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Which is the better platform to learn UNIX/Linux (Kali Linux Vs. Red Hat or other)?


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Old Unix and Linux 01-09-2015
ApacheOmega ApacheOmega is offline
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Which is the better platform to learn UNIX/Linux (Kali Linux Vs. Red Hat or other)?

I just started a new semester and I started my UNIX class yesterday. I've already decided to use python along with my learning process but what I really want to use with it is Kali as my UNIX/Linux platform to learn off of since I already wanted to learn Cyber Sec. anyways. I just wanted to know if this is a good combo or is Red Hat Ent. or something else much more feasible?

I was thinking since it's all Linux, why should it even matter?

Please give me your thoughts and opinion!!!

Thank You

oh yeah my Linux is on a VMware workstation Virtual Machine.....
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Old Unix and Linux 01-09-2015
Corona688 Corona688 is offline Forum Staff  
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Linux is a 5-megabyte file which gets loaded when you turn on the computer. The everything else which makes it act like a smartphone, wireless router, distributed supercomputer, or consumer desktop -- is all the software provided by your distribution.

I like Gentoo. It can be difficult but I think it's rewarding, it teaches you some fundamentals that otherwise might be avoided and never learned.
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Old Unix and Linux 01-09-2015
sea sea is offline
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I would recomend you go dualboot as soon you have decided which linux it should be.
As you want to learn, VM's are great, you can do things without breaking your system.
On the other hand, if you have the system installed for real, you have situations to tinker, you wouldnt have with a VM.

Red Hat is widely spread in business use, to get used to its mechanics, you can also use Fedora, CentOS (Server'ish oriented) or Scientific Linux.

Ubuntu is the best choice for a first experience with linux, it makes the switch from Windows (or to adapt the 'basic-usage-thoughts').
However, rumors say they collect data, and present ads on their dash... I dont know!

Mint would be the 2nd choice for switchers.

Debian is also a great choice to learn linux.
Its one of the oldest still around 'as is/were', and also the base for Ubuntu and Mint and also often used in business.

Arch, Gentoo & Slackware are for intermediate linux users, or for people learning incredible fast.
I consider myself as a fast learner, but the freedom (and some 'must's') i had was too much to handle at first contact. Linux

There are Sabayon, Kali or Mandriva around, which are great distros as well, but they are far less spread.

For newcomers i would strongly recomend to go for either a:
  • Red Hat - based system (CentOS, Fedora, Scientific Linux)
  • Debian - based system ([LXK]ubuntu, Mint)
That is because they, and their package manager, is used in the many places and their package managers as well.

My favor is Fedora. It release cycle is ~6 months.
New technologies are also pushed, one might not like it all the times though (systemd) Linux

And a warning ahead, there are also diffrent DE's (Desktop Environment) and WM's (Window Managers) around.
Just because a distro shows that one, doesnt mean it has no other in its repositries.
But not every distro has every DE or WM available.

In the end, to learn the most, there is only one way to go:
LFS Project Homepage

Hope this helps

(and that is just the linux side, idk about Unix/BSD)

Last edited by sea; 01-09-2015 at 07:02 PM..
Old Unix and Linux 01-10-2015
pasita pasita is offline
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Ok, I feel it fine to be regarded as a noobie but as I've read the recommendations around I read the FreeBSD is the nearest to UNIX one can install.
Different Linux flavors are also good, why not but who really has tried them all?
I decided to install no WM at all, to use just the command line and no installed editors but ee(easy editor) which is a default editor on FreeBSD. Of course there are WMs to make it possible to use several command lines, which is practical, but You're the one to use it so it's You who make the decision.

..and about the multiboots.. my technical inability resulted me to install FreeBSD on a memory card to ensure after I accidentally ruin the system I can still use a Linux to pay my bills.

Last edited by pasita; 01-10-2015 at 08:55 AM..
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Old Unix and Linux 01-11-2015
mackconsult mackconsult is offline
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When I did my software jobs skill class at HP we were using redhat for the class work. It seemed to work really good. Know I have a QNAP TS259 which is running some custom variant of Ubuntu. I use putty to access it and it works quite well.
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Old Unix and Linux 01-12-2015
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ongoto ongoto is offline
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I stay close to Redhat too (Centos6.6) because I like a more 'old fashioned' Linux.
The big advantage with Debian based distros like Kali, Ubuntu, etc. is that they offer a huge software repository.
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Old Unix and Linux 01-12-2015
hicksd8 hicksd8 is offline Forum Staff  
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It depends what you want to learn.

RedHat or Debian for system admins
Kali for system security/penetration testing

and (as already said by Sea in post#4) If you want to get into the guts
Linux from Scratch (LFS)
You can download and burn yourself a copy of the LFS 7.1 and construct your own system, or initially at least, run a package called jhalfs and sit back and watch it compile and link everything from source if you've got many hours to burn.

Next best to that is Gentoo which (as Corona688 says in post#2) also constructs a system, not quite from scratch but you learn a lot.

Hope that helps.

---------- Post updated at 11:29 AM ---------- Previous update was at 11:27 AM ----------

Also, forgot to say, you can download the entire pdf book for LFS or buy a hardcopy from a bookshop.
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