Why many MCSEs won't learn Linux

last updated in Categories Linux, UNIX, Windows, Windows server, windows vista

Paul has responded to MCSE mike. Checkout my stand on Linux admin vs Microsoft Windows admin.


There are few basic principals under UNIX and Linux. Any MCSE must understand and follow them.

a) Everything is a file – Including your hardware.

b) All server / desktop configuration stored in text files – /etc, /usr/local/etc and ~/.dot-files. So learn to edit and search text files. Learn basis of grep, awk and sed along with vi. Same way all errors are logged in a text file located at /var/log/ directory

c) One small utility performs one single task at a time – Typical Linux box may have 2000-4000 command installed. Each command provides a single functionality.

d) Linux / UNIX is designed for simplicity – Add complexity only where you must.

e) Filters – Ability to chain programs together to perform complex tasks.

g) Interactive commands and dialog boxes are rare in UNIX / Linux – Learn to use commands, command line arguments and man pages.

Let the flame war begun 😉


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

9 comment

  1. I also agree. Several of my geek friends who are MCSE or otherwise Microsoft Certified call me when they have Linux questions, and I have no formal training!

  2. it is pointless to try to teach these zombies. they are used so much to the mouse, how do you expect them to use the keyboard, files? VI ?!? i have another strategy, just leave them to their stupidity !

  3. While I won’t go so far as to call them zombies, it is not very creative to admin a windows box. Why? Because you must do it the predefined way. If that doesn’t exist, you can’t do it. There may some cool 3rd party or FOSS apps for windows, but in general, you are stuck with MS junk for admin. Another thing about MS junk is that, it’s really confusing and convoluted. “Where was that checkbox to disable the DNS server from…” You know what mean? WTF is that? Normally, I can just open a man page and have all the reference I need. Bingo.

  4. It much2 easier to learn All the windows stuff after you learn that on Linux, for example you when yo learn DNS, LDAP on Linux it much2 easier to learn DNS, AD on windows because you already have the basic on that..

  5. When I came from Windows to Linux, my biggest issue was the difference in partition handling. / root vs drives model.

  6. MCSE’s should stay on Windows and not Unix because the differences are to big in the first place and second Unix is more fun than Windows third Unix is immensely is possibilities fourth UNIX is designed for simplicity i love simplicity! 😉

  7. As a current Windows/Linux sysadmin part of the main reason why MCSEs aren’t willing to learn Linux is because few new Windows admins have never been exposed to the command line and use GUIs for everything. Having been previously exposed to Netware, HP-UX, OS/400 and MVS/TSO, I have grown to appreciate the power of *nixes and have learned a lot along the way
    Instead of bashing them, try to sway/teach them to think out of the box (or the Windows MMC for that matter). Like anything those who are willing to learn will and those who don’t will stagnate

  8. All those arguments will become less and less important as more Windows administrators learn PowerShell.

    By the way, am I the only one who finds nonsensical that PowerShell could not be installed in the text-only installation of Windows 2008? (which would be exactly the most fitted environment for PowerShell!)

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