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Old 12-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #1
Rohant
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Required Guild lines for Do's & Don't for New Linux System Admins


Hi Friends,

I got my First Job as Linux System Admin 3 days back. my previous job was as a Microsoft Admin as i work only for 3 months.

I am really nervous to go to work everyday because everyday i have fear that what if i do something wrong & any disaster takes place. i don't have much experience in IT field or you can say i am not that confident guy.

I will really appreciate if you guys give me some tips or Instruction about what Linux System admin should do or Don't.

I never Work on Production Level where organization use Linux Servers.

It will be great if you share your experience or guidelines with me.

Thanks,
Rohan
 
Old 12-16-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohant View Post
Hi Friends,
I got my First Job as Linux System Admin 3 days back. my previous job was as a Microsoft Admin as i work only for 3 months. I am really nervous to go to work everyday because everyday i have fear that what if i do something wrong & any disaster takes place. i don't have much experience in IT field or you can say i am not that confident guy.
Welcome to the real life of a systems admin. And if you don't have experience in IT in general, why would you get a job as an admin, for either Windows or Linux? You are the one people are going to call to fix things, and you're expected to know how to do it. Also, you've been registered on this site for more than a year now...you should have some knowledge at this point.
Quote:
I will really appreciate if you guys give me some tips or Instruction about what Linux System admin should do or Don't. I never Work on Production Level where organization use Linux Servers.
Not quite sure about this...you're a server administrator, but don't work on the servers?

And the only real guideline anyone can give you is "Keep the servers running". How you do that depends on the server, what it's running, the hardware, the OS, and many, MANY other factors, that are far too numerous to list.

Go in every day. LEARN what each server does...figure out where things are kept, how things are configured, and ask WHY they're configured that way. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Repeat this process for each and every server.
 
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #3
Rohant
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Thank you TB0ne for your reply.

i had 1.2 years of IT experience but it was on desktop level troubleshooting. in that my last 3 month i worked as Microsoft System admin. at that time my work was only creating users on AD, monitoring servers with Nagios etc. i didn't had much access to production servers.

i did my Linux course & got this job. i really don't have experience working on Linux Production Servers.

everyday i leave home i come under pressure by thinking that am i going to do any mistake today which will turn in to disaster.

from the beginning i am not that confident person. which makes me nervous.

if possible can you guide me which command's should i avoid to avoid disaster or what things should keep in my to avoid any bad things on production Environment. also guide me how can i improve myself in Linux.

Thanks
 
Old 12-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohant View Post
Thank you TB0ne for your reply.
i had 1.2 years of IT experience but it was on desktop level troubleshooting. in that my last 3 month i worked as Microsoft System admin. at that time my work was only creating users on AD, monitoring servers with Nagios etc. i didn't had much access to production servers. i did my Linux course & got this job. i really don't have experience working on Linux Production Servers.

everyday i leave home i come under pressure by thinking that am i going to do any mistake today which will turn in to disaster. from the beginning i am not that confident person. which makes me nervous.

if possible can you guide me which command's should i avoid to avoid disaster or what things should keep in my to avoid any bad things on production Environment. also guide me how can i improve myself in Linux.
Again, no. There are no commands to avoid...YOU are the administrator. By the very nature of the job, YOU have the rights to run ANY command. Whether it's right or not is up to you, your skill, and your knowledge. You can easily format a hard drive...whether that's right or not depends on what you're trying to do.

Again, LEARN what the servers do. Ask questions of your co-workers. Find the service(s) the servers run, figure out how to configure them, and learn how to troubleshoot problems. As has been said on here many times, taking a course doesn't give you the skills to be an administrator, no more than getting a certificate does. It is up to you to learn and better yourself. There are no magic commands to avoid, and there is no easy way to do it. Learn more each day by doing, reading, and researching on your OWN.
 
4 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-16-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
Rohant
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Thanks TB0ne.

i will learn everyday by doing each task, reading & researching by my own.

thanks once again
 
Old 12-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
markush
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I can understand you very well, I remember once as a new Sysadmin in a Windows network we had some odd problems in the network. I had not much experience but there was noone whome I could ask and everyone thought that I was the one to get the network running again..... Long story short, I found the failure (damaged switch due to a power loss) after several hours. Nowadays I need a few minutes for troubleshooting such problems (mostly )

Well, here my advice: try to understand every server in your network and try to find out why it is configured in exactly this way. If possible create you a testing environment, so that you can test any settings you are not 100 percent sure about. If possible ask the people who configured the servers why it is as it is.

And the most important advice: before you do anything, wait some minutes and reflect what you want to do and in doubt, do it not. I've had often situations where users claimed there is a problem, but there was none. Don't fall into this trap! (you probably know this situation from troubleshooting desktop computers).
And when a user claims there is a problem, let him/her explain as detailed as possible what happended. Don't fiddle around only to make people think that you're doing something.

Markus
 
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
shivaa
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No problem. Everyone starts from somewhere... Just be confident!

As you mentioned, you've only 1.2 yrs of experience, so I guess you're on level 1 type of position. In that case, initially you will not be given too much work to do or they will not ask you to perform any critical activity. So be prepare at least in basic aspects of Unix like file systems, paths, file attributes, permissions, basic commands, links, redirections, processes, vi editor, simple/advance filers, shells, user environment, how to connect etc.

I'd like to shares few tips from my personal experience:
- If you don't know anything that's asked you to do, then never make any false commitment or pretend that you know and can do that. Clearly say that I do not know or I am not sure how to do it or better ask your collegues for help.
- If you've got root's credentials, then avoid using that. Remember use of root's account without experience can be severly dangerous!
- Be highly caseful when you invoke, mv, rm, shutdown, reboot... sort of commands.
- Never do any hit & trials on production/live servers, just for sake of practice or to test any commands. For practice, you can install any Unix disto on your personal PC and can keep practicing.

Good luck!
 
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,

My first suggestion would be to familiarize yourself with system documentation. Any admin worth his/her weight will create good system admin documentation for each of the responsible sections or equipment. That way you will be able to trail or trace what has been done and why. If you do not have that luxury then I suggest that you create a set for yourself. That way you can always have the means to track yourself & back out when and if necessary. Never remove pages or erase, line out anything you need to correct then write the correct with a time stamp. That way you can have visual presentation. Even the lined out information can/will provide you with insight that may help.

Virtual Machines would be the best way to setup like systems for your sandbox work. Shadow the servers by installing like configurations to enable you to test, experiment on these VM systems before you attempt on real systems. Learn to use good diagnostic techniques to weight the problem set by breaking things down into smaller terms in order to confirm that each set is functional or find out why it is not. These techniques can be used for both hardware & software.

Read then read some more about the equipment you are assigned to maintain. Be it at the OS or hardware level, learn everything you can. Do not be afraid to use other expert help, everyone has to start someplace. Most professionals will help someone who is willing to help their-self.

Learn to be observant and a good listener so you can hopefully see the issue from the users perspective. Do not fall into the trap of placing blame. Leave the door open, not everyone can always convey a problem or understand what is actually going on. Test the person by listening and sometimes even nudge the person with clues to help define the issue or problem. That way they are helping you to help them.

Linux Newbie Admin Guide should help since you have minimal experience.

Rute Tutorial & Exposition is another good guide to help.
HTH!
 
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:01 PM   #9
chrism01
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All of the above advice is good.
You can find lots of manuals (free to read) at www.linuxtopia.org.

Also, I'd start with checking that you have WORKING backups of every system.
Find a test system or create VM & do some test restores.
 
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
theNbomr
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Just heard of a good book to help you: 'Learn Linux Sysadmin in 21 years'. Really, if you think you can get all you'll need to know from one post on LQ, then how difficult can it be in the first place? You should at least give us some background information about your skillset, like how well can you flip burgers?

--- rod.
 
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:02 PM   #11
shivaa
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Hi,
One more thing, I would like to add:
- Always do take backup of important files before editing them. Make it a habit.

How things can be dangerous without taking backup, have a look:
When we invoke crontab command with -e option, it opens the file for editing and you can then add your cron jobs in it. And when you use -r option with same command, it will remove (wipe out) all your crontab entries. Since the E and R keys are adjacent in keyboard, so a little typo can change the meaning of whole operation, and may cause the damage.
 
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