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How can I make the transition to Linux?

I am a systems administrator with several years of experience. I have worked for some very large companies. That was under the Windows platform. I want to change directions and move over to the Linux platform. I could really use some advice on how to transition over. I have Linux loaded on PCs and have administered a few Unix boxes in my days but I have never really done anything with Linux except play around with it.

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Linux adoption by corporations is growing quickly and this is driving demand for skilled administrators. Informal, self-directed training is a great way to begin. There are also a number of formalized training curriculums and even certification programs from leading Linux vendors. Your background in Unix gives you a running start with Linux.

Some seemingly small and easy Linux projects leveraging no-cost open source software can lead to very quick paybacks to your organization. Most organizations begin with move edge functions like web serving to Linux as a first step. I might suggest starting with a Linux-based Intranet running an Apache Web server, a database application using MySQL or an anti-spam solution utilizing SpamAssassin. The success of Linux to date is largely from the initiative of IT professionals such as yourself that championed Linux applications that furthered the business goals in your organization.

This was first published in May 2004

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