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I want to start learning Linux system/server administration. I am confused about which Linux distribution I should start with! Ubuntu server or CentOS. Looking to CentOS even got more confused. Whether CentOS Linux or Stream :(

Can anyone please suggest to me the distribution and version that will help in the Linux system/server administrator career?

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  • Almost any Linux distribution will do for that purpose. Note, that CentOS will be discontinued soon in favor of "CentOS Stream". I'd go with Debian, but it's just my opinion and not worth an answer. – pLumo Mar 1 at 15:53
  • @pLumo Thanks. your comment helps me. – pixelngrain Mar 2 at 5:39
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"Linux System Administration" is quite a large subject.

Administering a Red Hat based distribution (like Fedora, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux) is similar, but a little different to a Debian based system (like Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian) and also different from other bases, like Arch, Alpine, Android or distributions of Linux packages installed on routers, NAS and other embedded devices. There are also similarities to other Unix based systems, like FreeBSD, NetBSD and Solaris.

While differences may be just in how the packages are created and installed, you may also see a difference in how systems are installed, where configuration files are stored or how services are started and stopped.

If I was starting this fresh, I'd start with something where there's lots of available documentation for you (which Ubuntu and Arch both excel at) and which system you are most likely to find support in your communities (so if you have a friend, neighbour or relation who uses Fedora or CentOS, it's probably best to start there)... but, remember that there are LOTS of similarities, and many distributions use the same underlying packages, so while it's important to start with something it's more important to keep learning!

I personally use Ubuntu for my servers and services, and I use Ansible to administrate my servers, but I've worked on Debian, RHEL and NAS appliances, and the basics translate across all of them!

Good luck to you!

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  • Thank you for the answer. I appreciate. I do not have anyone near around who will help or teach me. My learning will be self-driven and help of internet community. I may join an online course. So yes, you are right, I will need a big and constant help throughout my learning journey. In that case, what would you suggest? Ubuntu, Debian, or CentOS? – pixelngrain Mar 2 at 11:23

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