Due to its open source nature and less stringent hardware requirements, some foward-thinking enterprises are making the move to Linux. As a result, there’s a need for quality Linux administrators who know their way around this OS.
Here are some essential skills you need to be a Linux administrator.
1. Evaluation skills.
Because of Linux’s open source nature, administrators need to be able to evaluate whether different programs and pieces of code are of a sufficient quality and that they are secure enough to use on a company’s servers and systems. Evaluation skills will keep you from using poorly coded software that will not perform the way it is needed, or programs that may have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
2. The ability to learn fast.
Linux commonly uses several different systems (Red Hat, Ubuntu/Debian, Gentoo) and shells (BASH, ZSH, Python) and systems for writing scripts to stop, start and manage services (systemd, upstart and init.d). To work effectively in Linux, you really need to know all of these different systems to some extent, since different open source tools will use different systems. You will always be learning something new with Linux and you will put it all to good use if you’re going to keep up with the newest and best tools and applications.
3. Good interpersonal skills.
More than likely, you will need to communicate with both other IT personnel like technicians and fellow Linux administrators and the end users of your company’s network, who will not understand most technical IT terminology or processes. You may also be asked to communicate in written form by writing reports about usage, project status, and compliance with regulations.
4. Teaching skills.
You may also have to conduct trainings and write materials to support them. As the Linux administrator, you may have technicians or engineers working under your leadership, and you may also have to conduct end-user trainings where you put into layman’s terms the way the system works and what it can do to facilitate the business of the company.
5. Cybersecurity knowledge.
While you don’t need the kind of in-depth knowledge and skills that a Certified Ethical Hacker or other Cybersecurity Specialist needs, you have to at least know the basics to be able to tell when the system might be at risk and how to protect it. You also need the skills to understand and work with the company’s cybersecurity professionals or support staff. Knowing what vulnerabilities are common with Linux and what a cyber attack on a Linux system looks like is a good start and will help you know what to do if the system is ever compromised.
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Rameez Khizer, IT Marketing