The Complete Guide to Mastering Enterprise Linux: 21 Must-Have Training Resources for IT Professionals

Within today‘s technology landscapes, Linux skills are invaluable for unlocking immense career opportunities. As a free, open-source operating system, Linux provides the foundation for much of modern computing infrastructure – from web servers and cloud platforms to embedded systems, smartphones and beyond.

  • Linux runs 90% of public cloud workloads, over 70% of smartphones globally, practically the entire internet backbone and a staggering 97.4% of the world‘s 500 fastest supercomputers.

  • LinkedIn‘s 2020 Emerging Jobs report found Linux administration among the top 15 rising career opportunities, with nearly 10,000 open Linux admin roles across the US.

  • The Linux Foundation‘s 2021 Open Source Jobs Report revealed 85% of hiring managers are finding it challenging to recruit professionals with sufficient Linux/open-source skills.

  • Salaries for IT professionals with advanced Linux certifications like the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) easily clear $130,000 annually on average.

Clearly, mastering enterprise Linux administration can unlock immense career potential and dramatically accelerate earnings trajectory regardless of industry or specialty.

But effectively upskilling or transitioning into a Linux-focused IT role requires quality, comprehensive training tailored to the right skill levels. With poor materials, the steep learning curve in mastering Linux‘s intricacies can swiftly grind progress to a halt.

That‘s why having expert guidance to the best books, courses, labs and other Linux training resources is so critical – and why I‘ve compiled the definitive professional‘s guide below containing my 21 top recommendations across various formats, focus areas and experience levels.

Let‘s get started!

Linux Training Essentials: Getting Started the Right Way

The single most important step for beginners is avoiding information overload. Linux as an entire ecosystem can seem extraordinarily complex out of the gate. Instead of diving headfirst into the deep end, start by establishing core foundational proficiencies.

For those brand new to Linux, focus first solely on basics like:

  • Command line navigation
  • File system management
  • User account control
  • Software/package management
  • Basic scripting

Resources specifically tailored to Linux beginners provide the simplest, most accessible exposure required to start effectively accumulating practical experience.

Then, use that initial grounding to progressively springboard into more advanced areas like automation, security hardening, Kubernetes administration, SELinux policies, etc.

The training materials below offer segmented recommendations based on experience level and core competency areas to help new and experienced Linux admins alike get to where they need within this vast landscape more efficiently.

Now, let‘s explore the 21 best Linux learning resources for launching or accelerating your administration mastery…

Best Introductory Linux Resources

The following offer extremely beginner-friendly jumping off points for those entirely new to Linux:

1. Linux Administration Bootcamp

Product: Linux Administration Bootcamp

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.4 out of 5

Price: Paid online course

This accelerated Udemy course offers 7.5 hours of beginner Linux training tailored for aspiring system administrators. Combining conceptual lessons with practical hands-on learning, it starts from absolute basics like command line usage and package management before gradually progressing into more advanced topics.

2. Linux Essentials Certification

Offered through platforms like Cloud Guru, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, this entry-level certification sponsored by The Linux Professional Institute serves as a perfect low-stakes intro. Their training materials like this course also provide highly beginner-friendly self-guided learning.

3. Linux Fundamentals

Product: Linux Fundamentals

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.5 out of 5

Price: Paid online course

Taught by working IT professionals, this Udemy course condenses the most important Linux administration basics like command line skills, user management, process monitoring and practical troubleshooting. It focuses squarely on functional competencies needed day-to-day.

4. Getting Started with Linux

The appropriately titled Getting Started with Linux breaks down core skills like choosing a distro, managing packages, running services and configuring VMs into easy-to-follow 8+ hours of video tutorials. Hundreds of hands-on practice activities make concepts stick. It‘s among the most accessible video-based intros out there.

Intermediate Linux Training

Once fundamentals are established, the following help take key competencies to confidently administer real-world Linux production environments:

5. Linux Administration Cookbook

Product: Linux Administration Cookbook

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.7 out of 5

Price: $34.05

Buy on Amazon

This handy reference compiles 100+ specific "recipes" for accomplishing critical administration tasks like managing users, configuring networks, implementing security controls and writing scripts to automate repetitive procedures.

6. Linux Server Management & Security

This Linux Foundation course provides robust skills for managing real-world Linux infrastructure. Key topics like filesystems, user authentication and permissions, security modules like SELinux and more help bridge the gap between Linux basics and professional-grade administration.

7. Linux Mastery

Product: Linux Mastery

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.5 out of 5

Price: Paid online course

This 11.5 hour Udemy course helps intermediate learners master skills like Bash scripting, Cron job scheduling, disk partitioning, networking configuration and applying automated system updates. Hands-on virtual labs provide valuable real-world experience.

Advanced Linux Administration

For Linux power users ready to unlock deeper mastery, the following offer intensely focused domain training:

8. Red Hat Enterprise Linux Automation with Ansible

Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Automation with Ansible

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.5 out of 5

Price: Paid online course

Mastering automation tools like Ansible is critical for administering enterprise Linux at scale. This Udemy course offered by a Red Hat Certified Instructor provides extensive hands-on Ansible training specifically within production RHEL environments.

9. Advanced Linux: The Linux Kernel

Understanding the Linux kernel – the core of the OS – provides tremendous value. This LinkedIn Learning course teaches compiling, configuring, debugging and customizing the Linux kernel like an expert data center Linux technician.

10. Linux Security & Hardening

Product: Linux Security & Hardening

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰ 4.5 out of 5

Price: Paid online course

This Udemy course delivers advanced security best practices for locking down Linux systems against escalating cyberthreats including insider attacks, malware and ransomware. Skills like intrusion detection, firewall management, container hardening and more give Linux professionals an edge.

Domain-Specific Linux Training

For those needing targeted knowledge in specialized areas:

11. Google IT Support Professional Certificate

This beginner-friendly program sponsored by Google provides accelerated preparation for an entry-level computer support role – a common destination for early-career Linux admins. Core skills like troubleshooting and customer service translate universally while building valuable hands-on experience.

12. Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux

This free guide from Red Hat offers RHEL-specific training on core administration areas like software/package management, storage configuration, access controls, encryption – perfect for centrally managing large production Linux deployments at enterprise scale.

13. Linux Development Ecosystem

This edX course offers crucial Linux skills for developers needing to troubleshoot bugs, customize environments and release robust application code. Tools like Git, Node.js, MongoDB and more come together within real integrated project scenarios.

14. Kubernetes Administration with Linux

As container orchestration revolutionizes application architectures, this Udemy course prepares Linux professionals to capitalize on huge demand for Kubernetes admin skills. Hands-on labs give indispensable first-hand management experience with real clusters.

Career-Accelerating Linux Certifications

For validation of skills highly valued by employers:

15. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

The pinnacle RHCE credential cements advanced RHEL mastery for managing production Linux at massive scale. AWStraining‘s RHCE prep course combines lectures, hands-on labs, mock exams and more tailored directly to passing the EX300 exam – the culmination of Red Hat‘s coveted certification track.

16. CompTIA Linux+

This industry-recognized certification from CompTIA proves baseline proficiencies for IT support roles relying on Linux administration competencies. Materials like Total Sem‘s CompTIA Linux+ prep resources offer affordable certification exam training alongside their renowned testing tools.

17. Linux Professional Institute LPIC-3

Validating advanced enterprise Linux skills, LPIC-3 sits atop LPI‘s certification tiers targeting senior-level professionals. This all-in-one exam guide helps cement mastery of areas like storage management, cloud technologies, security and virtualization – making LPIC-3 a worthy capstone for seasoned admins.

Real-World Linux Practice Environments

While conceptual knowledge is indispensable, hands-on application accelerates practical mastery tremendously. Resources like the following provide that crucial experience:

18. KodeKloud

KodeKloud‘s hosted labs offer real-world sandbox environments to apply Linux administration skills across various scenarios – from Linux basics to Kubernetes cluster deployment. With assessments combining guidance and challenges, they take a gaming approach perfect for motivating hands-on upskilling.

19. Linux Academy Lab Access

Formerly Linux Academy now under AcloudGuru, their Lab Access add-on provides fully-configured, on-demand sandbox environments to apply Linux skills for major distros including CentOS, Ubuntu, SLES and more. Perfect for retention via repetition.

20. Linux Foundation Training Platform

The Linux Foundation‘s Cloud Engineer Bootcamp program includes hands-on cloud-hosted lab sandboxes where you can hone Linux administration competencies while engaging in real Docker/Kubernetes management scenarios – extremely valuable for charting cloud migration career paths.

21. Linux Journey Labs

The awesome Linux Journey resource for mastering Linux foundations now includes sandbox lab environments to practice core skills like command line usage, file permissions configuration and more. They help reinforce key concepts through repetition in a risk-free setting.

The combination of lab platforms and guided courses helps accelerate practical mastery tremendously compared to conceptual training alone. Pairing hands-on application opportunities with structured learning creates a powerful one-two punch for unlocking new Linux administrator career potential.

Start Your Linux Administration Journey Today

With Linux providing the building blocks of modern computing infrastructure while skills shortages leave many organizations scrambling for talent, huge opportunities exist for IT professionals at all stages to propel their careers leveraging Linux mastery.

The wide spectrum of exceptional training materials compiled above aims to help both prospective and experienced Linux administrators alike find the perfect resources matching their experience levels, environments and learning objectives to start unlocking immense possibilities.

So whether you‘re a complete beginner looking to break into IT or a seasoned engineer seeking deeper Linux specialization, put these guides, courses, certifications and more to work accelerating your open-source capabilities today!