Why every developer must learn to work with Linux, Git and Bash

As technology infrastructure shifts ever more in the direction of open source, there is rapidly growing need for open source skills. Use of open source software leads to better and faster development, and wider collaboration, and open source skills are a very valuable form of currency in the job market.

That’s why it’s worth checking out the Introduction to Open Source Software Development, Git and Linux, an online training course from The Linux Foundation.

The course presents a comprehensive learning path focused on development, Linux systems and Git, the revision control system.

It is self-paced and comes with extensive and easily referenced learning materials. Can this course arm you with Linux, development and Git skills that translate directly into value in the workplace and the job market? It absolutely can.

Laying the groundwork

This article is the second in a four-part article series that highlights the major aspects of the training course. The initial article covered the course’s general introduction to working with open source software, with a focus on such essentials as project collaboration, licensing, legal issues and getting help. With that groundwork laid, the course next delves into working with Bash, the standard shell for most Linux distributions.

In addition to comprehensive coverage of how to write effective Bash scripts, the course covers configuring bash, setting aliases, Bash tips and tricks and much more. There is also discussion of shell initialization and customizing the command prompt.

With these topics mastered, students will be able to not only perform basic tasks, but also perform basic customizations. One recommendation: the online course includes many summary slides, useful bullet lists that can be referenced later, graphics and more.

It’s definitely worth setting up a desktop folder and regularly saving screenshots of especially useful topics to the folder, with simple names for the screenshots such as “CommandLine.jpg.”

Hands-on learning

The “Labs” modules prompt students to perform specific actions. For example, a Labs module might ask you to set the prompt to a current directory and encourage you follow up by changing the prompt to any other desired configuration.

In addition to being self-paced, the course is very focused on getting students to perform meaningful tasks rather than simply reading or watching.

In the course’s discussion of aliases, students learn that they permit custom definitions, and they learn that they can type alias with no arguments to view predefined aliases.

Working with redirection and pipes are also covered thoroughly, as is working with special characters and using them to perform specific actions (such as redirecting an input descriptor).

Before proceeding to more advanced topics, the course lays more basic groundwork, much of it focused on Linux. It comprehensively covers filesystem layout, partitions, paths and links, as well as the basics of working with text editors. The layout of the Linux filesystem is covered clearly, showing the main directories and their purposes.

Working with commands and command-line tools are, of course, essential Linux skills, and the course proceeds by delving into task-based instruction on these topics. We will cover these important lessons in the next installment in this series.

Learn more about Introduction to Open Source Development, Git, and Linux (LFD201) and sign up now to start your open source journey.

Last updated on November 30th, 2022


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