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Old 09-15-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
docsmr
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Best options for learning/certification on a very small budget


Hi,

I'm in the process of focusing on my IT career after a 20-year break. I used to be a network engineer (Windows, Netware) with some Linux background before changing careers. I'm finding I miss what I used to be and would like to go back to it but my skills are somewhat outdated. Looking around at various Linux jobs, books and at the forums here, I am finding there are a lot of options for training and learning Linux, most of them out of reach financially. Some positions require certifications while others do not. All of my financial resources would be out of pocket since this has nothing to do with my current job and those resources are very limited. So my question is, what are the best resources (books,free courses ???) for learning Linux and what certifications should I pursue so that I can obtain a Linux job? I am in the process of taking the free Intro to Linux class on edx but that is pretty much a refresher class for me. I have installed the Ubuntu distribution on a laptop.

Thanks in advance.

Sue
 
Old 09-15-2016, 10:54 AM   #2
HMW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docsmr View Post
what are the best resources (books,free courses ???) for learning Linux and what certifications should I pursue so that I can obtain a Linux job?
The best resource is yourself. No, I am not trying to be funny. After spendning quite a lot of time around people who like to wear their certifications on their sleeves I have come to the (empiric) conclusion that they are not worth *anything* in themselves. In other words; a certification can simply not be used as a measurement of what person X knows (or don't know) about GNU/Linux.

My suggestion is that you start in earnest to USE GNU/Linux for everything. Maybe set up a webserver, then configure ssh in a secure way, start writing smal shell scripts, the list could go on. There really is no limit as to what you can do within the GNU/Linux ecosystem.

To sum up; use the terminal for all your tasks, and set small (achievable) goals for yourself.

Knock yourself out buddy!
MHW
 
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:32 AM   #3
docsmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMW View Post
The best resource is yourself. No, I am not trying to be funny. After spendning quite a lot of time around people who like to wear their certifications on their sleeves I have come to the (empiric) conclusion that they are not worth *anything* in themselves. In other words; a certification can simply not be used as a measurement of what person X knows (or don't know) about GNU/Linux.
MHW
I hear what you're saying. I don't see why you have to have a piece of paper saying 'certified' as a measure of your abilities as long as you know how to do the work. Unfortunately mostvof the jobs I have seen are requiring them. Back in the day I was even required to get certified in order to maintain my position. Just trying to figure out a starting point. Thanks.
 
Old 09-15-2016, 06:43 PM   #4
Sefyir
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Some useful resources.
All of these are either links I return to frequently, had a profound impact on my understanding of linux / tool, was the best guide I found for that certain tool, or some combo.

The Linux Documentation Project (Overview)
http://www.tldp.org/
Eg
Command line
https://flossmanuals.net/command-line/index/

Etc
Understanding how linux uses Ram - http://www.linuxatemyram.com/
Why linux doesn't need defragmentation - http://geekblog.oneandoneis2.org/ind..._defragmenting
Metaphorical comparsion of windows / linux http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
Iptables firewall (excellent introduction to layers of networking!) - https://www.frozentux.net/documents/iptables-tutorial/

Open a terminal and read through
man man - Learn how to search for information and navigate quickly through the page
man bash - Learn about pipes, quoting, if tests / while and for loops (use search engines for what you don't understand)
man hier - Linux filesystem

man ssh -
man sshd - Read this one and learn how to use keys and not passwords. Also relevant

Learn vi / vim and nano. Even if you don't want to use a command line editor, knowing how to use one could save you from a otherwise catastrophic incident.
man vi - :q! forces a quit from the program
man nano
vimtutor (may need to install vim)
 
Old 09-15-2016, 06:50 PM   #5
docsmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sefyir View Post
Some useful resources.
All of these are either links I return to frequently, had a profound impact on my understanding of linux / tool, was the best guide I found for that certain tool, or some combo.
Thanks!
 
Old 09-15-2016, 07:00 PM   #6
Habitual
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My humble collection.

Sue:
Have a router and enough "Horse Power" to virtualize a small home network?

Last edited by Habitual; 09-15-2016 at 07:04 PM.
 
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:27 AM   #7
docsmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
My humble collection.

Sue:
Have a router and enough "Horse Power" to virtualize a small home network?
Thanks for the collection. I don't have enough equipment to virtualize a small home network, just a spare laptop on which I am trying to install a server distribution at the moment. My other laptop runs Windows which I need to keep as Windows for now.
 
Old 09-16-2016, 08:41 AM   #8
chrism01
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FWIW, Centos is the free version of RHEL, the most common/requested server distro.
Bookmark the free to read RHEL docs here https://access.redhat.com/documentat...erprise-linux/ and assoc RH products https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en/.

See also www.linuxtopia.org

It comes with KVM built in, so you can build a small virtual network on one laptop if you have a few GB of RAM.
 
Old 09-16-2016, 11:11 AM   #9
IsaacKuo
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IMO, you really need to have at least two physical boxes running linux to get into the skills suitable for a linux administrator position.

But one of those boxes can be a super cheap used laptop off of eBay. You don't even need a hard drive in it - that'll force you to learn the various server technologies required to get diskless PXE booting up and running, sure!

Two laptops are a good combination for getting started super cheap, because your typical laptop already has two disparate network interfaces built in. You can connect the two laptops together with an ethernet cable - saves you money and complexity not needing a switch or extra NICs. And one (or both) can connect via wifi to your router. You can start super simple with the unfortunately very limited GUI configuration to set the wired connection on the server laptop to "Shared to Other Computers". That'll at least confirm everything's in working order. Then, you can get fancy with iptables, tftp, and so on to get diskless PXE booting to work.

Neither laptop needs to be powerful enough to do virtualization. Even 192MB of RAM with a 400Mhz Pentium M CPU is adequate.
 
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:22 AM   #10
ceantuco
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Docsmr, Welcome to Linux Questions!

Yes, a certification is just a piece of paper that says you know how to read, memorize and take a test. I recommend you get a good Linux book that focuses on RedHat/CentOS and Debian. Read, practice and like it was mentioned above, create shell scripts, install servers, etc.
Good luck in your journey!
Which career did you change to 20 years ago? - if you don't mind me asking.
 
Old 09-17-2016, 08:13 AM   #11
docsmr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceantuco View Post
Docsmr, Welcome to Linux Questions!

Which career did you change to 20 years ago? - if you don't mind me asking.
Thanks. Took a short break to raise my youngest son then went into Geographic Information Systems. Does CentOS have a server installation? I only saw a desktop version but I see Fedora has a server version.

Last edited by docsmr; 09-17-2016 at 08:57 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2016, 10:11 AM   #12
sidzen
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Download this PDF called "Rute."
Take a look at slackbook

IMHO learning slackware will get you where you want to go.

From an old GIS tech (ERDAS was my forte)--
Best wishes!

Oh Yeah -- rokytnji's sig used to have a lot of links you may be looking for, as well.

Last edited by sidzen; 09-17-2016 at 10:19 AM. Reason: addendum
 
Old 09-19-2016, 06:29 AM   #13
docsmr
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidzen View Post
From an old GIS tech (ERDAS was my forte)--
Awesome! Did some remote sensing work for my dissertation.
 
Old 09-19-2016, 06:42 AM   #14
goumba
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Sue, I see you're from Buffalo (assuming NY but I think at least one other state has a city by the same name), why not check out the open box deals at Best Buy for cheap equipment as well? I recently saw some Dell open boxes at my lost store going for like
$120. They were of netbook caliber, but as stated above, they don't need to be terribly powerful.
 
Old 09-19-2016, 07:48 AM   #15
sundialsvcs
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Certifications are things sold to recent-graduates who haven't got a lot of work experience and who just want another diploma to hang on the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Joel, 'Allentown':
So our grad-u-ations hang on the wall. But they really didn't help us at all. 'Cause they never told us what was real ..."
If you worked for 20 years in GIS while raising your family, that would be far more important to me, than any certificate which merely says that you completed a so-many-week (but v-e-r-y expensive!) training course. That tells me that you know how to work, how to make promises, how to deliver on those promises, and how to diagnose and fix things ... and, how to put up with other people!

It is actually relatively easy to teach someone the essential know-how to maintain a [Linux] computer system. If you "grok the big picture," know the basics of the various systems, and know how and where to ask questions and receive intelligent answers, and if you have pragmatic business experience, you don't need a piece of paper to say that you know how to do the work.
 
  


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