The Linux/Unix footprint in the marketplace is growing. In addition to a growing use in the general office and desktop environment, Linux and Unix have long held a strong presence in operation systems for gaming consoles, mobile phones and devices - including Apple - as well as specialized security devices, cameras, digital video recorders, and more. In the server market, X gurus have stabilized and secured some of the largest and most reliable enterprise services in the world.

    While there are many distributions, and a fair amount of differences in the operating systems, there are long-standing similarities regarding certain fundamentals, which, once mastered, can be cross-applied in a number of ways.

    The below resources will offer a learning path to Novell's Open Courseware project for learning Linux using their Open Source distribution: SUSE. Following the self study guides in-detail and in-order should lend newbies and hobbyists a great start or reboot in developing and polishing some well-rounded Linux skills. This page will also include links to resources and sites for more advanced and refined tools, techniques, additional distributions, and commercial training. 

    As always, these resources and coursework materials are not endorsed by WGU beyond our wish to help you continue your education as an alum. WGU assumes no responsibility for your hardware or software while following this coursework. That said, please feel free to contact me at with questions, corrections, and contributions.

    Make a commitment, learn at your own risk, and good luck.!

    Erik Jorgensen
    Alumni and Career Services Mentor, IT
    Western Governors University

    Get Ready for Open Source: SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

    This introductory training series offers self study course materials to help students get started using SUSE Linux. Open Source software concepts, historical developments involving Unix and Linux, and installing and using SUSE Enterprise Desktop and its tools are included in this course. Novell estimates about 60 hours of study is required.

    Get Ready for Open Source: SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop P2

    Desktop administration fundamentals are covered in this second portion of the study program. Exercises involving managing files, writing shell programs and configuring commonly used services are also included.

    SUSE Linux Fundamentals for Administrators

    This next course involves Linux fundamentals with SUSE - some of which are covered in the previous section. However, this course is server-driven and designed for systems administration and a background in SUSE and/or another Linux distribution is recommended.

    SUSE Linux Server Administration

    Performing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server administrative tasks are included in this course - objectives involve basic system security, users and groups, basic network services, file systems, and remote access.

    SUSE Linux Server Advanced Administration

    This course includes custom installation partitioning, custom shell script, manual network configuration, securing servers, as well as backup and recovery.

    SUSE Linux Network and Server Services

    Server services are the focus for this advanced SUSE Linux course. Content includes configuration for Samba (to connect with Windows through SMB), network monitoring, BIND and DNS, print servers, and Tomcat deployment.

    SUSE Linux Security

    Common security management and prevention tasks for SUSE Linux administrators and engineers are included in this course, including, practical cryptography, firewalls, packet filters, VPN, intrusion detection, incident response.

    Additional Unix and Linux Coursework

    A set of popular learning materials and resources involving learning Linux and Unix are available over at Professor Norman Matloff's pages at the University of California at Davis. These great tutorials are free to students and non-students. No registration is required.

    Linux Distributions

    Below is a list of popular Linux distributions, primarily focusing on the open-source, community-supported distributions. Many of these companies and communities offer commercial (paid) and and community (free) versions of their software. The same goes for support services and patches.