Paul Tibbitts - Sample Training Questions

About Sample Training Questions

These questions are derived from a sample of our class exercises, to help potential students determine which classes are appropriate for them. These are not identical to the interactive post-class assessement tests, which utilize web-based scoring and reporting, as well as a larger assortment of questions.

As you read through the questions for each class, consider how confident you feel with the material. If it's completely familiar, you probably won't gain much from the corresponding class. Training is time-consuming and expensive, and we don't want you to waste your time or money on training that won't help you. If the material isn't familiar, hopefully it would be after attending the corresponding class.

You won't find the answers here, but if you can't come up with them on your own, you could probably benefit from the class!

Sample questions are currently available for:

Introduction to UNIX/Linux

  1. What shortcut could you use with "cd" to change back to the previous directory you were in?
  2. Write an "ls" command to provide a long listing of all objects in the /usr directory (without showing any objects below /usr.)
  3. Change your default file creation permissions so new objects will be created with no permissions for "other" or "group", but full access for "user"; verify by creating both a new file and directory. Do the new file and directory have identical permissions?
  4. Write a command to descend the hierarchy rooted at ~, and change the permissions on all directories found to be 755. Do not change permission on any ordinary files you encounter.
  5. What command would produce output similar to:
    > to make your web page appear to be updated daily
    < x/ Array of day names
    > // Array of day names
  6. Write a command to delete every instance of the ESC character contained in binary data file "bf":
  7. You create a shell script "myprog" in your home directory, make "myprog" executable, yet when you try to run it you receive a "command not found" error. Why might this have occurred, and what would you do to correct the problem?
  8. What command would you use to display the amount of free space remaining on the filesystem containing your home directory?
  9. What vi editor command would you use (in vi command mode) to append the entire contents of the line below your cursor, to the line your cursor is currently on?
  10. What ksh option could you use to prevent overwriting files when using the ">" operator?
  11. Write a command to search your home directory hierarchy for any file modified within the past 24-hour period.

UNIX/Linux Tools

  1. Using the vi editor, what command would you use to replace lines 10 through 20 of your file with an ascii-sorted instance of those same lines?
  2. Write a grep command to display all blank lines in a file, where blank is defined as containing no characters at all, or only space character (but not tabs.)
  3. Explain the purpose of each component of this command:
    find . -type f | xargs -i grep pattern {} /dev/null
  4. Define a function "mkbak" that will copy each object (file or directory) named as an argument to your ~/.bak directory.
  5. Where will output written by a command run from your crontab go, if not explicitly redirected?
  6. A powerful feature of the awk language is it's ability to use arrays indexed by any string; what is the name for these string-indexed arrays?
  7. Explain what this sed command will do:
  8. You are editing your .exrc file using vi, and need to place a control-M at the end of one of the lines. What key sequence will allow you to enter a control-M into the file?
  9. Write an egrep command to display lines matching "Easy St." in a text file. Repeat, using fgrep.
  10. Using Kornshell, what command will display the current limits set for core file size, and maximum simultaneous open files?

Introduction to UNIX/Linux System Administration

  1. Someone tells you that the "sticky bit" should be applied to the /tmp directory. What would this accomplish? What command and arguments would you use to set it? How would the file permissions appear when displayed in "ls -l" format?
  2. The _____________ command can be used to position a tape at a specified file marker (such as in a position to read the third file on a tape), or to rewind a tape.
  3. If you find it necessary to edit the passwd file, you should not invoke an editor directly, but instead use the ____________ program.
  4. The ____________ scripting language is especially handy for automating interactive tasks, such as an ftp session.
  5. On a System V-based system, /etc or /sbin will typically contain directories named for run levels, such as rc2.d. Within each directory will be "S" and "K" scripts. Describe and explain how the order of execution for these scripts is determined.
  6. In environments where the "newgrp" command is provided, what is its purpose? Why is it present in some environments, but not others?
  7. What is a "sparse" file, and why can it cause problems when copying data from one location to another?
  8. You receive the error "read only" when attempting to save changes to a system configuration file you are editing, despite having logged in as root. Why might this happen, and what should you do to rectify the problem?
  9. Write a find command to produce a list of set-user-id and set-group-id files anywhere on your system.
  10. The contents of the kernel ring buffer can be viewed using the ____________ command, which is typically used to view boot-time startup messages "after the fact."
  11. Users report that the "man -k" command has never worked since the system was installed. What is the likely problem and solution?
  12. After installing a major software package, such as a database, using /opt as a package destination, what related change(s) might be required? What would be a likely choice for a location to install the new software?

Introduction to Perl

  1. Write a printf statement to display the contents of variable $x as a numeric value, left justified in a field of 8 spaces, with 2 spaces after the decimal point.
  2. Given the IP address stored as a string, write a perl statement to parse the string using . as the field separator, and assign the four integers to the variables $ip1, $ip2, $ip3, $ip4.
  3. Given integers $ip1, $ip2, $ip3, $ip4, explain the result of:
    $c = pack("C4", $ip1, $ip2, $ip3, $ip4);
  4. What will the following code segment print?
    @a = ("mon", "tue", "wed"); print pop(@a), "\n";
  5. Using "next" will cause a return to the test at the top of a loop, or to the (optional) ______________ block following the loop.
  6. What is an equivalent, abbreviated form of
  7. When initializing hashes, what two character combination is often used as an alternative to the "," character in the initializtion list?
  8. Given array @a, write a perl statement to sort @a into descending ascii order.
  9. The ____________ function will return the the "next" key/value pair in a hash, or an empty list (thus "false") when all pairs have been returned.
  10. Explain whether (or not) the following statements will produce identical results:
    0 && print "yes\n";
    "0" && print "yes\n";
    "00" && print "yes\n";

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