Looking for Video tutorials for training to become a linux based sysadmin - right from setting up servers to designing a datacenter.

Any structured video tutorials for the same?

  • 2
    I think video is not the appropriate tutorial media for sysadmin training. Much better reading!
    – Davide
    Dec 26, 2009 at 16:49
  • 2
    "Designing a Datacentre: Part 1 of 3,141,527"...
    – womble
    Dec 26, 2009 at 22:58

5 Answers 5


First I must mention that I myself am not a sysadmin although I do some sysadmin type of stuff at my startup (I'm a programmer first). However, I have the following contributions to this thread:

  1. Everyone is correct that you should install and administer your own Linux box (and eventually Linux server). Start off using it as a desktop user (if you haven't done this already) and get familiar with the console commands. I advise, at this point, to think of this box as a toy initially and not worry about screwing up: create new users, delete users, figure out how to configure printing, or Samba so you can see stuff from a Windows or Mac, LDAP, Fileserver, server up some Apache web pages, etc. Whatever you find interesting.

  2. Get used to reading a lot! You'll need to probably get some good reference books (it's probably a matter of opinion which books are the tomes so you'll have to seek this out yourself); AND get used to wading through the man pages. Remember that the man pages are split up into different sections Man Page Sections so if you wanted to read about the setuid system call you'd do: man 2 setuid.

  3. I have seen some stuff on video by CBT sysadmin video course though I cannot vouch for it and it costs! Also check out CBT Nuggets Also try MIT (if you have a lot of time and commitment!) MIT CS Courses Personally, I like the diy approach with a Linux box and a couple of books + internet.

  4. Intern - This is not a direct answer to your question, but I think this is a viable option, especially if you have a friend or know of a start up that would be willing to train you. However, I suggest you have "something" to offer them, and you should really do a bunch of step one before you even try to land something like this IMO.

  5. Start thinking about security immediately. In everything you learn and do, ask the question of whether there are any holes in security, how would you "break" or compromise this if you were a hacker. This is a lot to ask of your creative imagination (at first) so I do suggest reading something like Practical Unix & Internet Security 3rd Ed by Garfinkel and Spafford (or similar books) to start to get you thinking about the possibilities of exploits.

  6. Become friends with a system administrator (if possible). Another duh, but worth mentioning. Just choose your questions carefully - they should feel that you've already done your homework before you came to them otherwise they'll think you're lazy and will likely stop helping you!

The above list is probably incomplete, but hopefully helpful all the same. Good luck!


Becoming a good sysadmin takes a few years. Seeing that youtube has a video length limit of about 10 minutes, you would have to watch about 50.000 videos.

Seriously: get going by setting up a linux system at home, best start with virtual machines that you can screw up, and do more and more advanced things that you personally want or need.

Nothing beats first hand training. FYI, Sysadmin in general is a three year apprenticeship vocation here in Germany. After that time, the trainees are deemed ready to work alone and responsibly.

  • I'm looking out for sysadmin video training courses and not random you tube videos are you aware of any such courses?
    – rzlines
    Dec 26, 2009 at 14:09
  • 2
    sorry, no. And I would not expect them to be really helpful.
    – Posipiet
    Dec 26, 2009 at 14:35

Install a Linux system on a machine, play with it, read serverfault questions and answers, apply them. It takes time to acquire experience.

Sysadmin is a job, and most advanced linux sysadmins have a position of an engineer. I don't know how you can learn to be an engineer with merely videos on YouTube, but you can get the knowledge with personal experience.

You could also get involved in Linux communities, getting involved in projects like Debian, Ubuntu or Fedora. This should teach you quite a bit about Linux and help you acquire sysadmin skills.

That said, it could be interesting at some point to have video tutorials for the most common things you might want to do as a Linux sysadmin.

  • well i was looking out for video tutorials which is a structured course and not you tube videos, i would have looked up utube otherwise if i wanted to learn random stuff. Aren't there any video courses that i could buy ?
    – rzlines
    Dec 26, 2009 at 14:07
  • The kind that are here youtube.com/ubuntudevelopers I guess, but more focused on sysadmin?
    – raphink
    Dec 26, 2009 at 22:05

this will not help you becoming sysadmin 'from scratch', nevertheless i find following highly entertaining and somehow sysadmin-related:

  • archives of chaos communication congress - bits and pieces about security, low-level hacks . recordings from 2008.
  • talks at nanog. mostly network-related subjects.
  • various talks about infrastructures of companies like google, yahoo, facebook - just search for them... they are usually somewhere between development and system administration; presentations from various open-source events - i think they can be quite a good source of knowledge about mysql / postgresql / planning things so they can scale. [ youtube scalability, wikipedia architecture just to name few ].

Agree with Posipiet. It's a good idea for wonna-be Linux sysadmins to get used to manuals and books.

Mac OS X Server/Windows does provide easy to use GUI configuration tools and Mac OS X Server/Windows sysadmins may pick up the skill by viewing video tutorials. Maybe Linux will catup up soon.

But I believe video tutorial alone will never teach you enough skill to design a datacenter (except that it's a datacenter for family usage).

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