While Linux might not seem as popular as other operating systems on the market – such as Mac OS and Windows – the truth of that matter is that Linux does hold a fairly decent size of the OS marketplace, owning around 3% of the user landscape. On its own, that might not seem impressive, but when we break those numbers down further, estimates point to the fact that, among the software development community, that numbers falls somewhere between 25 and 37%, depending upon the developer survey you read.
That being said, Linux is not just for programmers. Aside from regular every day users and those that own Android devices (whose operating system is built on Linux), IT professionals such as system administrators, cloud infrastructure engineers, network engineers, software architects, data scientists, and embedded application developers all lean heavily on the platform for their day-to-day work.
Linux is used in virtually every IT sector, including its use in embedded systems and the Inter of Everything (IoT), security, software development, telecommunications, cloud solutions, and even gaming, to name but a few. Because of this popularity, and because the operating system is among the best in the world, in today’s programmer tutorial, we are going to highlight some of the best online courses to learn Linux.
Where Can I Learn Linux?
Just as with most programming and IT technologies, you can learn Linux from a plethora of different places. Physical books, online programming and system administration tutorials like the ones hosted here at Developer.com, and even at a local university or college are all viable options. However, given the current environment in the pandemic and the ability to work remotely in many jobs today, taking an online course has also become a viable option. It is this last option that we will be focusing on today.
Linux Online Courses
Here are some of the best places to learn Linux online, whether you are a beginner, a veteran, or fall somewhere in-between. These courses are not simply for programmers and developers, but, instead, for any IT professional looking to learn Linux – even though some courses may have a developer slant. So if you are a software engineer, a game developer, a sysadmin, database administrator, or networking professional, you will no doubt find a course below to help improve your skills, your resume, and make you more employable.
Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting from Coursera
Offered by IBM and part of the Coursera Linux class offerings, the Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting online course is the perfect introduction to working with Linux. It takes roughly 13 hours to complete and a certificate is provided upon completion. While it is a standalone course, it is also technically part of several larger Linux programs – namely:
- IBM Data Warehouse Engineer Professional Certificate
- Applied Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization
- IBM Data Engineering Professional Certificate
- BI Foundations with SQL, ETL and Data Warehousing Specialization
- IBM DevOps and Software Engineering Professional Certificate
This means that, once you finish this course, you can count it towards the coursework for these other, larger, programs.
Throughout this online Linux course, students will learn how to describe the Linux architecture and Linux distributions. You will also gain experience installing and updating software on a Linux system, courtesy of free access to a virtual Linux server environment.
By the end of the course, pupils will also learn basic Linux and Unix shell commands, Bash shell scripting, how to create shell script with Linux commands, environment variables, filters, and pipes, execute common Bash shell commands for automating tasks, and, finally, how to schedule cron jobs via Linux’s crontab and cron syntax.
You can sign up for this online Linux course by visiting its page on Coursera: Hands-on Introduction to Linux Commands and Shell Scripting.
Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux from Coursera
The Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux course from Coursera is another beginner level Linux class, designed for those with zero experience in a Linux environment. It makes our list because it covers a specific flavor of Linux – notably, Red Hat Enterprise. It is the first course in a three-course program called Linux and Private Cloud Administration on IBM Power Systems Specialization. Despite this, students are welcome to simply take this first part if they are only interested in the basics of Linux and shell scripting.
This course is a little longer than the first course on our list, weighing in at 21 hours. It, too, comes with a shareable certificate, which looks nice on your LinkedIn profile and resume. The online Red Hat Linux class teaches you how to access the command line to execute scripts and navigate the Linux environment, manage files, manage local Linux users and groups, and monitor and manage Linux processes.
You can sign-up for this online course or learn more about its curriculum by visiting its Coursera listing: Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
C Programming with Linux Specialization from Coursera
The C Programming with Linux Specialization course from Coursera is a beginner level course with a specific focus on software development and computer programming. Namely, students will be working with the popular (and powerful) C programming language.
Coursera suggests you devote 3 hour per week on this course, with an estimated completion time of 6 months at that rate, though you are certainly able to devote more (or less) time, as the schedule is flexible and at your own pace. During the course, students will learn the following:
- How to develop and debug code in C, including basic C syntax, best practices, and programming concepts.
- How to analyze, interpret, and implement algorithms in C in a Linux software development environment.
- The foundations of working in the Linux operating system, including using the command line to execute scripts, manage users, processes, files, and memory resources.
- How to compile C code in Linux.
- How to work with computer memory using pointers in C to optimize and manipulate system resources.
There are 7 total courses in this Linux and C programming Specialization, and, once completed, students will earn a Certification of Completion. You can learn more or sign-up for this online C and Linux course by visiting its Coursera listing: C Programming with Linux Specialization.
Linux Server Management and Security from Coursera
Another great course for those that want to learn Linux concepts and fundamentals, is the Linux Server Management and Security from Coursera, which, as the name suggests, is focused on server management and security practices in a Linux environment.
Offered by the University of Colorado through Coursera, this course is an intermediate level offering that takes around 13 hours to complete. It, too, comes with a certificate upon completion and is the 3rd course in a larger program known as the Computer Security and Systems Management Specialization, though students do not need to be a part of that track to take this course. However, you will need a firm understanding of how to work in a Linux system and understand basic security principles.
During the first week of the Linux security course, pupils will learn what purpose Linux serves in an Enterprise setting and be able to identify the different versions of Linux. Week 2 shifts its focus to Linux server configuration and the different Linux commands you can deploy. Week 3 steers students through the various Linux authentication mechanisms, how to add users, and how to employ user controls – all with an eye towards security. Finally, the 4th and final week explores enhanced security protocols, tools, and access control methods for Linux systems and applications.
To sign-up for this course or learn more about this Linux specialization program, navigate to its Coursera listing: Linux Server Management and Security.
Linux Courses and Certification Prep
There are, of course, hundreds of other online courses for Linux available if one of the ones on our list did not catch your eye. Coursera, in particular, has a great variety of choices to choose from, ranging from free Linux courses to paid, with an option to finance in some cases. You can check those out at the Coursera Linux courses page.