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If you have to do this i suggest you take a looki at www.hackerslab.com go to free hacking zone (FHZ) make an account, telnet/ssh into their server and try to do the levels.
This is a legal way to try out hacking, otherwise do it on your own computers, although sincerely i dont see a good reason why you would want to get into other peoples computers....
What kind of question is this? From a hacker perspective you are a shame to a programming environment, as fro a cracker perspective you are just a n00b w/o any knowledge behind - script kiddie kind - and you won't get anything but disrespect. Lol, I want to hack linux/unix system, so give me tools to do so - it ain't gonna work here - try irc cracking channels where you might fall a victim (90% guaranteed) for crackers.
I don't mean to interject here, but I though the term for 'breaking and entering' computers was cracking? The term hacking used in this sense is purely journalistic, IMO, and should not be used due to the possible confusion it may cause.
HACKING = Writing stuff, possibly originating from hacking something together.
CRACKING = Breaking stuff.