, see the developerWorks tutorials for LPI exams 101 and 102, as well as the entire set of developerWorks LPI tutorials.

The Linux Professional Institute does not endorse any third-party exam preparation material or techniques in particular. For details, please contact

About this tutorial

Welcome to "Linux documentation," the fourth of nine tutorials designed to prepare you for LPI exam 102. In this tutorial, you learn how to use and manage local documentation, find documentation on the Internet, and use automated logon messages to notify users of system events.

This tutorial is organized according to the LPI objectives for this topic. Very roughly, expect more questions on the exam for objectives with higher weight.

Table 2. Documentation: Exam objectives covered in this tutorial
LPI exam objectiveObjective weightObjective summary
Use and manage local system documentation
Weight 4Find relevant man pages and search man page sections. Find commands and the man pages related to them. Configure access to man sources and the man system. Prepare man pages for printouts. Use the system documentation stored in /usr/share/doc/ and determine what documentation to keep in /usr/share/doc/.
Find Linux documentation on the Internet
Weight 3Use Linux documentation at sources such as the Linux Documentation Project (LDP), vendor and third-party Web sites, newsgroups, newsgroup archives, and mailing lists.
Notify users of system-related issues
Weight 1Notify the users about current issues related to the system through logon messages.


To get the most from this tutorial, you should have a basic knowledge of Linux and a working Linux system on which to practice the commands covered in this tutorial. You will also need a connection to the Internet.

This tutorial builds on content covered in previous tutorials in this LPI series, so you may want to first review the tutorials for exam 101.

Different versions of a program may format output differently, so your results may not look exactly like the listings and figures in this tutorial.

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Zone=Linux, Open source
TutorialTitle=LPI exam 102 prep, Topic 108: Linux documentation