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vettyp 04-28-2011 06:27 PM

CS undergrad and Windows systems administrator here
 
Hello all,

Currently undergrad in computer science and I am working as a Windows system administrator. I having been using Ubuntu for years, but I finally decided to wipe my machine at the end of the semester and install Slackware to actually LEARN Linux. My overall goal is to become a Linux system administrator.

I look forward to learning and hopefully someday contributing to this awesome community. Thanks for reading and I will see you guys in the forums!

stress_junkie 04-28-2011 06:31 PM

Welcome.

If you want to find work running Linux machines then you might be better off to choose either Red Hat or Novell SuSe. You can use CentOS to learn Red Hat. You can use OpenSuSE to learn the other.

vettyp 04-28-2011 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stress_junkie (Post 4339985)
Welcome.

If you want to find work running Linux machines then you might be better off to choose either Red Hat or Novell SuSe. You can use CentOS to learn Red Hat. You can use OpenSuSE to learn the other.

I have heard this before. I know Red Hat is the preferred distro in a enterprise type environment but is it that different from Slackware that I would not be able to adapt? I am willing to try CentOS as I have heard good things.

stress_junkie 04-29-2011 09:20 AM

The differences between Red Hat and other distributions are mainly in the system administration tools, user authentication, and the bugs.

This really brings up the differences between distributions in general. Although they all use the Linux kernel source code each distribution does lots of specific tailoring. A distribution may use software tools that other distributions don't use. For example Slackware doesn't use PAM by default for user authentication. Another example is that the Ubuntu distributions are starting to use their own startup scripts and file structure and Gentoo has always had its own unique startup configuration. Some distributions may use XFree86 for their X windows software while others use X.org and still others are starting to use Weyland.

Also different distributions may use specific versions of common tools or add-ons that are not available in other distributions. These differences can be something as low level as disk drivers or may be higher level such as NFS and Samba. This means, among other things, that each distribution will have its own set of bugs. When you learn to work around specific bugs in one distribution that knowledge may or may not help you solve similar problems in another distribution.

In general, I would say that learning Red Hat is better for a professional system administrator simply because Red Hat is more popular in the business world. CentOS is a moderately good proxy for Red Hat simply because it uses Red Hat code. However, I have spent a lot of time reading the CentOS mailing list and it is clear to me that the CentOS people are fixing bugs that they find. This means that CentOS will have a different set of bugs than you will find in genuine Red Hat. The good news is that CentOS uses the same drivers, applications, and system tools so if you learn to do something in CentOS which involves using a specific system administration tool, like yum for example, then that knowledge will be helpful when you want to perform the same task on a genuine Red Hat system.

vettyp 04-29-2011 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by stress_junkie (Post 4340689)
The differences between Red Hat and other distributions are mainly in the system administration tools, user authentication, and the bugs.

This really brings up the differences between distributions in general. Although they all use the Linux kernel source code each distribution does lots of specific tailoring. A distribution may use software tools that other distributions don't use. For example Slackware doesn't use PAM by default for user authentication. Another example is that the Ubuntu distributions are starting to use their own startup scripts and file structure and Gentoo has always had its own unique startup configuration. Some distributions may use XFree86 for their X windows software while others use X.org and still others are starting to use Weyland.

Also different distributions may use specific versions of common tools or add-ons that are not available in other distributions. These differences can be something as low level as disk drivers or may be higher level such as NFS and Samba. This means, among other things, that each distribution will have its own set of bugs. When you learn to work around specific bugs in one distribution that knowledge may or may not help you solve similar problems in another distribution.

In general, I would say that learning Red Hat is better for a professional system administrator simply because Red Hat is more popular in the business world. CentOS is a moderately good proxy for Red Hat simply because it uses Red Hat code. However, I have spent a lot of time reading the CentOS mailing list and it is clear to me that the CentOS people are fixing bugs that they find. This means that CentOS will have a different set of bugs than you will find in genuine Red Hat. The good news is that CentOS uses the same drivers, applications, and system tools so if you learn to do something in CentOS which involves using a specific system administration tool, like yum for example, then that knowledge will be helpful when you want to perform the same task on a genuine Red Hat system.

Thank you so much for an informed and committed response! It looks like I will be loading up CentOS then.


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