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Old 12-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #1
jlquiroz
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How do I start


Hello everyone,

I just found out that I'll be administrating an Ubuntu server with Samba next month and I know NOTHING about the Linux OS. I've been a Windows server administrator for some time, so the terms Network, Server, Users, are all familiar.
I have VMware on my Windows Vista computer, and I just installed Ubuntu server 10.10 and I have no idea what to do with it.
Can you tell me the best place to start getting familiar with this OS?
A GUI would be much appreciated, Does this OS have one?

I'm looking forward to learning this OS. The few things I have read gives me a feeling that this OS works great, it's stable and runs smooth.

Thank you very much!!
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:24 AM   #2
gd2shoe
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Welcome,

(disclaimer: I have little experience with Ubuntu, but I do use Debian which is similar.)

In a word, start reading. Read everything everywhere. Use Google to find beginners guides. Read several of them. Search forums. Ask lots of questions here in the Newbie section. Familiarize yourself with the command line as soon as you can. You'll find the Linux command line more friendly than Windows (which has gradually been catching up). Learn how to use the "man" command to look up manual pages (called man pages for short, 'q' to quit). They will help you learn about individual commands. Practice on your own machine; constantly experiment.

Yes, it has a GUI, though it might not be installed by default. To be more precise, you have a wide selection of desktop environments to choice from. I prefer KDE; many prefer Gnome (normal Ubuntu defaults to Gnome). I'd start with one of those two on your workstation.

Code:
aptitude update
aptitude install gnome kde-full
/etc/init.d/gdm start
The first command downloads a list of available packages and their descriptions (.deb files are roughly analogous to .msi files on windows, but much nicer). The second command will hopefully install a bunch of stuff, and may take a very long time to download. The third might be slightly different on Ubuntu, but should start the display manager and give you a GUI login screen (if it doesn't, try restarting your machine at this point).

I haven't found any good tools for managing SAMBA. Thankfully, I haven't had to do so for a while. I assume things have improved, but if they have not I'd start brushing up on smb.conf (manual configuration).

Newbie questions here are great. When you have Ubuntu specific questions, you can ask in the Ubuntu forum.

Good luck.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:44 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
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The GUI installation will give you a desktop on the server but that will not give you the server administration tools. And that will make no sense to install GUI without server management tools if you are administering a server. Instead, you can just install X server and a web browser, probably firefox, and also webmin so that you can manage your server from a web interface.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:50 AM   #4
gd2shoe
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Please note that he WILL be administering a Linux system, but he isn't yet.

Presently he IS running Ubuntu in a VM, presumably to learn Linux. In that context, it makes perfect sense to install a GUI in his learning environment, even if he doesn't install one on the server.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:08 AM   #5
linuxlover.chaitanya
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I aint against your advice and you are taking a bit too personally as well.
But if the production server is going to be Ubuntu server edition which will not have any GUI installed by default, the better way would be installing and trying something that can be installed even on his production server. That will give him more at home feeling when OP gets the server at his responsibility. Installing GUI will hog the memory and OP will not learn the server administration using KDE or Gnome. Webmin, on the other hand can be installed on the production server as well and with proper configuration for allowing only trusted connections, can be safe as well. And will not eat as much memory as KDE or Gnome or any other desktop environments. Installing just X and web browser should be enough for that.
And as to learn using Ubuntu, you can install another instance in VM for Ubuntu desktop edition.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
DavidMcCann
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Start here:
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...-roadmap1.html
It's written especially for people in your situation. Then follow up the next installment and the links.

Last edited by DavidMcCann; 12-02-2010 at 12:13 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd2shoe View Post
Please note that he WILL be administering a Linux system, but he isn't yet.

Presently he IS running Ubuntu in a VM, presumably to learn Linux. In that context, it makes perfect sense to install a GUI in his learning environment, even if he doesn't install one on the server.
I don't think so. You are not learning Linux in a GUI, you are learning your desktop environment. If he has to learn how to administer a Linux server, he should learn on a Linux server. If he has to get help from the forum or uses guides on the net he can use the browser of the host OS.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
szboardstretcher
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Thumbs up

1) Download and install whatever Distro you will be administering into a VM.
2) http://www.debian-administration.org/
3) Read XKCD comics
4) http://www.linux.org/lessons/beginner/toc.html
5) Watch "the webserver is down - web dude versus sales guy"
6) Win!!
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:52 PM   #9
arizonagroovejet
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Assuming the administering of a Linux server is part of your job, you should tell your employer they have to send you on a training course. Some sort of Linux introduction course at least.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #10
Robert.Thompson
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Buy: "LPI LINUX CERTIFICATION IN A NUTSHELL" from O'REILLY.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #11
gd2shoe
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Having GUI experience with Linux in general is advantageous, even while learning the command line.

When you suggest he start a second VM with standard Ubuntu, you're probably right. I second the motion. Leave the Ubuntu server VM at the cli for the time being. If you've already got KDE/Gnome installed, you can always create a second server VM. No problem.

Even if he did install Gnome or KDE on the server, it probably wouldn't be a huge deal in his case (sacrilege, perhaps, but not a big deal). They're assigning someone with no Linux experience to manager a server. That probably means they are a small shop/branch/division, and the server won't be running to capacity. If he stays logged out, then it won't hog RAM, only hard drive space. I'd still recommend against it, but it's not worth flipping out over.

linuxlover.chaitanya, If I understand you correctly and you're suggesting using barebones X and Firefox to turn the server into a webmin kiosk, knock it off. That could be done, but is just stupid. It's much more rational to install gdm/kdm and a lightweight desktop environment. It's infinitely easier for a newbie to setup, and much more functional. (and still works just fine with your precious webmin)

Oh, and I'd also recommend the Ubuntu Server Guide. Read some of the other tutorials/introductions first (That IBM one above looks promising). This will come in handy with your chosen distribution. While there are major similarities between all distros, sometimes the little differences will cause you great frustration. It can be immensely valuable to keep distro specific documentation handy.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:47 PM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd2shoe View Post
Having GUI experience with Linux in general is advantageous, even while learning the command line.
You are right. I should have bring it to the point I meant. He has one month time to learn the Linux basics, and to give him a GUI that he has to learn also will distract him from his first task: Learn to administer a server in Linux.
Nothing wrong in learning the GUI, too, but the important things should come first.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #13
gd2shoe
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There's merit to your perspective. There is always the danger of being detracted by the GUI, and not focusing on the task at hand. Personally, I think the GUI will speed him up more than slow him down, but it varies from person to person.
 
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:03 PM   #14
jlquiroz
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Wow!, you guys have a wealth of knowledge and information.
At first I felt I was alone, but now I'm being overwhelmed with information.
It’s frustrating to be presented with a lonely command prompt without knowing what to type to get started, without knowing any command and its syntax. Most of the terminology you’re using to explain things is unknown to me, so I’ll have to start by learning my vocabulary.
Thanks everyone, now I have a busy month ahead with plenty to read.
 
Old 12-02-2010, 11:41 PM   #15
jlquiroz
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Very helpful!!

1) Download and install whatever Distro you will be administering into a VM.
2) http://www.debian-administration.org/
3) Read XKCD comics
4) http://www.linux.org/lessons/beginner/toc.html

szboardstretcher, your comments were especially helpful because the web sites you suggested have exactly what's needed by someone who has never seen a Linux environment. Thanks...

Last edited by jlquiroz; 12-02-2010 at 11:43 PM.
 
  


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