Master Boot Record (MBR) is a type of boot loader that tells a system how the partitions on a disk are organized. Although MBR has been superseded by GUID Partition Table in recent years, MBR is still very prevalent across many systems. Without a boot loader, your system will have a hard time booting into your operating system - whichever Linux distro that may be. As such, it can be useful to learn how to back up and restore the MBR on Linux.

In this guide, we'll be going over the commands used to backup, restore, destroy, and install MBR to a disk on Linux. Check out the examples below to learn how.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to manage MBR on Linux

Although FAT32 or FAT16 are very old file systems, which is reflected in their poor performance in comparison to other file system alternatives, they are still widely used by many electronic devices. Usually, these devices include USB sticks, digital cameras, camcorders and other peripheral storage devices.

There's a good chance that you own and store personal data on a device with the FAT filesystem. If you accidentally delete important data from the device, we've got good news for you: it can be recovered on Linux.

In this guide, we'll go over the step by step instructions to recover deleted data from the FAT filesystem on Linux. Read on as we use the testdisk command to perform file recovery.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to create a low level backup of FAT filesystem
  • How to install testdisk tool on major Linux distros
  • How to use testdisk to recover deleted files from FAT

If you were to ever lose your USB stick, all data stored on it will be lost. More importantly, your USB stick may end up in the hands of some other person, which will have access to your private files, and use that information in any way they please. This is one of many fears of USB stick users. One of the simplest solutions to this dilemma is to keep only non-private information on the USB stick. Obviously, this would defeat a primary purpose for the storage device.

Another solution is to encrypt your USB stick so it will be accessible only to those users who possess the correct password which will fit to decrypt the USB stick's encryption. This article will deal with the second solution and that is encryption of a USB stick device. Although encrypting an USB stick seems to be the best and easiest solution, it must be said that it also comes with number of disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that decryption of the USB key must be done using a Linux system that has the dm-crypt module installed.

In other words, you cannot use your encrypted USB stick on any Windows machine and UNIX-like system with older kernels. Therefore, to encrypt only a part of the USB stick which holds only private information seems to be a good solution. In this article, we will go through the step by step instructions of encrypting part of a USB device on Linux. Read on to see how it's done.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to install cryptsetup on major Linux distros
  • How to partition a USB stick
  • How to encrypt a USB stick partition
  • How to mount encrypted partition

When you buy a new PC, laptop, or server and install a Linux distribution, you want to know what hardware is actually installed in the Linux box and more importantly which piece of hardware is supported by the kernel out of the box and which needs special tweaking with modules to get it to work.

This guide features a list of command line examples which should help you to troubleshoot your hardware and find some information about it. This is not an ultimate troubleshooting guide but certainly will serve as a good starting point. Note that some commands may not be available for your platform by default, and some commands may be specific to certain distributions.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to see what hardware is installed via Linux commands

Hard drive partitions on Linux systems rely on a UUID (universally unique identifier) for unique labels. This is basically a unique string of characters that the operating system will use to identify your hard disk partitions and other storage components.

You can see this for yourself by examining the /etc/fstab file on your own system.

$ grep UUID /etc/fstab

In this guide, we'll go over several command line methods to retrieve the UUIDs of hard disk partitions. We'll also show you how to generate UUIDs and change a partition's UUID.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to retrieve, generate, and change the UUID of a partition

User management is an important part of Linux administration, so it's essential to know about all the user accounts on a Linux system and how to disable user accounts, etc. In this guide, we'll show you how to list the current users via command line and GUI. This will include a GNOME desktop environment as well as KDE.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to list users via command line
  • How to list users on GNOME GUI
  • How to list users on KDE GUI

Configuring a computer as dual boot system is a popular solution for users that wish to use Linux and Microsoft Windows on the same device. However, getting the two operating systems to share the same computer can be a bit tricky. In particular, Windows has its own boot loader and Linux uses GRUB. It's easiest to have a dual boot system when GRUB is used as the boot loader, as it can be easily configured to boot into Windows as well as Linux.

In this guide, we'll go through the step by step instructions to add Windows 10 to the GRUB menu. This way, you can select between Windows and your installed Linux distro when the computer first boots up. This guide assumes that you've already installed Linux and Windows on the same computer, and simply need to add Windows as an option to your GRUB menu.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to add Windows to GRUB boot menu

Do you often access your ftp site to make some simple changes or to share some documents that you wish to be accessible from anywhere?

You can make access to your ftp resource easier with the CurlFtpFS Linux utility. This fantastic utility allows you to mount your ftp site to any directory within your Linux filesystem.

In this guide, we'll go over the installation of CurlFtpFS on major Linux distros, then cover the step by step instructions to configure it.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to install CurlFtpFS on major Linux distros
  • How to mount remote FTP directory using CurlFtpFS
  • How to mount an FTP directory automatically with /etc/fstab

In the case of this article, the Learning Linux Commands: awk title might be a little misleading. And that is because awk is more than a command, it's a programming language in its own right. You can write awk scripts for complex operations or you can use awk from the command line. The name stands for Aho, Weinberger and Kernighan (yes, Brian Kernighan), the authors of the language, which was started in 1977, hence it shares the same Unix spirit as the other classic *nix utilities.

If you're getting used to C programming or know it already, you will see some familiar concepts in awk, especially since the 'k' in awk stands for the same person as the 'k' in K&R, the C programming bible. You will need some command-line knowledge in Linux and possibly some scripting basics, but the last part is optional, as we will try to offer something for everybody. Many thanks to Arnold Robbins for all his work involved in awk.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • What does awk do? How does it work?
  • awk basic concepts
  • Learn to use awk through command line examples

DHCP is a networking protocol used to assign IP addresses to networked devices. In this guide, we'll introduce you to the protocol and explain how it works. You'll also see how to implement a DHCP server on Linux systems, and configure it for your own network.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • What is DHCP?
  • How to implement a DHCP server on major Linux distros
  • How to configure DHCP on Linux

In this guide, we'll show the step by step instructions to send an email using Telnet on a Linux system. This a great way to test your mail server configuration such as exim, sendmail or postfix without the need for an email client.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to install Telnet on major Linux distros
  • How to send an email using Telnet protocol on Linux

In Linux, many applications and system services will store log files. These log files give a Linux administrator insight into how their system is performing, and are invaluable when troubleshooting issues. However, log files can get unwieldy very quickly. For example, if your web server software logs every visit to your website, and you get thousands of viewers per day, there will be way too much information to feasibly squeeze into one text file.

That's where the logrotate command comes into play. Logrotate will periodically take the current log files, rename them, optionally compress them, and generate a fresh file to which an application can continue sending its logs. The logrotate command is invoked automatically from cron, and most services have their own log rotation configuration that is implemented when they're installed. This configuration tells logrotate what it should do with the old log files. For example, how many of them should it keep around before deleting, should it compress the files, etc.

A system administrator can use the logrotate utility for their own needs as well. For example, if a Linux admin sets up a script to run, and has that script generating logs on a regular basis, it's possible to set up logrotate to manage the log files for us. In this guide, you'll learn more about the logrotate utility as we go through an example of configuring it to rotate the logs of a service we implement.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • Where the logrotate configuration files are stored
  • How to set up a custom logrotate configuration
  • How to test a logrotate implementation

Sendmail is email routing software that can allow Linux systems to send an email from the command line. This allows you to send email from your bash scripts, hosted website, or from command line using the mail command. Another example where you can utilize this setting is for notification purposes such as failed backups, etc.

In this guide, we'll go over the step by step instructions to configure Gmail as a relay for the sendmail client on Linux. Note that Sendmail is just one of many utilities which can be configured to rely on a Gmail account. Others that are capable of this include postfix, exim, ssmpt, etc. The instructions here should work for any mainstream Linux distribution.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • Gmail configuration prerequisites
  • How to install Sendmail and mail utilities on Linux
  • How to configure Gmail as a relay for Sendmail
  • How to test the config by sending an email from command line

The SSH command can be used to remotely login to a server running an sshd daemon. This allows Linux administrators to perform variety of administrative jobs. However, SSH is more powerful than just providing a user with remote shell access, as it can also be used to automate remote command executions, like running simple backups and downloading the backup file locally.

In this guide, we'll go over a few different command line examples to show how you can execute commands on a remote system via SSH, as well as direct the output back to your local machine.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • Examples for remote command execution via SSH

Before systemd came into existence, most major Linux distributions ran a Sys-V style init system. Sys-V used seven different "runlevels" to determine which processes to start on the system. For example, runlevel 3 was typically reserved for the command line and its related programs, whereas runlevel 5 would launch a GUI and all the processes required for it. Results may vary, depending on the distro in question.

These days, the vast majority of Linux distros have adopted systemd as their init system. Some distros still use Sys-V, where the implementation of runlevels as described above still exists. On systemd systems, the concept of runlevels is still alive, but they have been adapted into systemd "targets."

Remnants of Sys-V still exist on some systems, where commands like runlevel still work. But some modern systemd distros have eradicated this support completely. In this guide, we'll show you how to check the current runlevel on Linux.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to check the current runlevel

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