RE: Learning What I Need To Know About Basic Linux

  • From: "Homme, James" <james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:51:33 -0400

The operating system is Centos.


Jim Homme,
Usability Services,
Phone: 412-544-1810. Skype: jim.homme
Internal recipients,  Read my accessibility 
blog<>. Discuss 
Accessibility Wiki: Breaking news and accessibility 

From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Donald Marang
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:50 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Learning What I Need To Know About Basic Linux

One of the first things you will need to do is identify the distribution and 
version of Linux in which you will be dealing.  Ubuntu is a growing favorite 
for the desktop, Debian is one of the favorites for servers.  The version of 
the distribution is also important when looking for tutorials, but not nearly 
as much as the distribution.  Most distributions have a website, such as that has fairly good documentation, including reference manuals and 
tutorials.  If you read any reference manuals, make sure they are for the 
version that you are using.

I think most of the Linux distributions use the bash environment.  There is 
plenty of reference style help through commands like 'man' and 'info'.  So to 
look up all of the possible options for the 'apt-get' command, type "man 
apt-get".  For bash script programming, after looking through the official 
documentation mentioned above, I just perform a Google search for something 
specific after "ubuntu bash", or whatever environment in which you are 

Don't be sure that you will not be expected to touch Apache.  I would assume 
this web server needs security updates at least as often as the SQL database 

Don Marang

From: Jay Macarty<mailto:jay.macarty2009@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:46 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Learning What I Need To Know About Basic Linux


I find myself in somewhat the same boat just recently. I have just been 
informed that we are switching all our HP/UX environments over to Suse linux. 
While I have been asured that I can continue to use Tera Term for my SSH 
sessions, I know there are going to be some differences between the KSH shell I 
am used to and whatever shell linux is using. So, I will be jumping into some 
linux book or books myself shortly.

We use Weblogic instead of Apache but still I need to learn how to manage the 
Weblogic environment under linuyx right away. So, while I don't as yet have any 
suggestions, I will certainly be following this thread closely.

----- Original Message -----
From: Homme, James<mailto:james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 7:36 AM
Subject: Learning What I Need To Know About Basic Linux

On the system I'm using, I don't have the authority to administrate the 
operating system, but I do have the authority, and need to, administrate the 
other software on the box that doesn't come with it, so I need to come up to 
speed yesterday. You know how that is.

I cracked open the book called Learning The Unix Operating System Fifth Edition 
and started using it to learn basic commands. Among other things, two things 
are tripping me up. First, I'm using Putty. I have it set up properly with 
JAWS, but I'm being driven crazy any time data needs to scroll the screen 
because the whole screen is being spoken.

The second thing has to do with knowing what I need to learn. I'm just trying 
to learn what I need to know for now, and branching out from there. 
Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly what all that entales. But fortunately, I 
do have some time, because we're just starting to use MySQL and PHP.

So I see three big tasks or things to learn.

* What's involved in administrating Apache, like not letting the logs get too 
big, possibly installing a friendly statistics package, or whatever.
* Setting up daily backups of the changed MySQL database or databases that we 
* Whatever MySQL administration that I have no earthly idea I may need to do.
* I'll have to upgrade MySQL at some point.
* I'll have to upgrade PHP at some point.
* I pray that I never have to upgrade Apache.
* Possibly installing some nice, convenient packages like PHPMyAdmin. But I'm 
thinking that like the people who were advocating learning the dirty way, I 
think it's best to probably learn how to do it from command lines so that I 
have total control and really know what's going on.

But I'm starting with basic commands, but at the same time, trying to do my 
first Drupal installation, and I'm in real trouble because of course there's 
this deadline.

Back to my UNIX book.

Specifically, I didn't see in the book two things. First, what permissions do 
files and directories automatically get when you create them? Second, I used to 
know a little more about some sort of file in my home directory that I could 
put stuff in to customize the environment a little more. I know that that file 
has a name that starts with a period. Yet another thing. I'm pretty sure that 
the shell I'm using is called the bash shell, but I don't know how to find out. 
And how does that affect how I work with the system? For example, if there's 
another shell that's better, what is it, what does better mean, and how to I 
turn it on.

Like I was thinking of making aliases for cp and rm that automatically run the 
-i option to keep myself from trashing stuff.

Someone please hold my hand and tell me it'll be all right. <grin>

Jim Homme,
Usability Services,
Phone: 412-544-1810. Skype: jim.homme
Internal recipients,  Read my accessibility 
blog<>. Discuss 
Accessibility Wiki: Breaking news and accessibility 

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