Useful Links – Linux

Here are a few useful references for Linux, which may be helpful.

Linux Documentation

Bash Documentation

Links for Major Linux Distributions

CentOS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

Ubuntu

The most Important Linux Distributions To Learn Professionally

Many of us either want a way to import our Linux knowledge, improve our technical career options or perhaps, move into the technology career.  To do any of these efficiently them, the first step would be to focus on the major Linux distribution used by employers. 

The most adapted distributions Linux are Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Ubuntu, so, of the multitude of Linux distributions available, these would be the to learn if you want to move your career forward.

However, if you are seeking an inexpensive alternative to hone your Linux skills at home, then CentOS, is likely your best choice since it is free and is pretty much a copy of RedHat.

Related References

Best Linux Distros for Beginners

For those people who dip their toe into Linux systems for the first time, the endless options for distributions can be overwhelming, mainly when you are unsure for what to search. Just a few years ago when Linux was still in its early stages, this task would be much more comfortable as you could choose one of which you have heard about or have experienced. However, the increasing number of available distros and their vocal fans makes it challenging to settle on one.
So if you are new to this platform and don’t know where to start, here are top 5 best Linux distros for beginners to check out.

CentOS is a Linux distribution, which is derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and therefore has an obvious advantage for folks wanting to learn, improve, and practice their skills. Especially, since it is a free distribution and there are courses available to get you started on training sites like Udemy. the relationship between CentOS and Rehat make the skill and commands learn transferable since Redhat is a major Linux distribution us by businesses.

Ubuntu Linux

A list of Linux distros can’t be complete without the Ubuntu Linux. Indeed, most Linux distros come from Ubuntu simply because it is among the most user-friendly and stable ones available.
Just like other modern systems, Ubuntu Linux includes its app store named Ubuntu Software. You can find a collection of numerous apps to install. Though they might look entirely unfamiliar at the beginning, any mobile or computer user would learn how to use it quickly without a learning curve.
Ubuntu Linux comes with the installed software, which may include the web browser Firefox, office suite LibreOffice, webcam app Cheese, email client Thunderbird, and more.

Ubuntu Linux Pros

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Great support from the community
  • Quick to install and set up
  • Elegant and stylish design
  • Modern and user-friendly interface

Ubuntu Linux Cons

  • Ubuntu Linux has higher operating system requirements

Elementary OS

If you are a macOS user, then the Elementary OS Linux distro will be familiar. The developers try to create a global design that can make every element on the desktop feel and look similar for macOS users.


The Elementary OS desktop apps are launchable from the Dock or Applications menu. Power, network, notifications, and sound options are in the top bar, also known as the Wingpanel.
The AppCenter allows you to install essential applications to get your tasks done. Overall, Elementary OS is a great Linux distro for beginners and is simple to use.

Elementary OS Pros

  • Perfect hardware recognition
  • Minimalist interface resembling macOS
  • Simple to use
  • Ubuntu Foundation

Elementary OS Cons

  • A limited number of installed applications

Zorin OS

If you are a fan of Windows, the Zorin OS would be a great Linux distro for you. It comes with a familiar desktop interface that is gorgeous and simple to navigate. You can also switch to other interfaces to meet your tastes. These include GNOME3, Window XP, and Window 7.
Zorin OS is the only distro in this list designed with Windows users in mind. It includes Wine, a compatibility layer which makes it possible to install Windows apps on Linux. The distribution also integrates PlayOnLinux, a graphical app store to set up many Windows applications.

ZORIN OS Pros

  • Ideal for Windows users
  • An excellent collection of installed applications
  • Modern and elegant interface
  • You can change the interface to suit your preferences

ZORIN OS Cons

  • It takes time to learn

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is another Linux distro based on Ubuntu. Linux Mint offers 3 choices of desktops: Xfce, Mate, and Cinnamon. Each option has its pros and cons, but the Cinnamon is probably the best one for beginners.


This distro integrates familiar components on the desktop such as system tray, start button, or clickable icons. That’s why Linux Mint is an excellent option for those who are new to Linux.
Also, the Linux Mint is very lightweight as it only runs on 9 GB space of hard disk and 512 MB RAM. The lightweight footprint means you could load it up on an older PC and test before setting up on newer hardware.

Linux Mint Pros

  • Require low hardware
  • Great collection of default applications
  • Simple and user-friendly interface
  • Ubuntu Foundation

Linux Mint Cons

  • The interface is a bit old-fashioned

Ubuntu Budgie

Ubuntu Budgie is a gorgeous and straightforward Linux distro for beginners. Ubuntu Budgie has many new features on its Budgie desktop, such as the main menu, a dock, and a panel which includes notifications and some extras. Also, there are many other pre-installed apps to meet your needs, including LibreOffice, web browser Chromium, movie player GNOME MPV, webcam booth, and email.


Also, Ubuntu Budgie comes with a night light choice for those who often do plenty of work during the night and need to reduce the brightness. Ubuntu Budgie simplicity and beauty makes an impression.

Ubuntu Budgie Pros

  • Simple to learn
  • Ubuntu Foundation
  • The interface is gorgeous
  • Many default applications

Ubuntu Budgie Cons

  • Support could be unreliable

Conclusion

There are several things you should know about Linux distros:

  • You can download all of these distributions for free as .iso image files.
  • These distributions can be operated very well on most standard PC hardware, either laptops or desktops.
  • You need to burn ISO images to either a USB flash drive or CD/DVD.
  • It is possible to run all of these Linux distros as “live” instances, which means that you could boot your operating system from the flash drive or CD/DVD and run directly from the RAM of your PC without setting up anything.

Related References

8 Most Useful Linux Commands For Beginners

Do you think that the command lines are an old-fashion leftover from previous decades or an antiquated way of using a PC? Think again. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful and flexible ways to perform and manage in Linux. If you come from the comfort of a Mac or Window desktop, however, it can be a bit intimidating to get used to Linux commands. Everything is secretive, dark, and anything but friendly to beginners. That’s why we have rounded up this short list of the most useful Linux commands with examples. Keep reading and speed up your learning journey with Linux.

1. Ls command – list files

Ls is one of the most basic and common commands in Linux. You can use it to print contents in the current working directory and see the list of files, directories, or folders on your Linux system.
For instance, the command “ls tourism” will display the users every folder store inside the overall “tourism” folder. Keep in mind that directories and files will be denoted in different colors, which can be selected in the system.
You would also use the command “ls – R” to display all files both in the directories and subdirectories. Since Linux commands are case sensitive, make sure to enter “R” instead of “r” to avoid an error.

2. Cat command – create and view files

You can use the “cat” command to show text files. Also, it would be used for creating, combining, and copying text files. For example, use “cat linux_tip” to get inside the linux_tip file and read its contents on the screen.
To combine two text files “linux_tip_1” and “linux_tip_2, you can enter the following command “cat linux_tip_1 linux_tip_2 > linux_tip”. Keep in mind that only text documents would be combined and shown with this command.

3. Rm command – delete files

The “Rm” command can be used for removing files or directories from your Linux system without confirmation. The syntax is simple “Rm name_deleted_file.”
For example, the command “rm computer_science” will immediately remove the file or directory named “computer_science” from your computer. Make sure to consider carefully before using this command because you cannot get it back.

4. Mv command – move and rename files

To move and rename files, the “mv” command will be used. Here is the basic syntax for this task: “mv filename new_location.”
Suppose that you need to move the file name “english_class” to location “/home/school/documents”, just enter the command “mv english_class /home/school/documents.” Keep in mind that this command requires the permission of users.
The syntax for renaming a file is “mv filename newname”. An example command is “mv english_class french_class”

5. Mkdir – create directories

If you want to create a new directory in your Linux system, then you can use the “mkdir” command. The syntax is “mkdir new_directory.”
For instance, you can create a new directory named “final homework” by typing the following command “mkdir final_homework.” In case you do not want to make a parent directory manually, add the -p argument. Keep in mind that it is -p, not -P. Everything in Linux is case sensitive.

6. Rmdir command – remove directories

In contrast with the mkdir command, you can use the rmdir command to remove a directory. The syntax is similar: “rmdir removed_directory.”
If you enter the following command “rmdir basketball_data”, it will immediately delete the directory named “basketball_data”. Always check carefully to make sure that there is no sub-directory or file under the deleted directory. If possible, it is always better to delete the sub-directory or files first before moving to the parent one.

7. Man command – seek help in Linux

“Man” simply stands for manual. You can use this command to access a reference book of the Linux system, which is quite similar to the “Help” file in many popular applications or software. To seek help on any commands that you don’t understand, just enter “ma command_name”. The terminal will open a manual page for the typed command.
For example, if you enter “man ls”, the terminal will provide you with basic information on the “ls” command.

8. History command – view previous commands

As you can guess from the name, the “history” command can be used to display all of the commands that you just used previously for the current session. This can be helpful in referring to the old commands and re-entering or re-using them in the next operations.

Related References

Professional Emails include a signature Block

eMail, Professional Emails include a signature Block
eMail

I encountered, what I will admit is a pet peeve today, which is why I’m writing this article.  I needed contact someone whom I correspond with regularly, but I have no reason to call or be called by them.  So, after checking my phone, went to their email thinking this would be a fast and easy way to gather the contact information.  Well, not true.  I did eventually gather the information and contact the person, but what a waste of time, which is time they are being billed for one way or another.

Example Signature Block

Ewing A. BusinessProfessional

Senior, Technical Generalist

Favinger Enterprises, Inc.

100 Spacious Sky, Ice Flats, AZ 85001

Phone: (800) 900-1000 | http://www.favingerentprises.com

 

Which email should have a signature block?

  • The signature block should be on every email (both initiated by you and replied to by you), this was true even before the days of remote work, but for remote workers, contingent works, and works who travel frequently it can be a productive enhancer.
  • Plus, it is simply the professional thing to do and saves everyone time and frustration. Not to mention it makes you look unprofessional not having one. do you really want to do that to your personal brand?
  • As if that were not enough, including your signature block is free advertising for you and the company you represent.
  • Additionally, most email accounts let you build one or more signature block, which can be embedded in your email.

Where to place your Signature Block?

  • The signature block should go at the bottom of your email. I still use the five lines below the last line of the body of the email to provide white space before the closing, as I learned when writing business letters decades ago.

What should be in a signature Block?

  • The signature block should be compact and informative and at a minimum should include:

The Closing

  • The closing is simply a polite way of saying I’m ending my message now. I usually go with the tried and true ‘Sincerely’, but others go with ‘Thank you’, ‘Best Regards’, or ‘Best Wishes,’. The main points, it should be short, polite, and professional.
  • This section should be followed by two lines

Your Name

  • This line is your professional name (First Name, Middle Initial, and Last name) and designations (Ph.D.…etc.)
  • This is your chance to say who you are and brand yourself to the reader, in a way which your email address cannot. Especially, when you consider that many of us don’t control what work email address is assigned to us.

Your Business Title

  • Including your business title provides some insight into your role and professional expertise.

Your Company Name

  • Much like your title, providing the Company Name and Address lets the reader know who you represent and, perhaps, more importantly, it is free advertising for the company.

Your Phone Numbers

  • Including your phone numbers, both office and cell (if different) enable people to quickly reach out to you if they need or want to. Not everybody keeps all their infrequent business contacts in the phone directory.
  • Putting your phone numbers on your signature block, also, enable the potential caller to verify that the numbers which they may have are still correct.

There are other items are sometimes included, such as:

  • A company logo to enhance the appearance and quality of a signature block
  • The Company’s website to help customer find out more about the company and to direct business to the company
  • The senders email to reinforce the email address in the header of the email.

However, the guidance provided above will make you look a lot more professional in a hurry if you have not been including a signature block in your emails.

Printable PDF Version of This Article

Oracle TO_CHAR to SQL Server CONVERT Equivalents to change Date to String

Transact SQL (T-SQL)
Transact SQL (T-SQL)

When it comes to SQL I tend to lean on the SQL I have used the most over the years, which is Oracle.  Today was no exception, I found myself trying to use the TO_CHAR command in SQL Server to format a date, which of course does not work. So, after a little thought, here are some examples of how you can the SQL Server Convert Command the achieve the equivalent result.

Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL
Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL

Example SQL Server Date Conversion SQL Code

This SQL of examples runs, as is, no from table required.

 

Select

CONVERT(VARCHAR(10), GETDATE(), 20) as
‘YYYY-MM-DD’

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(19), GETDATE(), 20) as ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS’

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(8), GETDATE(), 112) as YYYYMMDD

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(6), GETDATE(), 112) as YYYYMM

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(12), DATEPART(YEAR, GETDATE()))+ RIGHT(‘0’+CAST(MONTH(GETDATE()) AS VARCHAR(2)),2)
as
YYYYMM_Method_2

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), GETDATE(), 12) as YYMM

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), GETDATE(), 112) as YYYY

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), DATEPART(YEAR, GETDATE())) as YYYY_Method_2

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), YEAR(GETDATE())) as YYYY_Method_3

,RIGHT(‘0’+CAST(MONTH(GETDATE()) AS VARCHAR(2)),2) as Two_Digit_Month

,SUBSTRING(ltrim(CONVERT(VARCHAR(4), GETDATE(), 12)),3,2) as Two_Digit_Month_2

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(10), GETDATE(), 111) as ‘YYYY/MM/DD’

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(5), GETDATE(), 8) as ‘HH24:MI’

,CONVERT(VARCHAR(8), GETDATE(), 8) ‘HH24:MI:SS’

 

Map TO_CHAR formats to SQL Server

You can map an Oracle TO_CHAR formats to SQL Server alternative commands as follows:

TO_CHAR
String

VARCHAR
Length

SQL
Server Convert Style

YYYY-MM-DD

VARCHAR(10)

20,
21, 120, 121, 126 and 127

YYYY-MM-DD
HH24:MI:SS

VARCHAR(19)

20,
21, 120 and 121

YYYYMMDD

VARCHAR(8)

112

YYYYMM

VARCHAR(6)

112

YYMM

VARCHAR(4)

12

YYYY

VARCHAR(4)

112

MM

VARCHAR(2)

12

YYYY/MM/DD

VARCHAR(10)

111

HH24:MI

VARCHAR(5)

8,
108, 14 and 114

HH24:MI:SS

VARCHAR(8)

8,
108, 14 and 114

Translating the formats commands

Here are some example of translating the formats commands.

Format

SQL
Server

YYYY-MM-DD

CONVERT(VARCHAR(10),
GETDATE(), 20)

YYYY-MM-DD
HH24:MI:SS

CONVERT(VARCHAR(19),
GETDATE(), 20)

YYYYMMDD

CONVERT(VARCHAR(8),
GETDATE(), 112)

YYYYMM

CONVERT(VARCHAR(6),
GETDATE(), 112)

YYMM

CONVERT(VARCHAR(4),
GETDATE(), 12)

YYYY

CONVERT(VARCHAR(4),
GETDATE(), 112)

YYYY

CONVERT(VARCHAR(4),
DATEPART(YEAR, GETDATE()))

YYYY

CONVERT(VARCHAR(4),
YEAR(GETDATE()))

MM

RIGHT(‘0’+CAST(MONTH(GETDATE())
AS VARCHAR(2)),2)

MM

SUBSTRING(ltrim(CONVERT(VARCHAR(4),
GETDATE(), 12)),3,2)

YYYY/MM/DD

CONVERT(VARCHAR(10),
GETDATE(), 111)

HH24:MI

CONVERT(VARCHAR(5),
GETDATE(), 8)

HH24:MI:SS

CONVERT(VARCHAR(8),
GETDATE(), 8)

Related Reference

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, GETDATE (Transact-SQL)

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, Date and Time Data Types and Functions (Transact-SQL)

Microsoft Docs, SQL, T-SQL Functions, DATEPART (Transact-SQL)

SQL server table Describe (DESC) equivalent

Transact SQL (T-SQL)
Transact SQL (T-SQL)

Microsoft SQL Server doesn’t seem have a describe command and usually, folks seem to want to build a stored procedure to get the describe behaviors.  However, this is not always practical based on your permissions. So, the simple SQL below will provide describe like information in a pinch.  You may want to dress it up a bit; but I usually just use it raw, as shown below by adding the table name.

Describe T-SQL Equivalent

Select *

 

From INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS

Where TABLE_NAME = ‘<<TABLENAME>>’;

Related References