When you are a new user needing to get Linux training, it is often confusing to decide what to focus on.
Should you learn how to use Linux for just one distribution (a.k.a. version, distro)?
Should you focus on learning GUI utilities – or should you learn Linux commands for doing system administration?
Linux Commands Training Tips: The Linux System Administration concepts and commands covered here apply to ALL Linux distros, including: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Slackware, Debian, Fedora, SUSE and openSUSE.
3 Methods of Linux System Administration and Why Using Linux Commands is the Best Method
1. Using Linux GUI utilities for System Administration
Many Linux distributions have “point-and-click” GUI (graphical user interface) utilities that allow you to do common and popular tasks, like manage the file system, create Linux users, and manage user and group permissions.
However, these GUI utilities are usually specific to a single Linux distribution.
So, learning how to use a Linux GUI in one distro is basically useless if you have to use a different one later, or if you’re working in an environment with multiple Linux distributions.
Linux Training Tips: To run a GUI utility, you need to have a desktop installed and sometimes one isn’t installed on a Linux server because it isn’t needed. In addition to this, the Linux system administration pros only use commands because GUI utilities are too slow to run and time-consuming to use.
2. Doing Linux System Administration Tasks with Commands that are Specific to a Distribution
The major (popular) Linux distributions all have several commands that are specific to that single distribution. In other words, for each popular distro, there are several commands that are specific that just that version.
For example, a Linux distribution will likely have a command that is used to manage partitions (disk space) and this command is specific to that distribution.
Learning how to use commands that are only available on a single distribution is a huge waste of time – if there is an equivalent GNU / Linux command – and there almost always is.
For example, the Linux fdisk command is a GNU command that is used to manage the partitions on a system and this command exists on all distributions.
So, rather than learn a command that is specific to a single Linux distribution, learn the GNU commands because these commands are common to all distributions.
3. Using Linux Commands that are Common to All Distributions – The GNU Commands
The GNU commands are the most popular Linux commands – and they are common to all distributions.
Linux Training Tips: Linux distributions are rising and falling in popularity all the time.
If you just learn how to use Linux by running the GUI utilities in one distro, and then you stop using that distro, then you have to learn all the GUI utilities of the next distro. If you learn how to use commands, then you learn how to use Linux for all distros!
How can you tell which commands are the GNU / Linux commands?
Get an excellent set of videos that shows you the popular GNU commands and then try these Linux commands yourself. Then you can learn Linux the easy way – by watching it and then working with it!