Which Distro for me?

jem7skjem7sk MemberMember Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
I am a System Admin who has worked in a Windows/Cisco environment for the past 16 years and am looking to make the jump to Linux. I have used Ubuntu (didn't like it) and Mint (wasn't bad) in the past but didn't get to know it well and just used it like a typical, non-technical person would use windows. I really don't have any hardcore experience with Linux and want to eventually become a Linux Admin. I am studying for Cisco certs now but when finished I want to get some Linux certs. From all I have read here Red Hat is the way to go. It seems there are three flavors of Red Hat that are free: Fedora, openSuse and CentOS. I just bought a new laptop and want to put a Linux Distro on my old laptop and get to know Linux very well. Should I use one of these three distros or another? Which one of these three should I use if they are the ones to use?

Comments

  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Stayed at a Holiday Inn.. Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'd go with CentOS if you want to go the Red Hat route at some point.
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  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Senior Member Banned Posts: 1,343
    CentOS. Suse is not Red Hat, BTW... what I would suggest is starting out doing everything at the command line, even if you install a GUI version of Linux. If you need any help or have any questions, this forum is a perfect place to ask.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys... I'll have to get CentOS on it and get started this afternoon. Any tips/resources for learning it the fastest way possible? I will use the terminal/command line as much as I can. That is one thing I love about linux. Go to a command line to install a program and it is done in a few seconds.
  • brownwrapbrownwrap Senior Member Member Posts: 549
    I was going to say the same the about open Suse, but maybe the confusion is they both use RPMs.
  • brombulecbrombulec Senior Member Member Posts: 186 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'd rather vote for Fedora. This is an upstream for RedHat features. And you can install full KVM virtualization (including the nested version if your CPU supports this) and then install for example a full working cluster of 3 CentOS machines (for 436 exam), an OpenStack environment (for 210 exam) and other. And there is one huge advantage - you'll get all drivers for the laptop devices with Fedora, with CentOS you can have some difficulties.
  • lsud00dlsud00d 1337sauce Member Posts: 1,571
    [PHP][/PHP]Start translating the tasks you would do on a Windows server into the *nix environment. Simple things like:
    • Renew DHCP lease
    • Manually configure your ethernet adapter
    • Modify the hosts file
    • Modify the firewall
    • Update your routing table
    • Ping, traceroute, etc
    • Create a new user
    • Make/move/delete directories and files
    • Make a scheduled task (aka cron table)
    Of course you'll have to learn all the commands and getting used to working exclusively on the CLI, but honestly it's highly efficient once you start getting the hang of it.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Some great advice from everyone... Thank you. I've got CentOS 7 on now and will try Fedora too... When I build a new computer I'll probably put Fedora on it and then CentOS virtualized.

    what should be the first Linux cert I should focus on? I might use that training guide as a way to learn. I have also learned a little by googling the first things to do after a CentOS 7 installation.
  • dsgbdsgb Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would go with CentOS, just my two cents.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    dsgb wrote: »
    I would go with CentOS, just my two cents.

    I put CentOS 7 on but after getting it running there doesn't seem to be much info on it. I might have to try Fedora for now as there seems to be a lot of info on it. I like CentOS though and maybe the Version 6 information will work for 7?

    I should just concentrate on the Red Hat certs correct? I shouldn't worry about any other Linux certs if I want to be a Linux admin? I'll research and get a book on the first Red Hat certification to help me learn.
  • lsud00dlsud00d 1337sauce Member Posts: 1,571
    I'm not sure what you mean by there's not much info on it? What kind of information are you looking for?

    Also, while RHCSA is a great cert to have if you want to be a linux admin, I would recommend checking out Linux+ as a primer. It's vendor-neutral and a good introduction to all things linux, including the CLI, FHS, etc. RHCSA is performance-based but it won't do you much good to do the tasks if you don't understand linux from a holistic perspective.

    My advice: crawl before you walk
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I have used several flavors or distributions of Linux: Red Hat, SuSe, Ubuntu, and Fedora. My preference is definitely CentOS/Red Hat. ;)

    I would definitely also recommend to start with Linux+ before you move onto Red Hat unless you have lots of knowledge and experience to compensate.
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  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    lsud00d wrote: »
    I'm not sure what you mean by there's not much info on it? What kind of information are you looking for?

    Also, while RHCSA is a great cert to have if you want to be a linux admin, I would recommend checking out Linux+ as a primer. It's vendor-neutral and a good introduction to all things linux, including the CLI, FHS, etc. RHCSA is performance-based but it won't do you much good to do the tasks if you don't understand linux from a holistic perspective.

    My advice: crawl before you walk

    I usually do a search of what are the top things to do after installing such and such linux distro and it comes back with a lot of info that leads to more. With CentOS 7 I didn't really get anything.

    Thanks for the advice on the Linux +. That sounds exactly like where I need to start. I'll see if I can find a good study guide and start there!
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have used several flavors or distributions of Linux: Red Hat, SuSe, Ubuntu, and Fedora. My preference is definitely CentOS/Red Hat. ;)

    I would definitely also recommend to start with Linux+ before you move onto Red Hat unless you have lots of knowledge and experience to compensate.

    I don't have lots of knowledge and experience but I want it.. I'll definitely start with Linux+ Thanks!
  • lsud00dlsud00d 1337sauce Member Posts: 1,571
    Well, linux distros are largely going to be the same across the boards, so without knowing exactly what you're searching, you can kinda do the same thing on all of them (for the most part).

    If you fill out the form on this page you can get the exam objectives, which are a great place to start:

    Exam Objectives

    Also fun fact: Linux+ is the only CompTIA exam that doesn't expire icon_cool.gif
  • VeritiesVerities Senior Member Member Posts: 1,162
    jem7sk wrote: »
    I put CentOS 7 on but after getting it running there doesn't seem to be much info on it. I might have to try Fedora for now as there seems to be a lot of info on it. I like CentOS though and maybe the Version 6 information will work for 7?

    I should just concentrate on the Red Hat certs correct? I shouldn't worry about any other Linux certs if I want to be a Linux admin? I'll research and get a book on the first Red Hat certification to help me learn.

    Let me introduce you to something we call documentation: https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/7/html/System_Administrators_Guide/

    But seriously, RedHat has some amazing free guides available on their website, if CentOS is the way you're going, all of the documentation you're going to need is on that site.

    Definitely heed Lsud00d's advice. I'm in my first Linux sys admin position and having studied for/completed the Linux + certification, I have easily transitioned into the role, coming from a strictly Windows Server background.
  • lsud00dlsud00d 1337sauce Member Posts: 1,571
    Verities wrote: »
    I'm in my first Linux sys admin position and having studied for/completed the Linux + certification, I have easily transitioned into the role, coming from a strictly Windows Server background.

    That's exactly what I did! It's been about 3 years now since I completed the L+ and I worked in a pure linux role for about 2 years total. I worked in a SUSE (SLES)/Novell shop so unlike most people I can back up the bonus certs you get with the L+...even though they are pretty much worthless :)

    In the end working with Linux made me a much stronger Windows admin. It was also very easy to pick up PowerShell (as an Object Oriented language) although I still miss Bash's text-driven focus. Yay linux!!
  • VeritiesVerities Senior Member Member Posts: 1,162
    lsud00d wrote: »
    That's exactly what I did! It's been about 3 years now since I completed the L+ and I worked in a pure linux role for about 2 years total. I worked in a SUSE (SLES)/Novell shop so unlike most people I can back up the bonus certs you get with the L+...even though they are pretty much worthless :)

    In the end working with Linux made me a much stronger Windows admin. It was also very easy to pick up PowerShell (as an Object Oriented language) although I still miss Bash's text-driven focus. Yay linux!!

    I still play Windows and VMware admin, but in a smaller capacity than with my Linux/Unix role. I'm decent with Powershell (which I do enjoy), but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to Bash scripting.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Verities wrote: »
    Let me introduce you to something we call documentation: https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/7/html/System_Administrators_Guide/

    But seriously, RedHat has some amazing free guides available on their website, if CentOS is the way you're going, all of the documentation you're going to need is on that site.

    Definitely heed Lsud00d's advice. I'm in my first Linux sys admin position and having studied for/completed the Linux + certification, I have easily transitioned into the role, coming from a strictly Windows Server background.

    That is actually some good documentation! I'll be checking out the redhat site for more. I'm going to do a search here and see which Linux + study guide is the best and pick one of those up too.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
    just found this useful information I'll pass on.

    icon_wink.gif Big wink to Verities

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/linux/104402-linux-study-resources.html

    BTW.. posting now from CentOS 7
  • VeritiesVerities Senior Member Member Posts: 1,162
    jem7sk wrote: »
    just found this useful information I'll pass on.

    icon_wink.gif Big wink to Verities

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/linux/104402-linux-study-resources.html

    BTW.. posting now from CentOS 7

    Happy to help...now if only we could get that post stickied.
  • jdancerjdancer Senior Member Member Posts: 482 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I suggest Archlinux. It's a distro geared toward power users. You truly setup up the way you want it. No fluff. archlinux.org

    However, at work, I use Redhat.
  • jem7skjem7sk Member Member Posts: 77 ■■□□□□□□□□
  • jmritenourjmritenour You are already dead Member Posts: 565
    jdancer wrote: »
    I suggest Archlinux. It's a distro geared toward power users. You truly setup up the way you want it. No fluff. archlinux.org

    However, at work, I use Redhat.

    I second that. Though it is for advanced users, I'd advise starting off with it for no reason other than just getting it installed will give you a good crash course in the basics of Linux - creating partitions, creating file systems, swap space, the concept of root & other mount points... even as a RHCE with many years of experience, I find my knowledge of the inner workings of Linux has increased exponentially since I started playing with Arch.
    "Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible; suddenly, you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi
  • VeritiesVerities Senior Member Member Posts: 1,162
    jdancer wrote: »
    I suggest Archlinux. It's a distro geared toward power users. You truly setup up the way you want it. No fluff. archlinux.org

    However, at work, I use Redhat.

    Based on what OP mentioned, I don't think he'd really be considered a power user. Someone with little to no experience can become frustrated very easily with Arch.
  • teancum144teancum144 Senior Member Member Posts: 229 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Another vote for Fedora (Red Hat's bleeding edge distro). It's quite stable; you can get all the cutting edge packages that will help you stay productive (and entertained); and use VMs for CentOS, other distros, and Windows.
    If you like my comments or questions, you can show appreciation by clicking on the reputation badge/star icon near the lower left of my post. :D
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