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Hi All, and looking for some professional advice

Hi All,

My name is Laurence, and I am quite new to LINUX. After 20 years in I.T. on the Wintel side of the business (with a very strong focus as a SQL Server DBA/Support Analyst 3), I've decided I need a change. I'm jumping ship, and learning LINUX. I am however finding it all to be a bit overwhelming. I've been playing with a few of the distros such as Fedora, CentOS, and Ubuntu, and get the whole basic "what came from where", but from a professional standpoint, I'm getting a bit lost in the "why". I don't see that massive of a difference between desktops like GNOME and Unity, and I get the fact that Fedora/Red Hat/CentOS use *.rpm packages out of YUM repos, and that Debian/Ubuntu/Mint use *.dpkg packages out of APT repos, but once again, why? I also want to get Certified as I need something on my resume to show that I have the LINUX knowledge as it's all Windows/SQL Server right now. Where that gets confusing once again is what certs? RHEL? Ubuntu OpenStack? LPI? Linux Federation?

Looking forward to chatting with you all on the forum here, and any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Laurence M. Schwarz

Edmonds, WA



  • before all of this was .tar.gz compressed source tar archives tar stands for "tape archive" totally 80s... redhat came along and made RPM redhat package manager binary precompiled files to ease and speed up installations. then came along debian because redhat did a poor job of dependency resolution with RPM. somewhere along the lines came linux from scratch one of them learn everything from the ground up distros. then gentoo/funtoo started making ebuilds that can flag sources enable/disable sections to create trimmed down binary images at the end of compilation. these are installed as stage3 tarballs with command line tools package management, everything to get started with the distro in server mode + a kernel image + boot loader. then arch came along, same idea as gentoo/funtoo but they ship binaries and dont trim garbage out. funtoo/gentoo/arch are all primarily wiki driven distributions where you know exactly everything installed on your system and hand tweak everything instead of upstream devs dumping a bunch of stuff you dont use into your distro.

    this isnt an exactly perfect image of the entire linux ecosystem but its close enough for your question. im of the official stance that certificates are a poor substitute for actually knowing the material.

    sql in the 80s mysql was made for relational databases to provide information quickly, this is dated... a pure relational sql database isn't well suited for web2.0 stuff. most people have moved to nosql ive seen it described as "not only sql" databases that are cluster aware fault tolerant etc. sqlite is a single file sql database. mysql was bought out by oracle, the original dev guy for mysql forked mysql and made mariadb to make it more solid functioning and reliable. postgresql is a nosql database out of the box with good performance and security. others are couchdb, and mongodb. operating system certs are not what you're after, you want the sql certs to show that you're a knowledgeable database administrator.

    differing databases serve differing functions, differing reasons, differing program clients, differing performance, differing scalability, etc.... mysql is still very popular, but i deem it psychotic, and use mariadb instead. percona is another mysql replacement that is more security focused. all 3 conflict, 1 at a time, they all use the same binary and command "mysql" to run. there is some clustering/nosql progress with mysql there's a package somewhere out there. other issues include database caches such as memcached.

    same answer for distros, they serve differing communities, try to address the flaws of other distros, are testbeds for other distros, or try to be informational. ubuntu is as easy to install as windows. fedora is red hat & centos's testbed distro where most of it will work but you'll still see experimental breakage. gentoo is a 60 page long nightmare to install, with their install media being command line only. funtoo's forked from gentoos package mangers author, has a 20ish page install that can be read on mobile phones.

    im from funtoo.org i love it the devs are brilliant and friendly.

    same answer for desktops, some people like kde, some like gnome, some like xfce, some like lxde, some like fluxbox, some like openbox, some like lxqt, some like i3, some like awesome, and some like twm.
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