3. Getting Started

To get started learning about Linux System Administration, you will need access to a couple of virtual machines that will be used to run the various exercises and tasks. The quick and easy solution to get started is using a cloud-bases virtual machine, as these are cheap, quick to setup and quick to recover.

Alternatively you can create virtual machines using software like VMWare (Windows/Mac/Linux), VirtualBox (Windows/Linux), Parallels (Mac), or KVM/Qemu/Libvirt (Linux). Explaining how to use these software packages is outside of the scope of this book (with the exception of Libvirt, which will be described later).

If you want to run Linux virtual machines in the cloud, various options used and recommended by the writer of this book are:

If you wish to sponsor the writer of this book, please use the affiliate links when creating an account, this will help me pay my hosting-bills and allow me to run more test-machines for trying out the different Linux distributions used in this book.

With most of these cloud-providers you can quickly and easily deploy one or more Linux systems running CentOS, Debian or Ubuntu within a minute and for less then $5 a month.

To get the full experience, it’s best to run or create multiple virtual machines running the different distributions and versions, but you can continue with only one or two virtual machines that fit the platform you are interested in.

Where there are significant differences between different Linux distributions or versions, this will be highlighted in the chapter