Hi Cindee,

Having a good understanding of Unix-like systems is a great skill to
have. I don't think that it is the sort of thing that you develop
overnight, or really pick up an a week or two of training.
Fundamentally, this class of operating systems has a pretty steep
learning curve, and there is a lot to know.

Note that I said operating systems. There is such a thing a Unix, but
mostly what we call Unix isn't the real thing, which was developed by
Bell Labs and is sold by SCO. In your case, you're probably running
Solaris, which is Sun's Un*x. There are also the BSD, Linux, OS X,
operating systems, which also fall into the same class.

All of these operating systems fall into the same family, and have
similar design concepts. However, they all have their own
eccentricities. Solaris is probably one of the hardest to work with. If
you are wanting to lean Oracle administration as well, that's a whole
separate topic.

Probably the best thing to do is get a book and play with the system
yourself. I like the Sams "Teach Yourself Unix Administration in 24
Hours" as a primer. The book is intentionally operating system neutral,
and focuses on teaching the basics. I think O'Reilly books are great,
but usually I read the O'Reilly book after I understand the basics.

You may be better off setting up a Linux machine and playing with that
first. I find the operating system a little more organized, and if you
mess up, you haven't destroyed a production machine at work. You'll find
that many things you learn working with Linux transfer over to Solaris,
though usually they are more difficult.

You may also find that your local community college offers courses on
the topic. Community colleges can be great places to pick up technical
skills if you get a good instructor, and a bargain in terms of training

- David

David Cloutman <[log in to unmask]>
Electronic Services Librarian
Marin County Free Library

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Cindee Phillips
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 1:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Unix training options?

Hello all,

I realize this is a bit off-topic for this list, but I'm hoping someone
might have some advice or recommendations for me concerning Unix

I moved from cataloging to our systems position two years ago. At the
time, we were on a maintenance contract with our ILS vendor, meaning I
only needed to do very basic things with the server (my job primarily
entailed running reports against our data and working with some other
locally developed Access applications.)

Last summer, we joined a consortium and migrated our catalog to their
servers, and would like to do something else now with the server we were
previously using for our ILS, probably along the lines of archiving
locally produced media on it.

But I obviously need more training.  It's a Sun box, running Oracle 9,
and I've looked at several companies that do short term classroom
training (i.e., ( )),
but I've also been considering online coursework, either by Sun
( or, perhaps O'Reilly

I learn pretty well on my own (I figured out by myself most of the basic
Unix stuff in respect to copying and moving files, working with vi,
working with the crontab, etc.) but would want any course I sign up for
to have an instructor to ask questions of.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these programs they'd be
willing to share?

I'm sending this to several lists, so apologies for cross-posting.

Cindee Phillips
[log in to unmask]
Library Systems Administrator
Rolfing Library/Trinity International University
Deerfield, IL, 60015 / (847)317-4021

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