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Old 02-10-2018, 09:07 PM   #1
mrbig033
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What are some good intermediate projects to really learn Linux?


I'm thinking about getting some certifications and use Linux professionally, but all of them recommend (rightly so) that you have some practical experience before taking the test. The only experience that I have is installing and configuring several distros to my liking. I've been using Linux on and off for the past 20 years, but I am not a programmer and I don't work in IT. But do have experience with Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Arch and Manjaro. I never had to administrate anything more complex than my own personal stuff. So I'm asking for suggestions: should I host a webpage on a LAMP server on my second notebook? Should I make a file server for my family that lives in different countries? I already decided to do Linux From Scratch this year. I know it is not necessarily the best educational resource to learn Linux for my purposes, but it is practical, comprehensive and has great documentation. Slackware and Gentoo are also in my plans. I have studied many books, but I believe that doing is the best way to make information really stick. And there is a limit to what you can learn by distro-hopping. So, ideas?
 
Old 02-10-2018, 09:18 PM   #2
frankbell
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I would counsel caution about creating any sort of public-facing server. You should review your ISP's terms of service to make sure they do not forbid it without a business-level account; that is the case with most US ISPs.

I think setting up a webserver would be a good place to start. It wouldn't even have to be public-facing; you could just run and access it on localhost. If you want to do web design, as opposed to web admin, you could use XAMMP.

Learning how to configure Samba so you can share files on your network would also be a nice learning experience.

Another idea might be to learn how to use a command-line mail client like Mutt, using vim as an editor. In making that work, you learn lots of diverse skills. (Full disclosure: I did a podcast about Mutt a couple of years ago. You can find it at hackerpublicradio.org.)

Good luck, and welcome to LQ.

Last edited by frankbell; 02-10-2018 at 09:19 PM.
 
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:35 PM   #3
mrbig033
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I'm aware of the limitations of hosting a public server, but I thought I'd put it there for a day as an interesting challenge and then take it down. Thanks for the advice.

I don't do web design yet, I was thinking about making a file server for my family. But each one of them lives in a different country, I don't know how this could be done. Right now there's no one here that could benefit from a local network of any kind

Someone on reddit suggested I use Nextcloud. But I wonder... due to the usual restrictions, would I be allowed to server files to another continent? :P
 
Old 02-10-2018, 09:43 PM   #4
mrbig033
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Sorry, I forgot to answer the rest of your message. I spent the last month learning Vim and got to a point that I can do everything I need with it, and I'm very comfortable with my .vimrc and plugins. So I stopped learning Vim for a while, but I am scheduled to learn more Vim and Vimscript later this year. Vim is the default editor of my bash install, too.

I'm very interested in lots of command line programs, but the thing is I hardly use email nowadays so I don't see the point of learning Mutt right now. I also need to learn a LOT more bash before I drive my attention to these other awesome apps!

Last edited by mrbig033; 02-10-2018 at 09:45 PM.
 
Old 02-10-2018, 10:40 PM   #5
frankbell
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Quote:
Someone on reddit suggested I use Nextcloud. But I wonder... due to the usual restrictions, would I be allowed to server files to another continent?
I've never researched it, but the internet is global and a server is a server.

If your local computer has enough RAM, you could establish multiple VMs using VirtualBox or a similar tool and use the VMs to practice your networking skills. This machine I'm typing on has 16GB RAM and can easily run two or three VMs simultaneously.

You don't mention what distro you are using, but learning your way around its init system is very beneficial. If it uses SystemD, I can attest that there are many excellent SystemD tutorials on YouTube. Indeed, there are many excellent tech tutorials on YouTube once you get past the kittens and the snark. (And, I must admit, some not so excellent.)

I think the key is this: pick something you want to learn how to do, then learn how to do it on Linux. As you learn how to do it, you will learn Linux.

I will give you my own example: Shortly after I first installed Linux because I was interested in "that Linux thing," a fellow at a training class I was teaching told me that he was self-hosting his website on a home computer using Linux. I decided I wanted to do the same. Four months later, I brought my website live on the computer in my guest room, and that's how my Linux journey started. I haven't looked back.

Full Disclosure: I no longer self-host my website. My WordPress database got too big and I moved to a place where the ISP is actively hostile to self-hosting (they block port 80).

Last edited by frankbell; 02-10-2018 at 10:43 PM.
 
Old 02-10-2018, 10:50 PM   #6
mrbig033
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I'm using MX-Linux right now, but I'll make the jump to Slackware soon and I pretend to do these projects in it. It does not use Systemd. And right now I wish to create something that helps my stranded family to communicate. That'd be what I want to build on the short term. Apart from that I just like Linux since I was a kid, and I'd like to be involved with it in some professional capacity in the future. Thanks for the advice.
 
Old 02-11-2018, 12:13 PM   #7
pressman57
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Install Gentoo in a VM. Great way to get your feet wet.
 
Old 02-12-2018, 12:15 AM   #8
AwesomeMachine
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Just remember, doing something professionally takes the fun out of it. But money is good too.
 
Old 02-13-2018, 10:16 PM   #9
chrism01
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Quote:
I'm thinking about getting some certifications and use Linux professionally, but all of them recommend (rightly so) that you have some practical experience before taking the test.
If you are definite about Certs, they all tend to have a fair amt of description about what the test entails (at least subjects - not the qns haha).
Also, for eg RHEL I believe books have been published.
If you work your way through that lot, you'll know a lot more and be better prepared.
You may find this a useful ref library www.linuxtopia.org.
 
Old 02-16-2018, 07:03 PM   #10
joe_2000
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Consider renting a virtual server with a hosting provider. This has become reasonably cheap nowadays. You can start with setting up a webserver.

You could use it as a VPN server to create a network that others all over the world could connect to (and share files with you).

You could set it up as a mail server. This one is a bit more tricky. You then also have to learn more stuff about DNS. Mess around with letsencrypt ssl certificates etc...

But you said you don't use mail. Maybe jabber? Prosody is a nice xmpp server.

The nextcloud thing you mentioned also has many nice features you don't think of at first, such as calendar and contacts syncing etc...

So many options... Have fun!
 
Old 02-17-2018, 06:59 PM   #11
Stev8
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I might suggest that you try setting up a home network with multiple users and set multiple users and learn to be an admin, change file permissions etc... then you have no timeline.

rd http://tille.garrels.be/training/tldp/

good luck on your endeavours
 
Old 02-19-2018, 05:56 PM   #12
AwesomeMachine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbig033 View Post
And right now I wish to create something that helps my stranded family to communicate.
When using Linux many people are just reinventing the wheel. If your family all have computers, there are plenty of ways for them to communicate already on the web.

If you want to make a project, research it to see if it's already been done, or if something better already exists. I see countless people in agonizing labor to create something they could have downloaded in 1 minute.
 
  


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