What is a distribution?

A “distribution” is a variant of a “ready made” linux installation with predefined packages.

There are many different distributions which fit different users dependent on the desired purpose of what the user wants to do in linux.

Most popular distributions

  • Debian
    • Ubuntu
    • Knoppix
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
    • CentOS
    • Fedora
  • Arch
  • Android

On the example of “Ubuntu” you can see, that this distribution is based on another distribution – “Debian”.

You can see the immense amount of different linux distributions in this SVG (Source: Wikipedia).

Package Manager & Software-Repository

A package manager is the part of linux operating system, which allows you to manage your installed software and add new software to your operating system.

Unfortunately there is no globally applicable package manager which can be used through all the distributions and therefore there is no unique way how software is installed in linux.

Currently there are 3 main package types:

  • .deb (short for “Debian binary packet”)
    • This format is used in all Debian based distributions like Ubuntu or Mint.
    • These packages are being handled via the “Debian Package Manager” (short DPKG).
  • .rpm (short for “RPM Package Manager” – yeah, kind of dumb)
    • This format is used in all Red Hat based distributions like Fedora or SUSE.
    • These packages are being handled by the “RPM Package Manager”.
  • .tar.xz
    • This format isn’t truly its own “package format” like .deb or .rpm. Instead its “just” a compressed archive which uses the compression algorithm “XZ”.
    • These “packages” are being handled via “Pacman”.


A software repository ist an online accessible lost of available software versions which are used to install or update a specific software in your operating system.

Dependent on the used distribution and what you want to do in linux you need to use more or less repositories.

Example: https://launchpad.net/~ondrej/+archive/ubuntu/php

In the above example you can see a PHP repository for Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic” so you can install the latest PHP versions and extensions.

On the example of “Ubuntu” a repository can be added via:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
sudo apt-get update

The first command adds the repository to the system.
The second command searches for all available updates in all configured repositories.


Shell = Terminal = “Command Line Interface” (short CLI) = Console

The terminal is a text based entry point where a user is given the possibility to enter commands which should be executed on the operating system..

Examples for such commands

  • Print working directory
    • Outputs the current absolute path, in which the terminal is currently working in.
    • Usage: pwd
  • List directory content
    • Shows the content (folders, files etc.) of the current working directory.
    • Usage: ls
  • Change directory
    • Change the current path of the working directory.
    • Usage: cd
  • Concatenate and print files
    • Show the content of a given file.
    • Usage: cat <filename>
  • Move
    • Move or rename files or folders.
    • Usage: mv <filename> <new_path>
  • Manuel page
    • Show the help page for a given command.
    • Usage: man <command>
  • Make directory
    • Create a new folder.
    • Usage: mkdir <foldername>
  • Remove
    • Remove given files and/or folders.
    • Usage: rm <filename>
  • Clear
    • Cleans up the terminal output of the current active terminal.
    • Usage: clear


What is SSH?

Secure Shell” (in short SSH) on one hand is a network protocol, on the other hand it is the software to create a secure, encrypted connection between 2 distant computers.

Requirements for SSH connectsions

The first requirement is a sever, which has an active and configured “SSH daemon” (short sshd) so a remote client can request an SSH session.

The second requirement is a client, which (dependent on your OS) is already preinstalled or has to be installed afterwards.
MacOS and Linux have an SSH client pre installed, Windows needs something like Putty.

The third requirement is a network, which connects the server and the client so they can speak with each other. This connection can be directly over a LAN network or via the internet through many many routers.

How to create an SSH connection?

Lets define our example network:


Now we need the username and password which allows us to connect to the server.

Username: kevin
Password: ********

On Linux or MacOS you can just open a terminal and enter the following command:

ssh kevin@

The username is entered before the @ symbol, the host IP or domain name is entered after the @

ssh <username>@<host>

After that you are asked to enter the password of the required user. Don’t get confused if you don’t see any letters or * on the screen, the terminal knows what you are typing, its just not outputting the content on the terminal for security reasons.

If you put in the correct password you are now logged in on the server via SSH.

Alternative authentication method – Public-Key-Auth

As we all know a username and password can be “leaked” very quickly and therefore is not the safest way to authenticate a user.

A good alternative is the method of “Public-Key Authentication”.

Basic principal is the following:

The client creates a key pair – a “public” and a “private” Key. As you can probably image, the private key should NOT be shared in any way possible. The public key will be configured on the server to grant you access to a given user without having to know the password.

Creating a key pair (Linux and MacOS)

ssh-keygen -t rsa

After entering the command you will be asked where the key pair should be saved and if the private key should have an additional password to use it.
Usually you should keep the default path for the SSH key pair (~/.ssh/), if you want to use a password for your private key is on you.

The folder ~/.ssh/ now has 2 files:

id_rsaPrivate key
id_rsa.pubPublic key

You can choose which type of cryptography is used behind each key pair when you create the SSH key pair.

Most common methods are:

  • RSA
  • ed25519

But dependent on how up2date your server and or client are you can only use some older or newer cryptography methods.

How to add my public key to my server?

As seen above you can find your public key in ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

MacOS or Linux only: You can also copy the content of a file to your clipboard via the command pbcopy:

pbcopy < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub

Now connect to your server (via username and password or something like FTP) and create the following file:


Now can enter your previously copied public key into this file. Here it is important that one line in this file should be one public key.
So if you have multiple public keys (because you have many computers having access to your server) just enter each public key in a new line.


On the client ( we created a key pair in ~/.ssh/ and we already copied the public key.

Now we connect to our server via ssh kevin@ and the predefined password.

Now we open the file ~/.ssh/authorized_keys with for example VIM and input our copied public key – save and quit the file after that.

If everything is working correctly you should be able to login to the server WITHOUT ENTERING YOUR PASSWORD.

You can check that via the “verbose output” of the ssh command:

ssh -v kevin@

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell

What is an IP-Address?

The basis for the communication in a network is a way to uniquely identify different devices. For exactly that purpose the “Internet Protocol” (short IP) has been developed.

An IP-Address is a unique number, which identifies a device inside the currently used network. This number can be something like:

IPv6: fe80::884:34ae:8eaf:a586

The detailed difference between IPv4 and IPv6 can be looked up in the linked posts.

But let’s keep it simple.
An IP-Adresse can be seen as a “postal address” of your house to differentiate your house from your neighbours house. The only difference is that its not “Mainstreet 3, 8430 Leibnitz”, instead its “” and that its not about houses, its about IT devices.

Why did we have to develop IPv6?

Basically IPv4 allows a maximum of 4.294.967.296 (232) devices, which in the grand scheme of the planet earth and its currently 7.7 billion people is not quite sufficient.

Therefore IPv6 was developed and allows a maximum of 340.282.366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456 (2128) devices which should suffice for quite some time.

Why was the internet protocol developed anyway?

Before the internet protocol it was not possible to connect 2 different network systems or let 2 computers from 2 difference network systems communicate with each other.

With the internet protocol it should be as easy as possible to connect multiple computers and networks with each outer without having to adjust things like baud rates or the need to “hardcode” specific address codes.

Main tasks of the internet protocol

  • Address allocation
  • Commands to build and breakdown connections
  • Control of data flow via start und stopp commands
  • Error detection via checksums, time-outs etc.
  • Automatic error correction when an error has been detected

Main traits of the internet protocol

  • Its independent on the architecture
  • Connection to and from all network clients possible
  • dynamic routing

The main tasks of the internet protocol have been split up into single “layers” – which build the Open Systems Interconnection model, in short OSI.

OSI-Layer Model

7ApplicationHTTP, FTP, DNSInteraction with application
6PresentationSSL, TLS, MPEGConvert- and Compression procedure
5SessionNetBIOS, SMBManagement of Sessions
4TransportTCP, UDPConnection Management
3NetworkIP, ARP, IPSecRouting and Addressing
2Data-LinkMAC, QoS, VLANData Flow, Error Detection and Access Management
1PhysicalEthernetCoper- or Fibercable, WLAN, UMTS


IPv4 has been defined 1981 in the RFC 791. It is the first version, which has been used worldwide to connect far away computers and was a main factor of the development of the “internet“.

The IPv4 address consists of 32 bits which allows a maximum of 4.294.967.296 (232) unique addresses.

Network- and Host devision

An IP address consists of 2 parts – a Network and a Host part.
The devision is defined via the so called “subnet mask”.

Example: 24-Bit network

Network part=11000000.10101000.00000000(192.168.0)
Network address=11000000.10101000.00000000.00000000(
First address=11000000.10101000.00000000.00000001(
Last address=11000000.10101000.00000000.11111110(

Amount of available addresses: 28 − 2 = 254

It is 28, because the whole IP address has 32 bit and 24-Bit have been “occupied” by the subnet. Thats why we only have 8 bit left.

The network address ( and the broadcast address ( are always subtracted from the maximal amount of available addresses because these 2 shouldn’t be used as client addresses.

Example: 16-Bit network

Network part=11000000.10101000(192.168)
Network address=11000000.10101000.00000000.00000000(
First address=11000000.10101000.00000000.00000001(
Last address=11000000.10101000.11111111.11111110(

Amount of available addresses: 216 − 2 = 65,534

Reserved IP address spaces

Not everything of the maximum 232 available IP addresses have the same “functionality”. Instead some areas have a special cause. The most import are:

Address space (Prefix)UsageReferenz networkRFC 1122 private 8-Bit networkRFC 1918 (Local computer)RFC 1122 network (link local), APIPARFC 3927 private 16-Bit networksRFC 1918 private 24-Bit networksRFC 1918 BroadcastRFC 919RFC 922

Most of the here mentioned IP address spaces are only used for private usage and therefore for the “LAN” space.

Through this and other predefined IP address spaces the maximum amount of usable IPv4 addresses is decreased significantly.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv4


IPv6 has been defined in the RFC 2460 in 1998 and replaced with the RFC 8200 in 2017. It is the successor to IPv4 which shows many problems as time went on using it in larger amounts.


Since IPv6 consist of 128 bit a decimal notation similar to IPv4 wouldn’t be very efficient. Thats why the decision has fallen onto a hexadecimal notation.


Leading zeros inside a IPv6 block can be left out. Example:


turns into


If 2 or more blocks only containing zeros appear right after each other they can be replaced with two :



turns into


Notice the two : between db8 and 1428.

But this reduction is only allowed to happen once in the whole IPv6 address! Example:


can only turn into





Thats why the following address is not a valid address:


URL Nntation: http://[2001:0db8:85a3:08d3::0370:7344]:8080/

The typical subnet sizes are present between /32 and /64.

Source: https://www.ripe.net/manage-ips-and-asns/ipv6/ipv6-subnetting-card

Basically you can create more subnets after /64 but you will lose a pretty important feature – the “Stateless Address Autoconfiguration” (SLAAC). See bellow for further information.

Link Local and Global address

After connecting an interface to a network it is now default In IPv6 to automatically create a “link local” and (if a IPv6 prefix is present) a “global” address.

The “Link Local” address is used – as you probably already expected – only for the locally connected network. This address is always a part of the subnet fe80::/64

The “Global” address is used – as you probably already expected too – for the “global” network aka the “Internet”. But this address only appears if the connected router has a correctly configured IPv6 prefix.

Additionally there are “temporary” and “secured” IPv6 addresses for security reasons. What these are and why they are needed can be looked up right HERE.

New features of IPv6

Larger amount of available addresses

An IPv6 address has 128 bits – IPv4 only has 32 bits.

In comparison IPv6 has 340.282.366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456 (2128) and IPv4 only 4.294.967.296 (232) total available addresses.

Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC)

To automatically get an IPv4 address assigned to your device there needs be a “DHCP” server present in the current network. Most of the time this is built into everyones wireless router.

But in a IPv6 network with at least a subnet size of /64 the MAC address of each client can be used as part of the IPv6 address. This is used for the “link-local” as well as the “global” address.

The following illustration just shows how a 48 bit MAC address and the 64 bit “link-local” prefix is used to automatically create an IPv6 address.

Source: http://wiki.webperfect.ch/index.php?title=Datei:Ipv6-slaac.png

Implementation of security measures (IPsec)

The “Internet Protocol Security” (IPsec) is a protocol residing in the 3rd layer of the OSI-Layer Models which allows the encryption and authentication of IP packets.

Basically everyone know what HTTPS, SSL and TLS are but these protocols work on higher OSI layers (HTTPS in the 7th and TLS in der 4th). Thats why “someone” can still manipulate data in the 3rd layer.

Thats why the IPsec protocol has been integrated into the IPv6 standard.

Conservation of the “Point-to-Point principal

The “Point-to-Point principal” says, that only the endpoints in a connection are allowed to perform active protocol operations, not the stations between the 2 clients. A global unique IP address per client is a requirement for that.

In the current state of the IPv4 network this is not possible since not every client in the world has a unique IPv4 address.

Reserved IPv6 spaces

As well as in IPv4 there are reserved spaces, which are used for specific “functionalities“.

Adressblock (Prefix)UsageReferenz
::1/128Loopback (Local Computer)RFC 4291
2000::/3 Global UnicastRFC 4291
FC00::/7Unique Local UnicastRFC 4193
FE80::/10Link Local UnicastRFC 4291
FF00:/8MulticastRFC 4291

There are also special areas which are used just for “converting” IPv4 into IPv6 addresses such as z.B. 2002::/16 for the 6-to-4-Tunneling (see RFC 3056).

What Unicast and Multicast are can be looked up HERE.


Subnet and netmask

An IP address can be split into 2 different parts – the network- and the host-part.

When/How this partition is happening is defined via the netmask, which is built by the same 32 bit as an IP address (therefore in a range between and

The network part can be seen from left to right, the host part from right to left.


Netmask – Short /24
Available IP addresses in this subnetwork: 254

This means if we define a network with the first 3 numbers 192.168.0 are the network part and the last number 0 is the host part.

Theoratically there are 256 IP addresses available, but the first and last IP address inside a subnet are predefined. With our example of a /24 subnet => Network address => Broadcast address

That why we “only” have an actual useable area between and which sums up to a maximum of 254 usable addresses.

If we want to have more than 254 concurrent clients inside a given network we have to decrease the netmask. See the following table:

Netmaskusable IPv4 addressesNetmask visualized as bits 16.777.2141111’1111.0000’0000.0000’0000.0000’0000 (/12)max. 1.048.5741111’1111.1111’0000.0000’0000.0000’0000 (/16)max. 65.5341111’1111.1111’1111.0000’0000.0000’0000 (/20)max. 40941111’1111.1111’1111.1111’0000.0000’0000 (/21)max. 20461111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1000.0000’0000 (/22)max. 10221111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1100.0000’0000 (/23)max. 5101111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1110.0000’0000 (/24)max. 2541111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.0000’0000 (/25)max. 1261111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1000’0000 (/26)max. 621111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1100’0000 (/27)max. 301111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1110’0000 (/28)max. 141111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’0000 (/29)max. 61111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1000 (/30)max. 21111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1100 (/31)2 as P2P1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1110 (/32)None1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111.1111’1111

But of course you can use multiple subnetworks and combine them with each other via a Router.

Why do we need subnetworks?

Subnetworks are needed so clients know if an IP-packet should be redirected only in the local network or if it should be handled by a router (and therefore redirected to another network).


A switch is used to connect multiple computers via a LAN cable with each other so they are able to communicate with each other.

These computers need to be in the “same network” to be able to communicate with each other.


“Computer 1”:
“Computer 2”:

But a “Computer 3″ with the IP can’t communicate with”Computer 1” or “Computer 2” because it is located in another subnet. See subnet and netmask for more details.

A switch can’t control or change the network flow like a router.

Theoretically you can compare a switch with a power distributor.

Source: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switch_(Netzwerktechnik)
Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/


A router connects multiple networks with each other, so that computers from 2 or more different networks can communicate with each other.

In the example above every computer in network 1 to 4 can communicate with each other and/or the internet (dependent on how the router is configured).

Router “work” in the 3 layer of the OSI model (“Network Layer”). Information like IP-addresses of the sender and recipient, Time-To-Live or protocol typ are present in this layer..

The router knows which packets should be sent through which interface due to the IP address of the sender and recipient.

What are WAN and LAN?

Since multiple networks are connected to a router we have to determine which of these networks are “local” and which are “wide”.

Thats why we have a “Wide Area Network” (WAN), which describes a global network area, and a “Local Area Network” (LAN), which describes a private network area.

Most of the time a router has a specially marked “WAN”-Port, which is usually used for the incoming internet connection.


LAN networks: Your home, company, school
WAN network: The whole network present in the world

The WAN-Port is used for an incoming internet connection and the LAN-Ports are used for your clients and/or more routers or switches which define your local network structure.

Many routers integrate a modem, which basically handles the authentication to your “Internet-Service-Provider” (ISP).

But some ISPs use a separate device as a modem.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Router_(computing)

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