How will learning Linux help me?

SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
I've been really interested in learning Linux for a while now and due to learning other bits and pieces i've kind of ignored it. Would you say learning Linux would help in a role as a network engineer? Is there any professional benefits of learning it? Is it more productive than windows? Is it really worth it?

Let me know your thoughts :D
Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

sriddle.co.uk
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Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Yes it will definitely help. Everything from monitoring to automation is mostly done on linux platforms.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    Would you say it's best to do something that's structured like Linux+ or just go straight in? What distribution would you recommend?
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • TWXTWX Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I use Linux because my entire job is remoting into command-line equipment. The GUI is merely a means to have multiple terminal windows open at the same time. I can also manage Linux hosts for TFTP and file serving via SSH (scp) easily and quickly, and if I have Linux hosts at the remote sites I can VLAN-trunk to their interfaces to put that Linux host up on whatever network I need, without having to take over a user's workstation. If I have a virtual machine program on the Linux box at a remote site I can emulate any OS that I need to in order to test things too.

    I don't like PuTTY anymore for Windows when I have to drag a laptop out into the field. I use it for RS-232 connections, but I've installed tools like Cygwin and Mobaxterm for SSH. PuTTY is too clunky for establishing large numbers of SSH sessions in quick order.

    Over the deacdes I've used Slackware, Redhat, SuSE, Debian, and Ubuntu. I can't really make a recommendation at the moment given the flux that the init replacement systemd is causing, but I use Debian or Ubuntu depending on the box.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I've never done any structured learning on the subject, but it'd be nice to if you can. I just started playing with it at home, grabbed a cheap used book, then googling whatever needed for work.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    Cheers guys, thanks for your input - It's a good eye opener.

    I am thinking perhaps learning Arch Linux as I figured that would be them most CLI based distribution.

    I know Red hat is awesome but it's a whole different beast and i'd like to still be able to focus on doing Cisco related bits such as finishing my CCNP and getting CCDP.
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • Justin-Justin- Member Posts: 300
    I would definitely say learn Linux. It's huge for automation as other users have mentioned.

    A good book that I would recommend is the Linux Command Bible, it provides a great deal of information on Linux and I found it very useful when I first started dabbling with it. Once you get the chance, go for the Linux+ and if you want a well known industry used cert, go for the Redhat cert down the road.

    Cheers and good luck bro!
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    Some Linux knowledge will be needed for any IT work.

    Case in point. Our storage/VMWare admin sometimes has to deal with VMWare ESXi hosts which are a version of OpenSUSE and he has to deal with it from the CLI. His background is a Windows Admin, so he asks me a number of questions for support.

    The other Windows Admin has a backup system that deals with software updates that come in tar files (.tgz) and again has to ask me on how to go about it.

    The other day our infosec scanner detected smart devices that were running a version of BSD. I got called in to figure out how to turn them off.

    So...Linux is everywhere in the enterprise in some shape and form, so having an awareness will be helpful.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

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  • ChinookChinook Member Posts: 206
    @Simrid

    One great benefit is that in command line you can't point and click. I've always thought that lack of a GUI forces you to actually understand what you're configuring and why. In Windows you can just click and go next next finish and not really understand what you have did.

    As a path for education/certification I'd recommend this

    LPI Linux Essentials: A great starter course & exam for Linux. It will teach you some of the history of Linux, FSF vs OSI, licensing and many basic commands which are the foundation of using Linux.

    LPIC-1. This is also called Linux+. It's two exams and upon completion you'll be comfortable at the command line & competent enough to be a Linux Support Technician.

    LPIC -2. Two exams, one puts great emphasis on all things apache. Once you've completed this you're pretty much ready for both a Linux Enterprise or Linux Web gig.

    RHCSA: Purely Red Hat focused but a great addition to the resume. The exam is hands on so you have to "know" your stuff.

    As for what distro you should be using? I would learn on both Red Hat/CentOS and Ubuntu. These are the most likely distro's you'll run into out there in the real world. I find Ubuntu is more common in web based stuff & RH in business. I would refrain from using things like Gentoo, Arch, Slackware, etc until you are very proficient on the OS.

    The learning curve is much longer for Linux than Windows. Expect to invest a fair bit of time in acquiring the certs. They're straight forward but you can't just memorize the book to pass.

    And the best reason to learn Linux? It rocks.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    As everyone has echoed it is awesome!! The best benefit would be the expanding of your skills and adding another discipline to your resume. Being well equipped in Windows and Linux makes you stand out so much more!!

    Good luck in your studies!! icon_thumright.gif
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
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  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    As a long time Linux user, I agree with Chinook. Learning RHEL/CENTOS/Fedora, Debian, or SUSE would be the best place to start. Gentoo/Arch et al are fun but they are not as widely used throughout the enterprise. In general, Linux is Linux. However, each distro or class of distro I should say, has its quirks. Over and above using a distro, learn vi (it's an editor). Why vi and not nano or something else? vi is standard on all NIX derivatives. Some key CLI commands you should master are cd, ls, cat/tac, grep, cp, mv, mkdir, touch, rm, chmod, chown, df, du. Then there are the package management systems with the two most prevalent being yum/dnf for RHEL based distros and apt-get for Debian based distros. Another thing is to take note of the differences in where config files live on the different distros.

    One thing which may help hasten your learning is to do practical things with Linux that a server admin would have to do. Setup an NFS server, setup a TFTP server, setup a web server (try apache then try nginx), setup a timeserver, setup a DHCP server etc. etc. Doing these real life activities will help you learn some ins and outs of the specific OS you are working on.

    How will Linux benefit your future career as a Network Engineer can be harder to answer. In general, it will give you a different perspective when looking at a problem. Secondly, learning at least some basic troubleshooting on Linux seems like a good idea especially when so many appliances are running some NIX on them nowadays.

    Good luck.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,829 Mod
    It seems like a must in security, and I'm finding my lack of Linux skills are handicapping me when looking for new jobs. Now I have the latest edition of The Linux Bible and will be using it to get more familiar with Linux. What I've found is that just diving in and getting your hands dirty (not in a prod environment of course) is the fastest way to learn. I seem to be picking up the commands and navigation so easy by just doing them.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
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  • TWXTWX Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    alias454 wrote: »
    Some key CLI commands you should master are cd, ls, cat/tac, grep, cp, mv, mkdir, touch, rm, chmod, chown, df, du.

    Don't forget umask and not only the operation of chmod, chown, and umask, but why that's significant and what it does. Windows users come into this with a distinct disadvantage, permissions have been so abysmal in Windows for so long that users have no concept of locking their user accounts down so that they can't break the box. In many cases the software in Windows requires high level privileges so they have no choice, but regardless, managing permissions is necessary on a UNIX-like box.
  • TWXTWX Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    It seems like a must in security, and I'm finding my lack of Linux skills are handicapping me when looking for new jobs. Now I have the latest edition of The Linux Bible and will be using it to get more familiar with Linux. What I've found is that just diving in and getting your hands dirty (not in a prod environment of course) is the fastest way to learn. I seem to be picking up the commands and navigation so easy by just doing them.

    If you really want to learn, mothball your Windows boxes at home and use Linux exclusively until you're very comfortable with what you're doing. I ran it exclusively for five years after Microsoft commingled IE with the OS and relying on it day in, day out taught me the most.
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