9 questions you should study before your next Linux Interview
Linux is one of the most preferred operating system in most organisations. If you work hard, gain relevant certifications, and enhance your knowledge in the field, you can build a good career in Linux.
If you’re lined up for an interview, we have compiled a list of some Linux Interview questions that are frequently asked in an interview.
1. What is the need to regularly update the kernel and package versions?
As an experienced Linux candidate, you need to take this question with confidence. Explain that you need to periodically update the kernel and software package versions to enhance the security of the system. This is done to ensure that it contains the most recent security updates.
2. Can you name a service that should be disabled (that acts both as FTP and Web) on a Linux Server?
The interviewer here is trying to assess your theoretical knowledge of Linux system. You need to explain that the finger service should be disabled on Linux server because it can allow a remote user to get important information about the system.
3. What is the reasoning behind avoiding the Telnet to administer a Linux system remotely?
This is a common question asked in the interviews to assess your understanding of Linux. The reason behind avoiding telnet is the fact that it uses the most insecure method for communication. Since it sends data across the network in plain text format, there is always a risk of someone easily finding out the password using the network tool.
4. How will you resolve the user query around the system not allowing them to set a certain password (e.g., ABC)?
If you've worked on Linux before, you must know that there is a minimum length rule for the password in Linux system. This rule might block users to use any password which does not fit the minimum length criteria. In Linux, the default minimum length rule for the password is six characters, meaning that a user cannot have a password smaller than six characters
5. What will you do if your FTP Server is hacked and the entire server needs to be restored? Can you restore the original kernel system files?
You need to be very clear and specific with these types of questions. The answer is since we cannot restore the entire operating system from a tape backup device, we need to reinstall the core operating system. Only after reinstallation can we restore system configuration files and other user data from tape backup device.
6. Which command will you use to make a tar archive to a disk file system located in /mnt/backup?
This is one of the advanced Linux questions asked to professionals. The correct command that should be used here is tar -cvf /mnt/backup. To be completely effective as a backup strategy, the /mnt/backup directory should be on another machine.
7. What is LILO with reference to a Linux server?
LILO, an abbreviated form of Linux Loader, is a customisable boot loader for Linux. It is basically used to load Linux into the memory and start the operating system. We can configure LILO to boot other operating systems as well. LILO handles the task of locating and starting Linux kernel and identifying other supporting programs to load them in the memory.
8. Explain the mechanism of giving shadow passwords in Linux?
You need to be extremely thorough with the Linux concepts to answer this question. Explain that pwconv command is used for giving shadow passwords in Linux. This command creates the file/etc/shadow and changes all passwords to ‘x’ in the /etc./passwd file. This is to ensure robust system security which is the very purpose of shadow passwords
9. What is the meaning of the term YUM in reference?
This question is again to assess your previous knowledge of Linux. YUM stands for Yellow Dog Updater Modified because it is based on YUP, the Yellow Dog Updater. Also, explain that Yellow Dog is a version of Linux for the power architecture hardware. Like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, it is also RPM-based.
Apart from these, some of the other commonly asked questions during Linux interview include:
a) As a Linux professional, how will you check and verify the status of the bond interface?
b) Cite the main differences between Cron and Anacron.
c) Which names are assigned to the different serial ports in Linux?
d) Do you think that a Linux computer can make a router to allow multiple machines to share a single Internet connection? How?
e) Explain /proc file system with reference to Linux?
f) Is there a way to find out how much memory Linux is using?
g) Explain the difference between UNIX and LINUX?
h) Can you share the process of change permissions under Linux?
i) How do you share a program across different virtual desktops under Linux?
j) How do you uninstall the libraries in Linux?
Interviews are not only your chance to prove your worth to hiring managers but is also an opportunity for you to learn as much possible about the role and organisation. Remember to ask the right questions, answer with confidence, and make sure that your body language communicates the right message to the interviewer.
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