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# 1  
How to learn UNIX

First question is how do you learn UNIX on a home lab. I understand that HP-UX isn't free and neither is SCO Unix and they don't run on x86 based systems anyways. The choices I believe are going to be OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. My question is UNIX commands the same across the board so if I learn to use OpenSolaris will I be able to use HP-UX (which is what I ideally want to learn).

Do all UNIX variants also have a GUI like OpenSolaris and FreeBSD or is say HP-UX command line based. I need some advice on the best course of action please.

Cheers for any help Smilie
# 2  
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael78
First question is how do you learn UNIX on a home lab.
Install it on its own system, don't try and dual-boot -- if that goes sour you could lose everything. You don't have to put it on a "good" system, even a junk PIII makes a good home-server if it has enough ram(512M or more). Then seriously use it. Do things like try to set up a file server, web server, get ssh going, and so forth. You may need to learn some basics first, like how UNIX manages file ownership and permissions and how partitions work in UNIX; these features at base are nearly the same everywhere, even if some have extended features like access control lists too.

You could also try and find an old HP-UX based system on Ebay. Sometimes you can get old hardware for a song.
Quote:
I understand that HP-UX isn't free and neither is SCO Unix and they don't run on x86 based systems anyways. The choices I believe are going to be OpenSolaris and FreeBSD.
There's a few kinds of BSD actually, and openBeOS, but close enough.
Quote:
My question is UNIX commands the same across the board so if I learn to use OpenSolaris will I be able to use HP-UX (which is what I ideally want to learn).
General-purpose commands will be nearly the same. They'll both have commands proscribed by POSIX like cp, mv, echo, and so forth, and they'll all have some variety of Bourne shell available. System configuration will be very different from OS to OS though. Also, different shells have different capabilities, but if you avoid features that aren't strictly Bourne shell features, like arrays, you should be able to write shell scripts that work in most shells. If you need these advanced features, the korn shell is more widely available than bash on most non-Linux systems.
Quote:
Do all UNIX variants also have a GUI like OpenSolaris and FreeBSD or is say HP-UX command line based.
At core nearly any UNIX system can be operated almost exclusively from the commandline -- even the heavily-GUI based Macintosh OSX. Most any UNIX can have some sort of GUI available, but this is frequently optional.

Last edited by Corona688; 03-14-2011 at 02:17 PM..
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# 3  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688
Install it on its own system, don't try and dual-boot -- if that goes sour you could lose everything. You don't have to put it on a "good" system, even a junk PIII makes a good home-server if it has enough ram(512M or more). Then seriously use it. Do things like try to set up a file server, web server, get ssh going, and so forth. You may need to learn some basics first, like how UNIX manages file ownership and permissions and how partitions work in UNIX; these features at base are nearly the same everywhere, even if some have extended features like access control lists too.

You could also try and find an old HP-UX based system on Ebay. Sometimes you can get old hardware for a song. There's a few kinds of BSD actually, and openBeOS, but close enough. General-purpose commands will be nearly the same. They'll both have commands proscribed by POSIX like cp, mv, echo, and so forth, and they'll all have some variety of Bourne shell available. System configuration will be very different from OS to OS though. Also, different shells have different capabilities, but if you avoid features that aren't strictly Bourne shell features, like arrays, you should be able to write shell scripts that work in most shells. If you need these advanced features, the korn shell is more widely available than bash on most non-Linux systems. At core nearly any UNIX system can be operated almost exclusively from the commandline -- even the heavily-GUI based Macintosh OSX. Most any UNIX can have some sort of GUI available, but this is frequently optional.
Cool sounds good. I have a server that has Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V installed on it so am going to use this to mess around with OS's that I normally don't deal with. I've always wanted to learn more about UNIX (and Linux) but never really knew what it was used for in the real world (probably with me having a Microsoft background Smilie). I think I will download FreeBSD and OpenSolaris and give them a whirl. Cheers for the help and gad I found this place.
# 4  
I wouldn't mess with hyper-V. Getting networking working inside a virtual machine is going to be weird and very different from a real machine, for starters.
# 5  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corona688
I wouldn't mess with hyper-V. Getting networking working inside a virtual machine is going to be weird and very different from a real machine, for starters.
Unfortunately I can't dedicate hardware to one OS. I have installed 2 NIC's in the server so hopefully I should be able to setup networking ok. I've downloaded Solaris Express (which I believe is what used to be OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. Really appreciate the help. Coming from a pure MS background it might be a little strange using UNIX at first but these forums look great for help.
# 6  
Hi michael,

For the base knowledge, Unix and Linux are the same. the real question is what you want to do with it ?
Unix have a lot of variants : IBM-AIX, HP-UX, and (it's my opinion) the better is Solaris.
Linux is more flexible, redhat is the reference, but we have also Suse, Debian...
If you need to learn the basic knowledge, i think that Ubuntu or Mint are simple to use.
# 7  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redouane
Hi michael,

For the base knowledge, Unix and Linux are the same. the real question is what you want to do with it ?
Unix have a lot of variants : IBM-AIX, HP-UX, and (it's my opinion) the better is Solaris.
Linux is more flexible, redhat is the reference, but we have also Suse, Debian...
If you need to learn the basic knowledge, i think that Ubuntu or Mint are simple to use.
Good question and to be honest with my MS background I don't know what UNIX is used for in the real world. I assume it has many uses otherwise it wouldn't still be around. In a sense I would like to branch out my skills from Microsoft. I see some jobs in my area that require UNIX skills (sometimes only basic skills required) so I figure it's good to learn skills that are in demand.

I have downloaded CentOS with it being basically free Redhat and Solaris Express (since found that Open Indiana is the offshot of OpenSolaris so may download that instead) and FreeBSD. I'm going to install them over the weekend and have a mess on with them.

I've used Ubuntu in the past and think it's come on a long way but is probably too geared towards the home user. I have bought a book on CentOS so will get around to reading that soon. Going to look into buying a book on UNIX as well.

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