I don’t know Linux

Disclaimer: This is a very opinionated piece and is a rant.

It may come as a shock to you but I don’t know Linux. Yes, it must be true –  someone who has been using Linux since 2006; someone who’s first interaction with Linux was building kernel modules from source; someone who has ran a Linux-based web hosting service; I just don’t know Linux. No, I’ve never fbeen awake at 2 AM trying to revert a bad cPanel update gone horribly wrong. No, I’ve never ran through config file after config file after a coworker who knew Linux completely botched the thing up from booting. No, I’ve never written a bash script that completely automated a system to run tasks, in sequence, from bootup.

Yes, I know Linux

Throughout my entire professional career, I’ve been stuck in Windows-based shops. Only once did I slightly escape into a Linux paradise, but that was only slightly and for a little bit but you know what, it was paradise. I found Linux back when it was still sold in boxes at Office Max, Office Depot, and Staples. I was a kid and I begged my mom to buy me Red Hat or SuSE (she never did – but I do always remember reading the boxes and falling for the Linux sales pitches). My first taste of Linux happened in 2006. I bought an old computer from a friend for $100. It was probably a little out dated at that point but I was at that stage where I needed additional compute resources in my teenage life. My little laptop wasn’t going to cut it, especially in these pre-virtualization days. I loaded Debian on it (if you’re keeping track of how I don’t know Linux, this was the Sarge release). Then eventually Fedora Core 5 and then Ubuntu. Of course problem number one was graphics drivers. Remember kids, there was a time when Linux required you to build your own drivers  from source and didn’t just do it for you. What really sucks is that this little computer I bought for $100 had nVidia card in it and it was an absolute pain in the butt to get working. Built a few drivers from source, loaded them into the kernel, (I was only seventeen, mind you!), and eventually had smooth video on my 17″ CRT monitor.

Throughout the years, I’ve kept using Linux because open source is life. While I don’t share Richard Stallman’s views entirely, I absolutely love open source. It was the reason I got into web hosting, it’s the reason why when my friends were burning music mix CDs I was burning SuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, installation discs. Many of which I still have today. When my friends would have an issue with their Windows computer, I’d sigh and pull out a trusty Ubuntu Live CD to fix whatever reason they couldn’t boot into Windows.

Stop saying I don’t know Linux

Seriously, stop saying I don’t know Linux. I’m not blindly applying to your Linux Admin job because I suck at it. I’m applying because I want the professional experience. I want to work with the great command line in my daily life. I want to Google the heck out of cryptographic error messages and then get the satisfaction of fixing them. I want to build, automate, and grow.

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