S&PF – The Linux Upskills Challenge

A screenshot snippet from the Linux Upskills Challenge site

We take our first steps into Linux with the Linux Upskills Challenge / Lab-Book Page.
It is a month-long commitment that you can follow at your own pace, but if you dedicate 2-3 hours each day it will take you roughly 21 days to complete the challenge. By the end of the course, you’ll be comfortable with the CLI and will have enough knowledge to get started with self-hosting

How I Found the Course

For years I’ve been wanting to start a blog, but I always avoided taking the first steps because I thought that you first had to be a decent developer before you could even try it or that you had to have a lot of spare change to hire someone else or use an online service. These all sound like excuses and if I’m being honest, they were, however, I genuinely believed that you needed to be either a web-developer or a small business to get started. Looking back at it now, I laugh at how tech illiterate I was, yet I can’t blame myself too much since it’s need and necessity that pushes people to learn things. When I made up my mind to finally start going about my learning journey properly, I was at a loss at what to do, all I knew at the time was that “I had to seriously get started with Linux as soon as possible”.

I browsed various articles and posts, looking for the resource that would be the perfect introduction to Linux. It was difficult, there was so much noise. People recommended everything from books to online courses like Udemy or Open-Source alternatives. Eventually though, I finally found the Linux Upskills Challenge. It seemed like the right first step. Technical enough to be engaging but also practical, it also helped that it promised to show you enough about Linux to start self-hosting your own services and more. At the time I didn’t really know what any of that meant, but it was enough to get me excited. And I’m glad I did because I can’t think of a better way to get introduced to Linux.

Why This Course?

When I chose the Linux Upskills Challenge as the first course to take in the Linux Fundamentals Section I simply went off my gut feeling. I had been exposed to Linux a few times in the past but only lightly as a brief portion in an AWS Cert I was taking as well as general hobby use. The main takeaway here is that each of my interactions with Linux had been brief and I always walked away with incomplete knowledge. But over the years I’ve developed a sixth sense for learning material that I deem worthwhile, and the Linux Upskills Challenge ticked all those boxes.

  • First off, the Challenge has an explicit goal: “To serve as a course to help people learn Linux for the first time and to also help other improve their Linux command line skills.”
  • Second, there’s an explicit start and end time: “A course that’s meant to be finished within 20 days if the student dedicates at least 2 hours or more each day. And each day is it’s very own lesson.”
  • Third, there’s room for both beginners and more advanced users. “Each section includes notes on the topic followed by a set of resources that goes into further depth. Lastly there is an Extension if you find yourself wanting a challenge.”
  • Lastly, the course is focused on getting you comfortable with Linux. For each day in the course, you’re given a set of resources and tasks to do. By the very end you’ll know enough to set up your own services such as WordPress, Bookstack, Pi-hole and much more.


Project 1 – Take your first steps into the world of Self-Hosting


Our first project starts off simple. We begin with Self-hosting.

What is Self-hosting? 
Self-hosting is the practice of running and maintaining a website or service using a private web server, instead of using a service outside of someone’s own control.

✨The aim of this project is to self-host 3 services of your choice.

The 3 services we see here are simply options you can choose if you have the interest and if you have the right hardware in the case of Pi-hole. This collection may seem random but these are among the first 3 services I ran and set up when I finished the course. Although the lone Grafana Logo is misleading as it requires a monitoring system like Prometheus in order to use it.

The world of Self-Hosting is a deep rabbit-hole and there is bound to be something for you. The Awesome-Selfhosted GitHub is an amazing collection that I recommend you browse.

Closing Thoughts

I’m surprised I was able to find the perfect first course for this roadmap. The challenge gives you a little bit of everything: Daily tasks, Various required readings, Homework in a sense and extensions if you find the base material to be too easy. And it ends with some great parting advise as well as next steps. It was a very enjoyable course for me to go through and I came away with a lot.

All in all, the course’s aim was to make you comfortable enough with the CLI to start doing your own things and it more than accomplished its goal.

What’s Next?

Next up is “O’Reilly’s Learning the Unix Operating System, 5th Edition”. Where we will get more comfortable using the Linux CLI on our own hardware using virtual machines or a Linux Host, as opposed to using a cloud provider.

Fundamentals Roadmap.sh | Linux Upskill Challenge Lab-Book | O’Reilly Learning the Unix OS Lab-Book

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