[UbuntuFilter] Hate Computers, Love Computer Science
July 4, 2011 9:04 PM Subscribe
I have recently become the defacto sysadmin for a number of Ubuntu machines, and it has become painfully obvious that I don't really know what I'm doing. Can you recommend resources for me to better understand how Linux works? Please note that I am not at all interested in this for its own sake, but only because I need to know this to be able to do the fun parts of my job.
posted by Metasyntactic to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(FWIW, I'm a grad student and these machines are on my robot, so there's not really anybody else to go to for help.)
I am comfortable using Ubuntu to develop code, and have no problem installing software. Even though it's painful, I'm proficient at using google to sort out that level of error messages. However, I'm struggling more than I should with tasks that require me to mess with setting up networking and device drivers and the like. I don't know enough to know where to start, or what the side effects of changes are likely to be ... it seems to be a Bad Thing to have sudo privileges and be mucking about with the BIOS and the kernel without really knowing what's what.
Examples of what I've struggled with:
* getting a FireWire camera to work. Seems to involve problems with the kernel and permissions.
* networking. Ugh. Getting one computer to forward packets between other computers on the local network and the rest of the Internet. Debugging a flaky wireless connection with no apparent pattern to the flakiness.
* it took me way too long to figure out how to get the machines to boot without a keyboard attached.
So - what resources have helped you to understand how Linux works under the hood? I'm not looking for super-detailed tomes. I just want a basic understanding so I won't be so baffled by the next problem that comes up. Readability is a big plus.