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Old 02-19-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
itsallgood
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Question How to learn Linux effectively - how long to devote, what to focus on?


Hi all,

Apologies if this is off-topic. I searched a while and couldn't find out whether or not the Newbie forum is strictly for technical questions or not.

I am new to Linux and have been using it the past 4 months or so. Currently I work in a support job as an MS technician. I'm mostly using it to advance my career. Management told me if I devote time to learning Linux to the point where I can do very basic maintenance tasks on the company Linux servers, and the ability to support our few Linux clients, I would be promoted to a senior support position.

One of the greater challenges so far is trying to figure out WHAT to focus on and how long to devote to it each day. I find that if I spend multiple hours/day trying to learn Linux (like 2-3 hours), I don't retain much of what I've learned. Conversely, if I don't spend enough time each day, I worry that I will not learn enough to become proficient in a reasonable amount of time. I sometimes start reading up on a Linux topic, for instance, how to send mail to users, and wonder if my time could be better spent learning another aspect. Then again, I feel like a lot of this basic knowledge can be built upon.

I'd like to become proficient enough to achieve this senior position in 1.5-2 years. Given my current job and personal responsibilities I am able to devote 1-2 hours of learning Linux each day.

In that amount of time, I've been learning new bash commands daily and practicing yum, tried setting up a web server, extracting/compiling software, messing around with inittab, cron jobs, etc. very basic things and building upon that.

Does this sound reasonable? I'd very much appreciate some pointers and to see if I am on the right track from a Linux community perspective.

Thanks.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
jailbait
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I think that you are on the right track. I suggest that you also work on two other areas. Look at backup and recovery, preferably using rsync. Also look at hard drive management using lvm or RAID or whatever your installation uses to manage hard drive space.

---------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 02-19-2015, 12:48 PM   #3
fatmac
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As the old saying goes - practice makes perfect.
I'd say you're doing the right things, if you have a spare machine somewhere, try duplicating your server.
Make notes in a notebook as you go so that you can refer to them later, no one can remember everything.
Find useful websites, like here, & keep a list for future reference.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 01:23 PM   #4
kuser:)
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A newbie's suggestion:
Linux has a lot and very powerfull commands, so I would advise you to first learn how to help yourself with commands like "man", "apropos", "awk", "grep" etc.
Then you should probably move on to linux file systems, partitioning, and boot loaders.
Then focus on permissions ("sudo", "chmod" etc.), and learn some about the different shell types, and shell scripting.
You also should learn SAMBA and "iptables".

And you should always wait for experienced users to correct guys like me :))

To kind of describe how GNU/Linux is different from windows: it's much more command, security, and compatibility-driven.

Last edited by kuser:); 02-19-2015 at 01:27 PM.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
TobiSGD
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As kuser:) said, focus on the basics first, learn your way around the commandline. After you feel somewhat proficient in basic tasks (editing files, copying, moving, all the basic stuff) start to learn what is needed to maintain your companies servers, learn about the services/daemons that are used, learn how to configure them, set up a VM and try what happens when you misconfigure one of the services). It may help to contact the current admins and ask them what you need to focus on.

Most important: Reading books and online documentation will of course help you, but you should also set up a Linux system and practically try what you learned.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 01:39 PM   #6
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Good luck. All you need is patience, ability to read up on stuff & not jumping the gun. If you wanna invest in some book then Mark Sobell has written a very good book on Fedora/Red Hat Linux (will work with other distros).
 
Old 02-19-2015, 02:10 PM   #7
Ihatewindows522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
One of the greater challenges so far is trying to figure out WHAT to focus on and how long to devote to it each day. I find that if I spend multiple hours/day trying to learn Linux (like 2-3 hours), I don't retain much of what I've learned. Conversely, if I don't spend enough time each day, I worry that I will not learn enough to become proficient in a reasonable amount of time. I sometimes start reading up on a Linux topic, for instance, how to send mail to users, and wonder if my time could be better spent learning another aspect. Then again, I feel like a lot of this basic knowledge can be built upon.
...
Does this sound reasonable? I'd very much appreciate some pointers and to see if I am on the right track from a Linux community perspective.

Thanks.
I originally felt the same way, mainly towards Bash, but also to Linux in general. Just learn as much as you reasonably can about it (just perusing these forums and observing is a good place to start), and don't be afraid to ask for help. Eventually you'll get the hang of it.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 02:15 PM   #8
Bret W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsallgood View Post
I am new to Linux and have been using it the past 4 months or so. Currently I work in a support job as an MS technician. I'm mostly using it to advance my career. Management told me if I devote time to learning Linux to the point where I can do very basic maintenance tasks on the company Linux servers, and the ability to support our few Linux clients, I would be promoted to a senior support position.
Hi itsallgood

If you do your research and find out what linux distribution your company is currently using or will be using in the future, this should give you a heads up on where to focus your learning. Most companies will probably be using some type of enterprise linux distribution like Red Hat or SUSE, so you can practice on equivalents like Centos and opensuse respectively. Some companies may also use the BSDs and Oracle products as well.

As for learning about linux, take your time and understand the concepts you are reading and practice it if you can. You can never learn enough linux a one shot, you will always be learning linux because linux is constantly changing.

Good Luck
 
Old 02-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #9
Habitual
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First Link at https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...llected-35954/
Carry on, good job.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #10
tuxon86
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I recommend the "How Linux Work, What every super users should know" book. It is quite good.
Also, one trick I did to teach myself was to make a ghost/image of my windows pc at home and then install only linux on it thus forcing myself to do everything in linux until I learned it.

It's way easier and more fun to do today with the nice GUI available. When I did that, the only GUI was Xwindows/Motif on Slackware 1.0...
 
Old 02-19-2015, 06:40 PM   #11
Keith Hedger
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When I first started to learn Linux and even when I bbecame reasonably profecient my bible was 'linux in a nutshell' it's well worth the investment, it covers most of the basic commands, various shells, versioning software, networking etc etc.
Even now I will occasionally browse through it while waiting for big compile to finish, always manage to find somthing new.
 
Old 02-19-2015, 06:57 PM   #12
Miati
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You're probably having trouble retaining because you just started and are trying to absorb a whole lot of info. Once you get a basic understanding of linux that should be less of a problem. Before you climb, you need a leg to stand on

If there was one thing to focus on, it's the terminal. The terminal applies to nearly every distro with minimal differences.
Get a fairly good idea of using the terminal. Then go into detail of stuff. That's where the real power shows up.

For example, ssh is a simple secure way of connecting to computers, but there are a ton of tricks you can do, complex server setups, etc.
*nix in the terminal is largely about doing one task really well. But for it to do a whole lot, you need to know how to use it.

Another example is iptables, this is a good guide that is several hundred pages on, but once you have a grasp gives a amazing amount of possiblities dealing with packet filtering.

In terminal:
Code:
man bash 
# Take the time to read through it, at least a section at a time and practice with it!
man hier # Only the first 20
http://en.flossmanuals.net/command-l...mmand-line.pdf
http://www.commandlinefu.com/command.../sort-by-votes

Last edited by Miati; 02-19-2015 at 07:00 PM.
 
Old 02-20-2015, 04:04 AM   #13
fatmac
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This may be useful to keep handy,
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
  


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