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Chiron

Unix Sys. admin

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I had a question for any of you guys that were doing Sys Admin in Unix. My experience is somewhat limited. I have done some Sys. Admin work with Windows but not with NIX. What distributions are you likely to find in a work server environment. I heard that Debian is very similar to RedHat would the experience with Debian transfer easily. I was going to look into Samba is that worth my time or do larger corporations use some middleware for file sharing. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance...

Edited by Chiron
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the experience would be similar enough, as all of the aplications being used are usually the same (apache, nmap, bash, ect.) but debian would be a good choice as it is easy to get started but it doesnt really restrict anything. and your probably going to run into a debian/ubuntu/ect. over a career as an it anyways.

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I had a question for any of you guys that were doing Sys Admin in Unix. My experience is somewhat limited. I have done some Sys. Admin work with Windows but not with NIX. What distributions are you likely to find in a work server environment. I heard that Debian is very similar to RedHat would the experience with Debian transfer easily. I was going to look into Samba is that worth my time or do larger corporations use some middleware for file sharing. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance...

I'm a sys admin for a software development company. We run whatever our customers run to ensure that our product works on what they're using, so I have a fairly good idea about what's being used out there in larger corporations. As far as linux is concerned, most of our clients run either RedHat\CentOS (version 3 and 5 mostly) or SuSE Enterprise (10 and 11). We've been doing some development on Ubuntu, but we haven't had any customers come to us asking for that platform yet. We also verify our product on Solaris 9 and 10, HPUX 11.11+, and AIX 5.3+.

For the most part, linux is linux. If you learn one distribution well, you can easily adjust to another one and get used to the small differences. For our internal servers we run debian or gentoo, but that's our IT departments personal preference. I'm not sure how much you would really run into those distributions in other companies. The largest difference you'll notice between distributions will be in package management (IE. .deb vs .rpm) They more or less do the same things, you may just have to sort through the man pages when jumping from one distro to another while you find those differences.

If you're looking at eventually becoming a linux\unix admin sometime and you're looking for software to learn, I would suggest DNS (bind & djbdns), MTAs (postfix, sendmail, qmail), and some directory service (OpenLDAP, NIS, etc). While samba is definitely good to know, the things I mentioned are some of the basic things that you will be expected to know. The thing is, most corporations will have a NAS\SAN that can export data in NFS for Unix\Linux clients and CIFS for windows clients. Samba is used, but not as much as you would expect.

Good luck.

Edited by mecca_
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In my neck of the woods, it is mainly AIX, Solaris, and RHEL.

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Most places I've worked for use RHEL. The main reason behind it is that any company that's in the business of making money is also in the business of making sure downtime is kept minimal. Therefore, distributions with dedicated support. Solaris is another alot of places still use... again because of support contracts.

That said, yeah... internally we use Ubuntu, OSX, RHEL...

But as the system admin, the rule is... if it's customer facing, it's on RHEL or Solaris with a support contract.

---

What you should learn?

DNS/BIND

Network Services (DHCP/NFS/FTP/WWW)

Network Tools (Nagios, Nmap, socat, Wireshark)

Networking (period...)

Databases (MySQL, Postgres and Oracle)

Programming: Perl, Python, PHP, BASH/SH

Oh... and Windows + Their services (Exchange/SQL/Active Directory) because most IT is Windows centric.

DNS is probably the most important one... mostly because they'll ask you in the interview how it works.

Knowing how a LAMP stack works together helps out tremendously when working with dev and supporting internal resources.

Programming as well... projects usually succeed or fail based on little things like scripts that interact with the monitoring system.

It helps to know a little about everything and alot about what you do daily. That way you can at least try to figure out when devs come up to you asking for something and understanding why they're requesting it.

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