Best online Linux courses

More and more companies are venturing into the world of open source, and so naturally they are also seeking IT professionals who can specialise in the diverse field.

The vast majority of the internet runs on Linux-based systems. Knowing your way around the basics of this family of operating systems is an absolute must if you're looking to dive into open source, so Computerworld took a look at the top Linux training courses that are ideal for UK IT pros.

Here are some of the best places to learn Linux and open source skills online.

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Additional reporting by Hannah Williams.

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Linux Academy

The Linux Academy provides an online platform with several Linux-related courses available to choose from.

It includes a hands-on training platform, which follows a learn-by-doing procedure for users to gain access of and practice skills within the hands-on labs.

The academy includes courses available for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, featuring input from industry experts.

There is a free plan which provides limited access to the basic courses, but for $49 (£40.39) a month you can access all the content available.

Linux security moves ahead of macOS and Windows
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The Knowledge Academy

The Knowledge Academy offers Linux training courses which include all the required skills needed to work in a Linux environment.

Courses include the basic Linux fundamentals for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

It provides instructor-led training and hands-on exercises for a more interactive method of learning. These range from online, virtual and classroom courses based in the UK.

Prices vary depending on the selected course.

Udemy

Udemy

Udemy offers probably the largest range of IT-related courses, from devops and automation to network security management and programming languages.

The main benefit of Udemy is that courses can be filtered by your experience level, meaning that you can find a class that is at the right level for you. It offers Linux-specific and broader open source online classes at a fraction of the price of others listed.

The format and certification of the Udemy courses is certainly limited, meaning that for proper open source certification you should look elsewhere. Where Udemy is ideal is for those wanting to brush up on open source skills or informally learn a new Linux skill online.

Prices usually start at around £15, but Udemy sometimes puts these on sale for as low as £10.

Here are all of Udemy's online courses.There are lots to choose from, all of which are solid choices.

Firebrand

Firebrand

Firebrand offers a huge number of courses for accelerating online learning. Their vast range of courses span different areas of tech and computing.

The Linux course – offered at four levels – is designed to train you in competency in using the Linux operating system. Each are six days long and cost £4,890.

Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking Academy

A basic intro to Linux is one of the online courses offered for free by the networking giant Cisco.

It takes eight hours but is a completely self-paced course that requires no prior experience in Linux.

It also offers a Linux Essentials course, which is available for free at a duration of 70 hours.

Sign up here.

edX

edX

If you just fancy dipping your toe into the Linux pond then edX is a great place to start.

It offers online courses associated with leading universities such as MIT and Harvard, as well as tech giants such as Microsoft, Red Hat, AWS and The Linux Foundation.

And to top it off, all the courses are free! The only catch is that to become officially certified, you'll need to pay.

There are quite a few courses for different skill levels, but here are a couple we like:

- Introduction to Linux
- Fundamentals of Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Skill Success

Skill Success

Providing a pretty wide range of courses, Skill Success offers a great Linux course for beginners.

Coming in at $199 (£149.30), it is pretty pricey, so you might want to start with a cheaper Udemy course before getting stuck into this one, to ensure you are serious about learning Linux.

Find out more about its 'Ubuntu Linux: Go From Beginner To Power User' course here.

The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation provides various online training courses designed for everyone, from introductory to advanced Linux users.

Courses are delivered via a virtual classroom and the site is easily searchable to help users find the right course.

The Linux Foundation classes fall into three categories: Linux programming and development training, enterprise IT and Linux system administration training, and open source compliance courses.

It really provides such an impressive amount of Linux courses, it should be your first port of call for online training courses.

Pricing for virtual classes is in the region of $2,950 (£2,363), making it one of the most expensive training providers listed. However, there are free introductory lessons available too.

Here are some courses we like:

- Introduction to Linux
- Introduction to Open Source Development, Git, and Linux
- Developing Applications For Linux

QA
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QA

QA is an extremely highly regarded and well-established course provider, with remote and virtual classrooms as well as physical classes on offer.

You can also get certified with QA as it works with partners such as Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware and more.

QA hosts courses that are aimed at existing IT pros as well as people with relatively little experience.

You can search for courses via sector or skill and select whether you want to attend a classroom course of an 'attend from anywhere' class.

There are over 100 Linux courses available, with prices ranging up to £3,499.

Take a look at courses here.

Lynda.com

LinkedIn Learning

Lynda works on a monthly subscription basis, which gives you unlimited access to its library of online courses from a wide range of tech disciplines.

Lynda is owned by Microsoft and has since been rebranded as LinkedIn Learning. It still has a good selection of Linux and open source courses. You can filter content by topics, software and learning paths, and even buy group classes for whole teams within its business section.

There is a free one-month trial available for all courses. 

View courses here.

Linux Professional Institute

Linux Professional Institute

The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) offers fully certified online Linux courses from a range of over 400 LPI 'partners', including University of Greenwich, University of Birmingham, Firebrand Training Ltd and The Urban Penguin.

Providing hands-on training, LPI partners will offer Linux training and the relevant exams needed for full certification.

The certified courses are intense so are ideal for IT pros wanting to make a career move into open source or implement Linux within their organisation. Those looking for the basics might want to choose a self-paced online class.

The LPI does provide some free courses while others begin at around £60.

Red Hat

Red Hat

With Red Hat claiming to be the most used open source platform for modern data centres, IT pros might want to consider building their Linux skills via Red Hat's training programmes.

Red Hat offers a variety of open source training courses and certified tests, from Linux to OpenStack. These tests cost about £550 and they can be taken in a physical classroom, online or at your workplace.

But for those just wanting to dip their toe in the open source pool, Red Hat offers Linux 'basics' training for free in a virtual classroom.

If you are buying courses for a whole department or team, you might want to consider the Red Hat Learning Subscription.

For £3,720, you'll receive 21 training units, one year's access to all Red Hat online learning and video classroom courses and certification exams.

CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets offers self-paced, video-led online open source training from open source experts and certified CBT Nugget trainers.

Working on a monthly subscription basis, CBT Nuggets makes all video content available offering training in open source disciplines such as Linux, Ubuntu and Hadoop (to name a few).

CBT Nugget's training features practice exams, virtual labs, offline training (via video downloads) and a variety of supporting documents to supplement the videos.

Here are some we like:

- Linux Essentials
- Everything Linux
- Penetration Testing with Linux Tools

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Open source is just one of the many disciplines that the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers.

The MVA provides a free online learning resource, and provides numerous videos on open source practices and how this open source training can be implemented within a Microsoft environment.

The MVA is ideal for those running or working within a Microsoft office or those moving to Azure.

The training videos offer modules and assessments with many requiring no prerequisite skills.

NobleProg

NobleProg

NobleProg offers a large amount of IT training, providing online, classroom and private lessons. Its open source training includes Linux, OpenStack, Hadoop and more.

What's more, NobleProg also provides exam preparation for the Linux Professional Institute Certification.

The length of courses range from seven to 35 hours.

As an example, an introductory course to Linux will cost around £2,200 to £3,200.

The Virtual Training Company

The Virtual Training Company

The Virtual Training Company(VTC) is an online training provider that offers a broad series of Linux tutorials. Like CBT Nuggets, VTC works on a monthly subscription basis which allows members to have access to its full list of online training videos, working out at over 1,000 video courses in total.

For an independent IT pro, single membership will cost $30 per month, but for IT managers looking to provide open source training for a whole team, it will cost $20 per user per month.

For those just wanting a single course, it will cost $39.

We like:

- Ubuntu Linux Course
- Linux Security Course
- Linux: Introduction to Linux Course

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