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Updated by Aymen Amri El Amri on May 27, 2017
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The Must Know Checklist For DevOps & Site Reliability Engineers

This list is not exhaustive but enumerates only technical basic, must-know skills and some random thoughts. You may use them as a checklist to evaluate yourself or someone else or to prepare for your next DevOps/SRE job interviews.

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You should master *nix systems and have a good understanding of how Linux distributions work.

3

Be at ease with Terminal. You may have GUIs to manage your servers but you have to LOVE the terminal no matter what’s...

4

How to get the CPU/system info (cat /proc/version, /proc/cpuinfo, uptime, et. al.)

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How cron jobs works. Set cron jobs on specific days/time/month.

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How to know what OS you are running on your machine (cat /etc/lsb-release)

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Learn the difference between different *nix OSs and How to know what OS you are running on your machine (e.g. cat /et...

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Difference between shells: sh/dash/bash/ash/zsh ..

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How to set and unset ENV variables. Exporting ENV variable is temporary, how to export permanent variables ?

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What are shell configuration files : ~/.bashrc, .bash_profile, .environment .. How to “source” settings for program i...

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Knowing Vim, its configuration (.vimrc) and some of its basic tips is a must.

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How logging works in *nix systems, what are logging levels and how to work with log management tools (rsyslog, logsta...

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How swapping works. What is swappiness. (swapon -s, /proc/sys/vm/swappiness, sysctl vm.swappiness ..)

14

How to view/set network configuration on a system

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How to set static/dynamic IP address on a machine with different subnets? (Hint: CIDR)

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How to view/set/backup your router settings?

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How DNS works ? How to set-up a DNS server (Bind, Unbound, PowerDNS, Dnsmasq ..) ? What is the difference between rec...

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Get familiar with DNS and A, AAAA, C, CNAME, TXT records

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How SSH works, how to debug it and how you can generate ssh keys and do passwordless login to other machines

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How to set-up a web server (Apache, Nginx ..)

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What are the difference between Nginx and Apache ? When to use Nginx ? When to use Apache ? You may use both of them ...

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How to set-up a reverse-proxy (Nginx ..)

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How to set-up a caching server ( Squid, Nginx ..)

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How to set-up a load balancer ( HAproxy, Nginx ..)

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What is an init system ? Do you know Systemd (used by Ubuntu since 15.04) , Upstart (developed by Ubuntu), SysV ..