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Top Linux Interview Questions to Prepare for Your Next Tech Interview

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Linux Interview Questions
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As tech interviews get more and more competitive, it’s a good idea to be aware of the type of Linux interview questions you can be asked at the interview. Linux, as you may know, is an open-source, freely distributable operating system similar to Unix. This article covers some of the most commonly asked Linux interview questions.

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Amazon Coding Interview Questions, Facebook Coding Interview Questions, and Google Coding Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on coding interview preparation at FAANG companies.

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This article will cover: 

  • Sample Linux interview questions and answers for beginners
  • Sample Linux interview questions and answers for experienced developers
  • More Linux interview questions for developers
  • FAQs on Linux interview questions

Sample Linux Interview Questions and Answers for Beginners

1. Define symbolic links.

Symbolic links redirect to another file somewhere in the file system, but the target file does not store any data. So if the target file is deleted, the link to that file is removed, but not the file.

2. What are the basic components of Linux?

The basic components of Linux are Kernel, Shell, GUI, System Utilities, and Application Programs.

Sample Linux Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced

1. How many types of Shells are there in Linux? 

There are five types of Shells in Linux: C Shell or csh, Korn Shell or ksh, Z Shell or Zsh, Bourne Again Shell or bash, and Friendly Interactive Shell or Fish.

2. What are Daemons?

Background processes that accept requests for service from other computers are called Daemons.

More Linux Interview Questions for Developers

Here are some sample interview questions to help you with your preparation:

Linux Basic Interview Questions

  1. Define and describe:
    - Linux
    - History of Linux
    - Linux Kernel
    - BASH
    - LILO
    - LVM
    - CLI
    - GUI
    - Swap Space
    - Environmental variables
    - Symbolic links
    - Hard links
    - Redirection
    - Daemons
    - Root account
    - Virtual desktop
    - Inode
    - Process id
    - Process states
  2. What is the difference between Linux and Unix?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Open Source?
  4. Discuss the Process Management System Calls in Linux.
  5. Elaborate on the File Permission groups in Linux.
  6. Discuss the features of the Linux OS.
  7. What do you know about the invention and the history of Linux?
  8. Describe the core of the Linux OS?
  9. How will you open a command prompt when you’re issuing a command?
  10. Explain all the file permissions types in Linux?
  11. Name and describe the types of Shells in Linux?
  12. Describe the basic components of Linux OS.
  13. Explain the different modes in the vi editor?
  14. Discuss file systems and file system types in Linux.

Linux Commands Interview Questions

  1. What are the following commands in Linux, and what do they do:
    - ls command
    - tail command
    - grep command
    - ps command
    - env command
    - top command
    - netstat command
    - lsof command
    - chmod command
    - chown command
    - cp command
    - mkdir command
    - rmdir command
    - tail command
    - cat command
    - netstat command
    - lsof command
    - df command
    - du command
  2. In Linux, would you remove a file or a directory from a system?
  3. How do you exit from vi editor?
  4. How will you delete data from a file in vi editor?
  5. Name some Linux-to-file content commands.

Linux Administrator Interview Questions

  1. Describe the following and why they’re needed in Linux:
    - LVM
    - Umask
    - Network bonding
    - Modes of network bonding
  2. How would you do the following in Linux:
    - Set the mask permanently for any user
    - Check the default route and routing table
    - Lock a user account in Linux
    - In your Linux Server, check which ports are listening
    - Change the default run level in Linux
    - Share a directory using NFS
  3. Where are the kernel modules located?
  4. State the default ports used in Linux for:
    - SMTP
    - DNS
    - FTP
    - DHCP
    - SSH
    - squid

Linux Experienced Interview Questions

  1. Name some Linux distributors or Distros and describe their usage.
  2. What’s the need and what are some advantages of LINUX? 
  3. What are internal and external commands?
  4. State some features of the Linux OS.
  5. Differentiate between BASH and DOS.
  6. Describe the following in Linux:
    - PIPE
    - Zombie process
    - Stateless Linux Server
  7. What’s the use of Ctrl+Alt+Del in Linux?
  8. Is Linux more secure than other operating systems? If yes, why?
  9. Explain the communication between a parent and child process.

FAQs on Linux Interview Questions

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of open source?

An advantage of open source technologies is that programmers can add new software that is freely available to users to download and edit the code as needed. It provides choices and flexibility to the users.

The disadvantages of open source are that it can be comparatively more difficult to use, have compatibility issues, there may be some hidden costs and other issues related to liabilities and warranties.

2. What is BASH?

Bourne Again Shell, or BASH, is a command language interpreter written by Brian Fox. It is similar to Bourne Shell and can be used in place of it. BASH, however, includes some additional features and serves as the default user shell on many Linux installations. It can run in the terminal window and can also read commands from shell scripts.

3. Differentiate between UNIX and LINUX?

Unix was created as a proprietary operating system, which now has several commercial versions. On the other hand, Linux is a free, open-source, and non-proprietary OS.

4. What is Kernel?

Kernel, also known as low-level system software, is the first program that loads when a computer starts. It is the main component of Linux that serves as a resource managing link between hardware and software. It mainly manages hardware resources for users and provides an interface for user-level interaction. 

5. What is swap space?

A space on a hard disk that is used when the RAM is full is called swap space and is seen as a substitute for physical memory or an extension of RAM. It mainly substitutes disk space for RAM when the real RAM doesn’t have sufficient space to hold all the programs running, and more space is required. 

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