Well I've taken the plunge and decided I'm pretty much going to run one of my desktops on Linux full time so I can learn the ins and outs and better my dedicated server administration. I have to admit I will miss my desktop mainly because I started getting hooked on CounterStrike again :P but this could turn out to be great for my productivity.
Whilst I am one of these people who will jump in at the deep end and have a play around with things I also like to have a good reference close to hand, and I don't just mean switching between tabs and searching the internet. As such does anyone know of any good books on Linux use as well as the Web server administration of it all. I'd like something to use as a Beginners Guide/ Reference but then I'd also like examples of things that will help push me to expert level. Would appreciate any ideas. Hopefully posting book titles won't be an issue like posting links!
If you move your desktop environment to Linux to get a better understanding of your dedicated server administration, I would advice you to take a desktop distribution from the same family as your server. If your server is running RedHat or Centos then Fedora would be a good choice, with Debian on the server it is probably better to go for Ubuntu. Reason is that especially at the lower level the different Linux distributions use different packages for the same system administration tasks and applications, and application and log files etc are stored in different directory trees depending on the distro. It is really frustrating to have learned and tested some administration tool on your desktop, and then realizing that your server doesn't support that action, or in a completely different way.
For that reason you should also look for books or documentation about system administration for the distro you use. My experience is that many printed administration books are a few years behind in technology and they often don't cover the newest features of the system administration packages used in the modern releases. But the larger distros have a good set of on-line and off-line documentation to go through. Deciding the distro to use and then starting to read the on-line docs on the main website of that distro may be a good start.
As I said I've already taken the plunge and am using the same Distro, though I have a later version installed to play around with. The main things I'm really going to be using it for is server administration, not just setting up websites, but using the command line for mySql, PHP configuration etc. and as you stated a lot of it is figuring out where things are installed!
I have to say I'm impressed so far. I'm still learning some of the basic commands but I can see this paying off and I am impressed with the things you can do. I just like having a physical book in front of me so I can look at that and the problem on screen instead of tabbing through multiple windows.
Any good books more on the web server side of things?