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In this chapter, you will learn how to manage Linux in advanced installation and configuration scenarios. You'll see how to troubleshoot an installation in progress, as well as how to create automated installation scripts through the Kickstart process. You'll discover how to organize disks with fdisk. You'll find out how to manage boot loaders on Linux. You will learn how to implement a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID), as well as a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) disk system.
Remember, half of the RHCE and RHCT exams is based on how well you know the installation process. By the time you finish this chapter, you should be ready to install Linux in an automated fashion from a local boot disk or over a network from an NFS, FTP, or HTTP server.
As you study fdisk, RAID, LVM, and the GRUB boot loader, you'll also see how you might troubleshoot problems that can keep you from accessing a partition or even booting Linux completely. In other words, the skills you learn in this chapter can also help you on the Troubleshooting and System Maintenance exam.
Both the RHCE and RHCT exams require you to install Linux in some configuration. You won't know the specifics until you see your exam. If you have problems during the installation process, the Installation Troubleshooting consoles can be a lifesaver. If you discover a bad network connection or unreadable installation CDs, you may discover that musing the troubleshooting consoles can help you identify the problem to the exam administrator.
It's easiest to configure partitions, set up RAID arrays, and create LVM groups during the installation process. However, when people get nervous on exams, they may forget details. All is not lost. You don't have to reinstall. You can use commands and configure key files to create new partitions, RAID arrays, and LVM groups.
Troubleshooting skills are more difficult to learn. In many cases, you need to know what looks right with installation files, with boot loaders, and more. Then you can observe the symptoms of a problem, look at a critical file, say 'Aha!' and fix whatever problems you might encounter during the Troubleshooting and System Maintenance exam.
Using Other Versions of Red Hat
For the purpose of this chapter, you can use Red Hat Linux 9 to test your knowledge of what happens after installation. For what is covered in this chapter, the differences do not matter for the Red Hat exams. However, as described in Chapter 2, I've illustrated each of the installation screens for RHEL 3 in Appendix B on the CD-ROM.
For example, RHEL 3, unlike Fedora Linux, still uses a text-based GRUB configuration menu. It's the same version of GRUB used in Red Hat Linux 9. However, the kernel included with RHEL 3 no longer requires the hdc=ide-scsi command formerly required for most CD/RW drives.
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