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Lesson 1

Introduction to Administering Linux Serial and Networking Devices

Connecting to other computers and networks is one of the most powerful aspects of computing. Without external access, basic functions such as email and file sharing cannot be performed. To enable users to access information available outside their local machines, Linux supports communication with other computers over telephone lines and networks.
In this module, you will learn how to enable and update serial and non-serial devices using Linux commands and utilities, including the setserial command, the getty program and its variants, and the Network Configurator.
You will also investigate differences between serial and non-serial devices in support, configuration, and use.

Module objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:
  1. Describe some of the serial devices supported by Red Hat Linux
  2. Configure and use serial ports
  3. Define a modem's role in a Linux system
  4. Describe the rationale for using multiple network interface cards
  5. Load the correct NIC modules into the kernel to enable multiple network interface cards
  6. Use the Network Configurator tool to enable multiple network interface cards
Networking connectivity: To connect your Linux system to a network, Linux offers support for a variety of Local Area Network (LAN) boards, modems, and serial devices. In addition to LAN protocols, such as Ethernet and Token Ring protocols, all the most popular upper level networking protocols can be built-in. The most popular of these protocols is TCP/IP (used to connect to the Internet). Other protocols, such as IPX (for Novell networks) and X.25 (a packet-switching network type that is popular in Europe), are also available.
Network servers: Providing networking services to the client computers on the LAN or to the entire Internet is what Linux does best. A variety of software packages are available that enable you to use Linux as a print server, file server, FTP server, mail server, Web server, news server, or workgroup (bootp or NIS) server.
Application support: Because of compatibility with POSIX and several different application programming interfaces (APIs), a wide range of freeware and shareware software is available for Linux. Most GNU software from the Free Software Foundation will run in Linux.
The next lesson describes some of the serial devices supported by Red Hat Linux.