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Old 04-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
eur0disciple
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Becoming *nix admin


Everyone,

I would like to know if their any any *nix admins on the forums? How did you get to where you are today? What is a good distribution to learn the Linux that is used by enterprises? Any good books? Best place to start?

It seems that I have spent so much time debating on distros, I have forgot my main purpose. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 02:22 PM   #2
GlennsPref
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Linux basics...

Wizard Boot Camp articles by Jerry Peek.
In pdf or html.
http://www.jpeek.com/articles/linux_magazine.html

LPI Certification Self-Study Guide
http://www.happy-monkey.net/LPI/html/index.html

IBM Technical library (lpi expectations)
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/vi...e_by=Tutorials

I'm no admin, but these are a good place to start.

You might also like...
Linux Newbie Administrator Guide, by Stan, Peter and Marie Klimas 2004.
http://linux-newbie.sunsite.dk/
 
Old 04-16-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
maresmasb
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The best distribution to learn is the one that used by the company where you work, or where you intend to get a job. RHEL and CentOS are popular among enterprises, but then again, there are a lot who run BSD Unixes, like FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD.

You have to read a lot, of course, but usually learning by doing is the way to go. A good starting place is some extensive tutorial on bash shell scripting. Not a requirement, but it always make life easier for system admins.

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 04:18 PM.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #4
cmdln
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The best thing to do is come up with some projects for yourself for starters. Get a spare machine and install a distro. Get a webserver setup, get ftp setup, get a mail server setup, get samba setup to provide file serving for your other machines. Take that up a notch and try to get central authentication working for your other machines using samba and ldap. If you have multiple machines you could also try setting up a network install server.

Start playing then see if you can get an internship at some local business who uses *nix.

Books:
The Practice of System and Network Administration
Time Management for System Administrators
Learning the Vi and Vim Editors
The animal books from OReilly
 
Old 04-16-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
jstephens84
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I am not sure what I can add but as a unix / linux admin a lot of my time was spent creating scripts to make my life easier than what it already was so I can tend to the problem children. A few books that had rarely left my side where http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Administ...9915151&sr=8-2 and http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Syst...9915201&sr=8-1 Both of these where tremendous help. As for the distribution, I would go with what you are looking for in a job. If that place runs mostly Red Hat then use Fedora, or Cent OS. if it is HP-Unix then I would say start with FreeBSD as that will be close as possible.

Also learn more than just how to use bash. Use pdksh, zsh, csh, learn batch scripting, awk and sed, perl, and learn vi as you can be pretty sure it will be there unlike some editors. I think emacs may also be another that you can depend on being there when you need it.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
custangro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eur0disciple View Post
Everyone,

I would like to know if their any any *nix admins on the forums? How did you get to where you are today? What is a good distribution to learn the Linux that is used by enterprises? Any good books? Best place to start?

It seems that I have spent so much time debating on distros, I have forgot my main purpose. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I started in 2004 with Fedora Core 4. And basically stuck with Red Hat based distros for a while.

Most of the enteprise stuff I see is Red Hat and Sun Solaris (remember that Solaris isn't linux...it's Unix).

To be completely honest...most of my skills came from administering Solaris...it actually made me a better Linux admin (to the point where I think that Linux is a walk in the park ).

Quick Side Note: When I told people that I am a Solaris admin taking the RHCE they would say "Oh, then you'll defiantly fail. The test is hard, even for UNIX admins!"...and not only did I pass...I got 100/92/96...pretty high scores!

Anyway...

This book is GREAT for beginners...
http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Administ...9917179&sr=8-1

In fact...I learned DNS off of this book

Just practice, practice, practice!

-C
 
Old 04-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #7
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by custangro View Post
I started in 2004 with Fedora Core 4. And basically stuck with Red Hat based distros for a while.

Most of the enteprise stuff I see is Red Hat and Sun Solaris (remember that Solaris isn't linux...it's Unix).

To be completely honest...most of my skills came from administering Solaris...it actually made me a better Linux admin (to the point where I think that Linux is a walk in the park ).

Quick Side Note: When I told people that I am a Solaris admin taking the RHCE they would say "Oh, then you'll defiantly fail. The test is hard, even for UNIX admins!"...and not only did I pass...I got 100/92/96...pretty high scores!

Anyway...

This book is GREAT for beginners...
http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Administ...9917179&sr=8-1

In fact...I learned DNS off of this book

Just practice, practice, practice!

-C
See I would have thought the opposite.I would have said that you are probably over prepared. I say this because with any unix system it really is a no holds bar type of system. But with Red hat I have always felt that the gui is a detriment to a administrator as they don't see what the gui is doing. This hurts because when something goes wrong they are not really going to know where to start looking for the problem in the ocnfigs. But that is just my opinion.
 
Old 04-16-2009, 05:36 PM   #8
custangro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstephens84 View Post
But with Red hat I have always felt that the gui is a detriment to a administrator as they don't see what the gui is doing.
I COMPLETELY agree...

This is the point that most of my Windows Admin friends don't get!

-C
 
Old 04-17-2009, 02:37 AM   #9
alpha01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdln View Post
The best thing to do is come up with some projects for yourself for starters. Get a spare machine and install a distro. Get a webserver setup, get ftp setup, get a mail server setup, get samba setup to provide file serving for your other machines. Take that up a notch and try to get central authentication working for your other machines using samba and ldap. If you have multiple machines you could also try setting up a network install server.

Start playing then see if you can get an internship at some local business who uses *nix.

Books:
The Practice of System and Network Administration
Time Management for System Administrators
Learning the Vi and Vim Editors
The animal books from OReilly
I completely agree. The best way to prepare yourself is by actually doing the sysadmin work on a spare computer. I'm proud to say that I'm a self-taught and self-trained Linux system administrator. The best advice that I could give you is just get a spare computer and configure it as a full fledged server (Web, FTP, mail, samba, ssh, etc). By setting up and configuring a server yourself, then you'll see that scripting(bash or perl), and the CLI will be come a natural thing.

Last edited by alpha01; 04-17-2009 at 02:39 AM.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 03:02 AM   #10
chrism01
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Here's a great free collection of books: http://www.linuxtopia.org/index.html
 
Old 04-17-2009, 08:29 AM   #11
eur0disciple
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You guys are awesome, really great stuff. I am going to try to do a lot of this stuff at work. I work on a support desk and setup CentOS as a guest OS in VirtualBox yesterday. I think I will set up some services on this machine, web, ftp, ssh, etc. I chose the server install. No GUI!

I can understand that bash scripting is fairly important. Do you guys think that it is important to learn the ins and outs of the kernel itself? I appreciate all your info. Anybody have any problems that they run into frequently? Maybe tasks that you perform on a daily basis?

What kind of upkeep is involved with a *nix server? Thanks again for all your input.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #12
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by eur0disciple View Post
You guys are awesome, really great stuff. I am going to try to do a lot of this stuff at work. I work on a support desk and setup CentOS as a guest OS in VirtualBox yesterday. I think I will set up some services on this machine, web, ftp, ssh, etc. I chose the server install. No GUI!

I can understand that bash scripting is fairly important. Do you guys think that it is important to learn the ins and outs of the kernel itself? I appreciate all your info. Anybody have any problems that they run into frequently? Maybe tasks that you perform on a daily basis?

What kind of upkeep is involved with a *nix server? Thanks again for all your input.
Putting fires out will be your best learning tool. Meaning each problem will add or test your knowledge.

As for learning the intrinsic kernel work. Nothing wrong with learning the inner workings of any kernel. I refer you to the 'Linux Kernel section' of 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

Look at the 'Linux Books & Online Magazines' section.

You could look up a 'LUG (Linux User Group)' in your area from the 'Linux User Groups' which is a World list. Someone may have some local insight to assist you.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 09:47 AM   #13
jstephens84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eur0disciple View Post
You guys are awesome, really great stuff. I am going to try to do a lot of this stuff at work. I work on a support desk and setup CentOS as a guest OS in VirtualBox yesterday. I think I will set up some services on this machine, web, ftp, ssh, etc. I chose the server install. No GUI!

I can understand that bash scripting is fairly important. Do you guys think that it is important to learn the ins and outs of the kernel itself? I appreciate all your info. Anybody have any problems that they run into frequently? Maybe tasks that you perform on a daily basis?

What kind of upkeep is involved with a *nix server? Thanks again for all your input.
The normal upkeep will be installing patches for software, backups NOT just doing backups but test them. It is a common mistake new admins make to assume that backups worked because it said completed. Adding / Deleting Users / changing passwords. Auditing users passwords (Get permission from HR and look into what legal ramifications that this could have.) I say this because some tools that are used would be considered **hacker tools** (I hate using that term wrongfully. I hope we continue taking that word back.)

That is all I can think of. The AIX, Debian, BSD, and CentOS boxes that I do and did manage required very little attention. It was their red headed step cousins (Windows) that took more of my time.
 
Old 04-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #14
custangro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eur0disciple View Post
You guys are awesome, really great stuff. I am going to try to do a lot of this stuff at work. I work on a support desk and setup CentOS as a guest OS in VirtualBox yesterday. I think I will set up some services on this machine, web, ftp, ssh, etc. I chose the server install. No GUI!
That's a good way to start! But don't just set up services...learn the theory behind them too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eur0disciple View Post
I can understand that bash scripting is fairly important. Do you guys think that it is important to learn the ins and outs of the kernel itself? I appreciate all your info. Anybody have any problems that they run into frequently? Maybe tasks that you perform on a daily basis?

What kind of upkeep is involved with a *nix server? Thanks again for all your input.
Not necessarily, but it does help! Learn to how to install and patch a kernel...load modules...stuff like that. Although I think it's a good thing to learn to build a custom kernel...I don't see it as "a must". Most of the time I am tuning the kernel...not building a custom one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstephens84
The normal upkeep will be installing patches for software, backups NOT just doing backups but test them. It is a common mistake new admins make to assume that backups worked because it said completed.
That is so true!

Many forget that just because you took a backup...dosen't mean that it will work! Part of the whole "backing up" thing is testing your backup.

-C
 
  


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