Administering A Unix User Environment

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Administering a UNIX User Environment

Administering a UNIX User Environment


UNIX refers to multiuser, multitasking computer operating system which was introduced in 1969 at Bell Labs by a group of AT&T employees. Since then it is considered as a significant subject of research and development. Due to its flexibility it is the best performing operating system that can easily be modified. It is an ideal platform for those who prefer to bring innovative and new ideas. The main reason of its success is its quick pace of development that has made its effective and efficient at program execution. It has the ability to perform extremely well on large computers comprised of several processors as well as small computers. In the existing UNIX is a very importing operating system. The main advantage in UNIX is that it contains all the basic mechanisms for a multi-user operating system and enhancement has been bringing over the years in the formation of basis of a new like NT. Due to its ability to execute several programs at a time, UNIX places its burden on the computer's resources. It was first designed in assembly language but afterwards in 1973, it was completely recoded in C language. This helps UNIX in its further enhancement and porting to other hardware. Currently, there are several branches in which UNIX system is divided. These branches are developed by various commercial vendors, AT&T, non-profit organizations and universities like Berkeley's BSD, University of California) (William, 2005).


Types of Accounts of UNIX System:

Following are the three types of account on a UNIX system:

Root Account: It is also known as superuser account. This can run any command without any obstacle. This user is considered as an administrator of the system.

User Accounts: It offers an interactive access to the system for group of users and users as well. Typically general users are have limited access to these accounts and to critical directories and files of the system (William, 2005).

System Accounts: There are required for the operation of system-specific elements such as sshd accounts and mail accounts. Usually these accounts are required for some particular functions on the system and it can be adversely affected if any modifications are made (Salus, Peter, 2004).

The structure of UNIX Operating System

Before understanding the functioning of UNIX operating system, it is important to understand its structure. There are several components that make up UNIX system such as the user programs, the file system, the shell, and kernel. The basic operating system functions are carried out by kernel like accessing files or handling communication while the user interface is provided to the kernel. By using UNIX command, tools and programs, applications can be used. Many different tasks are carried by application programs like those that can be implemented in industries, education, and governments (known as horizontal applications). There is a set of environmental variables present in the UNIX shell in order to provide information such as the type of terminal using or the history of current work (Bodenstab, Houghton, Kelleman, ...