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Exercises in UNIX

I have spent the last 10 years or so in a MS Windows environment - my knowledge of UNIX is pretty slim.

Is there a good book or website that has UNIX exercises - that will be a good launch pad to learning UNIX?

My reason for picking up UNIX again is job security. I would like to learn the basics of UNIX admin.

Unfortunately my day job drains me completely - so most of my attempts at learning have been in 'stops' and 'starts'. If there were exercises to follow it could make the task easier.

Thanks :)

Fuzzy Logic
Monday, April 12, 2004

Install Linux at home.  You can either put it on your hard drive via RedHat, debian, or SUSE; or go with a boot-from-CD distro (Knoppix?).

Second, get Think Unix, by John Lasser.  That will teach you how to use the Unix command line, and gives a beginning to Unix programmins (which you won't need).

Third, get the Linux Administration Handbook, by Evi Nemeth et all.  This is a great sysadmin book.  They have a different one, Unix Administration Handbook, which is also great.  But the former is Linux specific, the latter covers Solaris and such.

Notice I never mentioned a GUI.  IMHO, you shouldn't use a GUI until you *understand* what the silly thing is going to do.  It really torques my shaft when, in Windows, I have to use a GUI that is doing god knows what, when all I really wanted was something like 'route add 0.0.0.0 mask 0.0.0.0 192.168.1.2'.

A great Unix resource is the Linux forum on Ars Technica.

Snotnose
Monday, April 12, 2004

Here is a place where you can download Linux distro CD images:

http://www.linuxiso.org/

Click on the distro you want, download the ISO images and burn them on a CD. Then you can easily install them.

If you don't mind the trip, you should go down to your local library, and dig up whatever they got on Linux as long as it is written in 1995+. You'll learn how to use the shell, the commands and how to get around in Linux... I started that way. Instead of trying to find the *best* way, just dig in... You'll be lost for a while perhaps, but soon, you'll start putting the pieces of the puzzle together in your mind.

The most difficult things to get used to will possibly be the directory sturcture, and installing new (free <grin>) software. IMO, you can get used to everything else pretty easily.

Check out  the following links:

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/guides.html

They are part of the "Linux Documentation Project". They should help you out with figuring things out. You can read through them during lunch at work.  ;)

Good luck!

entell
Monday, April 12, 2004

OSnews has a good walkthrough for installing debian wich also gives you the basics of apt-get.
Its good, and will get you started.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2016

Eric Debois
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Another resource is cygwin, which provides a Unix-like environment in Windows.  It's got it's quirks, but it's pretty much right, and you don't need to partition your disk, nor install Linux.  You won't get to do sysadmin stuff (or maybe you can, I've never tried), but you can at least get used to the directory structure, where things live, etc.

http://www.cygwin.com

Snotnose
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Linux is not Unix as in "GNU is Not Unix" ;)

http://www.erlenstar.demon.co.uk/unix/
http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/
http://www.technion.ac.il/guides/unix.html

Michael Popov
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The best way to learn a new platform is to have a "pet" project and actually develop something.

Michael Popov
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"Linux is not Unix"

Not by name, but in function and everything else it is just another variant.  Get over it.  Linux is 30+ years old too.

Mike
Friday, April 16, 2004

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