New to Linux Administration: RHEL-Based or Debian-Based OS



  • There's a podcast I listen to on occasion, 2.5 Admins, and with the CentOS news that came out last month, I was reminded of an episode where a person asked if they wanted to get into [system] administration, which should they master first, Debian or CentOS. The discussion was about a month before the CentOS announcement and can be heard here starting at 22:50. The tl;dr of the conversation was as I understood it "Debian because cloud, and you can learn RHEL stuff later if needed."

    Would you give the same advice to a person new to IT and looking for focus for the beginning of their learning journey?

    I'm glad I finished the RHCSA, but, for me, it would behoove me to become more comfortable with Debian based distributions at the very least to make my skills more marketable. And despite really just now trying to make my way out of the Windows administration space, I'd likely give the same "learn Debian" advice to a newbie, especially if their interest lies in AWS stuff.



  • It doesn't matter to me, learn RHEL-based then Debian-based or Debian-based then RHEL-based. You'll end up using both anyway.



  • Aside from the install/update commands, apt vs dnf, there is no real difference between them.

    Both use systemd now. Sure a few of your applications might install to different locations or be owned by different users, www-data vs apache, and such.

    But seriously, for most people it does not matter. Most of these systems are a one trick virtual machine, basically an appliance. All you have to know to "administer" them is how to update.



  • Install Fedora, then install Nextcloud.
    Install Debian, then install Nextcloud.

    Seriously, like zero differences other than a few commands during install.

    But no one is installing without reading a guide. So it does not matter.



  • Just a thought, maybe we should start a revolution and all move to opensuse? </troll> 😛



  • I don't see many job descriptions that don't list both, or only say "Linux". Some do obviously, but most I see do not care.

    It also depends on the job you want. You can choose exactly what you want to work with. You will find out during initial interview with recruiter or the one after if it matters or not. So no harm in applying. If you only have one listed on your resume, and the contact you when the job description specifies only the othwr, then higher chance they don't care.

    But doing well with both is most advantageous.



  • @Obsolesce said in New to Linux Administration: RHEL-Based or Debian-Based OS:

    I don't see many job descriptions that don't list both, or only say "Linux". Some do obviously, but most I see do not care.

    Most SAY Linux, then annoyingly think that the one that you know matters 😞



  • I agree, both is the obvious choice. But to truly answer the question, I'd focus on Ubuntu (not Debian) and then RHEL. Debian is great, but it is Ubuntu specifically that has the market.



  • @scottalanmiller said in New to Linux Administration: RHEL-Based or Debian-Based OS:

    I agree, both is the obvious choice. But to truly answer the question, I'd focus on Ubuntu (not Debian) and then RHEL. Debian is great, but it is Ubuntu specifically that has the market.

    Yes, almost the same is never the same as exactly the same.