Learn UNIX

Some guy had posted a question on Reddit asking for advice on learning UNIX. This was in preparation for doing admin work. He inquired whether he should become familiar with Linux, Free BSD, or Solaris. There was a lot of interesting commentary from Reddit readers that posted replies.

At least one person believed a good UNIX sys admin would need to learn all those UNIX flavors. It would also be most valuable to know UNIX to Windows connectivity. One way to learn any or all of these is to try them out on a virtual machine.

Some readers favor the knowledge of the Ubuntu distribution. Others recommended Gentoo. Solaris knowledge will give you the ability to be involved with interesting work. Others commented that even Apple OS X is UNIX underneath.

The best advice I read was to learn generic UNIX first, and not a specific brand. The most hard care advice was to get some source code and roll your own Linux. That would give you the truly deep knowledge. Now that may not be really needed if you want to be a light sys administrator. But it would be very worthwhile nonetheless.

Personally I am a Microsoft Windows kind of guy. However I used UNIX a lot during school. I even took a UNIX systems development class. I have found the knowledge most useful in my career. You never know when you need to get on a UNIX box and write some code. If you had never been exposed to it before, you would be in trouble. With the low or no cost UNIX available now, there is no excuse not to be fluent in UNIX.