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OK, I've been a Windows administrator for a LONG time, but I just got a bunch of RHEL 5 servers thrown in my lap. Me being able to properly spell Linux is the extent of my Linux knowledge unfortunately. Anyone have some ideas on what I should read to quickly get myself up to speed and to be able to support them? Right now I can log into the servers, and that's about it.
Also remember the "man" command. It lets you read manual pages for almost every command and library.
e.g. If you want to do a directory listing the 3rd link above would tell you about "ls" instead of "dir". You could type "man ls" to get more details of ls command.
You can also do "man -k <keyword>" to try to see if there is a manual page that includes what you are trying to do.
e.g. "man -k route" for questions about routing setup might produce:
NETLINK_ROUTE [rtnetlink] (7) - Linux IPv4 routing socket
esddsp (1) - attempt to reroute audio device to esd
esddsp [esdplay] (1) - attempt to reroute audio device to esd
iproute (rpm) - Advanced IP routing and network device configuration tools.
mrtg (rpm) - Multi Router Traffic Grapher
rdisc (8) - network router discovery daemon
route (8) - show / manipulate the IP routing table
traceroute (8) - print the route packets trace to network host
traceroute (rpm) - Traces the route taken by packets over an IPv4/IPv6 network
You could then type "man traceroute" if that appeared to be the one that was closest to what you were hoping to find.
man exists on both UNIX and Linux.
Linux also has "info" which gives more detail on some things.
One key thing to remember is that Linux unlike DOS/Windows is case sensitive. Ls, ls, LS an lS are 4 different things. Most people keep things lower case (and most commands are) so unless someone specifies uppercase it is generally lower case. (e.g. When I say "ls" I mean lower case "ls" as I typed NOT "LS".)
P.S. Welcome to the Dark Side!
Last edited by MensaWater; 07-02-2009 at 02:16 PM.
Fedora is a Linux Distribution (a/k/a distro) that is bleeding edge but much of what is in it ends up in RHEL eventually. Fedora has a very short life cycle whereas RHEL has a much longer one. I noted this only because the book discusses both Fedora and RHEL. Also in an earlier version of the book it came with Fedora installation media so this one may as well.
The internet is a great resource for all FOSS (Free Open Source Software) including Linux. Don't worry about taking a long time to learn it all. I've been doing UNIX/Linux full time since 1991 and still don't know it "all". You can do quite a bit without books - the main benefit to a book over the internet is that you know it is specific to the subject you are interested in. Internet searches can be difficult to craft to get just that piece of information you want to know.
Thanks. Sounds like I'll just stick to the websites for now. I'll just read them on my laptop with wireless, portable to a point! haha.
I'm downloading a Fedora 11 DVD ISO now, hopefully that will give me something to play with after I read some of that stuff. But I swear I read something somewhere that the Fedora is all GUI so that wouldn't me with RHEL since that's all command line?
When I began working with GNU/LINUX in 1994, it was straight from the DOS world. Though UNIX was unfamiliar territory, LINUX books assumed that anyone using LINUX was migrating from System V or BSD--systems that I had never heard of. It is a sensible adage to create, for others to share, the recipe that you would most like to have had. Indeed, I am not convinced that a single unifying text exists, even now, without this book. Even so, I give it to you desperately incomplete; but there is only so much one can explain in a single volume.
I hope that readers will now have a single text to guide them through all facets of GNU/LINUX.
If you really want a book there are plenty to choose from, but all the best Linux information is on the Internet anyway. Here are a few I think are useful to someone transitioning from Win/DOS to Linux.
GNU Manuals Online has complete manuals for all the great GNU software you're likely to encounter.
Don't neglect the documentation already installed on your system. In particular, you should familiarize yourself with the man and info commands. There may also be HTML documents, but I can't say exactly where they will be. On Kubuntu, many program's HTML documentation is installed in /usr/share/doc/programname and /usr/share/programname/doc.
Linux for Windows Administrators (Mark Minasi Windows Administrator Library)
Linux for Windows Nt/2000 Administrators: The Secret Decoder Ring (Mark Minasi Windows 2000)
Official Red Hat Linux Administrator's Guide by Red Hat Inc
Would you recommend me buying any books also or you think all these websites are the way to go?
I'm going to suggest a few books (I like books; you can throw them at people), but I'll suggest that you don't do anything about buying books just right now. Well, unless you think you can buy them on your company's account, that might push the balance slightly.
Essential System Admin, Frisch. I'm suggesting this not only because it is a good book, but it is 'cross platform' a 'and this is how you would deal with this problem on Linux...Solaris...Windows'
The Linux Quick Fix Notebook Harrison. Red Hat based, and if you want a general series of 'just add water' recipes to get a job done, which you might soon, I don't know of a better book.
Begining Linux Programming (several authors). I know you aren't (Begining Linux Programming), but the first few chapters deal with the shell environment and how the program 'sees' that and interacts with it.
However, my immediate suggestion is that you should look through some of the links that have been suggested already (and I'll add one Linux home Networking, on the grounds that getting your head around networking may be one of the things that slows you down most, initially, and their chapter 14 (firewalling) is straight out of Harrison). That will give you enough to look at for the moment, and once you know what is causing you grief, you'll be in a better position to say what else you want to know.
A couple of very general tips
Use the package manager (this is my first tip for ordinary users, too)
Things are configured via readable text files. You can read them. You can read them even when the app or service doesn't work. They tell you what parameters are configurable. (If you haven't noticed, by now, that you should read them, I am not sure that buying books will make the difference!)
I make those two observations, because until you make those observations and realise what flows from them, you won't make an effective administrator. Maybe, you don't have to get there particularly quickly, which would be good. trying to administer a Linux/Unix box as if it was 'a windows box, done badly' (I'm not arguing that's what is is, at all) will just lead to frustration.