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Training for an "old school" Linux newbie

I am an aspiring Linux "Newbie" and want to know where to start: Debian, Gentoo, Red Hat, or the kernel? I am working with PeopleSoft in Oracle 9i and it lives on an AIX Box. Where do I start to get my chops down?
An AIX guy? Don't see them around these parts often. I would start by dusting off an old PC or purchasing a $400 bare bones model PC. Get a copy of Red Hat or Novell's SuSE and install it. The only way you're going to learn Linux is to work with it.

Get a good beginners book and start eating it up. There's also a ton of great information all over the Web, including here on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com. Use the resources at your disposal. You'll find the best thing about Linux resources is that unlike your experiences with AIX and IBM, most of them are free! You mention that you have experience with Oracle. Why don't you pick up a copy of one of those Linux for Oracle books, as I've seen Oracle CDs in the inside packet of some of those books. If you're one of those OLD school AIX guys that prefer IBM training, guess what? You can even get training today from IBM.

Lastly, check out this table that compares Linux vs. AIX commands, to help you practically with what you need to know.

Good luck!!!

Editor's note: A good place to get started is in our Best Web Links section on getting started with Linux.

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