What are the best exercises to keep going with linux after an intro course?
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What are the best exercises to keep going with linux after an intro course?
My course ends this week, with a final on next Tuesday and the book that I rented from the college book store (couldn't afford to buy it) goes back as well. It was Guide to Using Linux 4th edition by Michael Palmer and it had some good practice exercises. Trouble is the class hasn't lasted too long and I know if I want to keep going and more importantly retain this stuff I need to keep practicing. I've got a mac min running Yosemite and the terminal and I've got a pc running windows 8 so I can download one of the linux versions, but I don't really know of a good sources of practice problems that can help me really delve into this and get good.
There are many directions you can go in to broaden your Linux knowledge, such as server admin, database admin, web design, and so on.
Which one(s) most interest you?
If you haven't reached a point of being able to make such a choice, perhaps you could tell us a little more about what this course covered; that might help produce relevant suggestions.
You can find a wealth of information at The Linux Documentation Project. Much of it is rather dated, but, since it mostly concerns command line stuff, it's still generally valid. Garrels's Bash Guide for Beginners is quite good and does include practice exercises, Cooper's Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide was recently updated, and I still have a printed-out copy of Garrels's Introduction to Linux on my bookshelp (all of these are on the "Guides" page.
I like to try and solve questions asked here - even if I never respond.
Then compare with the answers from people that really know what they are talking about. Great way to learn, and keeps you in touch with real day-to-day issues.
Learning the command line will teach you more about Linux than using the GUI.
Lots of good learning material is available for free online.
Starting with the basics of day to day use, then progress to system administration as the root user, then delve into anything that interests you. Have fun whilst learning.
If you want to have a career in administrating linux systems, Red Hat Linux Enterprise is a good choice. But it's not free, a free substitute is Centos. It's like Red Hat without the costs of tech support.
Last edited by Garyluvslinux; 07-24-2015 at 01:51 PM.
ON the command line try "man" and "info" and "help". Most desktops have well signposted help systems and may have "xman" a graphical version of "man". Some distros have a help files directory, on Slackware it is "/usr/doc/". If you can afford a cheap book try the "Linux Pocket Guide" by O'Reilly, which is not very big and not very expensive.
I hadn't really thought about the direction I could take with Linux. My degree goal is in computer forensics and when I took the linux course it was one of the requirements for the degree. It was more of a two months crash introduction than a full course. It left a lot out and concentrated on basic commands (file processing, security basics (chmod and umask), the pipes and redirection operators shell variables, a bit of how to use the VI editor and a little bit of awk. Minimal help, basically sink or swim.
There are a lot of things I'd like to try if linux is the best tool for them. Linking together my older computers (I'm a bit of a junk guy) for a practice network comes to mind, but web design, server admin and such sounds good too. My goal once I get the degrees is to have as well rounded knowledge as I can so if there not cf jobs out there then I can use the linux knowledge (and the other stuff I'm learning) to get some sort of good job.
Just checking in every day or so to look at this questions is a good idea too. I'll check out everything listed here over the weekend. Thanks.
Linking together my older computers (I'm a bit of a junk guy) for a practice network comes to mind
Frankly, I think that would be a great way to start. You would not only learn about networking with Linux, you would learn a lot about networking in general. I would suggest, though, using Samba command line tools to start with (Samba will allow you to create a network accessible to Macs and Windows boxes also). By using command line tools, you will also learn more about the command line.
To build on what fatmac said, the command line is the lowest common denominator in Linux. GUI interfaces may vary and have their individual ways of doing stuff, but command line is pretty much the same regardless of the distro.
When I set out to create a home network with Linux and Samba, I found Samba by Example to be the single most useful guide I found. It starts with simple networks and moves to more complex ones, with sample configuration files and clear instructions.
I should mention that the terminal can be a lot of fun. You can build some pretty amazing programs in a single line (one-liners)
For example, I made this recently
You type pyt 'Led Zeppelin Stairway to heaven' and it searches youtube and plays the first hit directly to the terminal without ever using any gui - in under 255 characters :P
Besides the self-promotion, my point is this - experiment. Experiment a lot. Linux is all about programs doing one thing well. Think, how would I do this with what I know? If something feels like it's missing, search it and find out the answer. If you can't figure out how to do a certain part, ask the community with specifically what is difficult.
The do one thing and do it well philosophy rings very true. For example, the find command is extremely powerful, same with ssh, vi(m), mplayer, etc. While most of these work really well by themselves (find finds files, ssh logs into computers, vim edits files, mplayer plays media) they each can do a lot more, if you take the time to learn it!
Take that time. You will not regret it.
My recommendation is to start projects for daily use:
- install a data and printer server (old PC without screen) at your home
- install a webcam
- install linux on family/friend PCs and overtake the system administration (connect to it from your own PC via SSH for update purpose)
After you get confidence, make further course for the direction you want to go "forensic PC".
Go into a PC club: within a group, its much easier to learn).
Just an aside to Habitual from the original posted question:
Quote from Habitual:
Daily interaction with this site keeps me "hopping".
PDF for the book
If you have the resources, Virtualbox is a great way to install and keep your current environment separated.
Habitual: I looked at the downloaded book from your link and read the copyright statement, which seems to prohibit downloading and storing the book without permission. Are you sure this download is legal? Also, part of the link is in cyrillic. I deleted my download. Guess I'm paranoid, huh? But, as they say, "Only the paranoid survive."