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Learning Linux for a Job Interview  RSS feed

 
Kyle Jones
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Hi Guys,

I am going for a job interview and feel comfortable with most on the job spec but have not worked on Linux / Unix before.

The job spec states 'A working understanding of Linux is necesary, we use the Bash shell.'

Can I ask regarding the bash shell is this just the Linux equivilant of command line? I have gone through a few tutorials and the Linux command line seems fine as I am familar with some of the commands but is this the same as the 'bash shell'.


Any hints / tips on what to study/learn to get the basics of this so that I can speak about it in the interview would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
 
fred rosenberger
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there are multiple shells for *nix systems. Bash, C, Bourne/Korn...They are all similar, but each has it's own quirks. Writing a shell script is different between all of them. Where they store various things - like your history file, or your profile info - will be different.

I would think if you are comfortable in one, you could learn any other rather quickly.

and most *nix boxes (at least the ones I've been on) ONLY have command line interfaces.
 
Henry Wong
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In my opinion, I think there is a big difference between someone who use the bash shell as a command line, and someone who use the bash shells in a shell script. Command line operations generally don't need variable handling, loops, or function calls.

Also, there is a big difference between someone who just learned shellscript programming -- after coming from, say, Windows batch file programming. You may know the general syntax, but you will unlikely be able to use some of the support tools. Tools like tr, sed, awk, tcl, perl, and ... extra kudos, if you know tk or expect.

These easily come out during an interview.

Having said that, I agree with Fred. If you already know other unix shells, then you know the basics with bash. And you already know all the tools, and just need a quick review.

Henry
 
Tim Cooke
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I think it really depends on what the job is that you're applying for. That requirement would mean different things.

If you're applying for a Software Developer job, then that statement means "Our application servers are Linux and we want you to roughly know your way around them. Oh by the way, our admin guys tells us it's Bash".

If you're applying for a Server Support / Admin role then that statement means "Our application servers are Linux and we want you know everything there is to know about them. Oh and by the way, our existing scripts are written in Bash and you'd better know why that's important".
 
Kyle Jones
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Thanks for the replies

Tim it's a Junior Software Developer Role.
 
Tim Cooke
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Then option 1 applies. They'll just be looking for a basic working knowledge of using the shell (equivalent to Windows Command Prompt). My recommendation for practice would be to install Ubuntu on a VM like VirtualBox.
 
Tim Holloway
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If you want a good parallel, Windows has 2 command shells: COMMAND.COM, which comes from DOS and is brain-dead, and CMD.EXE, which was added to Windows and is slightly less brain-dead.

Then there's POWERSHELL, which is more like what Bash and its numerous friends are like. I never got around to playing with Powershell, so I'm unclear as to whether it's an actual shell or just an enhancement to CMD, but in any event, the shells for Unix and Linux are not only terminal command entry processors, they're pretty much programming languages in their own right.

Bash is the default shell for Linux, but there are plenty of alternatives. IBM and Sun have a fondness for the Korn Shell (ksh), I've seen a system or 2 that relied on ash, some people like zsh, and so forth. You can set the default shell for each user as part of their account management functions.
 
John Next
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Kyle Jones wrote:Hi Guys,

I am going for a job interview and feel comfortable with most on the job spec but have not worked on Linux / Unix before.

The job spec states 'A working understanding of Linux is necesary, we use the Bash shell.'

Can I ask regarding the bash shell is this just the Linux equivilant of command line? I have gone through a few tutorials and the Linux command line seems fine as I am familar with some of the commands but is this the same as the 'bash shell'.


Any hints / tips on what to study/learn to get the basics of this so that I can speak about it in the interview would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance


Hi, you have many helpful resources online, for Linux commands:
linuxcommand.org

Here you have a tutorial on bash shell: http://linux-bible.com

Good luck on the interview!
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Kyle Jones wrote:Hi Guys,


The job spec states 'A working understanding of Linux is necesary, we use the Bash shell.'

Can I ask regarding the bash shell is this just the Linux equivilant of command line? I have gone through a few tutorials and the Linux command line seems fine as I am familar with some of the commands but is this the same as the 'bash shell'.


Any hints / tips on what to study/learn to get the basics of this so that I can speak about it in the interview would be greatly appreciated.


When they say Bash shell they could mean command line or they could really mean Bash scripts. If you know msdos, the shell is like the command line, except the commands are different or course and Bash has many, many, more commands. You can do anything from the shell that you can do from the gui and in some environments Linux users never use anything but the command line. If they mean Bash scripts then the closest msdos equivalent is batch files running on msdos. Linux doesn't use drive letters and the directory structure is different, along with the symbols that indicate the directory...

I would strongly suggest going to edx.org or coursera.org or ocw.mit.edu and looking for an introduction to Linux course. They are free and through and created by professional educators - to say the least. I got a Linux certificate through edx.org from the Linux Foundation that took about a month and a half and didn't cost anything. Bash and advanced Bash were covered.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Guillermo Ishi wrote:You can do anything from the shell that you can do from the gui

Absolutely, positively, not. Just as a simple example, you can't emulate the Gimp or Firefox from the command line.
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:
Guillermo Ishi wrote:You can do anything from the shell that you can do from the gui

Absolutely, positively, not. Just as a simple example, you can't emulate the Gimp or Firefox from the command line.


Obviously you can't do graphics in a text mode . There are text only browsers like lynx.

 
Ulf Dittmer
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Maybe it's obvious, but you said "anything". As regards text-only browsers like lynx, I would estimate they have 10% of the capabilities of Firefox (or any other standard desktop browser).
 
Guillermo Ishi
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:Maybe it's obvious, but you said "anything". As regards text-only browsers like lynx, I would estimate they have 10% of the capabilities of Firefox (or any other standard desktop browser).


Please, I meant anything except the obvious. Your 10% capabilities estimate just means you're 90% about graphics.
 
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