Recently my company sent me to the RH124 class for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For the most part it was a ‘yawner’ because it was 1) GUI driven and I’ve avoided Linux GUI for so long (mainly because when I first started working with Linux GUI was all but useless) and 2) it was 90% based on things I already knew. I needed to take it as a prereq for RH135 so I took advantage of it either way. The class was hosted at Red Hat headquarters in Raleigh which definately was like a sort of ‘Holy Grail’ location for me. (Also a side note to avoiding the GUI is that most of the time as a SA, you will be in a remote shell window and not confronted with a GUI. Most Admins turn GUI off to save resources [Microsoft is just now catching on to this concept with Windows 2008 Server] and also if the GUI goes kaput… you can still do your job and work around it until you can get it back online.)

Flash forward to present and I find myself attending the RH135 class. This is the class of commandline driven System Administration of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and a lot more advanced than the prereq class. With 135 there is an included exam for RHCSA certification which was my goal the entire time. The exam is on Friday and I’m hoping to do well. 🙂

My predecessor at work was our #1 Linux guy after he was sent off to obtain certification when we began using RHEL for one of our applications that he was primary support for. Since he has now left the organization and I’ve been handed his system/s, I’ve had to rely on my years of Linux (self taught) knowledge to scathe by. I’m not a complete ‘n00b’ at Linux being that I’ve used it on/off since the late 90’s but I’ve only learned what was needed to do what ‘I’ needed to do. I can run web servers, mysql servers, etc. but to maintain production enterprise systems for a large organization I felt the need to get a little ‘official’ training under my belt.

I have to say. I knew a decent amount prior to this class but I’ve learned just how far Linux has come over the last decade. I’m amazed at how replacable Windows is now and how easily it can be accomplished. The scaleability of Linux vs. Windows is incredible and the things Linux can do easily that requires a LOT of ‘finagling’ in Microsoft world is an eye opener even for someone like me who already knew about some of it.

I definately plan on spending some time pouring the Kool-Aid into each one of your glasses over the next ‘X’ days/weeks/months but for now all I can say is if you’re even remotely contemplating doing anything with Linux…. definately give it a shot!

– Jason