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Linux Interview Questions and Answers

13. How shadow passwords are given?

pwconv command is used for giving shadow passwords. Shadow passwords are given for better system security. The pwconv command creates the file /etc/shadow and changes all passwords to 'x' in the /etc/passwd file. First, entries in the shadowed file which don't exist in the main file are removed.

Then, shadowed entries which don't have `x' as the password in the main file are updated. Any missing shadowed entries are added. Finally, passwords in the main file are replaced with `x'. These programs can be used for initial conversion as well to update the shadowed file if the main file is edited by hand.

14. How do you create a new user account?

useradd command is used for creating a new user account. When invoked without the
-D option, the useradd command creates a new user account using the values specified on the command line and the default values from the system.

The new user account will be entered into the system files as needed, and initial files copied, depending on the command line options. This command uses the system default as home directory. If –m option is given then the home directory is made.

15. Which password package is installed for the security of central password?

Shadow password packages are used for security of central passwords. Security is the most important aspect of every operating system. When this package is not installed the user information including passwords is stored in the /etc/passwd file. The password is stored in an encoded format.

These encoded forms can be easily identified by the System crackers by randomly encoding the passwords from dictionaries. The Shadow Package solves the problem by relocating the passwords to another file (usually /etc/shadow). The /etc/shadow file is set so that it cannot be read by just anyone. Only root will be able to read and write to the /etc/shadow file.

16. Which shell do you assign to a POP3 mail-only account?

POP3 mail only account is assigned to the /bin/false shell. However, assigning bash shell to a POP3 mail only gives user login access, which is avoided. /bin/nologin can also be used. This shell is provided to the user when we don't want to give shell access to the user. The user cannot access the shell and it reject shell login on the server like on telnet. It is mainly for the security of the shells.

POP3 is basically used for downloading mail to mail program. So for illegal downloading of emails on the shell this account is assigned to the /bin/false shell or /bin/nologin. These both shells are same they both do the same work of rejecting the user login to the shell. The main difference between these two shells is that false shell shows the incorrect code and any unusual coding when user login with it. But the nologin shell simply tells that no such account is available. So nologin shell is used mostly in Linux.

17. Which daemon is responsible for tracking events on Linux system?

syslogd is responsible for tracking system information and save it to the desired log files. It provides two system utilities which provide system logging and kernel message trapping. Internet and UNIX domain sockets support enable this utility package to support both local and remote logging. Every logged message contains at least a time and a hostname field, normally a program name field, too. So to track these information this daemon is used. syslogd mainly reacts to the set of signals given by the user.

These are the signals given to syslogd: SIGHUP: This lets syslogd perform a re-initialization. All open files are closed, the configuration file (default is /etc/syslog.conf) will be reread and the syslog facility is started again. SIGTERM: The syslogd will die. SIGINT, SIGQUIT: If debugging is enabled these are ignored, otherwise syslogd will die. SIGUSR1: Switch debugging on/off. This option can only be used if syslogd is started with the - d debug option. SIGCHLD: Wait for Childs if some were born, because of waiting messages.

18. Which daemon is used for scheduling of the commands?

The crontab command is used for scheduling of the commands to run at a later time. SYNTAX
crontab [ -u user ] file
crontab [ -u user ] { -l | -r | -e }

-l List - display the current crontab entries.

-r Remove the current crontab.

-e Edit the current crontab using the editor specified by the VISUAL or EDITOR environment variables.
When user exits from the editor, the modified crontab will be installed automatically. Each user can have their own crontab, and though these are files in /var, they are not intended to be edited directly. If the –u option is given than the crontab gives the name of the user whose crontab is to be tweaked. If it is given without this then it will display the crontab of the user who is executing the command.

19. How environment variable is set so that the file permission can be automatically set to the newly created files?

umask command is used to set file permission on newly created files automatically.
umask [-p] [-S] [mode]

It is represented in octal numbers. We can simply use this command without arguments to see the current file permissions. To change the permissions, mode is given in the arguments. The default umask used for normal user is 0002. The default umask for the root user is 0022. For calculating the original values, the values shown by the umask must be subtracted by the default values.

It is mainly used for masking of the file and directory permission. The /etc/profile script is where the umask command is usually set for all users. The –S option can be used to see the current default permissions displayed in the alpha symbolic format.
For example, umask 022 ensures that new files will have at most 755 permissions (777 NAND 022).
The permissions can be calculated by taking the NAND of original value with the default values of files and directories.


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