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This content is taken from the Coventry University & Institute of Coding's online course, Ethical Hacking: An Introduction. Join the course to learn more.

Linux skills builder

A lot of the work of an ethical hacker is done using Linux. In order to be successful in this field, your Linux knowledge and skills should be at a very good level. Throughout the Ethical Hacking program, we’ll be using Linux to help build your knowledge.

To begin with, this Skills Builder lab will provide you with an initial set of Linux skills. There are some good hacking tricks included too. Topics include:

  • Manual pages (sometimes called man pages) and getting help
  • Files, directories and getting around
  • History
  • Permissions
  • Searching for files
  • Searching within files
  • IO redirection

If you’re completely new to Linux or find this lab a bit challenging, we recommend that you first read through a basics tutorial. There are plenty of such tutorials available online and many good books too. Here are some you could start with:

The skills builder lab is provided as a docker container which you can run on your local Linux box or one of the Linux VMs we provide. Here are the instructions on how to start it.

If you want to find out more about how the below works have a read at: https://www.docker.com/resources/what-container

Getting and running the container

If you are using CUEHaliLight as your VM, we pre-loaded the container so all you need to do is to:

1) Open the command line (Terminal)

2) Start the container by running the command

docker run --name nixtrainer --rm cueh/nixtrainer

3) This should print out a message giving you the IP address to Secure Shell (SSH) into

This image demonstrates that the following text should display on the screen: CUEH: Linux trainer. To get started SSH into the trainer with: Username: level0. Password: level0. IP address for SSH is To exit the trainer you will need to run: docker stop nixtrainer

4) SSH into the IP address given in the message above using a new terminal (note that depending on your local setting that IP might be different from the example here) using the command:

ssh level0@

5) Work through the levels, write cheat sheets, and have fun. There is a series of tasks for you to complete; you don’t have to do them all in one go so you might like to go in and out, building your skills bit by bit.

You can use the comments section on this page to discuss how it’s going and raise any questions.

Stopping the container

Start a new terminal window and run:

docker stop nixtrainer

The container is hosted on dockerhub. It being publicly available, you should be available to run it on any Linux machine with an internet connection and docker installed.


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This article is from the free online course:

Ethical Hacking: An Introduction

Coventry University