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Old 03-12-2002, 03:26 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Van city
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How to become a Unix (linux Admin)?

Hi im very intrested to become an Unix or Linux Administrator. I am 21 year old IT professional right now as a Computer Service Technician with 2 years exp. I was going to get my MSCE but realize that everyone one else has its. So I stop after getting my Windows 2000 MCP. So how many people on this board are actually an Linux Admin or Unix Admin? and how did you get this title.... I mean what kinda of Schooling did you go through or anyone have any advice or path I could take to become one?
Old 03-12-2002, 03:34 PM   #2
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Most usually go thru college to obtain ( computer science that is ). Me for example though, I am in school to obtain my Sun Solaris Administration Certification. That is how I plan on becoming a big Unix Admin, along with trying to gain experience. Going to work on getting my Linux certs as well. hopefully it all works out..


PS, experience.. usually if you can prove you know it.. you can get the job.

Last edited by trickykid; 03-12-2002 at 04:17 PM.
Old 03-12-2002, 03:37 PM   #3
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Seriously, learning from someone who knows is a great way. I don't know of many admins personally who had actual "schooling" to teach them how to do their jobs. One of the previous admins where I work graduated college as a History major, so you never know. Most learn on their own or with an "elder" as a guide.

Getting a job as a Jr Admin helps, as well as perhaps joining a LUG (Linux Users Group). Exploration on your own is also very helpful, but sometimes it will only take you so far.

Google is a wonderful teacher/resource as well

Myself, I do both Linux and Unix administration personally and professionally
Old 03-12-2002, 03:59 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2002
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As far as I know, there aren't any college curriculums that will land you a Unix sys admin job. I got a degree in Computer Engineering and went to work as a database programmer. After 5 years with the company and working my way up to LAN administrator, I got lucky when all our Unix admins quit and they needed somebody quick. They rushed me off to HP-UX school and got me up to speed on the OS. It took me about a year and a half to get really proficient with it. Later I was sent to AIX classes as well.

Usually companies want people who have experience (at least 3 years) as a Unix admin before they will hire you... so it's not that easy to get started as one.

My advice would be to find a Unix flavor you like and study as much as you can on it. Hands-on is a must, so whichever you choose, get a version of it up and running where you can play with it. Obviously Linux is the easiest to find and setup, but it's not that easy to find a company hiring Linux admins. Usually it's some other Unix (HP-UX, Solaris, AIX) and a few Linux boxes thrown in. If you can afford to send yourself to some of the sys admin classes for that version of Unix, then that will help, but it's a very costly investment. is a great place to look for what type of jobs are available.

Best of luck.
Old 03-13-2002, 04:22 AM   #5
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A good place to start would be to go to

And read all the Linux Administrator Guides. Might be easiest if you have a linux system with you to try out the various things while you read them.
Old 03-13-2002, 03:30 PM   #6
Registered: Jan 2002
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Thumbs up Sun Solaris


Below is my Unix path story, so it might be a boring, so skip to the bottom if you dont want to read my unix path! I'm warning you, This was my path to the Unix world. I went to school and got a degree in CIS (computer information systems) I had 1 semester of Unix during my time in school, luckly towards the end. During school, I was able to get an internship at a company doing networks and desktop support on WIndows 3.11(anyone remember 3.11?) and upgrades to Windows 95, and NT. I thought I was going to go to a NT type position(glad i didnt). When I graduated college, I submitted my resume to several companies for entry type level positions in the IT field. Several companies called me back because they saw I had network experience and Unix experience. Thats when I new Unix was the way to go instead of Windows. Well I landed my first job as a firewall administrator. I had no idea on how to admin a firewall box. The only reason I got hired was because I had network and Unix experience. The firewall software only ran on unix machines at the time. So I would monitor and install Gauntlet and Checkpoint firewalls on AIX, Solaris, HP, and BSD unix servers. I would have to do configure hardware, OS, and software installs on all platforms. Thats when I chose a career path to specialize with Sun Solaris, I've left that company and now im a Senior Unix Admin on solaris and sun hardware. Senior Unix pay is much higher than Senior NT pay (based on NT admins ive talked to) Well thats my story.

My advice is to try to get a jr admin position where you can learn OS and hardware of your choice, the three main ones are Sun(Solaris flavor of unix), IBM(Unix flavor is AIX), and HP(Unix flavor is HPUX). I also agree with kill-hup, I don't think there is a degree per say to become a Unix admin. U can take unix classes at colleges, but the best unix classes are the ones from the actual vendors (but they are expensive) they might have a college discount of some kind.

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