Pre-Exam for Linux Basics dat8tf063-22 Spring 2013

Pre-exam for Linux Basics

If there are more candidates than places on the Linux Basics 22 in 2013 Autumn course, places are given in the order determined by the pre-exam. Pre-exam is a prequisite for the course as described in course contents. The pre-exam is on the first class.

Just read this page and come to the first class. If you don’t understand something perfectly, you’ll learn more in the course. Good luck!

Reading Material for the Pre-Exam

Getting Linux for Free

You can download most Linux distributions for free from their homepages. For example, you can download Xubuntu from

Xubuntu Desktop installation CD is also a Live-CD.

Live CD means that you can boot from the CD to try Linux Desktop without installing. When you are done, simply reboot the computer and remove the CD to get back to your old system.

Some Linux Desktop Software

Many of these Free programs are included in the default installation of many Linux distributions, such as Xubuntu.

  • Firefox – Web browser
  • LibreOffice – An office suite, compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Used to be called
  • GIMP – Edit photographs
  • InkScape – Draw vector graphics
  • Gedit (Accessories: Text Editor) – Text editor with syntax highlight for Python, C, Java, HTML, XML and many others.


  • / – Root directory, contains all files that are accessible. There are no drive letters like “C:”.
    • /home/ – Contains home directories for all users
      • /home/tkarvine/ – Home directory of a user called “tkarvine”. Users can only store data into their home directories.
    • /etc/ – Configuration files that affect the whole system. For example, settings for hardware and servers.
    • /var/ – Variable files, written by servers (AKA daemons)
    • /media/ – Movable media are shown under /media/ when they are mounted (connected to the system)
      • /media/usbdisk/ – USB mass storage, such as an mp3 player or a camera.
      • /media/cdrom/ – Cdrom is shown here when mounted.
    • /tmp/ – Temporary files. Anything stored to /tmp/ is erased automatically later.

(Source: Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, local mirror)

Command line

pwd – print working directory

ls – list files (in working directory)

cd .. – go up one level, making working directory (pwd) shorter. Note space between command “cd” and directory “..”

cd somefolder/ – go to “somefolder”

nano foo.txt – edit “foo.txt”, press ctrl-X to save and exit

(Source: Karvinen 2007: Command Line)


Software is considered Free (as in Freedom), if it gives users all these four rights:

  1. Run
  2. Study
  3. Modify
  4. Distribute

(Source: Free Software Foundation: Free software definition, local mirror).

GPL is the most popular Free license. Because it’s a free license, it allows users to use, study, modify and distribute. GPL has one important restriction: You can’t limit the rights of the users receiving the software. To use GPL for a program or text, you can add this boilerplate text: “Copyright 2007 YOUR NAME. GNU General Public License, version 2 or later.

(Adapted from: Free Software Foundation: How to use the GNU licenses for your own software)

Old material

Pre-exam for Linux Basics 2008 Spring

Pre-exam for Linux Basics 2008 Autumn

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