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Old 01-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Stewart Williams
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Hi all,

I'm looking for your thoughts/advice on advancing my GNU/Linux knowledge.

This is not strictly a Fedora question, but as it's always been my
distro of choice I thought I'd ask my question here.

I love learning all kinds of different operating systems, for Work
reasons I have to learn all desktop versions of Windows, and as such I
spend a considerable amount of time on that platform - albeit not
through choice.

I was first introduced to RedHat Linux around 7 years ago, and still
stayed with RH and Fedora as my main choice of Linux since. But I have
spent most of the time distro hopping and learning bits of Debian,
Slackware, Gentoo, Arch, SuSE, FreeBSD and even Linux From Scratch (only
as far as finishing the install stage and getting a basic working system
for LFS.)

Now OS's like OpenSolaris look attractive, Ubuntu seems worth learning
as it's the most talked about potential Windows killer and I already
have Debian experience.

My question is that I'm not sure what to do to improve my deeper
knowledge of Linux and similar OS's. Would I learn all I need/just as
much sticking with Fedora - one distro? or will I learn more by multi
booting all these other *nix variants?

They all seem so interesting with all their different tools, and unique
ways of doing things; but is it too much to try and learn them all?

A friend of mine suggests running just one OS at a time otherwise I will
never progress to a more advanced stage.

All thoughts/advice welcome. And sorry for my rambling :-)

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Old 01-05-2008, 10:35 PM
Joe Smith
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Stewart Williams wrote:

Hi all,

I'm looking for your thoughts/advice on advancing my GNU/Linux knowledge.
..
They all seem so interesting with all their different tools, and unique
ways of doing things; but is it too much to try and learn them all?
...


There was a time when Unix was unique in being a powerful system, yet
with some study a person could "understand the whole thing" in a
reasonable length of time.


That was true for Linux also--at one time--but no more. I doubt even
that Linus would claim to understand the whole kernel, and that's only
one part of the whole system.


At any rate, I think your first job is to focus on some aspect and learn
that. Pick something you can use, or have an interest in, and go for it.


There is definitely little value is starting out with more than one
distro. First learn a subject well on one distro, then you can compare
with others if you like.


<Joe

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Old 01-06-2008, 12:26 AM
John Summerfield
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Stewart Williams wrote:

Hi all,

I'm looking for your thoughts/advice on advancing my GNU/Linux knowledge.

This is not strictly a Fedora question, but as it's always been my
distro of choice I thought I'd ask my question here.

I love learning all kinds of different operating systems, for Work
reasons I have to learn all desktop versions of Windows, and as such I
spend a considerable amount of time on that platform - albeit not
through choice.

I was first introduced to RedHat Linux around 7 years ago, and still
stayed with RH and Fedora as my main choice of Linux since. But I have
spent most of the time distro hopping and learning bits of Debian,
Slackware, Gentoo, Arch, SuSE, FreeBSD and even Linux From Scratch (only
as far as finishing the install stage and getting a basic working system
for LFS.)

Now OS's like OpenSolaris look attractive, Ubuntu seems worth learning
as it's the most talked about potential Windows killer and I already
have Debian experience.

My question is that I'm not sure what to do to improve my deeper
knowledge of Linux and similar OS's. Would I learn all I need/just as
much sticking with Fedora - one distro? or will I learn more by multi
booting all these other *nix variants?

They all seem so interesting with all their different tools, and unique
ways of doing things; but is it too much to try and learn them all?

A friend of mine suggests running just one OS at a time otherwise I will
never progress to a more advanced stage.

All thoughts/advice welcome. And sorry for my rambling :-)


Where do you want to go?

If you want to be a really good administrator, probably you should seek
classroom training and employment in that area.


You could try opensolaris or any of the BSDs, but essentially you're
repeating substantially the same experience. I don't see much
advancement there.


You might contemplate buying, if you don't have one now, a system that
supports hardware virtualisation, and if you can manage it, a quad-core
processor (which automatically includes virtualisation). And stuff a
thumping big drive into it.


then you're well-placed to run several OSes on it at once, using Xen or KVM.

If you want to be a hacker, choose some software that interests you, the
kernel, some database software such as postgresql, or KDE, and build the
latest source.


Join the relevant list(s).

If there are build errors or warnings, fix them and offer the patches
upstream.


If you want to do software packaging, check with the Brand X repo
managers to see whether they need help. Probably, they do. Fedora might
want some too.


If you want to write documentation, there's hardly a project that
doesn't need good documentation writers.


If there's software you'd like to use but that isn't packaged for
Fedora/RHEL, do the packaging and offer it to relevant repos (CentOS for
RHEL packages).


If you want to get involved in a distro, probably Scientific Linux can
do with help. It's another full distro based on RHEL, with additions
valuable to the scientific communities. If not SL, then CentOS is always
looking for more hands.


This sort of involvement _can_ lead to employment.

A while ago, Shuttles, a man with more money than he needs, headed off
for a holiday in the Antarctic. For light reading, he took archives of
some Debian mailing lists.


On his return, he offered employment to some he felt distinguished
themselves, and from there came Ubuntu.



--

Cheers
John

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Old 01-06-2008, 02:15 AM
Brian Chadwick
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

what you need is some good reading material.

http://www.tldp.org/

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Old 01-06-2008, 01:52 PM
Stewart Williams
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Brian Chadwick wrote:

what you need is some good reading material.

http://www.tldp.org/


Lol!, thanks Brian. Indeed the spot-on starting point for any new Linux
user, I started off there, which IRRC what also used to be
www.linuxdoc.org years ago.

Thanks,

Stewart

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Old 01-06-2008, 01:52 PM
Stewart Williams
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

John Summerfield wrote:
If you want to be a really good administrator, probably you should
seek classroom training and employment in that area.

Administration is my main purpose, as far as work goes anyway. I
currently administer two CentOS 4.x (SMTP, HTTP, POP/IMAP) and two
Debian (Samba PDC, DHCP, etc.) servers; so my knowledge is quite good,
but I still class myself as an intermmediate user.
You could try opensolaris or any of the BSDs, but essentially you're
repeating substantially the same experience. I don't see much
advancement there.

I have already installed them before, but not done much with them. I
just feel I'm missing out on something if I don't try them. (e.g. you
read things like "Solaris has and excellent filesystem called ZFS..." or
BrandZ containers allow you to run Linux apps natively...")



You might contemplate buying, if you don't have one now, a system that
supports hardware virtualisation, and if you can manage it, a
quad-core processor (which automatically includes virtualisation). And
stuff a thumping big drive into it.

I have an AMD X2 dual-core, with 4GB memory; but still prefer to dual
boot for speed and graphical stuff.
If you want to be a hacker, choose some software that interests you,
the kernel, some database software such as postgresql, or KDE, and
build the latest source.

I'd like eventually to learn some hacking/programming; This is one of my
personal interest in OS's of this type, as well as tinkering, tweaking,
troubleshooting, etc.

I did once successfully build the latest KDE 3.x branch from CVS on
Slackware once; that was fun!
If there's software you'd like to use but that isn't packaged for
Fedora/RHEL, do the packaging and offer it to relevant repos (CentOS
for RHEL packages).

This I'd like to do, but I'm no expert with RPM yet, so I need to learn
more there.
If you want to get involved in a distro, probably Scientific Linux can
do with help. It's another full distro based on RHEL, with additions
valuable to the scientific communities. If not SL, then CentOS is
always looking for more hands.

I would like to get more involved with the Fedora project, but I don't
feel experienced enough yet.
A while ago, Shuttles, a man with more money than he needs, headed off
for a holiday in the Antarctic. For light reading, he took archives of
some Debian mailing lists.


On his return, he offered employment to some he felt distinguished
themselves, and from there came Ubuntu.

Interesting ... I never knew how Ubuntu came about, apart from Mark
Shuttleworth being the creator and owner of Canonical.

I assume you John, are a Fedora and Debian user? - Fedora/CentOS/RHEL
and Debian/Ubuntu seem to interest me the most, maybe I should just
stick with one from each set.

Thanks for you time.

Stewart

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Old 01-07-2008, 01:44 AM
Tim
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

On Sun, 2008-01-06 at 14:52 +0000, Stewart Williams wrote:
> Fedora/CentOS/RHEL and Debian/Ubuntu seem to interest me the most,
> maybe I should just stick with one from each set.

Sounds like a good way to start. You get familar with how a certain
family works, then you can apply the information learned to similar
distributions. It would simplify the harder part of the learning curve.

I've looked at Ubuntu and BSD briefly. They're different enough that I
stayed with something more familiar to me (Red Hat based), close enough
that I could *work* out much of how they did their tricks, but not close
enough that I could just do it without having to work it out.

There's two many distributions to try them all. If you attempted it,
you'd never really find out much about them. It'd be like those scant
reviews where you see someone briefly look at something then write
something virtually pointless about it.

--
[tim@bigblack ~]$ uname -ipr
2.6.23.1-10.fc7 i686 i386

Using FC 4, 5, 6 & 7, plus CentOS 5. Today, it's FC7.

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.



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Old 01-07-2008, 11:19 AM
John Summerfield
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Stewart Williams wrote:

John Summerfield wrote:
If you want to be a really good administrator, probably you should
seek classroom training and employment in that area.

Administration is my main purpose, as far as work goes anyway. I


Do you have regular performance reviews? If so, that would be a good
time to build a case that it would be of mutual benefit for you to
become a RHCE or similar, and btw there are these fine courses....


Face to face training is hard to beat when you can get it, especially
off-site and sans phone.



currently administer two CentOS 4.x (SMTP, HTTP, POP/IMAP) and two
Debian (Samba PDC, DHCP, etc.) servers; so my knowledge is quite good,
but I still class myself as an intermmediate user.
You could try opensolaris or any of the BSDs, but essentially you're
repeating substantially the same experience. I don't see much
advancement there.

I have already installed them before, but not done much with them. I
just feel I'm missing out on something if I don't try them. (e.g. you
read things like "Solaris has and excellent filesystem called ZFS..." or
BrandZ containers allow you to run Linux apps natively...")


I have no problem with looking at them, and some familiarity with them
looks good on the resume too, but don't think you're going to master
them all:-)







You might contemplate buying, if you don't have one now, a system that
supports hardware virtualisation, and if you can manage it, a
quad-core processor (which automatically includes virtualisation). And
stuff a thumping big drive into it.

I have an AMD X2 dual-core, with 4GB memory; but still prefer to dual
boot for speed and graphical stuff.


And if you want to run Windows, Debian, Ubuntu and Solaris all at once?


If you want to be a hacker, choose some software that interests you,
the kernel, some database software such as postgresql, or KDE, and
build the latest source.

I'd like eventually to learn some hacking/programming; This is one of my
personal interest in OS's of this type, as well as tinkering, tweaking,
troubleshooting, etc.

I did once successfully build the latest KDE 3.x branch from CVS on
Slackware once; that was fun!


that's good, even better with a bit of horsepower:-)


If there's software you'd like to use but that isn't packaged for
Fedora/RHEL, do the packaging and offer it to relevant repos (CentOS
for RHEL packages).

This I'd like to do, but I'm no expert with RPM yet, so I need to learn
more there.


If you don't start, you won't get far.

Some people like to run really silly bleeding edge stuff. Tracking
snapshots of something someone isn't and repackaging it regularly as
RPMs (for Mand*, *SUSE*, Fedora an RHEL) might be an interesting
project. You'd start from existing packaging, and choose something less
complicated than all of KDE.


You'd also find why I don't like dual booting, more-or-less, and have a
good reason to keep in touch with other distros.



If you want to get involved in a distro, probably Scientific Linux can
do with help. It's another full distro based on RHEL, with additions
valuable to the scientific communities. If not SL, then CentOS is
always looking for more hands.

I would like to get more involved with the Fedora project, but I don't
feel experienced enough yet.


So enrol on an appropriate list and ask for a mentor. I don't know
whether Fedora has an official mentoring program (Debian does), but
someone would get the idea.


A while ago, Shuttles, a man with more money than he needs, headed off
for a holiday in the Antarctic. For light reading, he took archives of
some Debian mailing lists.


On his return, he offered employment to some he felt distinguished
themselves, and from there came Ubuntu.

Interesting ... I never knew how Ubuntu came about, apart from Mark
Shuttleworth being the creator and owner of Canonical.

I assume you John, are a Fedora and Debian user? - Fedora/CentOS/RHEL
and Debian/Ubuntu seem to interest me the most, maybe I should just
stick with one from each set.


I have too many computers, and run or maintain Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora 5
& 8, WBEL4, Centos4, Scientific Linux 5 and opensuse 10.2. I'm about to
reduce Ubuntu by one and (probably) C5 by one.



Debian has some rough edges, but supports over 18200 packages, I find
that once I've heard of a package, it's mostly an "apt-get install"
away. I think it would describe itself as "highly principled." Others
might see some of Debian's beliefs as religious in nature, but it
contributes enormously to free software.


Ubuntu picks the best bits from Debian and applies polish and testing.
It also has an enormous repository of software, but only a relatively
small subset has support for security woes. Supporting the whole lot
would be enormously expensive and probably not the money-making concern
Shuttles would like.


It's handy to have one or the other around so as to evaluate new
software before deciding whether to add it to one's "production" system.



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Cheers
John

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Old 01-07-2008, 06:22 PM
Stewart Williams
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

John Summerfield wrote:

Do you have regular performance reviews?

No, we don't.
If so, that would be a good time to build a case that it would be of
mutual benefit for you to become a RHCE or similar, and btw there are
these fine courses....


Face to face training is hard to beat when you can get it, especially
off-site and sans phone.
Becoming a RHCE is something I was looking to do in the future, or at
least RHCT.


...

And if you want to run Windows, Debian, Ubuntu and Solaris all at once?

Yes, I know this is only a possibility with Virtualisation or multiple PC's.

...
I have too many computers, and run or maintain Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora
5 & 8, WBEL4, Centos4, Scientific Linux 5 and opensuse 10.2. I'm about
to reduce Ubuntu by one and (probably) C5 by one.
Blimey! I thought I had too many with 3. Do you run them all at once? I
bet you don't need to heat your house :-)

Debian has some rough edges, but supports over 18200 packages ...
Yes, I have found debian has more packages then Fedora, even with extra
repositories enabled (e.g. Livna).


...

Thanks for your advice John. You have definitely given me some things to
think about.


Stewart

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Old 01-07-2008, 10:08 PM
John Summerfield
 
Default Advanced learning of GNU/Linux advice

Stewart Williams wrote:

John Summerfield wrote:

Do you have regular performance reviews?

No, we don't.


Ask your boss for a time to discuss your future as an employee:-)

hava a plan to show how the training would improve your skills and
benefit the organisation, and emportantly, help The Boss get his job done.


If so, that would be a good time to build a case that it would be of
mutual benefit for you to become a RHCE or similar, and btw there are
these fine courses....


Face to face training is hard to beat when you can get it, especially
off-site and sans phone.
Becoming a RHCE is something I was looking to do in the future, or at
least RHCT.


...

And if you want to run Windows, Debian, Ubuntu and Solaris all at once?
Yes, I know this is only a possibility with Virtualisation or multiple
PC's.


...
I have too many computers, and run or maintain Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora
5 & 8, WBEL4, Centos4, Scientific Linux 5 and opensuse 10.2. I'm about
to reduce Ubuntu by one and (probably) C5 by one.
Blimey! I thought I had too many with 3. Do you run them all at once? I
bet you don't need to heat your house :-)


It was about 40 yesterday, without heating.





Thanks for your advice John. You have definitely given me some things to
think about.


btw I think CentOS needs help building CentOS5 for IBM's zSeries. You
could download Hercules and run CentOS 3 in it. (apt-get install
hercules on Debian, yum install hercules on recent Fedora). Have a play,
join the hercules and linux-390 lists to ask questions.


If you think you're interested, ask on the centos developer list for
anyone else doing it (there might be) and for advice and guidance.


Hercules is an IBM mainframe emulator. It can run current IBM operating
systems (though getting a licence is a challenge), old IBM operating
systems (MVS 3.8 and maybe others from the 70s is a download away), and
any of these distros that I know of:

RHEL & Centos
SLE{D,S} - evaluation licence of SLES is available foc
Debian (as you'd expect)
Slackware.

Once you get yourself organised, you can probably get use of a virtual
zSeries FOC from IBM. You could get preliminary info on the linux-390 list.






--

Cheers
John

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