Laboratory Exercise: Cyber Basics - Introduction to the Linux Terminal and Understanding Directories

This laboratory exercise will provide a fundamental understanding of the Linux Terminal (also referred to as the command-line), a powerful tool for all cyber security professionals. The terminal allows a user to manipulate files, create users, and run terminal programs to perform certain tasks.

For the purposes of this lab, we will be focusing on the Linux filesystem and directories.

Faculty Instructions

Resources required

This exercise requires a VirtualBox Kali Linux Virtual Machine running on a computer (laptop) or a Kali Linux VM running in the Virginia Cyber Range.

If you are using the Virginia Cyber Range Kali Linux VM, this lab exercise requires an account on The Range.  To sign up for an account on The Range, please visit our Sign-Up page.  Your students will also require an account on the Virginia Cyber Range; this will be explained in the setup of your course.

Virtual Environment: This exercise uses a single Kali Linux virtual machine.

Cyber Basics - Introduction to Linux Lab Handout

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* NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework KSAs Addressed
  • K0129: Knowledge of Unix command line (e.g., mkdir, mv, ls, passwd, grep).
  • K0271: Knowledge of operating system structures and internals (e.g., process management, directory structure, installed applications).
  • K0608: Knowledge of Unix/Linux and Windows operating systems structures and internals (e.g., process management, directory structure, installed applications).
  • S0067: Skill in identifying, modifying, and manipulating applicable system components within Windows, Unix, or Linux (e.g., passwords, user accounts, files).
  • S0275: Skill in server administration.
  • A0107: Ability to think like threat actors.
* NSA/DHS Center of Excellence (CAE) KUs Addressed
  • Linux System Administration (LSA)

* Most courseware content maps to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and/or NSA/DHS CAE Knowledge Units (KUs). For more information on KSAs and KUs, please visit:

KSAs: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-181.pdf

KUs: https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_2019_Knowledge_Units.pdf