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Old 10-16-2005, 05:58 PM   #1
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Linux Interface

I am currently running a website that resides on a Linux Redhat Server. The guy who set it up has long gone and I feel like a kid in the cockpit of a jet and having never flown before have to keep the plane in the air! I am a designer not a techie,
Mostly the machine takes care of itself but I would like to try and learn my way around it.
The only interface I seem to have is Putty. It's like the dark ages of DOS! I have no idea how to set up a new domain, install security updates, control and monitor logs. Is there not some kind of interface that shows me a list of current email boxes and their settings or a domain setup page. God I know I sound dumb.
Can anyone help me get started.
Old 10-16-2005, 06:19 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
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If you are an administrator in charge of a Linux box and don't know what you are doing:
1) Go to your local bookstore
2) Go to the computer section and look for O'Reilly books - they are the ones with the weird animals on the covers
3) Find the topics that you need, including Linux in a Nutshell as well as any major server daemons that the box is running (Apache webserver, whatever mail daemon you are using, etc)
4) Buy them all
5) Take the receipt for these books and give them to your boss for reimbursment. Explain that these books are *way* cheaper than a) hiring a consultant, b) sending you away to training classes, or c) paying for emergency disaster recovery when something goes wrong and you don't know what you are doing. Trust me - this step is not optional - it shows a lot of positive things to your boss
6) Take your office phone off the hook and read, Read, READ. File for overtime if necessary - again, a little overtime is cheaper than the possible alternatives
7) Take a spare computer an install a Linux distro on it. Make it work using the books as guides. Don't be afraid to try things - this is a non-production machine and you are much better off trying things on this box that the real one.
8) Anytime you have a question, jot it down and sleep on it. If you can't figure it out in the morning, post it here - we'll be glad to help! Just make sure to be specific
9) Using your newfound knowlege head back to the bookstore and pick up all of the o'Reilly books that you didn't know that you needed but now realize that you need to know and that you recognise the terminology

This won't be easy but it is worth the effort. Learning Linux as quickly as possible is really no different from learning anything else in an emergency situation only in the case of Linux you have an awesome community that'll always be willing to help

BTW - Putty does rock. What you are seeing via that interface is a standard Linux bash prompt. While it may look like a DOS command line at first glance unlike DOS you can actually get work done from within it :P Follow the steps above and you'll be comfortable at a bash prompt in no time!
Old 10-16-2005, 07:23 PM   #3
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In addition to the excellent advice that Gert32 gave you, I recommend the Rute tutorial as online reading. You can also find more specific documentation at The Linux Documentation Project. When you get some experience, you can look into setting up Webmin, which is a Web based administration tool, but setting it up in a correct and secure manner requires a lot of knowledge and proficiency with the command line.
Old 10-17-2005, 01:39 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: India
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Adding to the above suggestions,



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