Need some advice...

=m0nty==m0nty= Junior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys, long time lurker first time poster here. I am currently studying the CompTIA Linux+ certification to fill in some gaps in my knowledge and to learn bits and pieces as I run Linux at home and am comfortable and enjoy learning and working at the command line. I am currently working in a Microsoft environment supporting Active Directory and Exchange servers but have asked my new manager who has come from a Solaris and Red Hat Linux sysadmin job how to migrate over to the world of Linux in a professional environment.

He has recommended that I look into Linux certification if this is the field that I wish to pursue (which it is) and has advised that if I can get certified and prove myself, he may be able to assist in lining me up in a junior role to learn the craft of Linux sysadmin. I am looking into the RHCSA after Linux+ but have a couple of questions:

1) Is this practical for someone with no practical commercial experience in a Linux server environment to achieve?

2) And if so, what is the average amount of study and preparation time it would take to prepare myself to sit for this exam assuming that I am dedicated and committed to studying 10-20 hours per week?

Bit off-topic: I see Linux sysadmin skills include scripting knowledge which is obvious, but I often see besides Bash, Pearl and/or Python knowledge and/or experience. What would you recommend I look at first, and why would anyone choose one over the other (sorry, not too knowledgeable outside of Bash but did a bit of Python several years ago).

Thanks in advance,

=m0nty=

Comments

  • varelgvarelg Objectives my friend! Banned Posts: 790
    As for the questions you asked:1) It is up to you to decide, obviously. You are basically asking "to linux or not to linux". You are working in a Win shop but have an ambition for linux. Adding linux admin skills definitely helps though. You chose your cert path wisely.2) Depends on what level you use linux in your lab. The more you use it at sysadmin level, the shorter the prep time will be. Stick to the objectives.Regarding the off topic question, bash is a must. Beyond that, it is up to you (and sometimes up to the system you are working on) to choose a scripting language. Perl, Python, Tcl, they have aspects that bash is missing. Object orientation and code reuse would be the first things that come to mind.
  • =m0nty==m0nty= Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    varelg wrote: »
    As for the questions you asked:1) It is up to you to decide, obviously. You are basically asking "to linux or not to linux". You are working in a Win shop but have an ambition for linux. Adding linux admin skills definitely helps though. You chose your cert path wisely.2) Depends on what level you use linux in your lab. The more you use it at sysadmin level, the shorter the prep time will be. Stick to the objectives.Regarding the off topic question, bash is a must. Beyond that, it is up to you (and sometimes up to the system you are working on) to choose a scripting language. Perl, Python, Tcl, they have aspects that bash is missing. Object orientation and code reuse would be the first things that come to mind.

    Thanks for the reply varelg!
    Anybody else have any advice they can give?
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,503 Mod
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    1) Is this practical for someone with no practical commercial experience in a Linux server environment to achieve?

    Yes, definitely. Everybody has to start somewhere, and certifications is a good start. You're doing the right thing, get both Linux+ and then RHCSA, and go from there.
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    2) And if so, what is the average amount of study and preparation time it would take to prepare myself to sit for this exam assuming that I am dedicated and committed to studying 10-20 hours per week?

    If you can do everything in the exam objectives practically and without referring to any book/guide (except for the man pages), then you're good to go. Only you can decide when you are ready.
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    Bit off-topic: I see Linux sysadmin skills include scripting knowledge which is obvious, but I often see besides Bash, Pearl and/or Python knowledge and/or experience. What would you recommend I look at first, and why would anyone choose one over the other (sorry, not too knowledgeable outside of Bash but did a bit of Python several years ago).

    I would say, start with BASH, but after you finish your certifications. You will learn as you go on the job, so don't bother a lot before you get the junior level job. In your junior level job you will learn all this. If you learn one, the others are easy. Depends on the environment. I think everything can be done using BASH alone (this author thinks so and I agree with him), but you will still see Perl and Python at some places.

    Right now, focus on Linux+, then RHCSA. We are here to help you if you need anything, so keep us posted and welcome to the forums icon_thumright.gif
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • =m0nty==m0nty= Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Yes, definitely. Everybody has to start somewhere, and certifications is a good start. You're doing the right thing, get both Linux+ and then RHCSA, and go from there.



    If you can do everything in the exam objectives practically and without referring to any book/guide (except for the man pages), then you're good to go. Only you can decide when you are ready.



    I would say, start with BASH, but after you finish your certifications. You will learn as you go on the job, so don't bother a lot before you get the junior level job. In your junior level job you will learn all this. If you learn one, the others are easy. Depends on the environment. I think everything can be done using BASH alone (this author thinks so and I agree with him), but you will still see Perl and Python at some places.

    Right now, focus on Linux+, then RHCSA. We are here to help you if you need anything, so keep us posted and welcome to the forums icon_thumright.gif


    Thanks for the input UnixGuy. Will take it all onboard, and will be back to let you guys know when I start RHCSA.
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Senior Member Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Hi m0nty, and welcome to TE,

    It seems you are in a good position - your boss is supportive and you are already administering a production (Windows) environment. No comments on the certifications, I'm not a fan of Linux papers, though it could give you a good framework for studying.

    Pick a distro, set up multiple servers/services at home, update, roll back, break 'em, fix 'em, monitor logs - basically, work with Linux as a sysadmin... Treat it like a production system, investigate warnings and errors, troubleshoot until fixed.. Once you have some familiarity with the distro, switch to another one (substantially different, not a sibling/derivative) and repeat the process - this will help you understand which parts of Linux systems are distro-specific and which are common for different distros.

    As for the scripting languages, I agree with varelg's and UnixGuy's comments - bash is a must, everything else gets determined by your preferences, and, often, the environment.

    Good luck!
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
    - discounted vouchers for certs
  • =m0nty==m0nty= Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies UnixGuy and ChooseLife! I will start practicing at home performing sysadmin tasks because at the moment I just use Linux as an end user but will certainly change my perspective if it aids in learning and gaining more exposure and experience. I am thinking of starting off with CentOS as I am familiar with it, and it is used quite extensively in production environments (along with RHEL of course) as opposed to a smaller niche distro such as Slackware, Gentoo etc.Does this sound like a good idea?

    Again, I appreciate any comments/criticism/advice you can give me.


    Cheers,
    m0nty
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,503 Mod
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies UnixGuy and ChooseLife! I will start practicing at home performing sysadmin tasks because at the moment I just use Linux as an end user but will certainly change my perspective if it aids in learning and gaining more exposure and experience. I am thinking of starting off with CentOS as I am familiar with it, and it is used quite extensively in production environments (along with RHEL of course) as opposed to a smaller niche distro such as Slackware, Gentoo etc.Does this sound like a good idea?

    Again, I appreciate any comments/criticism/advice you can give me.


    Cheers,
    m0nty

    Yes I think it's a good idea, you can practice for RHCSA on CentOS as well. Focus on learning system administration tasks more than end users tasks..
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Senior Member Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    Does this sound like a good idea?
    Absolutely. I did not want to list specific distros not knowing what's popular in Australia, but if RHEL/CentOS/Scientific is the most popular one, definitely go for it. SuSE (SLES) and Debian/Ubuntu would be the other two I'd strongly recommend being familiar with as a sysadmin. Other distros are optional - you may find yourself favour one or another for specific reasons, and generally exploring the diverse world of Linux distributions can be fun.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

    GetCertified4Less
    - discounted vouchers for certs
  • varelgvarelg Objectives my friend! Banned Posts: 790
    =m0nty= wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies UnixGuy and ChooseLife! I will start practicing at home performing sysadmin tasks because at the moment I just use Linux as an end user but will certainly change my perspective if it aids in learning and gaining more exposure and experience. I am thinking of starting off with CentOS as I am familiar with it, and it is used quite extensively in production environments (along with RHEL of course) as opposed to a smaller niche distro such as Slackware, Gentoo etc.Does this sound like a good idea?

    Again, I appreciate any comments/criticism/advice you can give me.


    Cheers,
    m0nty
    Sounds like a very good idea. My very first FUNCTIONAL Linux distro was infact CentOS. This distro was the last to update to RHEL 6, but now that it is up to the current RHEL version, it is probably the right distro to proceed in lieu of a RHEL installation, especially if you are pursuing a RH cert. Another great alternative would be Scientific Linux.
    Mind though that L+ exams are distro- agnostic, and where questions would have to get distro- specific, you will be tested on both versions (RH and Debian- based solutions). One obvious example is package management. There aren't too many objectives that go in distro- specific solutions however.
    While preparing for both L+ and RHCSA, stick to the objectives. This is especially important for L+. Its objectives are so specific, you can prepare a curriculum of your own just by researching on the topics. Which is of course a good thing.
    As for Bash vs. scripting languages, there are some things that Bash can't handle and some very useful admin tools that use scripting languages to extend functionality of the command line. For example, the Expect tool and the use of Tcl. Or text parsing tools with their own syntax... But stick to Bash first, for the sake of the L+ exams...
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