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Linux Account Management

Administer and secure Linux accounts

William "Bo" Rothwell

Many people believe that creating user accounts on Linux is a simple process and that these user accounts are automatically secure. However, properly managing and securing user and group accounts on Linux involves more than just creating accounts. You must also consider factors such as customizing user accounts with initialization files and enforcing security policies on both user and group accounts.

In two three-hour sessions, William “Bo” Rothwell walks you through the major components needed to create and maintain accounts on Linux. Through a mix of lectures and hands-on exercises, you'll learn how to create, modify, and delete both user and group accounts, configure administrative access for regular users using the sudo command, place security restrictions on accounts using PAM (pluggable authentication modules), and more. You'll leave armed with the knowledge you need to administer better and secure your Linux accounts.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:
- The role that user and group accounts play
- How to create and manage user and group accounts, including critical security

And you’ll be able to:
- Add, modify, and delete user accounts
- Add, modify, and delete group accounts
- Provide users access to administrative rights via the sudo command
- Enable disk quotas
- Administer initialization files
- Use file attributes and permissions to secure files
- Use PAM to secure user and group accounts

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a system administrator who is responsible for managing user accounts
  • You're a Linux developer who needs to manage user accounts that are relevant to your
    software project


  • A working knowledge of Linux (at least three months of end-user experience)

Required materials and setup:
- A machine with both a Red Hat-based distribution and a Debian-based distribution
installed in a virtual machine environment (Fedora and Mint OS in an Oracle VirtualBox VM recommended)

Recommended preparation:
- Linux for Developers: Jumpstart Your Linux Programming Skills (book)

About your instructor

  • Linux and programming expert, William “Bo” Rothwell specializes in training and consulting in IT topics including Linux, Unix, Perl, Python, Tcl, and more. Bo’s passion for understanding how computers work and sharing this knowledge with others has resulted in a rewarding career in IT training. His experience includes Linux, Unix, IT security, Devops, and programming languages such as Perl, Python, Tcl, and BASH. He is the founder and lead instructor of One Course Source, an IT training organization. He has written multiple books on the topics and Has also developed dozens of multi-day classes for technical training in areas such as UNIX, Linux and programming.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Day 1

Introduction to Linux accounts (10 minutes)
- Lecture: User and group accounts; local versus network accounts

Managing user accounts (45 minutes)
- Lecture: Understanding user account data; using command-line tools for user accounts;
using GUI-based tools for user accounts
- Hands-on exercise: Add, remove and modify user accounts

Break (10 minutes)

Managing group accounts (50 minutes)
- Lecture: Understanding group account data; using command-line tools for group
accounts; using GUI-based tools for group accounts
- Hands-on exercise: Add, remove and modify group accounts

Break (10 minutes)

Initialization files (40 minutes)
- Lecture: Login versus non-login initialization files; skeleton files
- Hands-on exercise: Manage user initialization files

Wrap-up and Q&A (15 minutes)

Day 2

Administering sudo (30 minutes)
- Lecture: Understanding sudo concepts; configuring sudo access
- Hands-on exercise: Configure sudo access for users and groups

Administering account restrictions (45 minutes)
- Lecture: Understanding PAM; securing accounts with PAM; restricting accounts with PAM
- Hands-on exercise: Using PAM to restrict user and group accounts

Break (10 minutes)

Configuring disk quotas (35 minutes)
- Lecture: Enabling disk quotas; configuring disk quotas for specific users and groups
- Hands-on exercise: Create disk quotas for user accounts

Break (10 minutes)

Securing accounts with permissions (35 minutes)
- Lecture: Understanding and enforcing standard permissions; using ACLs; enabling
special permissions (setuid, setgid, and sticky bit); using umask values; enabling
file attributes to secure files
- Hands-on exercise: Create disk quotas for user accounts

Wrap-up and Q&A (15 minutes)