[svlug] Needing information on Teaching Linux

Karsten M. Self kmself at ix.netcom.com
Mon Mar 28 05:28:24 PST 2005

on Sat, Mar 26, 2005 at 01:34:09AM -0800, James Sparenberg (james at linuxrebel.us) wrote:
> All,
>    On another list I'm on one of my friends from Germany has posted a
> request for information regarding materials / lesson plans / information
> etc for conducting classes on OSS and Linux for his company.  I know
> that some here have been involved in creating, and or giving classes for
> the Linux beginner.  As such, you probably know of sources for materials
> etc.  
>    If you do have information, or represent a group that can supply this
> information I can put you in touch with my friend and the two of you can
> then deal directly.  (Oh, and with Joerg there is no language barrier)
> Thanks in advance for your time.

I'm going to echo a lot of Bill's advice / suggestions.  I'm currently
leading a high school group through basics.  It's half structured, half
seat-of-the-pants, half what-needs-to-be-done-to-get-systems-running,
half hrm-better-tend-to-security-now.   I've been casting around for
some materials (partially to assign the kids so they can learn more than
I can squeeze into 50 minutes of class time).  Some suggestions follow.

In the 'questions' department, what's the context/objective?

  - Are these office users?  You'll want to pick a desktop (KDE / GNOME
    / XFCE / other) and an application set (OO.o, browser, comms), and
    go over these.  Robin "roblimo" Miller's recent _Point and Click
    Linux_ is reviewing well (I haven't read it myself).

  - Systems programmers?  Shell basics, translation from their current
    system(s) (e.g.:  proprietary Unix, legacy MS Windows, MVS,
    OpenVMS), and the GNU programming toolsuite.  O'Reilly's
    _Programming with GNU Software_ covers a lot of this, and you can
    view its table of contents online.   The first 50 pages or so are an
    introduction to basic systems concepts.

  - Systems administrators / power users.  Again, shell, principles of
    Unix -- filesystem, piping, i/o, users, permissions, services,
    networking.  Again, there are a number of solid references,
    including O'Reilly's _Running Linux_, the Nemeth book, and
    O'Reilly's _Linux In a Nutshell_.

  - Network administrators.  Overlaps systems a lot, but with more a
    focus on networking, protocols, security, and network-specific

I'll second Bill's suggestion to look into certification programs.  I'm
partial to vendor-agnostic programs (SAGE and LPI come to mind), but if
you're wedded to a particular distro, look at its training opportunities
as well (Red Hat have a pretty comprehensive program).

In my own set of "things to know", aimed at a power user /
system/network admin, I hit on a few points, some not necessarially
included in a standard work:

  - How to stop.  Quitting stuff (programs, logins, commend entry) is,
    um, varied, in GNU/Linux.  So mention that there's a few options:
    <ctrl>-C, <ctrl>-Z (STOP), <ctrl>-D, <esc>, 'q', and 'ZZ',
    <alt>-<F4>, among others.  From the shell, 'exit' or 'logout'>
    A'la Sorceror's Apprentice:  knowing how to get out of stuff can be
    a very useful skill.

  - How to find help.  'Help' at the shell isn't what you think it is
    (it's Bash's internal help).  'man', 'apropos', 'info', Google,
    mailing lists, IRC, and a friend or colleague for starters.  And
    asking for help is a good sign -- far better to find out (the|a)
    right way than insist on being wrong.  There's lots of information
    available.  Quoting a former roommate:  "you're an adult, look for

  - A really quick run-through of the basic Unix / GNU/Linux philosophy
    and core concepts.  This isn't so much something that I expect to go
    over once and have 'em remember, but is more in the spirit of
    quickly scanning the territory and giving a general feel for the

    - Everything is a file.
    - Modularity
    - Users, processes, files, permissions.
    - The basic filesystem layout.  Root, /usr, /home, /tmp, /var.
    - What's a shell.  What's it do?
    - Pipes.

After that, I'd start falling into a more typical curriculum.

There are some good docs within the LDP, including "Introduction to
Linux - A Hands On Guide":


...which is good either in itself or as the basis for customized docs.

I'd mine the TLDP for other stuff -- Guides and Howtos can be pretty
damned good, and it's a highly underappreciated resource:



Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Rules of Spam:
    #4:  The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
Url : http://lists.svlug.org/archives/svlug/attachments/20050328/bb955881/attachment.bin

More information about the svlug mailing list