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“Introduction to Linux” course will be free and online this summer (arstechnica.com)
95 points by Reallynow on March 8, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments

While I appreciate the intent behind this move, I'm curious who are the people who were paying $2400 (that's a serious amount of money) for what appears to be an introductory course that imparts no work skills (it's usually easier to convince people to pay for courses when they feel it will have a positive impact on their careers or resumes)?


> This course explores the various tools and techniques commonly used by Linux programmers, system administrators and end users to achieve their day-to-day work in a Linux environment. It is designed for experienced computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux.

> Upon completion of this training you should have a good working knowledge of Linux, from both a graphical and command line perspective, allowing you to easily navigate through any of the three major Linux distributions.

Agreed, I'm wondering what this $2400 course will give you that you couldn't get from installing Linux on a partition or a VM and messing around with it in your spare time.

Maybe the course structure is helpful in ensuring good learning outcomes, but developing the hobbyist / enthusiast habit is a good one for any Linux user.

Probably companies paying for their employees' training... Expensive if you ask me, but when you have 500 employees who need to learn some Linux basics, you can't just tell them to learn it themselves at home (and organizing their own training would be expensive).

That is 1 million dollars!

Great! I've always been self-taught with Linux, so I'm sure I do a number of things in a suboptimal way, and this seems like a great way to clear some of those bad habits away.

More information about the "Introduction to Linux" course here: http://training.linuxfoundation.org/linux-courses/system-adm...

This page has a list of the covered topics: http://training.linuxfoundation.org/linux-courses/introducti...

I'm already signed up to this. I'm hoping it'll go beyond what I picked up messing around with Capistrano and AWS. I've enjoyed other courses on the edX platform.

My problem is that there don't seem to be any resources available for learning sysadmin with web development and VPSs specifically in mind. After getting through a book on Unix sysadmin, I learnt about more than I need without really feeling confident about the topics that are relevant to hosting a webapp securely/reliably.

What are "the three major Linux distributions"?

I think CentOS, Ubuntu and openSUSE, as specified in this page: http://training.linuxfoundation.org/ways-to-train/general-in...

>The System Administration courses are written for CentOS 6, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and OpenSUSE 12

(as the edX course should be the same as the course from the Linux Foundation, I'm assuming this applies as well).

While I understand the choice...I'm confident Debian is more popular than OpenSUSE at this point in history, at least in every market we work in (web hosting, mostly). We have tens of thousands of installations (or 1+ million, if you count Webmin, but we have much less OS data for that). OpenSUSE installs can be counted on a couple of hands.

Historically it was pretty popular; SUSE may have even been the second most popular distro worldwide at one point...but, these days? Not so much.

I think choosing distros from slightly more diverse backgrounds makes sense. Ubuntu includes most Debianisms including dpkg / apt-get, CentOS includes most RedHatisms including rpm / yum, while openSUSE is a third way (that I know little about).

Replacing openSUSE with Debian wouldn't be sufficiently differentiated from Ubuntu, IMO.

The inclusion of something inheriting from Linux From Scratch might be warranted for didactic purposes - just for understanding what bits a Unix is made out of, fundamentally.

When I first clicked the link, I was hoping it would be something like Linux From Scratch. That however, would be a completely different class. More like math-for-future-mathematicians vs. math-for-future-engineers. I wonder if LFS could be adapted for EdX?

I think they just decided to go with the distributions that have a commercial backing behind them (or, at least, their "free" versions). But I agree that Debian should be on that list.

P.s. happy openSUSE user here :)

Most of the Ubuntu knowledge is likely transferable to Debian. Dame with CentOS and RHEL. I believe yast is a bit different than both RPM/DEB? I could be wrong.

Anyways, if those are the choices, they make sense to me

Think along the lines Debian/Ubuntu/Mint and Fedora/Redhat/CentOS.

However, I've never used OpenSUSE or its related distributions, and know nothing about it.

Poor RedHat gets no recognition...

Ubuntu, Redhat, and CentOS?

Ubuntu, Redhat/Centos, and SUSE

Why Ubuntu? Debian would make a lot more sense.

O, s, and x.

edit: oh c'mon it was a joke

I think in 40 hours you can learn more than that.

This definitely interest me. I've used Linux for hobby projects for ages now (I remember messing around with slackware and fighting to get sound and my winmodem working), but I've never seriously learnt how to really use it.

I've been thinking about starting my own Linux From Scratch project, but I don't know how much of a learning experience that would be. Has anyone here got any experience with LFS?

Yeah, I went through it years ago. It was very helpful. Makes you realize just how much of the non-kernel aspect of the Linux world depends on open source. Most of LFS is about downloading the source code of non-kernel programs, and then learning to build them.

It's not necessarily optimized to make you productive as a user or system admin. But it's a systematic journey through building the OS and tools, and therefore it makes you aware of what's available and gives you a glimpse of what's under the hood.

I'm taking a 4 day long Linux foundation course starting on Monday called "Linux performance tuning". Looks like it is going to be interesting.

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