Become a Linux Guru in 10 Steps

Begin your Linux learning journey

The English Oxford Dictionary describes a guru as somebody who is an influential teacher or popular expert.

How though do you become an expert in the field of Linux? This guide highlights the steps you should follow in your quest to become an authority on Linux.

of 10

Install Linux on Your Computer

Fedora installation screen

You can't possibly hope to become a Linux guru without having somewhere to test your skills.

The first step to becoming a Linux expert, therefore, is to set up a test computer.

Which Linux distribution should you install though?

When it comes to formalized learning however and using Linux in the workplace you are likely to use one of the following distributions:

Red Hat is a commercial distribution that costs money although you can get a developer license. 

You can get the full Red Hat experience on your own computer by installing either Fedora or CentOS.

To install Linux on your Mac, learn how to install and dual boot Linux and Mac OS.

of 10

Learn the Basics

Ubuntu GNOME desktop

Before you can even think of becoming an expert you need to learn the basics.

Start off by understanding key terms such as what the difference is between Linux and GNU/Linux and what a desktop environment is.

Explore the different desktop environments and understand how to navigate your way around, launch programs and customize the desktop.

You should then find out how to perform basic tasks such as connecting to the internet and setting up printers.

Finally, learn how to install software using the graphical package manager.

of 10

Work With the Command Line

Ubuntu guake terminal

Now you know how to use Linux as a standard user it is time to learn something a little bit more advanced such as learning how to use the command line.

Becoming proficient with the command line takes time but you can get to grips with the basics very quickly indeed.

At the very least you need to know how to navigate the file system which includes working out your present working directory, changing directories, making new directories, finding files, deleting files and creating new files.

of 10

Linux Security

Ubuntu Linux terminal showing status of firewall and disabling it

Having an understanding of Linux security is very important.

At the very least you need to know the following:

of 10

Learn Key Linux Commands

List devices using the linux terminal

You need to have an understanding of how to manage devices using the command line.

You should learn how to list devices and how to mount devices.

You should also understand about all of the different file compression tools such as zip, gzip and bzip as well as having an understanding of what a tar file is.

There are other key commands and utilities worth knowing about such as ps, grep, awk, sed, and top.

of 10

Learn About Linux Editors

Vim editor

Most Linux distributions have the nano editor installed by default and at the very least you should learn how to use it.

Nano is a very basic editor and most power users learn to get to grips with other more powerful editors such as vim or emacs.

It is worth noting that these are very powerful editors and if you delved deep enough it could take years to understand all of their features.

of 10

Learn How to Create Bash Scripts

The bashrc file in the linux terminal

Most Linux gurus understand how to create at the very least basic shell scripts using BASH.

You can start off with these basic starter guides:

Further guides are on their way.

of 10

Troubleshooting Linux

Viewing log files in the Linux terminal

A real Linux guru will be able to solve problems with their system and part of that troubleshooting starts with understanding how to read the log files.

of 10

Formal Learning

Pluralsight Linux training

At first, it is good to practice by yourself and learn by playing with your system.

There comes a point though where formal training is required to explain how to do things in the right way.

Obviously, there are many different resources for learning Linux. You could take a college course, watch Youtube videos or sign up for online training.

of 10


You don't become an expert on any subject overnight. 

Continual use and continual learning is the only way to get to grips with anything whether it is learning to become a Linux guru or learning how to play the bagpipes.

Following online courses, keeping up to date with Linux news and getting help from the Linux community is the best way to move forward and remember the Linux man command is your friend.

Was this page helpful?