Creating a Linux+ Study Environment

In order to prepare for Linux+ it is incredibly important to have several distributions on your machine simultaneously. When I studied for Linux+ in college I only used Ubuntu Server and Fedora Workstation. However, as it’s pointed out in the Sybex study guide different distributions are like different models of cars with their own pros and cons. Driving a car does not change across models, but a lot of the features do and sometimes they matter. Therefore the book recommends using a virtual machine with several different distributions installed. There are two different free virtual machines you can use, the open source Oracle VirtualBox or VMWare Player. I tend to prefer Free and Open Source software so I went with Oracle VirtualBox. Since CompTIA certification is vendor neutral this approach makes a lot more sense to me than focusing on only one or two popular distributions.

One problem you may run into though is that Red Hat Enterprise is not free beyond a 60 day trial. Fortunately, since RHEL is open source there is a free alternative called Rocky Linux. I ran into some issues trying to install Rocky 9.1 on VirtualBox, but 8.7 installed just fine. The benefit of a virtual machine over a dedicated machine is that it’s a lot easier to move between distributions and familiarize yourself with a few. In fact, I managed to quickly install Rocky Linux, Fedora Workstation, Ubuntu Desktop, and OpenSUSE Leap. It took nearly no time at all and I can explore several distributions quickly.

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