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Introduction

This document covers a considerable amount of ground concerning Linux. Linux has came along way since it began, to become a strong force in the OS market. It is worthy of consideration for all computing environments.

Why Learn Linux?

Linux is a powerful server platform. Many web sites use Linux as the operating system. Servers also provide the facilities to manage domain names, email, and remote access technologies. Many of the day-to-day activities you perform on the web relies heavily on server technologies, and in turn many of these are based on Linux. Even Steve Ballmer of Microsoft said in 2008 that Linux has 60% of the server market.

Microsoft used to be a heavy user... At one stage much of the server technologies in microsoft were linux powered. However some publicity put paid to that, and it was reported that much of the infrastructure was changed to use Windows server technology. It was also reported that this resulted in more servers being needed to perform the same tasks that were once done in Linux.

Linux is considered by many to be more secure and reliable than comparable windows server solutions. As it is so common, knowledge of Linux is vital for many areas of computing. Linux Servers do need looking after, and thus need skilled Administrators. Web developers also need system knowledge to enable them to write code which is effective and efficient. Security Specialists securing servers is another important activity. Finally Computer Forensic specialists are need to be able to consider server forensics when investigating network-based issues.

Text based access

Much of the initial sections of this document is concerned with learning basic unix skills. These include filesystem layout, logging in and out, and basic text commands.

Text-based commands are important in Linux, as they are the most flexible and reliable way to control a Linux machine. Graphical systems have been written to give users a more user-friendly approach to controlling their machine, but it is usually faster, easier, and simpler at the command prompt to do the task required. This is especially true in server administration, where you may be controlling a machine remotely, or trying to fix problems which are occurring at a low level.


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