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Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


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Old 03-14-2012, 05:49 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2010
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Newbie trying to get Linux concept and learning advice

Hi all,

I'm not brand-spanking new to linux but still pretty newbie like I have totally abandoned my Windows installs and have been using openSuse for quite some time now. I plan on experimenting with Slackware soon and LFS when I get more HDD space.

My trouble comes when I try to learn a particular topic, section, system. As I dive deeper into learning, more and more topics pop up which is a good thing, but where in the world do I start?

Could someone tell me in their experience what parts of Linux did you learn first that might have made your transition easier. What guides or programs helped you become the Guru/Genius that you are today.

Any feedback will be highly appreciated!
Old 03-14-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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A good place to start is
You will find a lot of reading material to become an accomplished system admin (at least in maintaining your own system). Not included in the listing above is Rute User's Exposition and Tutorial, which is also a good reference.
Old 03-14-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's always a problem trying to avoid following the rabbit down the hole, I always get sidetracked

I think if you base it on tasks you'll find it easier, meaning - you need to achieve X, so read the man page and solve the task. Then once you've solved the task you can read up on the area the task resided in.

Here's an example:

// task: nagios account can't log in due to password expiry
$ man -k password
chage (1)            - change user password expiry information
// chage looks like a winner
$ man 1 chage
// you decide to disable password aging for nagios
$ sudo chage -M 99999 nagios
// task complete, now you can go back and finish reading the man page for chage,  you also find references at the bottom:
$ man 5 passwd
$ man 5 shadow
// these describe how password aging is stored
// realising that people learn better by doing, you decide to create a test account and play with
// password expiry, grace periods etc ..
The best advice I can give you is don't allow yourself to get sidetracked until you've finished what you were studying, write yourself a note if you come across something and look into it later.

good luck
Old 03-14-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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@ Reply

Hi Dman58,

Linux is very dominating. I am no Guru but I have started with the following topics:

1. Basic commands. You can find them here: .
2. Network Services like NFS, SAMBA, HTTP, FTP, DNS, DHCP. As these are the very common services used on linux servers and more or less configuration is same across different distributions. There are many HowTOs available on the internet for these services.
3. Network service security basically using iptables. iptables are not there on openSuSE instead SuSEfirewall2 is there.
4. Network service security using selinux. As far as I am aware it is not there on openSuSE.
5. Authentication. That is configuring your server for local as well as domain authentication.
6. Proxy configuration.

These are the topics that I can recall as of now.

It is always idea to configure a small lab using VMware or Virtual Box (I personally like VMware). Configuring an appropriate lab will not only help you in testing different distribution but it will also make you learn how different distribution can be integrated with each other.
Old 03-14-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Agree with kbp.
Also, here's the link to the Rute tutorial mentioned above
Old 03-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2010
Location: Paudpod, Botolan, Zambales, Philippines
Distribution: Mandriva, Ubuntu, Mint, Open Suse, Meego
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When i was a student, first system i used and study is windows it was year 2000
but when i graduated as a computer student and find a job (computer related).
In our company 75% are using linux machine and 25% are windows. First i don't
know how to use linux because first im not familiar with this system, second
is i don't know how to explore some features. My first Linux flavor i used is
Mandriva 2009.1. Everytime i got error on this system my option is to check
and troubleshoot but if i cant fix the error's or problem the second option is to
reinstall the whole system, but using and asking on this site system reinstallation
is not the option comes from my mind, but if i think problems stay's for 1 day im deciding
to go for reinstallation because this cause downtime in my client's.

The first i learned being a linux user are learning linux basic commands.
Second are linux networking (SSH, FTP, SAMBA, ETC).
Third are Linux System troubleshooting.
Fourth are Linux Hardware Troubleshooting.

Now im three years on service on our company using linux machines.
I love linux.
I love
Old 03-14-2012, 11:47 PM   #7
Satyaveer Arya
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It depends how deep you want to get into it, if you want to become an advanced user(run commands in the terminal, etc) then you can do that. Just like Windows, you can become an advanced user & run commands as well.
But if you prefer just clicking on icons to make things work, for example click on Firefox icon to open it, click on a Word icon to open it, then you can use Ubuntu or Linux Mint, they are just like Windows in ease of use. however, if you choose, you can also run commands via the terminal.

You just keep on practicing in right direction and try to remember everything you do. The key is to remember what you do and learn. If you really want to learn linux then I would suggest you to use Slackware.
Old 03-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: The Danger Zone
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Original Poster
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Thank you all for your responses. I plan on getting my hands dirty by installing a new distro, exploring different WM's & DE's, reading plenty of tutorials, playing with virtualization, applying ssh tactics, and a host of different exercises. Again I highly appreciate your feedback.




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