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Linux OS Interview Questions

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Linux file structure is a tree like structure. It starts from the root directory, represented by '/', and then expands into sub-directories. All the partitions are under the root directory. If a partition is mounted (The mount point defines the place of a particular data set in the file system) anywhere apart from a “device”, the system is not aware of the existence of that partition or device. Directories that are only one level below the root directory are often preceded by a slash, to indicate their position.  

Root "/" file system: The kernel needs a root file system to mount at start up. The root file system is generally small and should not be changed often as it may interrupt in booting. The root directory usually does not have the critical files. Instead sub directories are created. E.g. /bin (commands needed during bootup), /etc (config files) , /lib(shared libraries).

/usr filesystem : this file system is generally large as it contains the executable files to be shared amongst different machines. Files are usually the ones installed while installing Linux. This makes it possible to update the system from a new version of the distribution, or even a completely new distribution, without having to install all programs again. Sub directories include /bin, /include, /lib, /local (for local executables)

/var filesystem : this file system is specific to local systems. It is called as var because the data keeps changing. The sub directories include /cache/man (A cache for man pages), /games (any variable data belong to games), /lib (files that change), /log (log from different programs), /tmp (for temporary files)

/home filesystem: - this file system differs from host to host. User specific configuration files for applications are stored in the user's home directory in a file. UNIX creates directories for all users directory. E.g /home/my_name. Once the user is logged in ; he is placed in his home directory.

/proc filesystem : this file system does not exist on the hard disk. It is created by the kernel in its memory to provide information about the system. This information is usually about the processes. Contains a hierarchy of special files which represent the current state of the kernel .Few of the Directories include /1 (directory with information about process num 1, where 1 is the identification number), /cpuinfo (information about cpu), /devices (information about devices installed), /filesystem (file systems configured), /net (information about network protocols), /mem (memory usage)

Process states in Linux:

    Running: Process is either running or ready to run
    Interruptible: a Blocked state of a process and waiting for an event or signal from another process
    Uninterruptible: a blocked state. Process waits for a hardware condition and cannot handle any signal
    Stopped: Process is stopped or halted and can be restarted by some other process
    Zombie: process terminated, but information is still there in the process table.  

Zombie is a process state when the child dies before the parent process. In this case the structural information of the process is still in the process table. Since this process is not alive, it cannot react to signals. Zombie state can finish when the parent dies. All resources of the zombie state process are cleared by the kernel  

System calls used for Process management:

    Fork () :- Used to create a new process
    Exec() :- Execute a new program
    Wait():- wait until the process finishes execution
    Exit():- Exit from the process
    Getpid():- get the unique process id of the process
    Getppid():- get the parent process unique id
    Nice():- to bias the existing property of process  

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