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Posted: 3/31/2017 11:52:07 AM EDT
Looking to dive into the Linux distribution a little bit this weekend just to play around with it, expand my horizons and be able to add it to my 30+ yrs resume as a systems analyst.

I have a spare HP 650 G1 laptop all set to load up.

Currently using the LinuxMint distro on it via Live boot dvd.

So what is the current, hottest distribution for Linux out today? 

Whats your favorite and why?  Any app recommendations I should look for?   What about Windows Emulation for Win apps?

School the Newbie!
Link Posted: 4/1/2017 7:40:30 PM EDT
I run Fedora 24. It works for me. 

I don't run Win apps on Linux.
Link Posted: 4/2/2017 11:12:16 AM EDT
I run dualboot Ubuntu 16.04 and Windows 10 on my main PC.

On my Acer C720, I run Gallium OS which is a Linux Distro designed for Chromebooks. 
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 7:25:44 AM EDT
Ubuntu or Mint are both decent choices for a beginner.  Both have a GUI repository application, start browsing and see if there's anything of interest.

I generally use Debian or Ubuntu, depending on what I want to do.
Link Posted: 4/3/2017 12:38:15 PM EDT
Running Ubuntu on a backup system at home. For home use, it's a good entry point, like Mint.

If you're interested in learning linux for anything work/enterprise related, skip the above & get Red Hat or CentOS (basically community supported Red Hat).
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 1:38:11 AM EDT
Seems like Ubuntu and Red Hat (CentOS) are the biggest in the enterprise.

Not sure learning a GUI is going to help you any career wise.
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 7:00:33 PM EDT
I use both Centos and Ubuntu. They both have their quirks, but generally I prefer Centos.

If you want to learn Linux, I would say start with Centos because if you get a job at an organization that utilizes Linux in an Enterprise type service/application, odds are they are using RHEL due to support (e.g. given application has full support when running under RHEL).

If you really want to mess with Linux, just run them in VMs. Use Virtualbox on your local machine and light up Linux distros ad nauseam. If you want to really experiment, light up Linux VPS'es in Digital Ocean or Linode and pay as you go. You can get some real experience securing Linux in an open network environment where everyone on the Internet can take shots at your host. Whenever you want, just delete your VPS and start over.

I'll use DigitalOcean for quick experimenting when I need to test out a Internet accessible environment for only a day or two (sometimes for only an hour).

For long term stuff, I prefer Linode. That's what my website and ELK stack runs under.
Link Posted: 4/4/2017 7:24:58 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I use both Centos and Ubuntu. They both have their quirks, but generally I prefer Centos.

If you want to learn Linux, I would say start with Centos because if you get a job at an organization that utilizes Linux in an Enterprise type service/application, odds are they are using RHEL due to support (e.g. given application has full support when running under RHEL).

If you really want to mess with Linux, just run them in VMs. Use Virtualbox on your local machine and light up Linux distros ad nauseam. If you want to really experiment, light up Linux VPS'es in Digital Ocean or Linode and pay as you go. You can get some real experience securing Linux in an open network environment where everyone on the Internet can take shots at your host. Whenever you want, just delete your VPS and start over.
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This is generally good advice.

I work for a very large ISP/cable/media company. We have some RHEL but most of that is being converted over to CentOS because we found that we weren't using Red Hat's support, and CentOS is almost 100% compatible.

There's a good amount of Ubuntu in use as well. It's used to run OpenStack (barf, give me vSphere any day) and increasingly, to run Docker containers and Kubernetes.

My personal preference is CentOS.

Of course, real men run Slackware. 
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 11:51:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/9/2017 2:14:55 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Fedora if you want bleeding edge, CentOS if you want stable.

CentOS is RedHat, Fedora is development RedHat
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Yep - This.

It sounds like you've already picked up on the part where "Linux" is a loose collective, not a monolithic grouping that walks in 100% lockstep. Most things are similar, but enough is different to catch you on details.

While I'm getting ready to bring up a Mint box to play with, its not the big corporate player. In the land of "You're gonna pay me for this..." RHEL / CentOS is the 800 lb gorilla, and Ubuntu is the 600lb gorilla. 
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 11:32:33 AM EDT
I'm partial to linuxlite and mint XFCE. I got into linux 4 years ago when Win XP was going end of life. I had a little used Win XP laptop from 2005 that was not supported by Win 7 (never even considered Vista). Works well with mint and linuxlite. The great thing about the various distros of linux are that they're free. You can boot from a live disc and try them all out. Sometimes you're limited by the specifications of the machine that you're doing the installation on. I was recently gifted an old Dell latitude D400 laptop (Win XP era). Came with 768 MB RAM (512 MB soldered to the MB and a 256 MB stick in the only slot), I took out the 256 MB stick and added a 1 GB stick). Win 7 would run on it but there wasn't an updated video driver for it. I needed an non PAE linux distro to work on this one. This meant going to old distros. Peppermint 3 didn't work too bad but there was no driver for the onboard wireless card, I had to use an old USB wireless adapter (only two USB ports on this thing). An old Lubuntu distro worked but was pretty minimalist, again no driver for the wireless card. After a lot of research, I tried Q4OS 1.8.3.  There were drivers for the wireless, video and sound. Using this like a netbook, not a powerhouse but fine for light web surfing and email
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 11:48:11 AM EDT
So I've been wanting to get into IT for quite a while. I've been messing around with Linux, as I've always been fascinated by it and always wanted to try it. So far, I'm addicted to it! I actually bought a separate HD to install Ubuntu on, so that I can feel free to fuss around with it and not risk screwing up my entire PC. 

I've been taking an online ComptIA A+ course through Lynda.com , but I get a feeling it won't get me far. Likely probably couldn't even get me an entry level tech support job. I'm willing to start at the bottom, my "day job" is shitty anyway and anything would be an upgrade to be honest. Anyways, I'm thinking I want to get into IT Networking someday... but everyone seems to be *SCREAMING* "IT SECURITY!"  Even people that I know, that know nothing about IT... know that "IT SECURITY!!!" is the big thing. Problem is, I sometimes feel that whatever everyone else is rushing at is exactly what will be devalued tomorrow. But I'm no economist so what do I know. 

Anyways, what do you guys recommend for someone wanting to get started on an IT career and education?
Link Posted: 4/10/2017 8:11:35 PM EDT
Most people here have said that RHEL is what businesses run on, but every place I've worked runs primarily on Ubuntu.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 12:20:52 AM EDT
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Quoted:
So I've been wanting to get into IT for quite a while. I've been messing around with Linux, as I've always been fascinated by it and always wanted to try it. So far, I'm addicted to it! I actually bought a separate HD to install Ubuntu on, so that I can feel free to fuss around with it and not risk screwing up my entire PC. 

I've been taking an online ComptIA A+ course through Lynda.com , but I get a feeling it won't get me far. Likely probably couldn't even get me an entry level tech support job. I'm willing to start at the bottom, my "day job" is shitty anyway and anything would be an upgrade to be honest. Anyways, I'm thinking I want to get into IT Networking someday... but everyone seems to be *SCREAMING* "IT SECURITY!"  Even people that I know, that know nothing about IT... know that "IT SECURITY!!!" is the big thing. Problem is, I sometimes feel that whatever everyone else is rushing at is exactly what will be devalued tomorrow. But I'm no economist so what do I know. 

Anyways, what do you guys recommend for someone wanting to get started on an IT career and education?
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My son is interested in computer stuff.  I bought him this book.  I was quite impressed with the depth in which various hardware components were covered.  Certifications are nice, and sometimes required for certain jobs, but to read and LEARN everything that's in that book will put you ahead of most.  I bought the network book for myself.  If you can learn and comprehend what's in both of those books, get yourself an entry level job doing help desk at a large company, you will be exposed to all sorts of things.  Once you get comfortable with doing things hands on and using what you've learned, the sky is limit.  

Story to think about.  My good friend was doing help desk at my work 8 years ago.  After a two years, he got a job at Nintendo.  After a two years there, he ended up at a company doing onsite IT work for small companies.  This exposed him to doing everything from fixing PCs to setting up mail servers, networks, etc.  Today he's a network administrator.  He went from $12/hour starting in help desk to $100k as a network admin.  Read, learn, do, learn more, do more...
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:13:55 AM EDT
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Quoted:
My son is interested in computer stuff.  I bought him this book.  I was quite impressed with the depth in which various hardware components were covered.  Certifications are nice, and sometimes required for certain jobs, but to read and LEARN everything that's in that book will put you ahead of most.  I bought the network book for myself.  If you can learn and comprehend what's in both of those books, get yourself an entry level job doing help desk at a large company, you will be exposed to all sorts of things.  Once you get comfortable with doing things hands on and using what you've learned, the sky is limit.  

Story to think about.  My good friend was doing help desk at my work 8 years ago.  After a two years, he got a job at Nintendo.  After a two years there, he ended up at a company doing onsite IT work for small companies.  This exposed him to doing everything from fixing PCs to setting up mail servers, networks, etc.  Today he's a network administrator.  He went from $12/hour starting in help desk to $100k as a network admin.  Read, learn, do, learn more, do more...
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Sounds like I'm on the right track then! Mike Myers (The author of the book you linked) is actually the instructor for the online video course I'm taking through Lynda.com. I'm very fond of the guy, especially since he is a fellow gamer and quite entertaining and very engaging. I find that IT guys who also have a hobby in gaming, have a tendency to have more knowledge about higher end hardware and tend to be more on the bleeding edge of technology. There was a previous Comptia A+ course done by another instructor, and it felt incredibly dated and a bit dumbed down by comparison.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 8:33:54 AM EDT
I run Red Hat at work (lots of it), and various distributions at home.  If I was going to set up a general purpose machine just to use around the house, I'd probably go Ubuntu.  If you just want to learn about Linux, CentOS (for its similarity to Red Hat).

Another interesting option: pick up a $35 Raspberry Pi.  I've been dinking with one of these for the last few days, and it's an amazing bargain in computing power.  It'll run several different Linux distros, but I'm using the default "Raspian"; a derivative of Debian (another "purists" Linux).  Pretty impressed with what one of these little suckers can do for the price/size.
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 6:28:14 PM EDT
I have to agree with the Raspberry Pi being by a great, inexpensive linux playground. $35 or less for the board, $8 for a power adapter, and chump change for a memory card to boot it from. If you have a home network you can plug it into, you're set. Heck - I think the newer one even has built in wireless. 
Link Posted: 4/11/2017 7:33:35 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Most people here have said that RHEL is what businesses run on, but every place I've worked runs primarily on Ubuntu.
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For Linux, we run RHEL and Ubuntu.

We initially used Centos, but then someone got the bright idea to move us to Ubuntu. But we run commercial software that 'requires' RHEL to retain support for that given software.

I anticipate we will slowly go back to Centos where RHEL is not required. It will keep the Linux environment easier to manage, especially when it comes to writing puppet manifests and maintaining the local yum repo.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:16:13 AM EDT
Quoted:Anyways, what do you guys recommend for someone wanting to get started on an IT career and education?
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If you're specifically interested in Linux, I'm a huge fan of Linux Academy.
Quoted:Most people here have said that RHEL is what businesses run on, but every place I've worked runs primarily on Ubuntu.
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I've never seen Ubuntu in the enterprise but I've heard rumor. All of our stuff (app/web tiers) run on either RHEL 5 or 6.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 2:36:07 PM EDT
Ubuntu is used extensively by very large organizations as well as government agencies.  I see it quite regularly.  RHEL is, of course, very common but it's not as ubiquitous as it once was.  Anecdotally, I work with and around significantly more Ubuntu and Oracle Linux than RHEL.  

It really depends on the individual and the number and type of organizations who's systems that he/she has been exposed to.  For that matter, there are large numbers of IT workers that have never seen anything but Windows.

In larger organizations running critical applications, services, and fabrics on Linux there will generally be no shortage of in-house expertise.  The large organizations that are heavily invested in Linux competitively hire engineers so that they tend to not need the high level of support services that were traditionally the hallmark of Red Hat.  Until relatively recently, those RHEL enterprise support contracts were a huge differentiator over distributions that did not offer enterprise-level support contracts.

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Quoted:
I've never seen Ubuntu in the enterprise but I've heard rumor. All of our stuff (app/web tiers) run on either RHEL 5 or 6.
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Link Posted: 4/16/2017 7:24:59 PM EDT
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Quoted:

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In larger organizations running critical applications, services, and fabrics on Linux there will generally be no shortage of in-house expertise.  The large organizations that are heavily invested in Linux competitively hire engineers so that they tend to not need the high level of support services that were traditionally the hallmark of Red Hat.  Until relatively recently, those RHEL enterprise support contracts were a huge differentiator over distributions that did not offer enterprise-level support contracts.
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That's exactly why we dropped out RHEL support. We were paying a lot of money and not getting much use out of it. CentOS does everything RHEL does, for us.

I'm seeing an increasing amount of Ubuntu, especially for running OpenStack, Docker, and Kubernetes.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:37:35 PM EDT
That's exactly what I'm seeing as well.  This seems to have a lot to do with how much support and development Canonical is putting into making OpenStack a less tedious and troublesome proposition to deploy.


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Quoted:

That's exactly why we dropped out RHEL support. We were paying a lot of money and not getting much use out of it. CentOS does everything RHEL does, for us.

I'm seeing an increasing amount of Ubuntu, especially for running OpenStack, Docker, and Kubernetes.
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Link Posted: 4/16/2017 9:00:09 PM EDT
That makes sense, because building up an OpenStack environment from scratch fucking sucks.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 9:20:07 PM EDT
Indeed it does.  More than a few OpenStack projects have been intentionally sabotaged/killed by engineering teams who COULD do the job but didn't want to even start down that road knowing full well they'd get stuck having to support it long-term (which has it's own flavor of suck).

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Quoted:
That makes sense, because building up an OpenStack environment from scratch fucking sucks.
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