TOP Linux Interview Questions and Answers

Read Latest Linux Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers, 2+ Years Experienced Q and A with Explanation PDF.

What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system based on UNIX, and was first introduced by Linus Torvalds. It is based on the Linux Kernel, and can run on different hardware platforms manufactured by Intel, MIPS, HP, IBM, SPARC and Motorola. Another popular element in Linux is its mascot, a penguin figure named Tux.

What is GUI?

GUI, or Graphical User Interface, makes use of images and icons that users click and manipulate as a way of communicating with the computer. Instead of having to remember and type commands, the use of graphical elements makes it easier to interact with the system, as well as adding more attraction through images, icons and colors.

What is CLI?

CLI is short for Command Line Interface. This interface allows user to type declarative commands to instruct the computer to perform operations. CLI offers an advantage in that there is greater flexibility. However, other users who are already accustom with using GUI find it difficult to remember commands including attributes that come with it.

What is the maximum length for a filename under Linux?

Any filename can have a maximum of 255 characters. This limit does not include the path name, so therefore the entire pathname and filename could well exceed 255 characters.

What is redirection?

Redirection is the process of directing data from one output to another. It can also be used to direct an output as an input to another process.

Does it help for a Linux system to have multiple desktop environments installed?

In general, one desktop environment, like KDE or Gnome, is good enough to operate without issues. It’s all a matter of preference for the user, although the system allows switching from one environment to another. Some programs will work on one environment and not work on the other, so it could also be considered a factor in selecting which environment to use.

How do you change permissions under Linux?

Assuming you are the system administrator or the owner of a file or directory, you can grant permission using the chmod command. Use + symbol to add permission or – symbol to deny permission, along with any of the following letters: u (user), g (group), o (others), a (all), r (read), w (write) and x (execute). For example the command chmod go+rw FILE1.TXT grants read and write access to the file FILE1.TXT, which is assigned to groups and others.

How does case sensitivity affect the way you use commands?

When we talk about case sensitivity, commands are considered identical only if every character is encoded as is, including lowercase and uppercase letters. This means that CD, cd and Cd are three different commands. Entering a command using uppercase letters, where it should be in lowercase, will produce different outputs.

Write a command that will display all .txt files, including its individual permission.


ls -a -l *.txt

What is the basic difference between BASH and DOS?

The key differences between the BASH and DOS console lies in 3 areas:

– BASH commands are case sensitive while DOS commands are not;

– under BASH, / character is a directory separator and \ acts as an escape character. Under DOS, / serves as a command argument delimiter and \ is the directory separator

– DOS follows a convention in naming files, which is 8 character file name followed by a dot and 3 character for the extension. BASH follows no such convention.

In Linux, what names are assigned to the different serial ports?

Serial ports are identified as /dev/ttyS0 to /dev/ttyS7. These are the equivalent names of COM1 to COM8 in Windows.

What are environmental variables?

Environmental variables are global settings that control the shell’s function as well as that of other Linux programs. Another common term for environmental variables is global shell variables.

Write a command that will do the following: -look for all files in the current and subsequent directories with an extension c,v -strip the,v from the result (you can use sed command) -use the result and use a grep command to search for all occurrences of the word ORANGE in the files.

Find ./ -name “*.c,v” | sed ‘s/,v//g’ | xargs grep “ORANGE”

What is the importance of the GNU project?

This so-called Free software movement allows several advantages, such as the freedom to run programs for any purpose and freedom to study and modify a program to your needs. It also allows you to redistribute copies of a software to other people, as well as freedom to improve software and have it released to the public.

How do you access partitions under Linux?

Linux assigns numbers at the end of the drive identifier. For example, if the first IDE hard drive had three primary partitions, they would be named/numbered, /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2 and /dev/hda3.

What are the different modes when using vi editor?

There are 3 modes under vi:

– Command mode – this is the mode where you start in

– Edit mode – this is the mode that allows you to do text editing

– Ex mode – this is the mode wherein you interact with vi with instructions to process a file

What, if anything, is wrong with each of the following commands? a) ls -l-s b) cat file1, file2 c) ls – s Factdir


a) there should be space between the 2 options: ls -l -s

b) do not use commas to separate arguments: cat file1 file2

c) there should be no space between hyphen and option label: ls –s Factdir

Describe the root account.

The root account is like a systems administrator account, and allows you full control of the system. Here you can create and maintain user accounts, assigning different permissions for each account. It is the default account every time you install Linux.

What are hard links?

Hard links point directly to the physical file on disk, and not on the path name. This means that if you rename or move the original file, the link will not break, since the link is for the file itself, not the path where the file is located.

Is it possible to use shortcut for a long pathname?

Yes, there is. A feature known as filename expansion allows you do this using the TAB key. For example, if you have a path named /home/iceman/assignments directory, you would type as follows: /ho[tab]/ice[tab]/assi[tab] . This, however, assumes that the path is unique, and that the shell you’re using supports this feature.


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