Best way to learn Linux

I have some familiarity with Linux, but I want to start learning it, in more detail, now. I will install something like VirtualBox from Oracle, with Centos, as distro, I think. I’ve been already testing something like this, end I ended up picking Centos for this.

I have some time that I can invest in this, and I want to do it very good. I will be getting up to 10 separate books from Amazon (the best), if needed, and going over all of them. In general, I am a webmaster, and I want to learn Linux and server administration, in order to be able to do everything that is needed on unmanaged hosting plans. I want to get any plan that may be needed (unmanaged, and at a good price), install everything that is needed there, make sure it is secure, be able to fix anything that comes up (like support tickets with managed hosting), and so on.

I dont want to be learning unnecessary things, as I am not a programmer or anything like that, even though I am familiar with php and mysql. I would like to know Linux and command line, and server administration (Apache and Nginx) would be the most important part. Whatever may be needed for running websites, is what I want to learn, but not necessarily like Linux programming, lets say.

Please let me know, what would be the best way to go, with this, and if you know about any good books for it, please let me know too.


Virtualbox sounds decent to me, doesn’t have to be CentOS though. What is your previous experience with Linux? It will be less confusing for you, if you build on that. For example, if you are familiar with Ubuntu, try setting up a Virtualbox webserver with Ubuntu Server. If you are familiar with Debian, you can do the same with Debian (it has an install preset for webserver, iirc). If you’re familiar with Slackware, chances are you already know everything you need to :wink:

I am not familiar with any of these. I need to know Linux, and I need Linux for getting my own unmanaged / dedicated server, from any place, and running my websites there, of any type (Wordpress, tube, pinboard, whatever it would be). Keywords would be - general linux, apache, nginx, lamp, mail server, ftp server, command line, installing whatever may be needed (like ffmpeg, for example), security, maintenence, and fixing any issues that may come up.

OK, so you’ve never heard of Debian or Ubuntu, and you need to pretty much learn everything there is to know about Linux system and webserver admin ?

What’s the time scale here ? because it normally takes years to learn what you’re talking about.

It’s really hard for other people to say what’s the “best” way for you to learn … some people pick stuff up from books well, others (myself included) only really learn stuff by doing it.

My advice would be to set yourself up a spare PC, bung Ubuntu 14.04 LTS server edition on it (simply because there’s more documentation/articles/tutorials/help available on the net for Ubuntu), get something like:

and visit the plethora of Ubuntu server sites like
and Google “Ubuntu Server Guides” and “Ubuntu Server Tutorials”, etc.

then just get stuck in and play, or folllow the CompTIA course, or a mixture of the two … and adapt as you go.

It could be up to 12 months of full time edu, 7 days a week, if everything goes as planned. I am reading 4 other books that I’ve already had now, and I will be starting with Linux, after that.

Wow, you really are determined to learn Linux :-). Good luck!