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Author Topic: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?  (Read 3796 times)

Daleus

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Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« on: June 25, 2010, 09:59:07 AM »
I've had a job function change, from end user support back to the server side of the force, for which I was originally hired about 15 years ago.

It was unexpected and has caught me a little flat-footed as I never expected to be reprieved from the user side of the force.  Now I am trying to catch up on all of the server skills that have been dormant and unnurtured, lo all these years.

So I'm jumping to Linux (as a server - no interest as a desktop as yet). I have one project to play with - putting my Xbox on my home network as a media centre - but I'm looking for other tasks to help me learn more about getting around in, and managing Linux.

I have a zillion pdfs on how to *begin* learning Linux, but after installing etc. and learning basic commands, how to get around, and all the other basic stuff, I don't know what to do next to put my beginner skills to use.

Any suggestions are gratefully accepted.  Considering that my work focus is on managing servers, more tasks to practise those skills would be more appropriate than learning to play a movie an mp3 or other "desktop/User" oriented tasks.

Thanks Y'all!
Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large

40hz

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 10:36:44 AM »
If your orientation is towards server administration the two most necessary skills you'll need to be up on are basic shell commands and scripting; and the use of the VI editor. If you're in the sysadmin group, you'll be using VI and shell extensively. Bash is the most common shell so it's best you start with that. O'Reilly puts out several excellent books that will bring you up to speed on everything you need to know. A quick browse on Amazon or a walk through one of the larger bookstores will also suggest other titles and publishers.

Another thing you'll likely need to know about is the LAMP foursome. Apache, MySQL, and php are among the most common software found on a Linux server. Learning to set up LAMP from scratch is a good skill to have since learning about how these packages interact and how to create and modify config files and databases are skills which have application beyond running webservers. So one good starter project would be to set up LAMP and then try your hand at installing something like a blog engine to become comfortable with actually using web technologies.

There's some other things I could suggest but I'm on the road today with nothing but a smartphone so I can't lookup titles and weblinks right now. But I'll try to get back to you later. In the meantime I'm sure DC's Nixers can provide some other ideas and links for you to try.

So welcome & well met! I think you're really going to
like working with Linux.
 
 :Thmbsup:
  

housetier

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 12:25:38 PM »
I agree with 40hz on vim: it's the one truly ubiquitous software.

There is the command "vimtutor" which will get you started with vim, then there are several books, some of them are even free.


Do not try to learn everything at once:

learning-curve.png

Daleus

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 01:01:37 PM »
40hz,

I've already setup semi-LAMP; we use Postgres rather than MySQL, but all the rest is there.  But I'm glad you mentioned it because yer basic website setup had totally slipped my mind. Now at least it gets on the list. However, all I did was the installs for those products, no configuration.  As I'm just starting, my jobs for the past couple of weeks are to learn the general environment and tools we use, and then those "joe-jobs" that prepare the real NetAdmin to get to the heavy lifting.

So I've configured a few blades, installed a few VMs and then in them, installed Debian with PHP, Apache (A Patchy Server - still makes me laff) and Postgres.

The intro texts I'm working through assume bash, which is what I have at my disposal. Using Debian here at work, so that's what I'll be working with. Have done zero scripting on linux, but plenty of scripting in other environments so that should be less of a hill to push my brain up.

When you're off the road, I look forward to whatever else you have to suggest.

housetier,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm tracking down vimtutor right now.  I've had limited experience with Vi in the past, but know that it will become a daily tool.  Mind you I am a big fan of eMacs.  When I was running DLG BBS on my Amiga, I installed a version of the emacs editor as the syste/user editor and a lot of people told me they liked it.  Of course, that was back when computers were steam-powered so who knows what it's like today.  Got a good laugh out of the illustration though ;)

Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large

housetier

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 01:22:31 PM »
When you are a fan of emacs and are already used to emacs, I strongly suggest you stick with it. I see no point in switching from a tool you are used to.

You should really try to make use of your shell. They are very powerful and meant to be adjusted to YOUR needs. Invest time to develop helper scripts or aliases, saving you keystrokes.

Oh one more tool I can recommend: screen or tmux, which are so called terminal multiplexers. They let you start programs in windows without blocking the terminal; the programs can keep running, even when the connection is lost. This is extremely helpful for tasks that might take longer. I even use screen on my local machine: one terminal-window with screen, which in turn has several windows (irc, updates, mediaplayer, monitoring).

40hz

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 04:02:40 PM »
There's a couple of commands you should learn inside out if you're going to be working with Linux servers:

chmod - change system mode of files. Anytime you're mucking with permissions you'll be using this. Also make it a point to really understand how file permissions work in Linux. And also how they relate to users and groups. This is something you'll need to have down cold since handling file access permissions is a major sysadmin responsibility.   

rsync - the quick and dirty sync/backup tool

tar - the now quaintly named "tape archive" utility. The Unix answer to WinZip. You'll be using tar constantly. Learn what all those option switches are for.  

ssh - secure shell. Use it when you're administrating remotely

cron - THE job scheduler. (Also known as "the relationship saver" utility.) Essential to know If you don't want to spend a lot of time hanging around after work in order to get your job done. Want a personal life? Better learn how to use cron ASAP.

apt - powerful package management tool. apt can do a whole lot more than just install packages. Learn all its options. They're very powerful and useful.

(Yoiks! More hardware just arrived. Gotta run.  :Thmbsup: )
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 04:09:32 PM by 40hz »

Edvard

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 11:33:30 AM »
If you reference one book, do this one:
Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition
It's age is starting to show, but most of the basic info is timeless anyway.
Besides, you can't beat the price... :Thmbsup:

Hint: There's a link to a nice PDF of the whole banana in the upper left of that page.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:38:35 PM by Edvard »

steeladept

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 11:56:25 AM »
Unfortunately that link doesn't go to the PDF.  Or at least it isn't obvious where it is on the Hosting site.  The good news is, for the moment at least, you can download a HTML version already nicely packaged in BZ2 format.

40hz

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 12:19:29 PM »
While we're on the subject of good books, get a copy of this ASAP:

Linux Administration Handbook (2nd Edition) (also known as "Big Pink.")  :-*

linux-administration-handbook.jpg

Score your own copy of this. Your friends will soon be envious - and your enemies terrified!

1040 pages of rock-solid hardcore information and sundry goodness. Virtually anything you will ever need to know about Linux systems administration can be found within this hefty paperback. Very readable too!

If you only buy or plan on reading one book, make it this one.

Tux sez: pink.gif


« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 06:20:41 PM by 40hz »

Edvard

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 08:41:49 PM »
Unfortunately that link doesn't go to the PDF.  Or at least it isn't obvious where it is on the Hosting site.  The good news is, for the moment at least, you can download a HTML version already nicely packaged in BZ2 format.
Here go!
http://www.icon.co.z...~psheer/rute.pdf.bz2

Also, I had the wrong link in my original post. Fixed.

@40Hz:
Excellent book. I had my hands on one once and wished it was mine and not someone else's.
P.S. The Unix and Linux handbooks have now been compiled into one book, and the fourth edition is out...
http://www.amazon.co...277949758&sr=1-2
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 09:04:54 PM by Edvard »

40hz

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 04:30:48 PM »
@Edvard - Thx for the word Big Pink has been updated.  :Thmbsup:

Guess I know what I'm gonna have to do next time I have some free cash floating around.  ;D
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 06:18:19 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2010, 06:17:28 PM »
@Daleus - Oh yeah, I almost forgot...

One other thing you absolutely need to do after your first Linux install is to identify good local sources for late night pizza and/or Thai cuisine.

Preferably one that also offers reliable free delivery.

Don't fight it.

You'll learn faster.

And besides...it's part of the "nix" culture! :mrgreen:

( :beerchug: So's microbrewery ale BTW, but that part's a little more optional.  :drinksmiley: )
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 06:24:06 PM by 40hz »

steeladept

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 09:40:38 AM »
Unfortunately that link doesn't go to the PDF.  Or at least it isn't obvious where it is on the Hosting site.  The good news is, for the moment at least, you can download a HTML version already nicely packaged in BZ2 format.
Here go!
http://www.icon.co.z...~psheer/rute.pdf.bz2
Thanks, wish it would work though.  I keep getting redirected to http://www.mweb.co.za/general/?p=archive which is worse than useless from what I can see.

Edvard

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 04:49:02 PM »
Unfortunately that link doesn't go to the PDF.  Or at least it isn't obvious where it is on the Hosting site.  The good news is, for the moment at least, you can download a HTML version already nicely packaged in BZ2 format.
Here go!
http://www.icon.co.z...~psheer/rute.pdf.bz2
Thanks, wish it would work though.  I keep getting redirected to http://www.mweb.co.za/general/?p=archive which is worse than useless from what I can see.

 :o :o :o
It was working before I posted it, WTH?!?!
(Oh, I see now... It says as of July 1 it'll redirect. Great.)

aha... PDF Search Engine saves the day...
http://www.tech-geek...nuxWorkshop/rute.pdf
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 04:51:39 PM by Edvard »

ewemoa

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Re: Linux Learning - what to do after basic install?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2010, 01:50:37 AM »
Starting looking through it.  Thanks for sharing.

I liked section 1.5 :)