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Old 03-12-2011, 12:06 PM   #1
jlb365
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New to Linux - what the most important to know in Linux


Hi there,
I am new to Linux (have worked mainly on windows environment)..
I went for interviews, and the hiring manager gave me a chance to learn linux quickly (about 1week and a half) before I go to the next step (and final step) of the interview process.
The job is with a big company that uses I think Redhat (not 100% sure).
I installed Ubuntu 10.10 but really I have no clue of what is important to know in Linux.
I don't know how the interviewers will squeeze me about linux questions and what they want you to know most..Also, what should I know about scripting - is it shell scripting when people mention scripting??
Any help/advices will be great..
Thanks a million..
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
timetraveler
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Most important thing to know is that there is always more than one way to accomplish something on linux.
Centos is most like redhat.

You can't learn linux in one and half weeks so find out what the company does and narrow your focus.
 
Old 03-12-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
repo
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If they use redhat, I would suggest to install fedora.
What you need to learn?
Hard to say, depends on your job, what do they expect from you?
10 day's isn't that much time to learn an OS.
However, I wuld look into
Bash scripting, installing software, upgrade the system, setup firewall, networking...


Kind regards

Kind regards
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
Telengard
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Only your employer knows for sure what they need you to do in Linux. You should inquire further with them to direct your studies.

I highly recommend learning to use the shell. It is frequently the most efficient way to get the job done. If your employer's systems use Bash, then start by reading The GNU Bash Reference Manual. For shell scripting you may expand your studies with some of these articles.

Get used to reading man pages. Familiarize yourself with the purpose and usage of each of these commands:

Learn to use Google and other search engines intelligently. A well crafted web search can frequently be the fastest way to get the information you need.

Your employer may use other languages such as Perl, Python, or PHP, or any number of other programming languages. Learn them as needed.

Linux systems are still primarily configured by plain text files. You will occasionally have to configure some things by hand. Learn to use at least two or more of the following text editors proficiently:

More broadly targeted advice worthy of your consideration:

Finally, carefully read and consider all the advice in this thread.

HTH

Last edited by Telengard; 03-12-2011 at 01:46 PM. Reason: fix formatting
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb365 View Post
.... the hiring manager gave me a chance to learn linux quickly (about 1week and a half) before I go to the next step
Well, if you have made significant progress in a week and a half (and all that this would imply, in terms of you being prepared to put in effort, etc) that would probably be impressive in itself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb365 View Post
.Also, what should I know about scripting - is it shell scripting when people mention scripting??
I'll go for the 'but you haven't explained any-*******-thing' explanation:

Scripting is the kind of programming you do, when using a scripting language.

OK, if I now throw in that Perl/Python/Ruby are all scripting languages. But, BASH is a shell and programming in the bash (or zsh or csh...but most probably bash) will be shell scripting. In this short time, you can only really hope to pick up the basics of one of the above, and I'd choose BASH. Second choice Python (higher level, more cross platform, still relatively easy to learn). But really your prospective employer will want what they want, but if you can learn the basics of any scripting system in a short time, that will probably demonstrate that you could pick up any other.

In addition to the excellent answers that you have received above, if you can learn any of the basics of networking, I would guess that would be helpful. And somewhat cross-platform (that is, networking is cross-platform, the tools to configure it are less cross-platform).
 
Old 03-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
theKbStockpiler
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The best Linux guide I Know of.

<link removed>


A decent bash book here <link removed>


I don't think it is worth even installing a different O.S for ten days. As long as you have a Bash Shell you are good to go. Optimally Centos would be the way to go because it is a free version of Redhat.

Last edited by colucix; 03-13-2011 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Infringing copyright material
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
Ignotum Per Ignotius
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Quote:
I went for interviews, and the hiring manager gave me a chance to learn linux quickly (about 1week and a half)
Did he manage to keep a straight face when he said that?

...As mentioned above, "to learn Linux" takes rather more than a week and a half --- presumably he pointed you to some things of which he expected you to acquire a basic knowledge?

Quote:
The job is with a big company that uses I think Redhat (not 100% sure).
In that case, as another poster has mentioned, get yourself a copy of Fedora --- in short, it's the "community-based" (i.e. free ) branch of Red Hat (the other branch is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, aimed at the commercial market). Here's the installation guide, here's the user's guide and here's the FAQ.

Quote:
I installed Ubuntu 10.10 but really I have no clue of what is important to know in Linux.
If it's a big company, they're not very likely to be running Ubuntu --- which is targeted generally at newcomers to Linux rather than at large businesses. Ubuntu does a great job at tempting Windows users to overcome their fears and try Linux, but something like Red Hat Enterprise Linux is more likely to be the sort of thing you'd encounter in a corporate environment.

Quote:
I don't know how the interviewers will squeeze me about linux questions and what they want you to know most.
You couldn't send your interviewer a brief e-mail and politely ask him for a few specifics, could you? He might even be impressed at how keen you are!

Quote:
Also, what should I know about scripting - is it shell scripting when people mention scripting??
As other posters point out, there are a number of scripting languages (high-level languages which are usually interpreted rather than compiled and which are used to --- for example --- automate certain frequently performed sequences of tasks): the ones which would be most useful will depend on the precise nature of the job --- what exactly is the type of position you're going for? (For example, if the job involves a lot of web programming, then your employers may wish you to know PHP, whereas if you are creating GUIs for in-house applications, then you may be expected to know something like Tcl.) Presumably you were given the job specification?

If there's any sort of sysadmin component to the work, then (as others have said), you'll need to know how to write UNIX shell scripts --- there are a number of UNIX shells, but I'd suggest that you concentrate on the Bourne Again Shell (BASH). Really, you'll need to have at least some familiarity with BASH whatever your role, if you expect to be using Linux. To that end, there's quite a gentle introduction here: beyond that, the GNU Bash Reference linked by Telengard will furnish you with everything you need to know!

Anyway, good luck: you've got your work cut out!
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:24 PM   #8
ghantauke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb365 View Post
Hi there,
I am new to Linux (have worked mainly on windows environment)..
I went for interviews, and the hiring manager gave me a chance to learn linux quickly (about 1week and a half) before I go to the next step (and final step) of the interview process.
The job is with a big company that uses I think Redhat (not 100% sure).
I installed Ubuntu 10.10 but really I have no clue of what is important to know in Linux.
I don't know how the interviewers will squeeze me about linux questions and what they want you to know most..Also, what should I know about scripting - is it shell scripting when people mention scripting??
Any help/advices will be great..
Thanks a million..
My advice is to have a look at this site. It explains some useful commands in bash. It'll take you around 5 minutes to read it.
http://www.howtoforge.com/useful_linux_commands

After learning few commands have a look at this.
http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r10735/unixcomm.html
Just skim through it and you'll get a general idea about how the folder in the filesystem is organised.

For bash tutorial have a look at this.
http://www.linuxconfig.org/Bash_scripting_Tutorial

It is possible to learn all that within 10 days. You won't turn into a linux guru instantly but you'll have the knowledge you require for the job. I wish you all the best.
 
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:32 PM   #9
jefro
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If they use red hat then get centos or scientific linux. Their docs are red hat docs with the trade name removed.

And I doubt you can learn linux enough to fool anyone in less that a few months of some very intense school no matter how much you know about windows. Almost every windows thing is in linux somehow and that somehow is hard to learn..

Just say you don't know linux but are willing to take classes or learn on your own or such rather that try to pull anyone's leg. They will know you don't know in a few seconds.
 
Old 03-12-2011, 05:25 PM   #10
Ignotum Per Ignotius
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I'd just like to endorse what 'ole jefro said about being open about your lack of Linux experience: unless you want the job so badly that you're prepared to take on the stress of cramming Linux day and night for several months, then I'd suggest you make it clear to your prospective employer what you can & cannot do and how much of your spare time you are realistically going to be able to devote to catching up. Of course it'll mean that you run the risk of being rejected, but it's better than bluffing your way into a nightmare.

That said, I'll wish you good luck with your next interview, however you decide to play it.

...And --- when reading my advice about going for a job --- bear in mind that I'm a slacker.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 03:24 AM   #11
repo
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I'm very curious to see the questions of the next step of the interview process.
Is the the hiring manager a technical person or HR?
If he is a technical person, he should know you can't learn linux in 10 days.
If he is a HR person, perhaps he has no idea what it's all about.
It's not like learning to use a word processor in 1 week.

Kind regards

Last edited by repo; 03-13-2011 at 03:42 AM.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 11:50 AM   #12
jlb365
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Wink

Thanks everyone for all your advices.
I don't know if I am allowed to say which company I have interviews with - also, there might be people in this forum working for that company..
To answer some of your queries, the job I am going for is a networking support engineer (I think it is Tier1).
I passed the 2 first rounds of phone interview (technical interviews + background).The hiring manager is very technical and I was straight to him about my lack of Linux experience but he was very impressed with my dedication and drive in doing things. So, he recommended me to learn linux as much as I can for the next and final interviews (which consists of a full day onsite and being squeezed by 5 different senior engineers..), as the company uses linux and it is an essential skill.
He said that I don't need to be an expert but at least know about 20 to 30% of the stuff. I was frank to him, that I am willing to learn, as with every technologies, you need to learn it and being able to put them in practice.
I think that is why, he told me he is giving me about 10days or so, to learn as much as possible before he puts me for the final interviews, as Linux and scripting questions will be asked...
Again, Thanks everyone, and wish me Luck....I let you know if I get the job or not...
 
Old 03-13-2011, 02:05 PM   #13
colucix
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@theKbStockpiler: the links you've posted point to material protected by copyright. Furthermore, it is in direct violation of the LQ rules. For these reasons I've removed them from your post.
 
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:34 PM   #14
brmccarty
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You found a great site for getting answers. I just started learning Linux a few months ago and the people of this forum have been extremely helpful. I am glad to be learning at me own pace. I wish you the best of luck with the job.
 
Old 03-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #15
Animal X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlb365 View Post
Hi there,
I am new to Linux (have worked mainly on windows environment)..
I went for interviews, and the hiring manager gave me a chance to learn linux quickly (about 1week and a half) before I go to the next step (and final step) of the interview process.
The job is with a big company that uses I think Redhat (not 100% sure).
I installed Ubuntu 10.10 but really I have no clue of what is important to know in Linux.
I don't know how the interviewers will squeeze me about linux questions and what they want you to know most..Also, what should I know about scripting - is it shell scripting when people mention scripting??
Any help/advices will be great..
Thanks a million..
as a fellow noob i feel your sense of urgency on this. start googling tutorials for "simple commands".
start playing with commands like "man", "info",and "help"- like this:
Code:
help man
and:
Code:
man help
and note the differences.
learn how to direct output into a file:
Code:
man help > manual-for-help.txt
and to append:
Code:
help man >> manual-for-help.txt
read up on as many 2 and 3 letter commands as you can...

read up on regular expressions for commands like:
grep
tr
sed
rename
cat
echo
find *(very useful, prolly the first command you wanna try, no matter what you get your self into you wanna be able to find stuff.)


basic bash scripts start out similar to this:
Code:
#!/bin/sh
and the commands used in terminal can be used in the script, making your own application

try to become familiar with the linux filesystem
root is always shown as "/", and "home" and "media" are gonna be your main directories that you'll need,
the others are mainly for system use.


just read...
read like hell dude-lol, and play with it. if you got a system you can wreck, all the better. run it into the ground, it's fun. and you can really learn what not to do that way. then reinstall and do it again.
good luck.
o, and don't let other people's negativism slow you down, if you want it bad enough, you'll figure it the f**k out fast.

Last edited by Animal X; 03-13-2011 at 03:24 PM.
 
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