3.1 Navigating the Linux Desktop
To be a Linux systems administrator, it is necessary to be comfortable with Linux as a desktop operating system and have proficiency with basic Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills. Using Linux for productivity tasks, rather than depending on Windows or Macintosh systems, accelerates learning by working with Linux tools on a daily basis. Systems administrators do far more than manage servers; they are often called upon to assist users with configuration issues, recommend new software, and update documentation among other tasks.
Most Linux distributions allow users to download a “desktop” installation package that can be loaded onto a USB key. This is one of the first things aspiring system administrators should do; download a major distribution and load it onto an old PC. This process is fairly straightforward, and tutorials are available online. The Linux desktop should be familiar to anyone who has used a PC or Macintosh with icons to select different programs and a “settings” application to configure things like user accounts, WiFi networks, and input devices. After familiarizing oneself with the Linux Graphical User Interface (GUI), or desktop, the next step is learning how to perform tasks from the command line.