LinuxWorld: Advanced Linux system administrationSep 24, 1999, 21:13 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Derek Balling)
"Andregg gave a full-day seminar on the ins and outs of Linux system administration, from the simple to the decidedly advanced. After all, a problem that may be elementary to one person may be hideously complex to another, only because the latter person hasn't yet had to deal with it, hasn't yet had to think about it, or never really twisted it around in a manner that makes it easy to tackle. Andregg assumed nothing about the skill level of his students, and in so doing was able to ease into some very complex issues for Linux administration."
"After putting some simple issues aside, the first thing Andregg really dove into was the File-system Hierarchy Standard, or FHS. The FHS is a standard directory structure that was designed in the hopes that all Linux distributions would put their binaries, libraries, configuration files, etc. in the same place. In this way, installed software would always know where to find the things it was looking for, and how to put itself into a place that would be correct..."
"PAM was designed as an answer to a problem many administrators have faced when converting from storing passwords in /etc/passwd to using shadow passwords. In a PAM-less world, any application which tries to read the password (screen locks, user maintenance utilities, etc.) would first need to be modified to use the shadow password and then recompiled. PAM provides a different access method, allowing PAM modules to be installed for password files, SecurID cards, or just about any authentication scheme you can think of..."