Red Hat RHCSA 8 Cert Guide: EX200

Red Hat RHCSA 8 Cert Guide: EX200

by Sander van Vugt


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Learn, prepare, and practice for Red Hat RHCSA 8 (EX200) exam success with this Cert Guide from Pearson IT Certification, a leader in IT Certification learning.

  • Master Red Hat RHCSA 8 EX200 exam topics

  • Assess your knowledge with chapter-ending quizzes

  • Review key concepts with exam-preparation tasks

  • Practice with four unique practice tests

  • Learn from two full hours of video training from the author’s Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Complete Video Course, 3rd Edition.

Red Hat RHCSA 8 Cert Guide is a best-of-breed exam study guide. Leading Linux consultant, author, and instructor Sander van Vugt shares preparation hints and test-taking tips, helping you identify areas of weakness and improve both your conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills. Material is presented in a concise manner, focusing on increasing your understanding and retention of exam topics.

The book presents you with an organized test-preparation routine through the use of proven series elements and techniques. Exam topic lists make referencing easy. Chapter-ending Exam Preparation Tasks help you drill on key concepts you must know thoroughly. Review questions help you assess your knowledge, and a final preparation chapter guides you through tools and resources to help you craft your final study plan.

The companion website also contains two additional practice tests plus two full hours of personal video training from the author’s Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Complete Video Course, 3rd Edition.

Well regarded for its level of detail, assessment features, and challenging review questions and exercises, this study guide helps you master the concepts and techniques that will enable you to succeed on the exam the first time, including

  • Basic system management: Installation, tools, file management, text files, RHEL8 connections, user/group management, permissions, and network configuration

  • Operating running systems: Managing software, processes, storage, and advanced storage; working with systemd; scheduling tasks; and configuring logging

  • Advanced system administration: Managing the kernel and boot procedures, essential troubleshooting, bash shell scripting

  • Managing network services: Configuring SSH, firewalls, and time services; managing Apache HTTP services and SE Linux; and accessing network storage

Companion Website

The website contains two free, complete practice exams and two full hours of video training from the author’s Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Complete Video Course, 3rd Edition.

Includes Exclusive Offer for 50% Off the full RHCSA Complete Video Course.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780135938133
Publisher: Pearson Education
Publication date: 12/12/2019
Series: Certification Guide Series
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 187,321
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Sander van Vugt is an independent Linux trainer, author, and consultant living in the Netherlands. Sander is the author of the best-selling Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Complete Video Course and the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) Complete Video Course. He has also written numerous books about different Linux-related topics and many articles for Linux publications around the world. Sander has been teaching Red Hat, Linux+, and LFCS classes since 1994. As a consultant, he specializes in Linux high-availability solutions and performance optimization. You can find more information about Sander on his website at

For more information about RHCSA certification and additional resources, visit the author’s Red Hat Certification page at

Table of Contents

Introduction xxiv

Part I: Performing Basic System Management Tasks

Chapter 1 Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 3

Foundation Topics 6

Preparing to Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

What Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Server? 6

Getting the Software 7

Understanding Access to Repositories 8

Setup Requirements 9

Cert Guide Environment Description 9

Performing a Manual Installation 10

Summary 24

Exam Preparation Tasks 25

Review Questions 25

End-of-Chapter Lab 26

Chapter 2 Using Essential Tools 29

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 29

Foundation Topics 32

Basic Shell Skills 32

Understanding Commands 32

Executing Commands 32

I/O Redirection 34

Using Pipes 36

History 37

Bash Completion 39

Editing Files with vim 39

Understanding the Shell Environment 42

Understanding Variables 42

Recognizing Environment Configuration Files 43

Using /etc/motd and /etc/issue 43

Finding Help 44

Using —help 44

Using man 45

Finding the Right man Page 46

Updating mandb 47

Using info 48

Using /usr/share/doc Documentation Files 49

Summary 50

Exam Preparation Tasks 50

Review Questions 51

End-of-Chapter Lab 51

Chapter 3 Essential File Management Tools 53

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 53

Foundation Topics 56

Working with the File System Hierarchy 56

Defining the File System Hierarchy 56

Understanding Mounts 57

Managing Files 61

Working with Wildcards 62

Managing and Working with Directories 62

Working with Absolute and Relative Pathnames 63

Listing Files and Directories 64

Copying Files 65

Moving Files 66

Deleting Files 66

Using Links 68

Understanding Hard Links 68

Understanding Symbolic Links 69

Creating Links 69

Removing Links 70

Working with Archives and Compressed Files 71

Managing Archives with tar 72

Using Compression 74

Summary 75

Exam Preparation Tasks 75

Review Questions 77

End-of-Chapter Lab 77

Chapter 4 Working with Text Files 81

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 81

Foundation Topics 84

Using Common Text File—Related Tools 84

Doing More with less 84

Showing File Contents with cat 85

Displaying the First or Last Lines of a File with head and tail 86

Filtering Specific Columns with cut 87

Sorting File Contents and Output with sort 87

Counting Lines, Words, and Characters with wc 88

A Primer to Using Regular Expressions 89

Using Line Anchors 90

Using Escaping in Regular Expressions 90

Using Wildcards and Multipliers 91

Using grep to Analyze Text 92

Working with Other Useful Text Processing Utilities 93

Summary 94

Exam Preparation Tasks 95

Review Questions 96

End-of-Chapter Lab 96

Chapter 5 Connecting to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 99

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 99

Foundation Topics 102

Working on Local Consoles 102

Logging In to a Local Console 102

Switching Between Terminals in a Graphical Environment 103

Working with Multiple Terminals in a Nongraphical Environment 104

Understanding Pseudo Terminal Devices 106

Booting, Rebooting, and Shutting Down Systems 106

Using SSH and Related Utilities 108

Accessing Remote Systems Using SSH 108

Using Graphical Applications in an SSH Environment 111

Securely Transferring Files Between Systems 111

Configuring Key-Based Authentication for SSH 114

Using Passphrases or Not? 114

Using the screen Command 115

Summary 117

Exam Preparation Tasks 117

Review Questions 118

End-of-Chapter Labs 118

Chapter 6 User and Group Management 121

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 121

Foundation Topics 124

Different User Types 124

Users on Linux 124

Working as Root 124

Using su 125

sudo 126

PolicyKit 126

Managing User Accounts 127

System Accounts and Normal Accounts 127

Creating Users 131

Managing User Properties 132

Configuration Files for User Management Defaults 132

Managing Password Properties 133

Creating a User Environment 134

Creating and Managing Group Accounts 135

Understanding Linux Groups 135

Creating Groups 136

Managing Group Properties 137

Summary 138

Exam Preparation Tasks 138

Review Questions 140

End-of-Chapter Lab 140

Chapter 7 Permissions Management 143

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 143

Foundation Topics 146

Managing File Ownership 146

Displaying Ownership 146

Changing User Ownership 147

Changing Group Ownership 148

Understanding Default Ownership 148

Managing Basic Permissions 149

Understanding Read, Write, and Execute Permissions 149

Applying Read, Write, and Execute Permissions 150

Managing Advanced Permissions 152

Understanding Advanced Permissions 152

Applying Advanced Permissions 155

Managing ACLs 156

Understanding ACLs 156

Preparing Your File System for ACLs 157

Changing and Viewing ACL Settings with setfacl and getfacl 157

Working with Default ACLs 159

Setting Default Permissions with umask 160

Working with User-Extended Attributes 162

Summary 163

Exam Preparation Tasks 163

Review Questions 164

End-of-Chapter Lab 165

Chapter 8 Configuring Networking 167

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 167

Foundation Topics 170

Networking Fundamentals 170

IP Addresses 170

IPv6 Addresses 171

Network Masks 171

Binary Notation 172

MAC Addresses 173

Protocol and Ports 173

Managing Network Addresses and Interfaces 174

Validating Network Configuration 175

Validating Network Address Configuration 175

Validating Routing 178

Validating the Availability of Ports and Services 178

Configuring Network Configuration with nmtui and nmcli 180

Required Permissions to Change Network Configuration 180

Configuring the Network with nmcli 181

Configuring the Network with nmtui 187

Working on Network Configuration Files 189

Setting Up Hostname and Name Resolution 190

Hostnames 190

DNS Name Resolution 192

Summary 194

Exam Preparation Tasks 194

Review Questions 195

End-of-Chapter Lab 195

Part II: Operating Running Systems

Chapter 9 Managing Software 197

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 197

Foundation Topics 200

Managing Software Packages with yum 200

Understanding the Role of Repositories 200

Registering Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Support 201

Managing Subscriptions 202

Specifying Which Repository to Use 203

Understanding Repository Security 206

Creating Your Own Repository 208

Using yum 209

Using yum to Find Software Packages 210

Getting More Information About Packages 211

Installing and Removing Software Packages 212

Showing Lists of Packages 214

Managing Package Module Streams 220

Understanding Modules 220

Managing Modules 221

Managing Software Packages with rpm 225

Understanding RPM Filenames 226

Querying the RPM Database 226

Querying RPM Package Files 227

Using repoquery 228

Summary 229

Exam Preparation Tasks 229

Review Questions 230

End-of-Chapter Labs 231

Chapter 10 Managing Processes 233

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 233

Foundation Topics 236

Introduction to Process Management 236

Managing Shell Jobs 236

Running Jobs in the Foreground and Background 236

Managing Shell Jobs 237

Managing Parent-Child Relations 239

Using Common Command-Line Tools for Process Management 239

Understanding Processes and Threads 239

Using ps to Get Process Information 240

Adjusting Process Priority with nice 242

Sending Signals to Processes with kill, killall, and pkill 244

Using top to Manage Processes 246

Using tuned to Optimize Performance 248

Summary 249

Exam Preparation Tasks 249

Review Questions 250

End-of-Chapter Lab 251

Chapter 11 Working with Systemd 253

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 253

Foundation Topics 256

Understanding Systemd 256

Understanding Systemd Unit Locations 256

Understanding Systemd Service Units 257

Understanding Systemd Mount Units 258

Understanding Systemd Socket Units 259

Understanding Systemd Target Units 259

Managing Units Through Systemd 261

Managing Dependencies 263

Managing Unit Options 265

Summary 266

Exam Preparation Tasks 267

Review Questions 268

End-of-Chapter Lab 268

Chapter 12 Scheduling Tasks 271

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 271

Foundation Topics 274

Configuring Cron to Automate Recurring Tasks 274

Managing the crond Service 274

Understanding Cron Timing 276

Managing Cron Configuration Files 276

Understanding the Purpose of anacron 278

Managing Cron Security 280

Configuring at to Schedule Future Tasks 281

Summary 282

Exam Preparation Tasks 282

Review Questions 283

End-of-Chapter Lab 283

Chapter 13 Configuring Logging 285

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 285

Foundation Topics 288

Understanding System Logging 288

Understanding the Role of rsyslogd and journald 288

Reading Log Files 290

Understanding Log File Contents 290

Live Log File Monitoring 292

Using logger 292

Configuring rsyslogd 293

Understanding rsyslogd Configuration Files 293

Understanding rsyslog.conf Sections 293

Understanding Facilities, Priorities, and Log Destinations 294

Rotating Log Files 297

Working with journald 299

Using journalctl to Find Events 299

Preserving the Systemd Journal 302

Summary 304

Exam Preparation Tasks 304

Review Questions 305

End-of-Chapter Lab 306

Chapter 14 Managing Storage 309

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 309

Foundation Topics 312

Understanding MBR and GPT Partitions 312

Understanding the MBR Partitioning Scheme 312

Understanding the Need for GPT Partitioning 313

Understanding Storage Measurement Units 314

Managing Partitions and File Systems 314

Creating MBR Partitions with fdisk 315

Using Extended and Logical Partitions on MBR 319

Creating GPT Partitions with gdisk 320

Creating GPT Partitions with parted 324

Creating File Systems 325

Changing File System Properties 327

Adding Swap Partitions 329

Adding Swap Files 330

Mounting File Systems 330

Manually Mounting File Systems 331

Using Device Names, UUIDs, or Disk Labels 331

Automating File System Mounts Through /etc/fstab 332

Summary 335

Exam Preparation Tasks 335

Review Questions 336

End-of-Chapter Lab 337

Chapter 15 Managing Advanced Storage 339

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 339

Foundation Topics 342

Understanding LVM 342

LVM Architecture 342

LVM Features 343

Creating LVM Logical Volumes 344

Creating the Physical Volumes 346

Creating the Volume Groups 349

Creating the Logical Volumes and File Systems 351

Understanding LVM Device Naming 351

Resizing LVM Logical Volumes 353

Resizing Volume Groups 353

Resizing Logical Volumes and File Systems 354

Configuring Stratis 356

Understanding Stratis Architecture 356

Creating Stratis Storage 357

Managing Stratis 358

Configuring VDO 359

Understanding VDO 359

Setting Up VDO 360

Summary 362

Exam Preparation Tasks 362

Review Questions 363

End-of-Chapter Labs 364

Part III: Performing Advanced System Administration Tasks

Chapter 16 Basic Kernel Management 367

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 367

Foundation Topics 370

Understanding the Role of the Linux Kernel 370

Understanding the Use of Kernel Threads and Drivers 370

Analyzing What the Kernel Is Doing 371

Working with Kernel Modules 373

Understanding Hardware Initialization 374

Managing Kernel Modules 376

Checking Driver Availability for Hardware Devices 379

Managing Kernel Module Parameters 380

Upgrading the Linux Kernel 381

Summary 381

Exam Preparation Tasks 381

Review Questions 382

End-of-Chapter Lab 383

Chapter 17 Managing and Understanding the Boot Procedure 385

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 385

Foundation Topics 388

Managing Systemd Targets 388

Understanding Systemd Targets 388

Understanding Target Units 389

Understanding Wants 390

Working with GRUB 2 394

Understanding GRUB 2 394

Understanding GRUB 2 Configuration Files 395

Modifying Default GRUB 2 Boot Options 395

Summary 396

Exam Preparation Tasks 397

Review Questions 397

End-of-Chapter Labs 398

Chapter 18 Essential Troubleshooting Skills 401

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 401

Foundation Topics 404

Understanding the RHEL 8 Boot Procedure 404

Passing Kernel Boot Arguments 406

Accessing the Boot Prompt 406

Starting a Troubleshooting Target 407

Using a Rescue Disk 408

Restoring System Access Using a Rescue Disk 409

Reinstalling GRUB Using a Rescue Disk 411

Re-Creating the Initramfs Using a Rescue Disk 411

Fixing Common Issues 413

Reinstalling GRUB 2 413

Fixing the Initramfs 414

Recovering from File System Issues 414

Resetting the Root Password 416

Recovering Access to a Virtual Machine 416

Summary 418

Exam Preparation Tasks 418

Review Questions 419

End-of-Chapter Lab 420

Chapter 19 An Introduction to Bash Shell Scripting 423

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 423

Foundation Topics 426

Understanding Shell Scripting Core Elements 426

Using Variables and Input 428

Using Positional Parameters 428

Working with Variables 430

Using Conditional Loops 432

Working with if … then … else 432

Using || and && 433

Applying for 434

Understanding while and until 435

Understanding case 436

Bash Shell Script Debugging 438

Summary 438

Exam Preparation Tasks 438

Review Questions 439

End-of-Chapter Lab 440

Part IV: Managing Network Services

Chapter 20 Configuring SSH 443

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 443

Foundation Topics 446

Hardening the SSH Server 446

Limiting Root Access 446

Configuring Alternative Ports 447

Modifying SELinux to Allow for Port Changes 447

Limiting User Access 448

Using Other Useful sshd Options 449

Session Options 450

Connection Keepalive Options 450

Configuring Key-Based Authentication with Passphrases 451

Summary 452

Exam Preparation Tasks 452

Review Questions 453

End-of-Chapter Lab 454

Chapter 21 Managing Apache HTTP Services 457

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 457

Foundation Topics 460

Configuring a Basic Apache Server 460

Installing the Required Software 460

Identifying the Main Configuration File 460

Creating Web Server Content 463

Understanding Apache Configuration Files 464

Creating Apache Virtual Hosts 465

Summary 468

Exam Preparation Tasks 468

Review Questions 469

End-of-Chapter Lab 469

Chapter 22 Managing SELinux 471

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 472

Foundation Topics 475

Understanding SELinux Working and Modes 475

Understanding Context Settings and the Policy 479

Monitoring Current Context Labels 479

Setting Context Types 481

Finding the Context Type You Need 484

Restoring Default File Contexts 485

Using Boolean Settings to Modify SELinux Settings 487

Diagnosing and Addressing SELinux Policy Violations 488

Making SELinux Analyzing Easier 490

Preparing for SELinux Coverage on the Exam 492

Summary 492

Exam Preparation Tasks 492

Review Questions 494

End-of-Chapter Lab 494

Chapter 23 Configuring a Firewall 497

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 497

Foundation Topics 500

Understanding Linux Firewalling 500

Understanding Previous Solutions 500

Understanding Firewalld 500

Understanding Firewalld Zones 501

Understanding Firewalld Services 502

Working with Firewalld 503

Summary 506

Exam Preparation Tasks 506

Review Questions 507

End-of-Chapter Lab 508

Chapter 24 Accessing Network Storage 511

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 511

Foundation Topics 514

Using NFS Services 514

Understanding NFS Security 514

RHEL 8 NFS Versions 514

Mounting the NFS Share 515

Mounting the NFS Share 516

Using CIFS Services 516

Discovering CIFS Shares 517

Mounting Samba Shares 518

Authenticating to Samba Shares 518

Configuring a Samba Server 518

Mounting Remote File Systems Through fstab 520

Mounting NFS Shares Through fstab 520

Mounting Samba Shares Through fstab 521

Using Automount to Mount Remote File Systems 521

Understanding Automount 521

Defining Mounts in Automount 522

Configuring Automount for NFS 522

Using Wildcards in Automount 523

Summary 524

Exam Preparation Tasks 524

Review Questions 525

End-of-Chapter Lab 525

Chapter 25 Configuring Time Services 527

“Do I Know This Already?” Quiz 527

Foundation Topics 530

Understanding Local Time 530

Using Network Time Protocol 531

Managing Time on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 531

Using date 532

Using hwclock 532

Using timedatectl 533

Managing Time Zone Settings 535fa

Configuring Time Service Clients 537

Summary 538

Exam Preparation Tasks 539

Review Questions 540

End-of-Chapter Lab 540

Chapter 26 Final Preparation 541

General Tips 541

Verifying Your Readiness 541

Registering for the Exam 541

On Exam Day 542

Chapter 27 Theoretical Pre-Assessment Exam 545

Part V: RHCSA RHEL 8 Practice Exams

RHCSA Practice Exam A 549

RHCSA Practice Exam B 551

Appendix A Answers to the “Do I Know This Already?” Quizzes and Review Questions 553

Glossary 587

Online Elements:

RHCSA Practice Exam C

RHCSA Practice Exam D

Appendix B Memory Tables

Appendix C Memory Tables Answer Key

Appendix D Study Planner


9780135938133 TOC 10/8/2019

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