Want to learn Linux

cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior MemberMod Posts: 6,882 Mod
After 10+ years working with Windows I think it's time to learn some variant of Linux. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach this for someone who ? My goal is not to get certified or anything like that. Although thinking about it pursuing a cert may be a good way to really learn it. I am interested in knowing about the file system, monitoring processes, etc.

I'm open to suggestions.

Comments

  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Consider joining a LUG (linux user group). It should be free...weekly meeting to talk with linux geeks about evolving technology and get help with linux. There should be one in Chicago.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    After 10+ years working with Windows I think it's time to learn some variant of Linux. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach this for someone who ? My goal is not to get certified or anything like that. Although thinking about it pursuing a cert may be a good way to really learn it. I am interested in knowing about the file system, monitoring processes, etc.

    I'm open to suggestions.


    ubuntu and mint are fairly user friendly if yoru just starting out (boot from cd or install a vm)

    and a nice exam cram style book for linux+ will help ya understand the basics
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • shaqazoolushaqazoolu Member Posts: 259 ■■■■□□□□□□
    When I first started learning, there were a bunch of guys at work that told me you won't learn it until you just do it. Switch a computer that you use often to Linux and force yourself to use it. You'll learn it...or you'll hate computers.
    :study:
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAMember Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I used virtual machines for Ubuntu and Red Hat in addition to reading the Linux+ book to learn file permissions, file system, monitoring processes, and overall general use of Linux/Unix OS. I gained a vast amount of knowledge in Linux reading the book and just becoming familiar with a new OS plus practicing variation of commands in Linux command line.
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

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  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    When i wanted to get started in linux, I thought up a project to use as a study tool.

    I was in the process of building a small network for work (about 20 users), so decided to use a linux box as my DHCP/DNS network service server.

    I started with a package called "Zero Shell", that does it all, and from that progressed in to unbuntu server.

    Then I decovered a need for a webserver, by which time I was past the GUI and working purely on cli.

    But my advice is to start with a simpe project, (home webserver is stright forward enough). use the frorums and work your way through.

    Good luck.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Use this site. It's wonderful. Just simply lab everything, and use Google to help you understand what is happening.

    Linux Home Networking - Tutorials and Forums
    My blog http://www.calegp.com

    You may learn something!
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Regardless of the resources you use to learn linux, I suggest as a foundational topic the linux filesystem and related commands as your first topic. Everything builds off of this. You need to know
    • cp
    • rm
    • mount
    • df
    • fdisk
    • filesystem hierarchy (can vary depending on the distro)
    • ls
    • man
    • cd
    • mv
    • file system permissions
    "man" pages are extremely important. Once you have your choice of distribution installed try reading these manual pages. There is a manual page for every command you have available. Also there are some things I feel you should know that you may or may not find in a book

    1. you can use the tab key to autocomplete commands and also to autocomplete filesystem pathnames
    e.g.: cd /usr/src/li<tab key> could autocomplete "linux"
    2. You can use the . symbol to refer to your current working directory or .. to refer to the "parent" directory.

    It took me probably a year of using linux before I knew about these little gems icon_lol.gif

    Now after you have mastered the basics of the filesystem and the most commonly used commands I suggest learning a command line editor: either VIM or emacs. This is the source of World War 3 among linux/unix users, but I prefer VIM myself.

    Knowing how to use the basic commands and a command line editor is the foundation for everything else on linux. GUIs change, command line does not.

    A next step would be regex. *Every* serious linux power user should know at least basic regular expressions.

    After you have that stuff down, if you are still interested in going further you'll probably want to learn how to set up the apache web server, some kind of mail server, maybe BIND (dns - no small feat) or many other linux services.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • jmreichajmreicha Member Posts: 78 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Listen to podcasts to supplement your learning.

    There was a really good podcast for learning Linux awhile back called "Linux Reality". It is probably a bit dated at this point, but it has some great explanations of key Linux concepts. Another good Linux podcast is called "The Linux Action Show!" I've found that listening to these goes along great with discovering things on your own.

    Link to Linux Reality:
    Internet Archive Search: creator:"Chess Griffin"
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ehnde wrote: »
    Now after you have mastered the basics of the filesystem and the most commonly used commands I suggest learning a command line editor: either VIM or emacs. This is the source of World War 3 among linux/unix users, but I prefer VIM myself.

    VIM, whats wrong with Vi?? :)

    but to be honest I alway found Nano to be perfect for when learning Linux, VIM,VI and the rest are great for when you need the power and speed. But when beginging there intreface can put people off. ITs almost like learning two systems at once.

    Nano is a user friendly notepad like editor, while VI requires you to learn how to use it, before you can do any thing.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • arwesarwes Member Posts: 633 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I told a friend of mine that I wanted to learn Linux about 10 years ago, and he suggested I load up Slackware. I cut my teeth on DOS 3.1, but still. My friend narrowly avoided strangulation. :)

    Good luck working in the nuts & bolts of it!
    [size=-2]Started WGU - BS IT:NDM on 1/1/13, finished 12/31/14
    Working on: Waiting on the mailman to bring me a diploma
    What's left: Graduation![/size]
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,148 Mod
    I recommend you install RedHat, Ubuntu, or SuSSE Linux on VMware or on an old PC, any distro will do for now.

    Then buy the material for CompTIA Linux+ and learn all the topics practically in & out. You don't have to take the test really but you need to know how to do everything practically. Moutning/umounting filesystems, Vi editor(a must), volume management, fdisk utility, package mangement, user management, sed, awk, grep....how to deal with files & directories, the /etc/fstab file


    If you can afford official RedHat training courses, then this is a good option too.
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,665 Admin
    If you use VMware Player or Workstation, there are a number of security-oriented Linux distributions (most based on Debian/Ubuntu) that come pre-installed on a VMware VM. These include Backtrack 4 and SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) Workstation. This is the easy way to get up and running with Linux quickly.
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    If you use VMware Player or Workstation, there are a number of security-oriented Linux distributions (most based on Debian/Ubuntu) that come pre-installed on a VMware VM. These include Backtrack 4 and SANS Investigative Forensic Toolkit (SIFT) Workstation. This is the easy way to get up and running with Linux quickly.

    VMWare market place is another great place to get pre configured linux distributions, some very cleaver stuff people have put on thre and lots for free.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,146 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Get your distro of choice loaded in vmware and start with the basics of using the command line.

    First as sugggested before learn how the file system is arranged and then dwelve into the basic commands.

    CD
    MAN
    CP
    LESS / MORE
    MKDIR
    MOUNT
    LS
    LSPCI
    DF
    GREP
    Touch
    PWD
    MV
    CHOWN

    Are some of the basic commands you can use to get started or investigate further using the man or info pages.

    Once you feel ok using the command line then you build upon this knowledge and learn about enviornment varibles, regular expressions, package management, Basic system management such as working with users and groups, how to configure a static I.P address which will teach you how to use a editor such as vim, pico, nano to do this you will also have to learn about the root account.

    Again this all buidling yourself a foundation and then building upon it, Bash scripting, Setting up Apache Server, SAMBA, BIND, are all stuff you can begin to tackle once you have built up a good foundation of knowledge.

    The only way to really learnin Linux is to get hands on and write down what you learn. Take baby steps learn the basics and build upon it get hands on and enjoy :)
    Microsoft's strategy to conquer the I.T industry

    " Embrace, evolve, extinguish "
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Thanks for supplying such awesome information!
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,146 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you want to learn about the system administration setting up a server side of things then download the package Webmin, Which allows you get a server off the ground pretty quickly without the need to touch the CLI or to edit config files.

    Another distribution Which is also good for setting up a Server quickly is SME server which is based I belive on Red Hat again the process of configuring your servers services are simplified as everything can be configured through a web based management system similar to logging into a router and configuring options, We run a SME server at work and it's bullet proof and so simple to configure, the support forums are very helpful and there is plenty of documentation out there to get you started.

    If you want to go down the Webmin route then investing in the dedicated server handbook would be a good option it teaches you from the start how to get a server up and running.

    Of course learning the CLI would be more of a benefit I would say be careful of what books you invest in I have read a few Linux books which are aimed at beginners which to be truthful are awful, by the second chapter you are left scratching your head thinking what the hell is he going on about lol

    I would join a distribution support forum Like Ubuntu forums so if you get stumped with anything or what to learn about a specific area of tech the guys there can help you

    :)
    Microsoft's strategy to conquer the I.T industry

    " Embrace, evolve, extinguish "
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Skip the GUIs; you'll just use them as a crutch if they're there. Use Gentoo or Linux From Scratch (LFS) and build it yourself. The learning curve is steeper, but you'll learn a lot more (and you'll feel like a ninja). Use VMware Player or VirtualBox and experiment.
  • stuh84stuh84 Member Posts: 503
    dynamik wrote: »
    Skip the GUIs; you'll just use them as a crutch if they're there. Use Gentoo or Linux From Scratch (LFS) and build it yourself. The learning curve is steeper, but you'll learn a lot more (and you'll feel like a ninja). Use VMware Player or VirtualBox and experiment.

    Agreed, if you are learning Linux, learn the CLI, otherwise you're just learning different places and new pretty boxes to point and click at.

    The power of Linux comes from the CLI, so thats what you should be learning.
    Work In Progress: CCIE R&S Written

    CCIE Progress - Hours reading - 15, hours labbing - 1
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,601 ■■■■■□□□□□
    stuh84 wrote: »
    Agreed, if you are learning Linux, learn the CLI, otherwise you're just learning different places and new pretty boxes to point and click at.

    The power of Linux comes from the CLI, so thats what you should be learning.

    While I agree with you two chaps you need to explain the reasoning behind this.

    Most Linux desktop distro's are pants if we are honest. Yes they look good, compiz 3d cube spinning about in gnome or nice plasma effects in kde. But getting all these wonderful things to work and having full compatability is not so straight forward. The lifecycle for releases on these distro's is also very quick, yes its nice things move forward constantly but it means less gets fixed in the present rather than supporting things down the line.

    However, Linux is a great server platform and market share is very close to 50/50 or slightly in Linux's favour. As others have mentioned, learning the cli approach is the way to go. Setup your own linux box at home if you have a spare pc sitting about, use port forwarding to ssh into your box at home (if you dont have a static IP you can setup dynamic DNS or something). Dont use the default port 22 though, you dont want people with .ru TLD's hacking your poorly configured Linux installation and hosting "funny" documents on there.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    gentoo linux.

    You'll thank me later :)

    LOL.

    Joking aside, Ubuntu is nice, so it CentOS to get a handle on things.
  • ally_ukally_uk Member Posts: 1,146 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Has anyone worked through the build Linux from scratch tutorial? have been reading it today seems like a good way to get your hands dirty, What host distribution did you guys use to build LFS?

    Cheers
    Microsoft's strategy to conquer the I.T industry

    " Embrace, evolve, extinguish "
  • PashPash Member Posts: 1,601 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Id say stick with something commonly commercially usable though such as Redhat, CENTOS, FEDORA etc. But using Ubuntu or Debian on a desktop is good practice.
    DevOps Engineer and Security Champion. https://blog.pash.by - I am trying to find my writing style, so please bear with me.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Pash wrote: »
    Dont use the default port 22 though, you dont want people with .ru TLD's hacking your poorly configured Linux installation and hosting "funny" documents on there.

    Disable password authentication and only use keys icon_cool.gif

    Also, FreeBSD is another good *nix platform to use. Great for a solid server (OpenBSD is great for cutting-edge security features, but sometimes they cause frustrating usage problems for newbies).
  • demonfurbiedemonfurbie Member Posts: 1,819
    http://www.digilife.be/quickreferences/QRC/The%20One%20Page%20Linux%20Manual.pdf

    and

    http://www.digilife.be/quickreferences/QRC/Linux%20Security%20Quick%20Reference%20Guide.pdf

    are nice

    you can get more quick sheets/**** sheets here

    Linux-Unix **** Sheets - The Ultimate Collection

    some of the links may be dead so its hit and miss but they are small pdfs so save them when ya find them
    wgu undergrad: done ... woot!!
    WGU MS IT Management: done ... double woot :cheers:
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ally_uk wrote: »
    Has anyone worked through the build Linux from scratch tutorial? have been reading it today seems like a good way to get your hands dirty, What host distribution did you guys use to build LFS?

    Cheers

    Only if you have lots of time if its your first venture in to linux... so many opt unities for things not to work and you need to figure them out. Yes you will learn a lot!!!! but could end up a long and frustrating project if you are not carefull.
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
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