We are now going to introduce some of the skills that you will need to start supporting and working with Linux. These skills will vary depending on if you are supporting servers or desktops.
Working with Linux Desktops
Desktops can bring their own challenges as there are many different Windows systems or Window Managers. In the supporting video we will take a look at some of the main players but there are many we could choose from:
Supporting Linux desktops is not that far removed from supporting any Desktop and we will also introduce the OpenOffice and LibreOffice suites. As with many Open Source solutions these are available on Windows, Linux, MAC and Solaris Operating Systems and the functionality will be the same. The two suites are very similar. LibreOffice is a recent fork from OpenOffice. Both these suites contain the usual suspects of word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software that we will take a quick look at.
User will also need access in many situations to websites using a web browser so knowing your way around Firefox will be useful. Again Firefox is available on most common Operating Systems. A consideration in a Desktop strategy would be first to get users using Open Source, once that is in place then a movement to a Linux distribution is not difficult as the applications will be the same.
Accessing the Command Line
We can still access the command line using Linux desktops. We may do this through our Window Manager accessing some form of graphic console such as the KDE Konsole program or on the Gnome-terminal. If we have physical access to the desktop or server we can usually access the physical terminal screens or terminals, in geek-speak tty1 through to tty6, using the Alt + Ctrl + F1 for tty1, Alt + Ctrl + F2 for tty2, etc. We can return to the comfort of the graphical console with Alt + Ctrl + F7. The following screen shot illustrates access to the command line using the gnome-terminal application.
Working with Linux Servers
Of course managing Linux is not all about the desktop. Linux distributions frequently are found supporting the users as back-end servers; be this for web server platforms, print servers, file services, email and of course much more. Increasingly as companies implement cloud and virtual servers they may download appliances. The appliances are pre-configured servers that often run Linux as it is available at no cost and freely available to redistribute. You may also find that your Linux knowledge goes some way to supporting the virtualization servers such as Citrix XenServer.