I’m always searching for better tools to do my work,
and today I have found this nice DNS online testing tool made with Ajax,
It’s quite nice and fast, and its good when you do not have a Linux distro at hand,
or have a problem with whois test from a proxied server.
If you want to start learning Linux the best advice I can give you is:
Start out as a user first
The simplest way is to download some live CD from the Internet,
for a sample this one:
Centos live CD
Either of which will boot into a full working Linux distro,
without installing anything on your windows box.
when your done playing with the Linux server, just remove the CD from your computer, and reboot – your windows will come right back.
both the distros I’ve linked to here are very similar – they use the same redhat code, but the fedora is more cutting edge development version of everything and the centos is a stable server environment.
The fedora LiveCD will also allow you to install it to the machine your using from the LiveCD itself – after the boot you will see an install Icon on the Linux desktop.
Start playing with the servers, while reading some linux tutorials,
start as a Linux user and then work your way up to power user and to admin in the end.
Hands On Training Tasks for Linux Sysadmin
After your feel you know your way around as a user:
- reading and writing files
- working your way around the file system
- installing some rpm packages
You can start working your way through some serious hands on training – try to do either of these:
- Setup A stand alone DNS server
- Setup Apache server with php and SSL
- Install MySQL server from sources
- Setup sendmail
- Install WordPress or Joomla on your Apache/MySQL and happily see it all working together
Each of these tasks will take a long time to figure out for the first time, and on the way learning to do the task, you will learn a lot more things that you wouldn’t have just by playing with the server.
This is a list of books and magazines i read through the years to learn my job,
there are many other good books as well, but these are my must haves.
These two magazines I have been reading for years and they keep getting me fresh ideas and money savers for work,
they have some tutorials for beginners, some more heavy weight material, and fun projects for the free time (ach, whose kidding, what free time…).
although the info in them is usually a little out of date – they are published once a month and the industry is moving so fast, they do have a lot of good ideas in them, and it much more fun to snuggle with a color magazine then sit in front of the screen to read.
DNS and bind – every Linux sysadmin should know networking as well, and DNS is one of the pillars of the Internet,
even if you are not responsible to a DNS server, if you are working with anything related to the web or networking, you are using DNS, and knowing this subject good will help you solve many networking and web related problems.
3) Sys Admin handbooks:
These are two books from the same authors, both are fantastic easy to use, in depth system administration books,
but you should buy just one out of the two since they very much a like.
so which one to buy? that depends on what flavors of unix/linux you need this info for:
UNIX System Administration Handbook (3rd Edition)
if you have many different unix servers at work you should get the unix book, it covers Solaris 2.7, HP-UX 11.00, Red Hat Linux 6.2, and FreeBSD 3.4.
a little out dated, but still very helpful as it will show you how to do the same thing in the different systems.
Linux Administration Handbook
on the other hand, if you have different linux versions running this book covers redhat, suse and debian – again showing you how to do the same thing in the different flavors.
4) PHP scripting
Different scripting languages are good for different things, PHP is good for building web interfaces for actions you wish your users to do without a shell account on your server.
php allows you to easily build forms and web pages to manipulate files on your server, and changing passwords, restore and backup files, etc…
Is the php book to start with, it takes you through the step of learning a new language and writing easy code.
this php book will give you real world questions and answers for php coding – like how to open and read each word in a local or remote files, working with other web pages etc..
5) PERL scripting
Learning Perl, 5th Edition
The learning perl book will teach you perl from the beginning with real live samples and mind you – perl is tricky.
Programming Perl (3rd Edition)
this is a more in depth book for perl.
6) Bash shell
bash is the most popular shell for the linux environment, its strong and flexible and allows you to do many manipulations from the command line on files and texts, and its a great scripting tool to ease the work of a weary linux sysadmin (or lazy – its a great moto – always write something once).
as you can see by now, i really like the combination of a learning book and a cookbook 😉
learning what your enemy knows will help you better understand where to look for security holes,
working in this job turns you slowly into a paranoid sysadmin if you wish to continue working, and this book will give you an insight into where likely holes in your servers will be and how to clear them.
8). IT management
Never forget, your not only a linux sysadmin, you are also working in the IT environment and your decision and work is not just linux, you also need to consider network and the other servers and services around you.
this book is about the practice itself, not the technical stuff which we should all learn, and its based on the vast years of experience the authors have.
for example – how to build a support system – the people the software etc,
or how to structure your mail system so you will have place for growth when the company grows.
one of the best books I have read!!!