About this Course

Tech Type Performance Plus
Duration 4 Days

The Multi-Vendor UNIX Administration course from QA will provide the delegates with transferable skills, and - equally important - will give them appreciation of working in a multi-vendor UNIX environment. The course concentrates on the common philosophy and approach to administering UNIX whilst looking at some specific areas of particular systems and variants and pointing out some specific differences with BSD, for example IBM/AIX.

The platform used for practical exercises is UnixWare - the most traditional SVR4 version of UNIX - an ideal 'common denominator' to base a multi-vendor work on. There is an SSH access provided to at least one other version of UNIX, for example HP-UX.

Throughout the course, numerous vendor comparison tables, illustrations and references are provided.

Practical sessions reinforce the theory taught and account for nearly half the course. They invite the user to perform typical administration functions encountered in a real networked UNIX environment, emphasising system security and problem solution.


  • Delegates must be experienced UNIX users - the course is aimed at prospective UNIX systems administrators, network administrators and support staff. Delegates should have an existing knowledge of a UNIX editors, file manipulation, data handling and have familiarity with shell scripting with, ideally, several months practical experience of working in a UNIX environment.

Please note: that existing QA course: 'Multi-Vendor UNIX Fundamentals' (MVUXFUND) provides the correct level of theoretical pre-requisites.

Delegates will learn how to

  • Use responsibly the privileges of UNIX administrative user, the 'superuser'
  • Identify system requirements and software installation issues
  • Make effective use of system logs and diagnostic tools
  • Analyse hard disk partitioning/slicing and creating file systems
  • Alter and customise the start-up sequence of a UNIX system
  • Manage the UNIX file system, file and directory attributes
  • Add and delete users whilst implementing the security principles and techniques
  • Back up and restore portions of the file system using various tools and methods
  • Set up and administer the UNIX printing service
  • Set up file sharing among systems using NFS and use common TCP/IP utilities
  • Create automated task scheduling
  • Perform simple system diagnostics


Preamble to UNIX Administration

Course introduction

  • UNIX system administration issues and goals UNIX origins and vendors
  • Working as root
  • System administration shells
  • On-line help and resources

OS Installation and Software Management

  • Preparing for installation
  • Installation methods and sources
  • Identify software release
  • Manipulating software packages
  • Applying software patches

UNIX Devices

  • The /dev directory; logical and physical device names
  • Major and minor device numbers and device naming conventions
  • Block and character devices
  • Removable media
  • Disk slicing information
  • Exploring and configuring hardware

Files and Directories

  • Directory structure: file system concepts, inodes and links
  • Permission bits and access control, including SUID, SGID and sticky bit
  • Configuring 'shared group' directory attributes
  • Introduction to ACL (Access Control List)


  • Processes & daemons
  • Processes interrogation tools (e.g. ps, top)
  • Communicating with processes: signals and traps
  • Postponing tasks with at and batch
  • Long term scheduling with crontab

Monitoring and Logging

  • What to monitor & why
  • Monitoring with sar
  • Auditing and logging
  • Basic UNIX log files
  • Simple touch, tail, tail -f, grep for working with logs
  • Syslog daemon; rotating logs

Generic Startup and Shutdown

  • Bootstrap procedure
  • Single and multi-user run levels
  • System startup files (rc files)
  • The init process and the /etc/inittab file
  • Clean shutdown procedure
  • Appendix: Bootstrapping in specific versions


  • Disk terminology
  • File system overview: structure and types
  • Making filesystem with mkfs command
  • Mounting disks with mount
  • Maintaining and troubleshooting filesystems
  • Filesystem utilities; fsck, sync, df, du, quotas

Storage Management

  • Overview of disk partitioning
  • Using fdisk to create physical partitions
  • LVM structure
  • Creating, formatting and mounting logical volumes
  • Appendix: RAID 0, 1, 3 and 5

User Accounts

  • Requirements for a user account
  • Main configuration files: /etc/passwd, /etc/group, /etc/shadow
  • Managing user accounts
  • Adding, modifying and deleting users with useradd, usermod and userdel
  • Managing passwords with passwd
  • Secure User Considerations
  • User types and their accounts
  • The sudo utility
  • Testing account usage and activity: lastlog, last, lastb
  • Additional user security files: securetty, usertty

TCP/IP Networking

  • The TCP/IP protocol suite: protocols and services
  • Basic TCP/IP configuration
  • IP, netmask and broadcast addresses, hostname
  • TCP/IP daemons and configuration files: inetd and /etc/inetd.conf
  • inetd under SMF
  • Remote logins: telnet, ftp and 'r' commands vs. SSH set of tools


  • DFS concepts
  • Setting up NFS
  • Mounting and sharing NFS directories
  • Security issues
  • NFS v2 vs. NFS v4
  • Appendix: Sharing with Samba

Backup and Restore

  • Why have backups; backup terminology and media
  • Tape device names
  • Using mt to manipulate tapes
  • Backup utilities: ufsdump, tar, dd, cpio
  • Compression tools


  • Print spooler model
  • Adding printers
  • Enabling and disabling printers
  • Network printing
  • Appendix: Introduction to CUPS

SVR4 vs. BSD features


Although this course is not part of any particular certification programme, it will assist those delegates who might in future seek several vendor certifications.

Performance Plus

4 Days


This course is authored by QA

Delivery Method

Delivery method


Face-to-face learning in the comfort of our quality nationwide centres, with free refreshments and Wi-Fi.

Find dates and prices

Online booking is currently not available for this course, to find out more please call us on 0113 220 7150 or email us at info@qa.com to discuss how we can help.

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