Some of my experience so far with Linux

TheProf

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Just some background about me.

I actually work in IT, start as IT systems admin since I was 19 years old (34 now) and I've been working with Windows since the beginning. Very little to no Linux experience, maybe some ESXi troubleshooting, but that didnt happen too often, ESXi runs quite well! Today I works as a Solutions Architect focusing on Cloud / Infrastructure so my job is not really hands on as it once was, I focus more on Architecture of different systems, documentation, presentations, etc. Suffice it to say, I miss the days of troubleshooting and building out different infrastructures. So, after a lot of thinking, I decided to try and make a transition into a DevOps world, working more with Open Source software, why not! I spent most of my career with proprietary software, so I wanted a change.

Linux for me, is a first step in that journey. In the world of DevOps, knowing your way around Linux is a huge plus, many known open source software runs on Linux (Kubernetes, Jenkins, Docker, Ansible, etc just to name a few).

First step for me, was to decide what distribution of Linux I want to use. I though right away about RHEL as it is the most common Linux OS that many employers use, so I figured why not go for the RHCSA certification, but first, I needed to get comfortable with Linux. I didnt want to run RHEL on my system, I wanted something a little less enterprise like but at the same time, I wanted a distro that would kind of be similar to RHEL so that I can apply a lot of my knowledge from tinkering around to the real world. So this narrowed down to a few choices for me:

1. Fedora
2. RHEL (only in my lab)
3. CentOS
4. Ubuntu (a little different from RHEL, but still used in Enterprises)

I then heard Linus Torvalds talk around what Distro he uses, the famous talk he gave about not wanting to try Debian due to the difficulty in installing the OS (not so difficult now though, has come along way from my research). And that is when I heard him mention Fedora. I didnt know much about Fedora other than people recommending to try if I wanted to get as close as possible to RHEL

Well a few months later and I am running Fedora 34 Workstation on my main gaming rig with Windows (for gaming) as a Dual Boot. So what have I learned so far about Linux?
  • Linux can be really frustrating in the beginning. This is because we dont really know how to use the operating system, we dont know the little details and nuances that one might know from using an operating system for many years, like I know about Windows for example.
  • The frustration is only natural when learning something new, this does not only apply to Linux, but many other areas too. If you're a car guy/girl, changing an exhaust system might not be that difficult, but if you've never done it, it feels like rocket science, so many things to know and understand
  • Linux is definitely not the easiest OS to learn for beginners, but when you do learn, you start to realize how powerful the operating system can be. Just think about the power you have in being able to go with something like Arch Linux and pick and chose every component you want to deploy, basically building your own custom distro!
  • Once you get passed the learning curve, it starts to get very rewarding as you start to realize all of the tweaking, configuration, deployments, etc become easier and easier, heck you might even start doing some bash scripting to automate some of the deployments

I spent an entire day yesterday tinkering with Fedora, tweaking, customizing, changing themes, etc... I can't believe I didnt do this sooner.... wish I had started back in 2006. But hey, I guess it is never too late to start!

If you're learning Linux, I encourage you to keep learning more, dont get discouraged, I had to reinstall Linux a bunch of times because of the mistakes I made a long the way, but man I learned! Now, I also implement a Fedora VM, so doing any testing in the VM first saves me a lot of time! :)

Screenshot from 2021-07-04 09-04-19.png
 


f33dm3bits

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Something that maybe of use to you, I have been working as a Linux sysadmin for about 7 years(and using Linux for about 11 years) now and I can tell you from experience that Linux desktop use is different than Linux server use. With desktop use you focus on tweaking how your desktop looks, with server use you focus on deployments, configurations, running services, security and updates etc. As for running Arch and tweaking your desktop, yes it's fun but eventually you have a setup that works for you and you stop tweaking because real work needs to get done too ;)

Also you already know that but with every IT job you are constantly learning new things because IT development never stops, there is always the next best thing to use in your server setup for providing services. As for certifications, RHCSA and RHCE are the two most important to have because that's what most companies will be looking for when you apply for a Linux sysadmin job.

Linux for me, is a first step in that journey. In the world of DevOps, knowing your way around Linux is a huge plus, many known open source software runs on Linux (Kubernetes, Jenkins, Docker, Ansible, etc just to name a few).
As for docker, don't waste your time with it because podman(although very similar to docker as in usuage) is the new thing because it's setup to be more secure than docker because it allows you to run your containers rootless.
 
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TheProf

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Something that maybe of use to you, I have been working as a Linux sysadmin for about 7 years(and using Linux for about 11 years) now and I can tell you from experience that Linux desktop use is different than Linux server use. With desktop use you focus on tweaking how your desktop looks, with server use you focus on deployments, configurations, running services, security and updates etc. Also you already know that but with every IT job you are constantly learning new things because IT development never stops, there is always the next best thing to use in your server setup for providing services.
You are right about that! But you can still apply a lot of the stuff you learn from tweaking, deploying, and configuration a desktop to real world Linux administration, for example, here are some of the things I've learned about in the last 3 months that I feel can be well translated into the enterprise world.
  • Navigating/managing the operating system using the terminal (cd, locate, mv, cp, ll, package managers (dnf, yum, apt, etc), journalctl, systemctl, firewalld, iptables, update/upgrade, man pages, ssh, top/htop, etc
  • Linux file systems (ext4, btrfs)
  • Linux file hierarchy structure (usr, etc, bin, boot, dev, home, mnt, etc)
There are many more areas that I have yet to learn and there's definitely more to expand on the areas I just learned.
 

f33dm3bits

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  • Navigating/managing the operating system using the terminal (cd, locate, mv, cp, ll, package managers (dnf, yum, apt, etc), journalctl, systemctl, firewalld, iptables, update/upgrade, man pages, ssh, top/htop, etc
  • Linux file systems (ext4, btrfs)
  • Linux file hierarchy structure (usr, etc, bin, boot, dev, home, mnt, etc)
Yes of course because those points every installed system needs and uses, I just wanted to point out that you don't have to know everything about tweaking your desktop in order to do Linux sysadmin tasks. I would focus on learning nftables instead of iptables because the world will slowly be moving that direction, firewalld and several others are front-ends for nftables.
 

TheProf

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Yes of course because those points every installed system needs and uses, I just wanted to point out that you don't have to know everything about tweaking your desktop in order to do Linux sysadmin tasks. I would focus on learning nftables instead of iptables because the world will slowly be moving that direction, firewalld and several others are front-ends for nftables.
Noted! I will look into nftables thank you for that.
 

TheProf

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Yes of course because those points every installed system needs and uses, I just wanted to point out that you don't have to know everything about tweaking your desktop in order to do Linux sysadmin tasks. I would focus on learning nftables instead of iptables because the world will slowly be moving that direction, firewalld and several others are front-ends for nftables.
Wanted to also mentioned, when I was learning about the different open source software, half the battle was just navigating and configuring the base OS for supporting the software. This is the area I have very little experience in and I feel that starting to use a desktop os like Linux slowly gets you used to using the terminal which is crucial in enterprise administration. At least it was the case for Windows, I am sure it is the same for Linux :)
 

f33dm3bits

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Well a few months later and I am running Fedora 34 Workstation on my main gaming rig with Windows (for gaming) as a Dual Boot. So what have I learned so far about Linux?
  • Linux is definitely not the easiest OS to learn for beginners, but when you do learn, you start to realize how powerful the operating system can be. Just think about the power you have in being able to go with something like Arch Linux and pick and chose every component you want to deploy, basically building your own custom distro!
Btw Arch's nothing special, it's just another GNU/Linux distribution, but a parent distribution. I game on GNU/Linux us the Linux Steam client, most of the games I run through proton but there are games that have been ported to run natively on Linux.
Proton is a new tool released by Valve Software that has been integrated with Steam Play to make playing Windows games on Linux as simple as hitting the Play button within Steam. Underneath the hood, Proton comprises other popular tools like Wine and DXVK among others that a gamer would otherwise have to install and maintain themselves. This greatly eases the burden for users to switch to Linux without having to learn the underlying systems or losing access to a large part of their library of games. Proton is still in its infancy so support is inconsistent, but regularly improving.
Proton
Lutris
Most games you can get working on Linux now days with some exceptions, as well as the games that use some form of anti-cheat for multiplayer. I game on Linux and I don't dual-boot with Windows to game, I only buy my games from Steam that way they will hopefully continue to develop technology that makes it possible to run games on GNU/Linux.
Gaming On Linux
Linux Gaming
 
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TheProf

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Btw Arch's nothing special, it's just another GNU/Linux distribution, but a parent distribution. I game on GNU/Linux us the Linux Steam client, most of the games I run through proton but there are games that have been ported to run natively on Linux.

Proton
Lutris
Most games you can get working on Linux now days with some exceptions, as well as the games that use some form of anti-cheat for multiplayer. I game on Linux and I don't dual-boot with Windows to game, I only buy my games from Steam that way they will hopefully continue to develop technology that makes it possible to run games on GNU/Linux.
I've tried with Lutris/Wine-dxvk and I was able to get most games to work minus some that have the anti-cheat app requirement. In my experience, gaming still feels better on Windows. This is not to say that gaming is not good on Linux, it is actually a pretty good experience, but with a 2080Ti and Windows, the games easily run very well.

The funny part, is that these days I barely game, I have certifications to pass and so gaming is kind of on a back burner so I barely even boot into Windows.
 

f33dm3bits

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Since this is now moved to the "Introduction Section", I'll be the first to welcome you to the community! It's great to have another Linux enthusiast with us! :)
 

Leonardo_B

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First step for me, was to decide what distribution of Linux I want to use. I though right away about RHEL as it is the most common Linux OS that many employers use, so I figured why not go for the RHCSA certification, but first, I needed to get comfortable with Linux. I didnt want to run RHEL on my system, I wanted something a little less enterprise like but at the same time, I wanted a distro that would kind of be similar to RHEL so that I can apply a lot of my knowledge from tinkering around to the real world. So this narrowed down to a few choices for me:

1. Fedora
2. RHEL (only in my lab)
3. CentOS
4. Ubuntu (a little different from RHEL, but still used in Enterprises)
You should try Rocky Linux it like what cent Os use to be . you can also try Opensuse they are very common now in my area and well as Fedora/Ubuntu
 

Leonardo_B

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Thanks! I will check these out, first time I hear of Rocky Linux.
it a tribute to the late CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh. it was started by Gregory M. Kurtzer,. not sure when they got started by but about 15 days ago they release rocky linux 8.4 Welcome to the fourm!
 
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TheProf

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it a tribute to the late CentOS co-founder Rocky McGaugh. it was started by Gregory M. Kurtzer,. not sure when they got started by but about 15 days ago they release rocky linux 8.4 Welcome to the fourm!
From what I see, this is pretty much CentOS/RHEL but as a downstream distro. The focus here is more on stability?
 

Leonardo_B

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From what I see, this is pretty much CentOS/RHEL but as a downstream distro. The focus here is more on stability?
it seem to be focused on stability, as it more liike RHEL as centos stream tracks ahead RHEL. Rocky Linux is always going to come after a new release of RHEl
 

PrimeSuspect

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Since the CentOS change of direction announcement alternative RedHat clones have appeared like mushrooms including Alma, Rocky, MonkOS and Virtuozzo (Vz) Linux. EuroLinux is probably the worst but there is one that has been around since even before CentOS and is IMO better than all the rest. This page explains why.

https://www.ias.edu/math/computing/Springdale-Linux

Not only do these people have a long term history of producing a solid system, the type of users invited to work with it would soon pick up on any faults and make a fuss about it.

The 7 series still offers and maintains KDE4 in addition to Gnome if anyone prefers the older KDE system. I use 8.3 with KDE5 added on a variety of different hardware and it’s faultless.

http://springdale.math.ias.edu/

Not everything you might need will be in the available repositories but with a little effort you can easily track down these as .rpm packages and install them individually.
 

f33dm3bits

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Rocky Linux or Alma Linux will probably the better choices because they have bigger development teams, I was running Springdale Linux but I converted my systems to Rocky Linux with the conversion script they provided because of development most likely going faster with Rocky Linux.
 

TheProf

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Rocky Linux or Alma Linux will probably the better choices because they have bigger development teams, I was running Springdale Linux but I converted my systems to Rocky Linux with the conversion script they provided because of development most likely going faster with Rocky Linux.
Good to know! So are you using Rocky Linux as your main? or just something you're testing out?
 

f33dm3bits

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Good to know! So are you using Rocky Linux as your main? or just something you're testing out?
I use Rocky on my home server and my vpses, on my desktop I use a bleeding edge distribution.
 
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