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UNIX Environment Setup - (Just starting!)


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# 1  
UNIX Environment Setup - (Just starting!)

Morning All

So, I am starting looking into the world of UNIX for a new job (luckily not my primary function!) and I am looking to get stared. Like anything I seem to learn best by trying things out first in an environment but I have a key question:

Currently I use Oracle VirtualBox, can anyone recommend a good UNIX OS which will help me get started - that will be close to an AIX environment?

So within my new environment we will be using DB2 so I can download the appropriate version.

Many Thanks in advance and if you feel you need to add any further info to help please do.

Gophus
# 4  
Quote:
Originally Posted by GophusMeau
Currently I use Oracle VirtualBox, can anyone recommend a good UNIX OS which will help me get started - that will be close to an AIX environment?
As an AIX SysAdmin for the last ~30 years i can tell you: nothing is even "close to AIX". Sorry to say that but to learn AIX you need AIX, nothing else. The best (and cheapest) you may try is to buy an old and out of support IBM machine where AIX is already installed and play with it. For instance, there is a Model 44P-170 for ~ $$ 300. The system is approx. 15 years old, but the basics of AIX (nota bene: the basics) haven't changed that much since then. Modern AIX systems (aka "p-Series") are targeted at the high-end segment in terms of robustness and reliability but they come at a price. To get a modern and supported hardware running AIX with all the licenses you need (and a HMC, ...) you face investments of $$ 50k upwards - not something you want to buy for dabbling around.

Fortunately, the way you come across you will have to learn a lot of general UNIX knowledge first anyways and for this purpose most modern systems are pretty equal. Here are a few things to learn which you can do on absolutely any system, regardless of it being a UNIX (HP-UX, SunOS/Solaris,AIX), FreeBSD, OpenBSD or any of the Linux-distributions afloat. (I suggest to stay away from OpenBSD, not because the system wouldn't serve the purpose but the people doing it are what i would call "open-source Ayatollahs" and like all fanatics enjoy killing the innocent.)

- how to read man pages
- file system mechanics, mounting/unmounting
- regular expressions and their different types (globs, BREs, EREs)
- filter tools: grep, sed, awk, join, paste, ...
- shell basics - notice that AIX uses Korn Shell (IMHO the better shell anyway), not bash, but it is good to be proficient in both
- basics of scripting
- UNIX process model, "background" and "foreground" jobs, multitasking, ....

I hope this helps.

bakunin
These 4 Users Gave Thanks to bakunin For This Post:
# 5  
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakunin
As an AIX SysAdmin for the last ~30 years i can tell you: nothing is even "close to AIX". Sorry to say that but to learn AIX you need AIX, nothing else. The best (and cheapest) you may try is to buy an old and out of support IBM machine where AIX is already installed and play with it. For instance, there is a . The system is approx. 15 years old, but the basics of AIX (nota bene: the basics) haven't changed that much since then. Modern AIX systems (aka "p-Series") are targeted at the high-end segment in terms of robustness and reliability but they come at a price. To get a modern and supported hardware running AIX with all the licenses you need (and a HMC, ...) you face investments of $$ 50k upwards - not something you want to buy for dabbling around.

Fortunately, the way you come across you will have to learn a lot of general UNIX knowledge first anyways and for this purpose most modern systems are pretty equal. Here are a few things to learn which you can do on absolutely any system, regardless of it being a UNIX (HP-UX, SunOS/Solaris,AIX), FreeBSD, OpenBSD or any of the Linux-distributions afloat. (I suggest to stay away from OpenBSD, not because the system wouldn't serve the purpose but the people doing it are what i would call "open-source Ayatollahs" and like all fanatics enjoy killing the innocent.)

- how to read man pages
- file system mechanics, mounting/unmounting
- regular expressions and their different types (globs, BREs, EREs)
- filter tools: grep, sed, awk, join, paste, ...
- shell basics - notice that AIX uses Korn Shell (IMHO the better shell anyway), not bash, but it is good to be proficient in both
- basics of scripting
- UNIX process model, "background" and "foreground" jobs, multitasking, ....

I hope this helps.

bakunin
This is perfect and exactly the advice I was looking for - thanks for the tips and help Bakunin
# 6  
Hi.

I agree with bakunin's bullet list, especially the top item: man pages. The basic course I developed and delivered had the use of manual pages as the top priority. They are not a primary learning vehicle, but an essential tool for getting work done on your own.

An alternative to buying a machine is to get an AIX account on a machine. You usually won't get admin access, but you can use command-line utilities to your heart's content. One place I have such an AIX account is at Polarhome - gateway to freedom -- it has a number of machines with which you can gain experience.

Books are also useful:
https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Korn...dp/0596001959/
https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Shell...dp/0596005954/

and a free source:
The Art of Unix Programming

Lots of stuff to take in.

Welcome to unix.com and good luck ... cheers, drl

Last edited by drl; 06-28-2019 at 08:35 AM..
# 7  
First off: thanks for the praise. I am sure most of the others would have told you the same, i was probably just the one typing the fastest. ;-)
A few (unsorted) extra points and clarifications:

- reading man pages
This is an extremely helpful skill, because man pages are a treasure trove of information, unfortunately written in a style that needs getting used to. I guarantee you that you will for the first three months wonder why everybody is emphasizing them. For the rest of your life, though, you will wonder how you could get so old without having had access to them. They are, essentially, a reference: you find everything there if you know what you search for. I consult them several dozens of times every day (there is absolutely no shame in knowing where to search) and you will do the same (like everybody else working on a UNIX system does).

- regular expressions
Basically they are specialised mini-languages to describe text patterns. Notice, that there are several flavors of them and you don't know all the differences but you should - from the beginning - be aware that there these flavors. Since they work the same in different tools (grep: BRE, awk: ERE, sed: BRE, egrep/"grep -e": ERE, ...) learning them makes you learn several essential tools at once. Have a look at the "Shell scripting" forum and you will notice that two out of three (if not even more) threads deal with the mentioned tools.

Finally, my personal book recommendations:

"sed & awk" by Dale Dougherty, published at O'Reilly
"Hand-On Korn Shell 93 Programming" by Barry Rosenberg (perhaps the funniest and wittiest computer book i ever had the pleasure to read)
"The AIX Survival Guide" by Andreas Siegert is a bit aged, but it still sits on my work desk daily if that means anything. I have three copies of it and every bit of spare space filled with annotations by me. Two copies are so worn down i bought a third one for daily use just to make them last longer.

I hope this helps.

bakunin
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