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studying UNIX, Redhat, etc.
Old 09-30-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
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studying UNIX, Redhat, etc.

Can someone show me how to setup a cheap way to study UNIX, Redhat, Microsoft, etc at home? I'd like to do this in my spare time but I tend to dump tons of money into things that aren't needed. My work place currently uses Solaris (I think), and UNIX. I know I'm probably not getting the terms right, but if someone could help that would be awesome. I work the this stuff maybe twice a month, but if I can get become more proficient that will help my chances on getting a better assignment (or so I was told).
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:35 PM   #2
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Re: UNIX
  1. ugu.com
two free unix distributions that I'd recommend, go to the sites, download an ISO and burn a DVD. Alternately you can buy a DVD from the site or go to another pay to play site such as osdisc.com:
  1. ubuntu.com (linux, System V)
  2. freebsd.com (BSD 4.4)
Or...
  1. or buy a Mac and run OS X 10.5 / Xcode 3.0
Either way, I'd setup a box and use it as your home's pc based router, firewall, file server, etc. Mod the kernel, play around and install some packages, setup X Windows, write a graphical front end to a command line tool that you find useful (e.g., 'snoop');

Alternately you could co-lo the server at a local ISP and use it as a web host / shell account for yourself and friends. That way your friends can help you along the way. Also you can learn about security - you can even turn the box into a honeypot and learn from the hackers breaking into it.

Have fun
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slouch View Post
Re: UNIX
  1. ugu.com
two free unix distributions that I'd recommend, go to the sites, download an ISO and burn a DVD. Alternately you can buy a DVD from the site or go to another pay to play site such as osdisc.com:
  1. ubuntu.com (linux, System V)
  2. freebsd.com (BSD 4.4)
Or...
  1. or buy a Mac and run OS X 10.5 / Xcode 3.0
Either way, I'd setup a box and use it as your home's pc based router, firewall, file server, etc. Mod the kernel, play around and install some packages, setup X Windows, write a graphical front end to a command line tool that you find useful (e.g., 'snoop');

Alternately you could co-lo the server at a local ISP and use it as a web host / shell account for yourself and friends. That way your friends can help you along the way. Also you can learn about security - you can even turn the box into a honeypot and learn from the hackers breaking into it.

Have fun
I'm assuming the Ninja didn't understand most of that, if he's just talking bout learning the various OSs. If so, read on, if not, ignore.

I agree about downloading Ubuntu linux. It's a free distribution, and getting familiar with it will pretty much make you Red Hat fluent. From there learning Solaris wouldn't be too difficult. It's not something you can play with easily at home, though. And it's just different enough from BSD based *nix systems to be incredibly annoying.

Also, it would be useful to understand what you are trying to accomplish. Are you just trying to get familiar with the various OSs? Or trying to become a system admin? Writing scripts, or just running applications? There are a lot of permutations.

I would suggest downloading Ubuntu, installing it, and starting to get familiar with it. There are dozens of user groups and forums for getting help. If you really get into it you can make better decisions later about which directions you need to go.

As far as MS is concerned, my last MCSE was on NT4, so I'm not much help on the new stuff. I'm assuming you are typing on a MS based box right now, so you can get around in it. You could pick up some study guides for whichever version you want to learn, and just start trying some of the things they talk about to get further into the guts of it all. But it's pretty much a new OS since I last worked in it, so hopefully others will have better suggestions. Good luck.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
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For Microsoft you want to learn VB.NET C# ASP.NET etc. Microsoft has express editions that are either free or cheap (I don't use them since I have full MSDN subscription at work).

You can also check out the Microsoft Developer's Network (MSDN) web site to see a lot of articles, tutorials and downloadable examples that you can read.

If you are like me, you can also drop a little money on some books. I likw WROX or O'Reilly.

Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions

Microsoft Visual Studio Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
I'm assuming the Ninja didn't understand most of that, if he's just talking bout learning the various OSs.
You assumed right

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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Also, it would be useful to understand what you are trying to accomplish. Are you just trying to get familiar with the various OSs? Or trying to become a system admin? Writing scripts, or just running applications? There are a lot of permutations.
I'm just the average computer user who doesn't even know how to create a cool MySpace page. The end goal is to eventually learn about computer security, and how to run applications.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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ubuntu is a linux "distribution", which is to say that someone took a copy of the free unix based linux operating system and made it easy to install, added some goodies to it, and provides it as a freely available 'product'.

You can download it and install it on your existing windows machine if you have a spare empty disk partition, or burn it to a cd or dvd and boot from that and play, then reboot back to windows. Free.

Get a copy of ubuntu for dummies from amazon or your favorite book store.

Once you're tinkering and you've riffed through the book and want to know more...come on back and start asking questions.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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Isn't Debian easier to install/use? That's what I remember one of my pals ranting and raving about. I'm probably behind the times when it comes to linux installs.

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Old 09-30-2008, 09:37 PM   #8
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I went through this a short while back. Seems theres plenty of debate, but among the 2-3 most user friendly distros, I dont think theres much difference.

And you thought you'd seen flame wars before...
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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I agree about downloading Ubuntu linux. It's a free distribution, and getting familiar with it will pretty much make you Red Hat fluent.
Well, not exactly. To more closely mirror the "redhat experience", I'd recommend trying CentOS, since it's redhat without the redhat branding. There are large differences between administering Ubuntu and RedHat.

Quote:
From there learning Solaris wouldn't be too difficult. It's not something you can play with easily at home, though.
Actually, that's not entirely true. OpenSolaris isn't quite the same as regular Solaris, but it's close enough. I wouldn't start with it though.

Quote:
I would suggest downloading Ubuntu, installing it, and starting to get familiar with it. There are dozens of user groups and forums for getting help. If you really get into it you can make better decisions later about which directions you need to go.
I agree with that completely. Ubuntu is very easy to get started with.
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:43 AM   #10
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I know both the Army and the Navy have free access to computer based training and certification prep courses thru AKO and NKO (Army, Navy Knowledge Online). Does the Air Force have a similar site?

I used the online Microsoft training and cert prep courses to help study for some of my Microsoft cert tests and they were pretty good.

So, get an extra PC, install OS of your choice and play with it, work thru the online courses. Rebuild, repeat!
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