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Top 10 Online Resources for Linux Administrators

written by: Kristen Grubb•edited by: Eric Stallsworth•updated: 6/26/2009

You're a Linux system administrator, and your boss thinks you know everything Linux, right? So, how do you keep up that charade when you are absolutely stumped? Check out these 10 online resources.

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    Some of these resources overlap with the Top 10 Online Resources for Beginners but don't be fooled into thinking they're not worth it. The Linux community is nothing if not helpful, so the forums will answer both the most innocent beginner question to that question that has the most advanced user stumped. And the documentation sites hold how tos from the most basic tasks to the most intense.

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    The Resources

    Google - It seems ridiculously obvious, but Google is my first stop for almost all of my questions. This is because it searches all of the following resources and gives me the answers from each. If you can't find the answer right away, try a boolean search. It will narrow down your options considerably and most likely surprise you.

    Online Man Pages - This one has to be said. If you're going to post a question in the forums, you had better check the man pages first. They are your friend. Do yourself a favor however, and read them online; you will be surprised how much easier they are to read.

    The Linux System Administrator's Guide- This guide is designed for the new system administrator, but I keep it bookmarked. Sometimes we get so caught up in the more advanced things that remembering the basics is hard. It's also great for when you're bringing a new member into your team (especially if that person used to be a Windows sys admin).

    Linux Questions - If you're not a member already, you should really join this forum. When your Google search doesn't give you the answers you need, and you've read the man page, submit a question and you will usually get a response relatively quickly. One thing to note - it is always polite to come back when you've fixed your problem and post the solution.

    Linux Forums - This is another forum site to try. I will admit, I don't use it as much as I use Linux Questions, but I have found some great answers there through my Google searches.

    Distribution Forums - Sometimes your question will be distribution specific, like a bug in a new release. When that happens check out your distro's forums. Most distributions have an active community, and the developers hang out there.

    O'Reilly - You probably already have a bunch of O'Reilly books sitting on your desk. Their website is great, too. You can catch up on the latest news, ask questions in the forums, and check out some webcasts. The website covers all the topics their books cover, so if you will find a ton of information.

    Safari Books Online - This is not a free site, but if you've always wished you had the entire O'Reilly catalogue at your fingertips, it's worth the monthly expense.

    The Linux Documentation Project- This site is a huge collection of how tos and manuals on just about anything Linux. It also includes one of the best manuals for bash scripting that I have found.

    Linux Self Help - This site is not as large as the other sites, but it does have some nice how tos.

    There you have it - my personal top 10 sites for Linux system administrators. One thing to remember is that we're a reciprocal community, so if you're on the forums and see a question you can answer, please take a few minutes to do so.