Using Linux vs. Knowing Linux

Learning some Linux is extremely easy; there are hundreds of resources out there that will walk you through some simple install tasks. However, really “knowing” Linux is a tremendously difficult task that requires more commitment. But in reality, that’s the same for all server operating systems on the market. Linux is just harder and more flexible because it’s open, command line, and highly maintained by thousands of awesome open source programmers. Some distributions are community built, but other distributions such as Redhat, Suse, and Ubuntu are maintained at the enterprise level and even make over a billion dollars a year in revenue.

Knowing Linux will really teach you the root level of how all things work, especially the internet. You see, Linux powers 80% of the internet and was the operating system which coined the term “Open Source” many years ago. Companies such as Facebook, Google, foursquare, Oracle, Activision Blizzard (which runs World of Warcraft on Linux) and almost every other startup out there are focused on building technologies that rely on Linux to run.

I’ve received a lot of comments about only teaching command line Linux at the Linux Academy, when well, desktop versions already have a GUI. But, that’s where the power of Linux comes from, its command line. Linux servers will NEVER rely on a GUI interface to be managed, since as soon as you bring a GUI interface into the equation things begin to become unstable, insecure, and run like Windows.

I’ve said for a long time that knowing Linux will help you be a better programmer, IT professional, geek, and you’ll become more valuable to employers But, that’s only if you really learn how the underlying parts of Linux work, what makes it tick, and how to use it on the server via the command line interface.

Cloud computing has changed how we think about servers and technology. Before, if you wanted to learn to run a Linux server, you needed your own box at home. If you wanted to run a website and your own Linux server you needed a dedicated hosting provider or a colocation service. Now, you can fire up a new Linux instance over at RackSpace, Amazon or The Linux Academy. So the real question now, is why aren’t you learning Linux? Why aren’t you hosting your own web apps or web sites? Let’s face it the worst case scenario if you do, is you become smarter and more valuable to an employer and to the community as whole. So why not take on the challenge?