Best way to learn Linux

AdultFoundry's picture


I have some familiarity with Linux, but I want to start learning it, in more detail, now. I will install something like VirtualBox from Oracle, with Debian, as distro, I think. I've been already testing something like this, end I ended up picking Debian for this.

I have some time that I can invest in this, and I want to do it very good. I will be getting up to 10 separate books from Amazon (the best), if needed, and going over all of them. In general, I am a webmaster, and I want to learn Linux and server administration, in order to be able to do everything that is needed on unmanaged hosting plans. I want to get any plan that may be needed (unmanaged, and at a good price), install everything that is needed there, make sure it is secure, be able to fix anything that comes up (like support tickets with managed hosting), and so on.

I dont want to be learning unnecessary things, as I am not a programmer or anything like that, even though I am familiar with php and mysql. I would like to know Linux and command line, and server administration (Apache and Nginx) would be the most important part. Whatever may be needed for running websites, is what I want to learn, but not necessarily like Linux programming, lets say.

Please let me know, what would be the best way to go, with this, and if you know about any good books for it, please let me know too.


Re: Best way to learn Linux

IntnsRed's picture

I started out with Linux with the 0.99 kernel and knew nothing about Unix. Thus, the way I learned was completely hands-on. With a potential bias involved with that, and having seen/worked with many school-trained Unix administrators, I think the best way is a hands-on approach.

What I'd recommend is to break things down and do specific tasks. For example, set up Apache or Nginx in different configurations. It'll no doubt be something of a hair pulling experience, but often experience is the best teacher. Similarly, create tasks for yourself. Try setting up and configuring BIND; once done with that, try another DNS program. Ditto for setting up a proxy and creating scripts to semi-automate backups and MySQL dumps.

Be cautious when choosing books. Many are outdated, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Linux/Unix does not often change for change's sake, so often "old" books are still quite useful. But sometimes old books are useless -- you just have to be careful, and often people will buy crap books just because they're only $15 or whatever. Pay attention to authors and publishers -- O'Reilly has a great reputation for technical books for a reason. Smile

In terms of books, the first one I'd recommend is The Debian Administrator's Handbook. It's written by a Debian developer and is done pretty well.

Thanks. I always look at

AdultFoundry's picture

Thanks. I always look at publishers. Wiley is another good. I will go over all Linux books on Amazon, and pick the best ones, for what I need. I put Debian here, since it is a Debian forum, but it was initially Centos, that I was working on. Two books that I am thinking about are "Linux bible", and "Unix and Linux administration handbook", but this may change. "Linux for dummies" could be a good start, but I am not sure. I've read several "for dummies" books, which were good, and I am reading one now, which is not as good (360 pages and a lot of useless text, no good info), so I am not sure.

I need Linux for unmanaged dedicated hosting plans. I want to get something like that, and run my own sites. This way I may be saving some money for this (lets say paying $100 instead of $250 per month or more). Keywords would be - general linux, server administration, apache, nginx, email server, ftp server, lamp, security, also fixing whatever would be needed for this, as well as installing programs (like ffmpeg, for example for tube sites).