Windows Sys Admin to Linux Sys Admin --- I'm scared.

LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
To start off -- yes, I got stuck in VIM. What mad man even created that thing?? What the hell is a : got to do with starting a command to exit?!

After I have been on my AWS path, and learned I can't take AWS certification where I am currently at (overseas), I decided to pick up a Linux distro and start learning that stuff since AWS and Linux go well together.

So I signed up for LA.com, (LinuxAcademy) after a few courses on Udemy, and discovered Linux is in a whole other league. I am comfortable with the command line, atleast working in it, but Linux is a whole other level.

How have any other Win Sys Admins made the transition? This whole concept of 'everything is a file' is just scary to me. Not to mention I need to strictly work in the CLI and not a GUI, just makes this a little more crazier for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not terrible at Powershell, but BASH is just bonkers.

The biggest scare is that I won't remember every command, every path, every file...

I'm trying to get my L+ / LPIC 1, and eventually LPIC 2 / RHCSA, and not scared to put in the work to get it. I really want to land a linux/unix type job where I can learn and grow more.

Any advice is always appreciated!
Kindly doing the needful
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Comments

  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,764 Mod
    I am doing both. Do not be scared.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • shochanshochan Member Posts: 939 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'm learning it too...it is different, but just like you learned dos cmds it will all sink in after you continuously do it over and over...don't be scared, just look at it as a challenge and if you don't know how to do something in linux, research it online. CHEERS & HI5!
    2021 Goal ~ OSCP

    Urban Achiever~ A+, Network+, i-Net+, MCP 70-210, CNA v5, Server+, Security+, Cloud+, CySA+
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    You'll be okay. It's not gonna pull you into the computer or anything like that :P

    Just practice and experiment. It'll take time to learn but once you get things down, its awesome :)

    I'm sure that you'll remember all the important stuff and if you can't, there's resources online to help you out. Or if you have books, use them as well. Linux also has a find feature to help out if you're looking for files/folders.

    Why are you trying to get the L+?
    Booya!!
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  • KrusaderKrusader Member Posts: 109
    Install Arch Linux. You'll learn a lot about the components that make up a Linux distro.
    If your mad try Gentoo and if your completely bonkers Linux From Scratch.

    I'd recommend using a Linux distro as your daily driver at home if you can and try and use the CLI as much as possible.
    Try Fedora if you are going for the RHCSA
    2018 Goals
    AWS & Linux Knowledge
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the encouragement.

    @JamesleeColeman
    I'm trying to get L+ which would give me LPIC-1. It's the same test actually. At some point when you get L+, you can have CompTIA send those results to LPI which will give you the cert. One expires, the other doesn't. I'm also getting it just so it'll show I am actively learning linux for when I go for a job. I really want to work with AWS, and Linux is obviously embedded into AWS (SaaS companies and all).

    @Krusader,
    I'm not mad or crazy enough .. yet lol. I installed CentOS and have been labbing off of that. LinuxAcademy is nice to also provide labs (using AWS :) ).
    Once I get my LPIC's,and shoot for RHCSA, I'd use Fedora/CentOS.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,675 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Have you considered getting the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator (LFCS) certification? It is, from my understanding, command-line only certification. You get to choose from one of three distros for the exam (Ubuntu, CentOS, and SUSE, if memory serves). It is required for the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification and might be a good cert to get you down and dirty before going after some of the other certifications you've listed.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Personally I gave myself goals like:

    - Setup a webserver
    - Setup a webserver capable of virtual hosting
    - Learn how to setup an SSL certificate
    - Setup a mail server
    - Setup a mail server capable of doing virtual hosting
    - Use iptables (Back then it was ipchains) to share my highspeed internet connection with other computers (high speed internet was a new concept and fairly expensive, my dad was still on dialup until I decided I'd figure out how to share the connection)
    - setup a nameserver with reverse DNS for my local server (and the fake websites and e-mail domains)

    I never gave myself a goal of learning linux inside out.. instead I picked broader goals like webservers, mail servers, DNS servers and firewalls and everything else just kind of followed along. For me that was a lot more interesting than sitting there and thinking to myself "ok, now I have to learn all these shell commands" There's nothing wrong to use targeted learning for the stuff that doesn't fall within any of your broader goals (i.e: at some point I told myself it was time to learn about user management) but IMO giving yourself some sort of little project is a much more fun way to learn.

    Last but not least: avoid dual booting. If you don't have dedicated hardware then download VirtualBox and run some VMs, that way you get to keep your desktop and you can always refer to online information (google searches) when you're stuck.



    PS: As you've already said it yourself, everything is a text file. If you actually intend to work as a Linux admin, spend all the time you need to learn 'grep' and a little bit of 'awk'. You'll even want to look at Regex at some point. This will make your life much easier when it comes time to search log files for specific events/when troubleshooting.

    PPS: If you're learning Linux for work reasons, at least here in Canada, 99% of the job postings I've seen ask for RHEL or CentOS. Debian is great but it's rarely mentioned in any of the job postings I've ever come across. My recommendation is that you spend time learning CentOS. Also, don't waste too much time on CentOS 6, bite the bullet and move on to CentOS7/systemd.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    phatrik wrote: »
    Personally I gave myself goals like:

    - Setup a webserver
    - Setup a webserver capable of virtual hosting
    - Learn how to setup an SSL certificate
    - Setup a mail server
    - Setup a mail server capable of doing virtual hosting
    - Use iptables (Back then it was ipchains) to share my highspeed internet connection with other computers (high speed internet was a new concept and fairly expensive, my dad was still on dialup until I decided I'd figure out how to share the connection)
    - setup a nameserver with reverse DNS for my local server (and the fake websites and e-mail domains)

    I never gave myself a goal of learning linux inside out.. instead I picked broader goals like webservers, mail servers, DNS servers and firewalls and everything else just kind of followed along. For me that was a lot more interesting than sitting there and thinking to myself "ok, now I have to learn all these shell commands" There's nothing wrong to use targeted learning for the stuff that doesn't fall within any of your broader goals (i.e: at some point I told myself it was time to learn about user management) but IMO giving yourself some sort of little project is a much more fun way to learn.

    Last but not least: avoid dual booting. If you don't have dedicated hardware then download VirtualBox and run some VMs, that way you get to keep your desktop and you can always refer to online information (google searches) when you're stuck.



    PS: As you've already said it yourself, everything is a text file. If you actually intend to work as a Linux admin, spend all the time you need to learn 'grep' and a little bit of 'awk'. You'll even want to look at Regex at some point. This will make your life much easier when it comes time to search log files for specific events/when troubleshooting.

    PPS: If you're learning Linux for work reasons, at least here in Canada, 99% of the job postings I've seen ask for RHEL or CentOS. Debian is great but it's rarely mentioned in any of the job postings I've ever come across. My recommendation is that you spend time learning CentOS. Also, don't waste too much time on CentOS 6, bite the bullet and move on to CentOS7/systemd.


    Awesome advice! I didn't think to approach it that way. Might as well pretend to build a 20 user company infrastructure and decide what they need (file, print, dhcp, dns, email, usergroups, security groups, users, etc).

    Thanks for the info, I also see all jobs the NE as requiring RHEL or DevOps (puppet, python scripting). Have a lot to learn!
    Kindly doing the needful
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I havent considered that.

    I thought LPI / Linux+ were kind of the defacto standards aside from RHEL certs which are basically like Microsoft certs. Thanks for the tid bit, I'll look into that.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I use vi.

    I prefer Vim but haven't played with Linux for awhile
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Btw, RHEL certs (RHCSA/RHCE) are 100% hands-on. There's no multiple choice, drag and drop or sims. You're literally given a VM and told to perform a bunch of task. If you're serious about Linux you should really consider at least getting your RHCSA. Granted it isn't vendor neutral but since RHEL is usually what's asked for when job hunting, that's not really a problem.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    LittleBIT wrote: »
    To start off -- yes, I got stuck in VIM. What mad man even created that thing?? What the hell is a : got to do with starting a command to exit?!

    Nothing. vi, vim and emacs exist only to give fanboys something to argue about. It earns you credibility in the narrowest circles, and then you spend your entire life arguing why your choice was better than the others. And there is no winning the same repetitive argument.

    If you want to be functional as a recovering Windows user, start using nano or pico. ON the downside, you get less street cred in the penguin community. On the plus side, you can actually be productive.
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,675 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nano all the way, baby! Having said that, though, I have decided to start delving rather deeply into vim in order to expand my knowledge base.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    jibtech wrote: »
    If you want to be functional as a recovering Windows user, start using nano or pico. ON the downside, you get less street cred in the penguin community. On the plus side, you can actually be productive.

    Spoken like someone who's never been a linux sysadmin for a living icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif The reason why someone should learn vi/vim is pretty simple: A minimal install contains vi/vim but none of the other text editors (for CentOS/RHEL anyways). The likelihood of coming across a server that was installed as minimal is pretty good: Starting with the bare minimum packages and then adding only those you need is considered best practice since it reduces the attack surface.

    Let's say you work for an MSP where you maintain linux servers belonging to clients (or even if you're doing internal support for your organization) and they got their **** together(I say got their **** together because some shops are lazy), you probably won't be able to install new packages without first submitting a Change Request. If you have to delay a task and wait for a CAB meeting to get your Change Request approved before you can complete the task, you might end up losing credibility in the eyes of people you work for or even the client.

    If you're learning linux just for fun then learning vi/vim isn't as important. If you want to work as a sysadmin one day and you want to be taken seriously, spend the time it takes to learn it.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I recognize the pervasiveness of vi/vim/emacs in the world, and therefore the need to learn and use it.

    But to suggest that it is a superior editor is just rubbish. The Windows equivalent is that notepad or Wordpad is a superior word processor than Word.

    Yes, they are installed everywhere. No, you shouldn't be installing Office because you don't like notepad. But that doesn't make notes for Wordpad superior.

    Vi/vim/emacs aren't better in any way. They are what's available. They certainly aren't better enough to justify the rabid fanaticism they inspire.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,298 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I am doing both. Do not be scared.
    When someone with scared in their username tells you not to be scared, then you know you'll be OK! icon_wink.gif
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Actually you won't find EMACS on a minimal install server. On the subject of being productive, there's no reasons why someone can't be productive with vim that I can think of, with the exception being if you never learned the vim key binds.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • gkcagkca Member Posts: 243 ■■■□□□□□□□
    phatrik
    +1024 Totally agree with a fellow Torontonian, vi ftw icon_thumright.gif
    "I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." (c) Nick Helm
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    gkca wrote: »
    phatrik
    +1024 Totally agree with a fellow Torontonian, vi ftw icon_thumright.gif
    icon_cheers.gificon_cheers.gificon_cheers.gif
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thank you all for the input!

    I just started the LFCSA course on Linux Academy.

    That seems more my speed and is kind of in alignment with doing small projects or actual things vs the CompTIA way of teaching (this is what this does).
    Kindly doing the needful
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,206 ■■■■■■■■□□
    LittleBIT wrote: »
    To start off -- yes, I got stuck in VIM. What mad man even created that thing?? What the hell is a : got to do with starting a command to exit?!

    To put things in perspective vi was likely written on one of these keyboards from 1976.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
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    In progress: OSCP
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    phatrik wrote: »
    ... On the subject of being productive, there's no reasons why someone can't be productive with vim that I can think of, with the exception being if you never learned the vim key binds.

    There is also no reason you can't use a "Rubik's Cube" to serve as your hide-a-key. That doesn't necessarily make it productive, or the right tool for the job.

    Don't get me wrong. If I had spent the time to master vi/vim/emacs, I would want it to be the de facto standard as well. Otherwise, it is a lot of brain power and memory cells wasted. But, for the basic editing of files that makes up the vast majority of the work, pico/nano works beautifully, and I can put the other brain cells to use on something else productive.
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    jibtech wrote: »
    There is also no reason you can't use a "Rubik's Cube" to serve as your hide-a-key. That doesn't necessarily make it productive, or the right tool for the job..


    You want to remain a stubborn and refuse to learn vi/vim for yourself, fine. But please stop being dishonest with everyone else and try to spread misinformation around. VI/VIM *IS* the right tool for the job, no questions asked and I've already explained why (but here it is again): When accessing a client system to troubleshoot or complete a change request, if that system happens to be a minimal install, vi/vim is the one tool you're guaranteed to find installed on the system.

    If you're earning your Linux certification just so you can have an extra acronym next to your name to add to the list then fine, stick with whatever floats your boat. If you're earning a Linux certification because you intend to work as a linux syadmin then you need to learn vi/vim.
    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I am most fluent in Windows, but I can work in both.

    Yes, vi/vim is a bit of a learning curve for someone from a windows-only background.

    Find yourself a good vim **** sheet, print it in poster form, and nail it to your cubicle wall.

    Get used to ESC to get back to command mode and the proper commands to exit with and without saving. Learn the copy/cut/paste commands and how to search. Then you will be able to function well enough to not be so frustrated, and will pick up more as you go along.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Why be scared, be curious instead!

    Linux is all about the Directory hierarchy. What types of files go into which directories. VIM get's easier the more you use it. I only dabble in linux stuff from time to time for work and fun and I feel pretty comfortable with it. All about the concepts. Once you go through installing services like ssh, editing the ssh related files, iptables, etc.. it should start to click and get easier
  • phatrikphatrik Member Posts: 71 ■■□□□□□□□□
    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    2018 goals: Security+, CCNA CyberOps (Cohort #6), eJPT, CCNA R&S 2019 goals: RHCE ????, OSCP || CISSP
  • LittleBITLittleBIT Member Posts: 320 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks TE for the input.

    It's not so much as 'scared' but more like overwhelmed.

    It's like anything else I suppose. Theres 1000 commands, but you'll probably only use a small % of those commands on a daily basis (ls & cd) :D:D:D

    I put the L+ on the side and moved onto LFCS. It seems more my speed, like actually DOING stuff, not just learning all the commands like grep and such.

    I can't recommend Linux Academy enough, it beats out Udemy for sure.

    I'm studying for the MCSA Linux on Azure study path.

    On a side note -- Azure portal is very similar to AWS's console, I was easily able to pick stuff up and compare apples to apples between the two.

    Happy to finally learn some new stuff, not just fixing printers and word documents having issues opening :P

    I am going to put the time in for VIM, just for my own growth.
    Kindly doing the needful
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Krusader wrote: »
    I'd recommend using a Linux distro as your daily driver at home if you can and try and use the CLI as much as possible.
    Try Fedora if you are going for the RHCSA

    I don't really like Fedora. But I used CentOS 7 as my daily driver for over a year. And a MacBook at work.
    It's a lot easier, in my opinion, going back and forth between MacOS and Linux than Windows and Linux. However, that all might be different now that Win 10 has the Ubuntu subsystem.. installed.

    Even if you're going for the RHCSA eventually, don't be afraid to try out Ubuntu or Mint as your daily driver either -- they're both pretty neat. And Linux is Linux -- the concepts from one distro carry over to the next.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Additionally, you should be able to learn Vim enough to be functional in under 10 minutes. And within an hour have memorized the key bindings you need the most.

    i = insert mode - you can now start typing your text
    ESC = get back to "normal" mode - you can now start entering commands, such as the following
    :w = write
    :q = quit
    :q! = quit w/o saving
    :wq = quit and save

    Eventually, you'll be able to search, jump to different places in the file, copy/cut and paste, highlight, search and replace, etc. Then if you want you'll be able to even make scripts/macros, edit multiple lines at once, split the window, jump between multiple lines, and create custom configurations for your vim environment. But almost all of that is secondary, and you can wait months, or even years before jumping into the more difficult parts.

    I always recommend nano/pico to those who use *nix occationally and vi to those who plan to be sys admins and constantly working within multiple systems. For programmers working within *nix but not necessarily jumping between many machines, I recommend looking into emacs at some point just to see if it's something they're interested in, tho it's not something I personally ever used.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
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