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LPI exam 201 prep: System maintenance

Intermediate Level Administration (LPIC-2) topic 211

David Mertz, Ph.D. (, Developer, Gnosis Software
David Mertz
David Mertz is Turing complete, but probably would not pass the Turing Test. For more on his life, see his personal Web page. He's been writing the developerWorks columns Charming Python and XML Matters since 2000. Check out his book Text Processing in Python.

Summary:  In this tutorial, David Mertz begins preparing you to take the Linux Professional Institute® Intermediate Level Administration (LPIC-2) Exam 201. In this sixth of eight tutorials, you learn basic concepts of system logging, software packaging, and backup strategies.

View more content in this series

Date:  02 Sep 2005
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (255 KB | 14 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  14817 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 junior and intermediate levels. To attain each level of certification, you must pass two LPI exams.

Each exam covers several topics, and each topic has a weight. The weights indicate the relative importance of each topic. Very roughly, expect more questions on the exam for topics with higher weight. The topics and their weights for LPI exam 201 are:

Topic 201
Linux kernel (weight 5).
Topic 202
System startup (weight 5).
Topic 203
Filesystem (weight 10).
Topic 204
Hardware (weight 8).
Topic 209
File and service sharing (weight 8).
Topic 211
System maintenance (weight 4). The focus of this tutorial.
Topic 213
System customization and automation (weight 3).
Topic 214
Troubleshooting (weight 6).

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 "System maintenance," the sixth of eight tutorials designed to prepare you for LPI exam 201. In this tutorial, you learn basic concepts of system logging, software packaging, and backup strategies.

The tutorial is organized according to the LPI objectives for this topic, as follows:

2.211.1 System logging (weight 1)
You will be able to configure syslogd to act as a central network log server. This objective also includes configuring syslogd to send log output to a central log server, logging remote connections, and using grep and other text utilities to automate log analysis.
2.211.2 Packaging software (weight 1)
You will be able to build a package. This objective includes building (or rebuilding) both RPM and DEB packaged software.
2.211.3 Backup operations (weight 2)
You will be able to create an offsite backup storage plan.

This tutorial, like the corresponding LPI exam, is a grab-bag of several topics that do not cleanly fall into other categories. System logging and analyzing log files are important tasks for a system administrator to be familiar with. Likewise, a maintained system should carry out a sensible backup strategy using standard Linux tools.

Not every system administrator will need to create custom software packages, but administrators of multiple (similar) installations will need to install site- or company-specific software packages as part of their duties. This tutorial looks at the Debian and RPM package formats, and touches on basic "tarballs."


To get the most from this tutorial, you should already have a basic knowledge of Linux and a working Linux system on which you can practice the commands covered in this tutorial.

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TutorialTitle=LPI exam 201 prep: System maintenance