How to Become a Linux Administrator?

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Many IT professionals want to be specialized in Linux operating system. One of the major roles is the Linux administrator, if you are looking for this role then you need to learn how to configure Linux servers and systems. For this, you will require to learn about its basics, certifications, and training. If you want to pursue your career as a Linux administrator then you should be able to monitor the system’s everyday operation and its health.

In this article, we will be focusing on who are Linux administrators, what are their roles, the pathway to becoming a Linux administrator, required certifications, and technical skills.

Who are Linux Administrators?

Linux administrators monitor the everyday working of the Linux system and maintain the health of the system. They mainly focus on security ensuring the security patches are updated and are ready to work effectively. They have to interact with users for any system-related issue and respond to them accordingly with the right solution. They also manage the regular system backups as per the business requirement. They look if the system is performing well, manage the root access, and communicate with the development team for carrying out new releases.

It is not an easy job to be a Linux administrator as you need strong technical knowledge to manage the complete system. For becoming a Linux administrator, you need to have experience working in a Linux environment. There is a great demand for a Linux administrator and it is a high-paid role. Before you start learning the required skills, you need to understand the tasks and responsibilities of a Linux system administrator.

What Does a Linux System Administrator Do?

The main responsibility of a Linux system administrator is to manage and oversee the Linux OS and make sure that it works seamlessly. Their responsibilities include installing and conducting regular maintenance checks, troubleshooting errors, performing fixes, and monitoring the performance of the system to ensure optimal operations. Apart from this, as an administrator, it is important to manage and encourage team members to achieve goals, while following the company’s rules, policies and regulations.

Here we have mentioned some responsibilities of a Linux system administrator.

  • Creating and managing the FTP web interface for transferring the files to customer FTP sites using PHP.
  • Configuring and managing NetApp storage arrays.
  • Managing the NetApp storage devices and user administration.
  • Managing systems volume with the help of SVM, LVM, NAS, VERITAS volume manager.
  • Managing the Black Duck servers — configure on 8 quad CPU and 32GB memory and 16TB storage.
  • Installing, setting up, and managing different distributions of Linux (RHEL, CentOS, etc.)
  • Converting the Linux systems from local password authentication to LDAP and NFS homes for enhancing administrative efficiency.
  • Automating the Linux and MySQL user access across several servers to make the process cost-effective and efficient.
  • Performing frequent system maintenance including the OS and applications patching on Linux servers.
  • Managing the Linux configuration files and software package by using puppet.

However, the roles and responsibilities do not end here. Linux is a vast OS having several functionalities that need to be taken care of. A Linux administrator manages every small aspect of the Linux system.

How to Become a Linux Administrator

You can follow the below-mentioned steps to start your career as a Linux system administrator.

1. Bachelor’s Degree

You should start with getting a bachelor’s degree to become a Linux administrator. You can choose any of the below-mentioned branches to pursue your bachelor’s degree.

  • Computer science (CS)
  • Information technology (IT)
  • Information science
  • Software engineering
  • Telecommunications

2. Master’s Degree

On getting a bachelor’s degree, you can start pursuing a master’s degree in a specific field. With a master’s degree, you can select a specific discipline like computer networking that will help in strengthening your technical skills required for becoming a Linux administrator. You can go for courses like database management and web server administration, which are considered to be important courses for the role. This degree is optional but you can get hold of your technical skills either by online or offline training and courses.

3. Enrolling in Training Courses

You can get enrolled in training courses that will provide you the fundamental knowledge about Linux and its various concepts. These concepts tend to be stronger as you expand your knowledge skills. You can start learning the concepts like writing a kernel and scripts. Not only this, you can get along with the advanced resources to hone your skills.

4. Practice Installing Linux

Apart from theoretical knowledge, one should have the practical knowledge to deal with real-time scenarios. In this way, you will be able to work on the customer’s complaints and resolve their issues. So start with installing Linux, learn how to configure it which is an important and basic step for becoming a Linux administrator. So you can look for the right resource that will guide you through configuring steps. After installing Linux, you can practice and perform basic tasks at the start. Practicing will help you understand your skill level.

5. Get Certified

To check your skill level as a Linux system administrator, you can go for various certifications. These certifications will help you get a good job with a good salary. Today, employers require a person who is certified and having strong knowledge to be a Linux system administrator. These certifications cover different aspects of Linux, so you can complete more than one certification to excel in your field.

Here we have mentioned some of the Linux certifications that you can choose depending on your experience level and specialty:

  • CompTIA Linux+
  • GIAC Certified UNIX Security Administrator (GCUX)
  • Linux Foundation Certified Engineer (LFCE)
  • Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator
  • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
  • Oracle Certified Specialist (OCS)
  • Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) provides you a variety of certifications for Linux professionals.

Common Skills Required for Linux Administrators

1. Problem-solving

First, you need to know how to troubleshoot and fix the bugs which are necessary for maintaining the integrity of the system. You should be able to process user requests that will help you in establishing a network pattern. Having the right knowledge and problem-solving skills will make you stand out among other employees.

2. Attention to Detail

To manage the Linux system, you must be quick with understanding and running various commands, as most of the tasks are done by running commands on the command line. A good Linux administrator gives close attention to every detail like what command they are entering and how the system will perform if they provide the wrong command. This will help in troubleshooting errors and fixing them quickly.

3. Communication

Linux administrators should be active listeners and should pay attention while communicating with others. As they work closely with network engineers and developers, they need to focus on details and should be able to provide answers to their technical questions. They should be able to communicate with users in less technical terms to explain to them the error and its root cause.

4. Technical skills

Here, we have mentioned some of the technical skills required to become a Linux administrator.

  • Ability to understand the concept of Linux file systems. They should know what systems are supported by Linux to configure the network.
  • They should have a hold of the File system hierarchy as Linux systems have a unique format, and Linux system administrators are capable of knowing what location they can use to store specific files.
  • Ability to use the command line efficiently for running various commands to perform several tasks. Administrators generally have the root or admin access which is the highest access for managing Linux systems.
  • Ability to manage disaster recovery where they will create backup and restore files in Linux systems and reboot the system if required to prevent the loss of crucial information.
  • They should be able to understand the network security and firewalls. Only Linux administrators can help in establishing the security protocols.


Linux is available as open-source and is a very vast operating system. This increases the responsibilities of a Linux system administrator as they have to manage every aspect of the Linux system. If you want to pursue a career as a Linux system administrator then you have to be technically sound in almost every field like networking, command line, and others. In this article, we have mentioned some of the roles and responsibilities that you can understand before you start learning the concepts. You can follow the easy steps to become a Linux system administrator by acquiring the basic technical skills.

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