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Old 01-17-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
suhaib
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Question A fresh start... Which distro for someone with working knowledge of Linux


Hi All,

Clearly, I'm no noob to the forums, nor a noob to Linux as I've been using it - more than sporadically for over 7 years. However I am looking to make a somewhat fresh start in my Linux path, as it would seem that my career path is paving its way in this direction. In most of my roles, I have worked doing a mix of back-end dev (php), front-end and have had to have sufficient knowledge in working with Linux (plenty of design and support work too). As a result, I've been put in charge over migrating our Linux servers to VM - which has been a succes, and dealing with any web apps of ours that fail etc.

Yet in all these years, despite my experience with Linux as a home OS (Ubuntu/Suse), at Uni (Debian/Fedora) and work (Ubuntu/Cent OS), I feel like I'm missing much, foundational knowledge about the system I love (I'm actually a Mac user)! I feel in fact, somewhat upset that I haven't learned as much as I could've in all these years and well, despair is pointless, but my plan is to fill the gaps in my knowledge by revisiting the fundamentals, as I tend to learn only what I need surrounding a given problem...

So I wanted some advice on where I should start and why? I realise that my server setups on Ubuntu seem always to work better than my CentOS one's, so I've thought about learning Fedora/CentOS by using it at home more (plus it seems the wisest choice for employability). Yet, I've even thought about going right back to Gentoo/Slackware - though I don't know if its wise, as it seems a big task - currently I've got the stress of work, second-degree, homeschooling my kiddies, changes in health, and a lot more, so I fear that starting out with Slackware/Gentoo will cause me to implode!

In terms of what I'd like to know, well everything I can from ground up? I spend most my time on the linux servers and even mac command line with Apache, basic system admin, network trouble-shooting etc. I'm due to have work come my way which requires some iron-proof staging servers for big clients. Having done this before, I'm a bit more nervous this time, hence why I'm asking for advise...

Thank you!
 
Old 01-17-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
snowpine
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I'm sure you'll get a lot of votes for Slackware.

I personally feel that Debian-based distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Mint) are good choices for a busy person who wants a functional Linux system without a lot of setup time.
 
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
TobiSGD
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If you have to learn this for your work the obvious choice would be to start learning on the distribution that you use at work.
if you have not much time to learn it makes not much sense to learn to work with a distro that you don't actually use at work.
I would recommend to focus on that first.

If you later have the time to learn more go for Slackware, Arch or one of the source-based distros.
 
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
suhaib
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The distros we use at work are largely dependent on what I choose. Due to familiarity, I go for Ubuntu. I tried getting to grips with the CentOS servers we had here, but found I'd need to take a few more steps (and hours) to get the same job done on Ubuntu.... Yet, due to popularity in the industry, the former seems the better option. The thing is, most of our servers are in fact CentOS or Fedora, so yes that would be logical. Time wise, I would love to make the time for source-based OSes, but I haven't enumerated the benefits in doing so yet...?

Last edited by suhaib; 01-17-2013 at 01:08 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
TroN-0074
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If you want to fully learn Ubuntu from the inside and out and you have the time you can do a minimal installation and build it up from the ground to you like. They offer a minimal installation ISO image and you can go from there.

This is assuming you will stick with Ubuntu for your business server

Here is the link

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...tion/MinimalCD


Good luck to you
 
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #6
suhaib
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I guess going with Ubuntu Server for now would be a wise move. I'm most familiar with and it would take least time possible to learn what I have yet to cover, or so I think. CentOS definitely needs exploring as I'm always encountering them as servers...

As for Slack/Gentoo, what's the big deal? I still don't get why so many people recommend it?
 
Old 01-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #7
TroN-0074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaib View Post
As for Slack/Gentoo, what's the big deal? I still don't get why so many people recommend it?
These distros pretty much allow you to set up your own operating system which ever way you want. That is why they are popular among hackers that know exacly what they want. User friendly distros some people find them to get in their way with their settings already done by someone else.

You should try them when you find the time

Good luck to you
 
Old 01-17-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
chrism01
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I think its because they make you do more stuff manually/the hard way, whereas eg Centos or Ubuntu have some useful tools to enable you to get on with what you are trying to do.
You can still do stuff manually, but it takes longer.
Anyway, here's a free-to-read online library of the SysAdmin manuals for several distros, inc Centos http://www.linuxtopia.org/online_boo...ion_index.html.
If you setup a spare machine, you could then work your way through eg each chapter of the Centos manual.

Last edited by chrism01; 01-18-2013 at 01:49 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
jefro
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For this statement, "In terms of what I'd like to know, well everything I can from ground up" the answer would be LFS.

If I were to choose a more halfway but still solid choice it might be Gentoo. However you state this. "currently I've got the stress of work, second-degree, homeschooling my kiddies, changes in health, and a lot more,"

Is there good, best, most easy? No, use what ever you can to survive. All of the choices you and others picked are about as good as it gets apart from someone else doing it all for you. Can you delegate this task?
 
Old 01-18-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
kooru
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Slackware or Arch
 
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #11
suhaib
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Thank you all. I can't delegate and rather do this myself. It's just my personal time feels very limited for me to use something I'd have to dig too deep into, which would be nice, if I did have it! Like I said, if a distribution is going to be a stressful struggle then now isn't the right time. Plus, slackware may be great for my personal use, but if the skills I learn are not directly transferable to server setup (ssh, file sharing, apache, firewalls) then again I might have to back off. I've made a start with Ubuntu Server to finish some stuff off, but will probably go CentOS when I can. Slack/Arch/Gentoo will have to be a looonnng side project when the time is right. =)
 
  


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