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How can a Unix DBA get started in Linux sys admin?

I am an Oracle database administrator (DBA) currently wanting to learn Linux. I have worked on Unix as a DBA, but I have not done any Unix administration. With this background, I want to be able to learn Linux so I can start doing system administration. Do I need to understand hacking and kernel programming to be able to do system administration on Linux? What are the overlaps between being a DBA and sys admin on Linux? Could you suggest a Linux sys admin curriculum?
Tim O'Reilly's course, Linux/Unix System Administration Certificate Series, is a great online course with great content, a responsive coach and online root access to a Linux machine so that you can practice. This is a University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education system administration course, and it will give you access to your own Linux server throughout the process. This course series is targeted at both beginning and intermediate Linux/Unix users who want to acquire advanced system administration skills and receive certification from the University Of Illinois Office Of Continuing Education. The Linux/Unix course series is comprised of four courses that span UNIX administration skills from basic to complex and gives students access to their own Linux machines and networks throughout the series.

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