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Old 03-26-2011, 12:49 AM   #1
thebeav
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Registered: Jan 2011
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General Guidance


I am currently attending college at 45 years old (embarrassed to say) and have been into computers for years. I am working on a degree in Linux/Unix Systems Technology Associate degree, and an information systems Bachelor degree. I am now starting to get into my core classes, took all the English, math, and other non core programs to get them out of the way. I have mainly been into the hardware side all the years and used OS/2 most of those years. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get the OS to operate with new hardware and have basically thrown in the towel, I am not getting any younger

Anyway, I have been playing around with Linux Distro's and I like the following in this order but still have not settled on one.1. Salix (xfce), 2. openSuse (gnome).3. Mint 4. Debian. 5. Mandriva. 6. Fedora. 7. Ubuntu. I just received my Slackware set with book and have read through it and ready to install. So I will probably end up using Slackware or Salix not much different from what I read other then the flexibility or ease of the install. I also have no idea why I prefer it over the other Distro's other than I like the look and feel of it. I did like Yast in openSuse but I need to learn so I think I have settled on Slack.

I chose the Linux degree because of the jobs available and I have always preferred alternative operating systems. Windows has always felt bloated and restrictive. I like the idea of controlling my OS install. I can fix a PC like no one's business but I want to take it to the next level.I am looking for another book besides the great one I just received; slackware linux essentials. I have also completed the book, Guide to Unix Using Linux which was very helpful. I want to learn more about scripts and programming and I have a C++ book I plan on reading and applying in my spare time.

Questions:
1. Book recommendations? I will be getting a lot of them in school but I am looking for more specific Slackware books or linux ones. I like tutorial type ones the best.

2. Is this a logical progression? http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

3. What are employers really looking for with Linux ? In other words, are there some general things like Microsoft has with their certifications.

4. I read a lot of the posts here and I realize that I have a long way to go but I am motivated and a relatively fast learner.

Thanks for any input, I appreciate it. I hope I gave you enough information.
 
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:12 AM   #2
carltm
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Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Canton, MI
Distribution: CentOS, SuSE, Red Hat, Debian, etc.
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Don't ever think you're too old to learn! It's great that you are returning
to college and pursuing something that you enjoy.

Concerning distros, they all have their own specialties, and I'm sure that any
of them would work for you. I usually suggest that you use the distro recommended
by whomever you will go to when you need help. Since you plan on studying and
use the Internet, all of them are good.

If you do want to use OS/2, I'd suggest that you install VirtualBox on your
Linux box and create a VM for OS/2. It's quite intuitive and there are tutorials
for setting up VMs on the web.

I just looked at the rute book's table of contents, and it looks like it covers
a lot of good topics. My experience has been that it's good to learn an editor
(I like vi or vim) and some basic commands first. Then pick a project and learn
what you need for that project. For example, after you learn the basics, set
up your own dns server. Then set up a file server and/or web server. A dhcp
server is more of a challenge, but very worthwhile if you set it up with pxe
booting. You get the idea.

I've found a lot of employers are looking for two things...people who know
what they are doing even if they don't have certification and people who may
not know everything but are willing learners who can work on a team.

It sounds like you're headed in the right direction. Best wishes!
 
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #3
jv2112
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Registered: Jan 2009
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Distribution: Arch Linux
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Wink

http://linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php


"Linux" in a nutshell series -> Publisher Orielly.

"Distro (write for various)" Linux Toolbox -> Publisher Wiley


I have been trying to educate myself on Linux for a little bit now & I have found that while you are learning the basics a "easy to install" distro is best so you can concentrate on concepts and basic commands. I would also commit to a distro for a time then move onto the next. I have listed my perception of more simple to hard.


Mint
Ubuntu
Deabian Stable
Suse
Fedora
Centos
Arch
Slack


You may also find that the most popular in use by employers will be Debian (.deb package management) or Redhat ( RPM package management) based so you may want to be more thorough on these.

Hope this helps
 
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:21 AM   #4
TheIndependentAquarius
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The post by Simon Bridge may help you here: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-skill-792926/
 
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:24 AM   #5
markush
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Registered: Apr 2007
Location: Germany
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Hello thebeav,

Slackware is an excellent distribution when it comes to learning Linux. People say with any distribution you'll learn this distribution, but with Slackware you'll learn Linux. This is true.

Books about Linux often have the disadvantage that they are outdated in the moment when the are printed. As you know the development of Linux and the software is very fast.

The books from wich I learned most for my daily work with Linux/Unix systems are the Camelbook http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Pe.../dp/1565921496 and "Mastering Regular Expressions" by Jeffrey E.F. Friedl http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Regu...1141876&sr=1-1 but note that this is only my personal preference.

I'd recommend to learn to read the manpages, read the manpage for the manpages very carefully i.e.
Code:
man man
this will help you to find your way through any Linux/Unix system.

Markus
 
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:04 PM   #6
tallship
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Location: On the Beaches of Super Sunny Southern San Clemente, California USA
Distribution: Slackware - duh!
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Cool Great choice beav! Now slow down...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
I am currently attending college at 45 years old (embarrassed to say)
um... What, if anything, does that have to do with anything? [That was a rhetorical question]

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
I am now starting to get into my core classes, took all the English, math, and other non core programs to get them out of the way.
I'm thinking that putting off playing with the object of your interest wasn't really in your best interests, although I can understand that you had an academic load nevertheless.

My recommendation 'would' have been, to do whatever you can do use Linux/UNIX to go through your classes as a workstation platform, easing the shock later, at which time you would have substantial end user experience under your belt, along with some experience as to how to, and how not to, do things.

But that's water under the bridge...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
I have mainly been into the hardware side all the years and used OS/2 most of those years. I have been pulling my hair out trying to get the OS to operate with new hardware and have basically thrown in the towel, I am not getting any younger
Neither is OS/2

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
Anyway, I have been playing around with Linux Distro's and I like the following in this order but still have not settled on one.1. Salix (xfce), ... I just received my Slackware set with book and have read through it and ready to install. So I will probably end up using Slackware or Salix
Good choices.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
I chose the Linux degree because of the jobs available and I have always preferred alternative operating systems.
Whoaaaa Maverick! Whoaaa!

Linux is NOT an 'alternative' operating system - it is mainstream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
I have a C++ book I plan on reading and applying in my spare time.
Well, I think you're mixing apples and oranges there. Programming is good, but in many respects, it is a distinctly separate discipline than systems adminsitration.

You might want to focus on shell scripting in sh/bash or Perl for starters, and wrt Perl, make sure the focus is on programming and not CGI, which focuses on web applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
Questions:
1. Book recommendations? I will be getting a lot of them in school but I am looking for more specific Slackware books or linux ones. I like tutorial type ones the best.

2. Is this a logical progression? http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
That's where I almost always recommend people to start - so you just saved me having to post that link for you

I keep a slackware package of the rutebook here: gopher://gopher.northtech.us/9/softw...arch-1_SBo.tgz which might be more convenient for you.

Once you download it you can simply:

Code:
# installpkg rutebook-1.0-noarch-1_SBo.tgz
And it will be installed in /usr/share/doc/rutebook/html/index.html and /usr/share/doc/rutebook/rute.pdf

From there you can simply create a entry for them in your XFCE menu, for convenience.

If you want to take a little bit longer approach, and do the whole Slackware method of installing the package, you can pick up the actual SlackBuild file here at Dugan Chen's excellent tutorial page HERE

Playing with SlackBuilds will go a long way toward assisting you in your understanding of shell scripting too.

Other than that, find a Borders, or Barnes and Noble, with one of those little coffee bars, and just spend an afternoon browsing the books until you find some you like the style of - I think that's the most important thing, that it clicks with you.

Also, instead of C++, When you begin to study and actual language, I would recommend starting with C instead of C++, and also to use the Herb Shildt, "Teach Yourself C" book.

For all the rest, I'm sure your school will *require* several really awful books - so go back to the bookstore and get good ones to clear up the mess those third rate college texts intend for you to learn.

Also, don't use the college bookstore - I typically buy any college text I want for under 20 bucks, when their $90.00+ in the college bookstore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeav View Post
3. What are employers really looking for with Linux ?
Experience, and ability. I see certs all the time from people who can manage their way out of a bag - I want to know what you can do, not that you can pass some stupid test and memorize answers.

If you've worked for a long time with OS/2, then you're already used to thinking in a manner conducive to solving problems

There is also LPI

It's vendor neutral and as an IT Manager I have much more respect for that then Redhat certifications. Some people don't see it that way, but if you learn Slack you have learned UNIX, and if you learn Redhat you're going to get fired the first time you are asked to troubleshoot a debian problem.

You'll do fine beav One more thing I would recommend, is to find real world projects for yourself - say, you want to monitor a couple of your boxes, then make installing and using Nagios or Zabbix one of your projects.

Put up a little web page for yourself - on your own Linux machine running your own httpd server, and one thing that is going to be very important in heterogeneous environments, is knowing how to set up and configure both NFS and SAMBA - from the command line - NOT SWAT! SWAT is a great tool to browse an read the exhaustive amount of switches in SAMBA, but know how to fire up a basic SAMBA server and connect to it with a client simply by configuring smb.conf - nothing extravagant, just to bring it up and connect and drag and drop some files.

Stuff like that.

I hope that helps

.

Last edited by tallship; 03-26-2011 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Added download link for the rutebook
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 04-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #7
thebeav
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2011
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
I wanted to thank everyone. I really appreciate it. I have been very busy with school/family stuff and have not been online very much as of late. Sold my test rig and Slack install (had to put windows on it) so I am running an old Dell (P4 3.0GHz, 2gb Ram, 8400GS). I was intending to send to the recyclers. Have not had time to order any new hardware but the Dell is working fine for now. Will do the Slack install some time soon. Mint 10 LXDE is easy and configures everything nicely, too easy.

Made the Presidents list at school (2nd time in a row)... They say you can't teach an old Dog new tricks! HA! I have Intro to Unix/Linux, Linux Shell Scripting, and Routers and Switch's class this semester. Will be having fun for once. Again, thanks for the direction, you will be seeing me on here from time to time. I usually find my answers in the man pages or previous posts (reason I do not post a lot). Can't wait until I can help others.

Last edited by thebeav; 04-09-2011 at 08:40 PM.
 
  


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