Switching from software development to linux administration



Hi Guys

I am working as a java developer (for 4 years now) and I am thinking seriously in changing my career from software development to linux administration.

I saw a lot of books and tutorials and I do not know which I should choose to start with.

So I hope finding someone help me in clearing the following points
1- choosing the correct starting point
2- describe the road map I should follow in this field
3- tell me how long should I take learning before I really start applying to a job as a linux administrator?​

Thanks in advance and best regareds


Victor Leigh

I am afraid I can't help you much on this because I have no idea what the job function of a Linux administrator is.

However, if you are new to Linux, then this is what I suggest to get you up to scratch. First install Debian. Yes, I know it's not the easiest to use but if you have been a java developer, I think you can handle it easily. Ubuntu is derived from Debian. Linux Mint is derived from Ubuntu. So why not start from the mother ship, so to say, and learn how to use Debian.

Many servers use Centos but I have switched to using Debian on my own servers because Debian is an independent distro unlike Centos which is dependent on Red Hat.

Once you have got the hang of using Debian on your own pc, buy a small vps. Yes, you can install a Linux server on your home pc but if you want to get the feel of the real thing, it's better to get a small vps. If you lurk in webhostingtalk or lowendbox, you can find some good offers for vps under 10usd per month.

There's still a lot more. This is only the beginning. Please do not hesitate to ask if you want to know anything.


Thanks very much Victor for your reply

Actually I have used linux for about 3 years now [I used to use ubuntu] but I used it only for development not for administration.

In my previous company I worked with VPSs through SSH. Also at sometime I was having a task to install a machine with Centos, install OpenVZ on it and install 6 VPSs and I did it.

Finally I would to tell you that I have picked a book in Unix and Linux Administration (UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook (4th Edition)) and it seems a very good starting point.

I hope I have the strength to complete in this field.
Pray for me.

Best regards

Victor Leigh

I see. So you are not new to Linux then. In which case, I would suggest narrowing down your choice of Linux distro. The different distros are similar yet different. If you intend to do a lot of work on Centos-based servers, then I would suggest setting up your own pc to run on Centos, too. Personally I would suggest concentrating on Debian because I see a brighter future for Debian.


You should install the distros on your computer (use VirtualBox, it's free :) ). I think the best way to learn linux is by trying it.
Being SysAdmin is mainly fixing other people's IT problems. So I'd browse the forums, look for people having problems with their Linux, and try to solve them yourself, or try to understand how they solved them.
I wouldn't focus on any distribution in particular, because you'll find clients running all kind of distributions. Also, if get a job as SysAdmin, it is possible that they will be running one of the commercial Linux distributions.


(I knew this thread is too old, but curious about following question )

Why you want to switch from developer to Linux admin?

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