How to become a Linux Guru
The English Oxford Dictionary describes a guru as somebody who is an influential teacher or popular expert.
How though do you become an expert in the field of Linux? This guide highlights the steps you should follow in your quest to become an authority on Linux.
1. Install Linux On Your Computer
You can’t possibly hope to become a Linux guru without having somewhere to test your skills.
The first step to becoming a Linux expert therefore is to set up a test computer.
Which Linux distribution should you install though?
You could follow this guide which lists the top Linux distributions available and describes their purpose.
When it comes to formalised learning however and using Linux in the workplace you are likely to use one of the following distributions:
- Red Hat
Red Hat is a commercial distribution which costs money although you can get a developer license.
You can get the full Red Hat experience on your own computer by installing either Fedora or CentOS.
2. Learn The Basics
Before you can even think of becoming an expert you need to learn the basics.
Start off by understanding key terms such as what the difference is between Linux and GNU/Linux and what a desktop environment is.
Explore the different desktop environments and understand how to navigate your way around, launch programs and customise the desktop.
You should then find out how to perform basic tasks such as connecting to the internet and setting up printers.
Finally learn how to install software using the graphical package manager.
3. Work With The Command Line
Now you know how to use Linux as a standard user it is time to learn something a little bit more advanced such as learning how to use the command line.
Mastering the command line takes time but you can get to grips with the basics very quickly indeed.
At the very least you need to know how to navigate the file system which includes working out your present working directory, changing directories, making new directories, finding files, deleting files and creating new files.
4. Linux Security
Having an understanding of Linux security is very important.
At the very least you need to know the following:
- How to add users
- How to administer groups
- Understand the sudo command
- Understand the su command
- How to change user permissions
5. Learn Key Linux Commands
You need to have an understanding of how to manage devices using the command line.
You should learn how to list devices and how mount devices.
You should also understand about all of the different file compression tools such aszip, gzip and bzip as well as having an understanding about what a tar file is.
There are other key commands and utilities worth knowing about such as ps, grep,awk, sed and top.
6. Learn About Linux Editors
Most Linux distributions have the nano editor installed by default and at the very least you should learn how to use it.
This guide shows everything you need to know about the nano editor.
Nano is a very basic editor and most power users learn to get to grips with other more powerful editors such asvim or emacs.
It is worth noting that these are very powerful editors and if you delved deep enough it could take years to understand all of their features.
7. Learn How To Create Bash Scripts
Most Linux gurus understand how to create at the very least basic shell scripts using BASH.
You can start off with these basic starter guides:
- Hello world example
- Input parameters
- Conditions and variables
Further guides are on their way.
8. Troubleshooting Linux
A real Linux guru will be able to solve problems with their system and part of that troubleshooting starts with understanding how to read the log files.
This guide will show you how to find log files. It also shows what the key log files are and how to rotate them.
9. Formal Learning
At first it is good to practise by yourself and learn by playing with your system.
There comes a point though where formal training is required to explain how to do things in the right way.
Obviously there are many different resources for learning. You could take a college course, watch Youtube videos or sign up to online training.
This guide provides 7 ways to learn Linux in a structured manner.
You don’t become an expert on any subject over night.
Continual use and continual learning is the only way to get to grips with anything whether it is learning to become a Linux guru or learning how to play the bagpipes.
Following online courses, keeping up to date with Linux news and getting help from the Linux community is the best way to move forward and remember the Linux man command is your friend.