There’s a lot to learn when you’re getting started with System Administration. You’ve got to learn some Linux operating system basics, along with networking, common applications and services, and troubleshooting. Then you begin your first tech projects, setting up servers and services that do useful things so you can learn how everything fits together, and what kind of problems you’ll face in your first System Administration job.

This can seem like a mountain of information that’s impossible to climb, but there are ways to make it manageable.

The Simple Way

If you don’t want to debate on every detail, just start with the free Linux System Administration Basics course playlist on YouTube. This will cover many of the most important concepts and practical skills. Following along with this course is the easiest way to get started.

While you follow along, make sure you are doing further research independently — look up concepts that aren’t entirely clear to you from the videos, or interest you beyond what’s covered in the basics course. This will help to give you the habit of self-learning and independent research that is critically important to all effective system administrators and programmers.


Get Thyself to the ebook(s):

I’ve written a few guides to help aspiring system administrators and software developers quickly get up to speed with important (and insanely useful) technologies. Check out the paid content I’ve put out.

Also, I’ve put together a reading list of the most important books that every system administrator needs to read. Read them to get a solid grasp of the fundamentals.


Next Steps

Check out some of the other playlists once you’re done with the basics course. You can find the other playlists I’ve created here. These cover more advanced (or more purely practical) topics, such as

These will get you further into the practical world of Linux system administration.


The “I like it customized” Way

I actually recommend just going through the Linux sysadmin basics course playlist mentioned above to start with. However, if you want to pick and choose a bit more, here’s a selection of the most important videos from the basics course:

  1. Figure out why you want to become a Linux system administrator — this goal will motivate you when times get tough.
  2. If you’re not already running Linux, install it in a virtual machine.
  3. Watch some videos on the absolute basics of getting stuff done on the linux command-line.
  4. Plunge into Linux with the Linux System Administration Basics Course.
  5. Start working on projects — setting up useful things that you actually use (and which you can talk about during interviews).
  6. Every once in a while, when you feel like it’s all too complicated and you’ll never learn everything, lighten up and enjoy some (nontechnical) tech timewasters.
  7. Learn the basics of scripting and the building blocks of programming.
  8. Learn the basics of networking and network troubleshooting.
  9. Start looking for junior system administration jobs.
  10. Begin working, so you can learn and gain experience full-time.


Again, this is just a basic list. As this site grows, expect this page to evolve with it.

Have fun!