Build Your Own Linux... for Free!

Access the Build Your Own Linux Book for Free!

Last week, we announced one of our newest course offerings, Build Your Own Linux… from Scratch. This course includes an 115-page PDF booklet detailing the process of building a basic Linux distro from the ground-up, alongside Linux Academy’s normal video lessons. But we decided we liked the book so much, we wanted everyone to have it. So we made it a website and released it for free.

BuildYourOwnLinux.com takes all the written copy from the Build Your Own Linux course and offers it to anyone interested in learning about how Linux distros go from simple Linux kernel to useable servers. From preparing your workspace to downloading and configuring needed packages, the course — and website — aims to give you a deeper understanding of Linux and how distros are made. And you don’t even need a Linux Academy account!

Of course, if you come across any issues or have any questions while building your very own Linux, we’re still here to help. Sign up for our free community to chat with thousands of industry professionals and students just like you.

So what are you waiting for? Open up your terminal and get building!

Getting Comfortable with PowerShell

Getting Comfortable with PowerShell – A New Course Series By Linux Academy

The world of IT has been moving towards a new direction. From cloud computing to advancements in big data analytics, administrative environments are becoming daunting daily tasks with increasingly complex challenges. One of the most profound changes occurring in 2016 is the business model approach Microsoft has taken with the open source community. With new leadership, Microsoft has adopted a less constrained engagement model and adapted to its userbase by allowing certain core proprietary technologies to be brought to the open source community. Fresh on the heels of the release of .NET to the open-source community, Microsoft announced it has launched PowerShell 6.0, aka PowerShell Core, to the open-source community and will be available on Linux and Mac clients alike.

So what does this mean for the average administrator – especially one who comes from a UNIX/Linux background? The first and foremost item is this will now introduce a cross-platform tool that can administrator numerous environments simultaneously. (more…)

Build Your Own Linux

Build Your Own Linux… From Scratch

Build your own Linux… from scratch. I can hear you thinking: “Build my own Linux… ok. But from scratch? Like a cake?!” Rest assured, no baked goods are produced (or harmed) in this course.

But it is possible to build a Linux distro a la “The Cake Boss” — using a bit from this can, that box, this jar. Assuming things fit together and work properly, the problem with this process are the limitations inherent in working with pre-packaged components. Don’t want wheat in your cake? If there’s no pre-packaged gluten-free cake mix, you’re out of luck. In much the same fashion, if you want userland binaries or the Kernel built (a) with (or without) certain features, (b) to fit into a pre-determined space, (c) optimized for a specific CPU…well, if you can’t find a box on the shelf, so to speak, you’re also out of luck, unless… (more…)

Docker

Dockerizing Desktop Applications

Everyone has heard of Docker and the container revolution it has sparked. Using Docker to containerize server applications has revolutionized how applications are deployed in the Enterprise, due to increased speed and consistency without regard to underlying distribution or architecture. However, not many are really looking at how Docker can improve your desktop experience as much as your server deployments. Let’s take a look at some Docker desktop containers for popular applications and why we might use them. (more…)

Exploring SELinux

Exploring SELinux: Context

A key part of SELinux is understanding and using SELinux contexts. Everything on your system contains a context, and these contexts are used to determine which users, applications and services have access to which files, directories and applications. Even without an understanding of detailed policy creation, most SELinux users can manage their systems through using and altering contexts. (more…)

Certbot Encryption Image

Getting Started with Let’s Encrypt and SSL Certificates

Movements like HTTPS Everywhere are working to get all sites on HTTPS. Google is one of the major backers of this movement and will eventually mark all regular HTTP sites as insecure by default in their Chrome browser (see more here). It is important that everyone secure their websites so we can all enjoy a safer Internet.

This is where Let’s Encrypt comes in. From https://letsencrypt.org/about/: “Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. Let’s Encrypt is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).” This means that anyone can request and receive a free SSL certificate to enable secure HTTP traffic. Now that there is no cost needed to receive a certificate, everyone can and should enable HTTPS on their websites.

This guide walks you through the basics of getting and applying a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to an existing web server. It assumes you already have the web server ready and the DNS records set appropriately. Since this is a getting started guide, we will stick with the Certbot recommended by Let’s Encrypt. There are many other solutions or you can even create your own. See here for more information on other clients. (more…)

Exploring SELinux

Exploring SELinux: An Overview

In the coming weeks, we at the Linux Academy blog will be exploring SELinux — or Security Enhanced Linux. SELinux provides users fine-grain control over access and permissions on their Linux servers and workstations. Today, we will explore the implications of using SELinux, before diving into SELinux policies and command line options in part two.

SELinux is a kernel module written by the NSA and Red Hat that grants system owners extended access control, allowing for a greater permissions profile to constrain users and applications from accessing resources. Beyond the traditional “read, write, execute” permissions on a basic Linux system, SELinux grants administrators the ability to restrict linking, moving and appending files and more. Additionally, access control is defined using policies, which average users cannot alter either purposely or accidentally. (more…)

Which will you choose?

Boot Loaders

What happens when you turn on a computer system? At the most basic level, we know that the computer’s components power on, and the operating system “boots up” so users have a way of interacting with the systems – whether that is to play games, run a web server, set up in-depth applications or otherwise. But how does a computer know what to boot? If a processor pulls data from the system’s memory, how can it work with a freshly booted computer that does not have any processes within its memory stores? For this, the computer uses a boot loader, which is a small amount of code designed to prepare the system and then pass it to the more complex kernel, which in turn manages the operating system itself. (more…)

tmux cheat sheet v2

tmux Cheat Sheet

tmux is a terminal multiplexer that allows users to run multiple virtual terminals inside a single window. tmux provides users with a series of command line, interactive, and vi-like commands to navigate through their virtual terminals with ease. But new users may find tmux‘s interface confusing or hard to grasp. Well, we at Linux Academy have your back once more with our newest cheat sheet for tmux! Click on it below to view the full-size graphic! (more…)

Vim

A Vim Reference Guide

Vim is a powerful text editor favored by many sysadmins and developers. The only problem is with power comes with a learning curve. With a variety of commands to use and memorize, starting writing and editing your files in Vim can be a daunting task. Luckily, we at Linux Academy have got your back, with a fun background image of basic (and some not-so-basic) Vim commands! Check it out below, and remember to click to see it in its full-size glory! (more…)