Linux Upskill Challenge — Day 0. I recently found a month-long course… | by cypherbean | Mar, 2022 | #linux | #linuxsecurity

I recently found a month-long course aimed at those who aspire to get Linux-related jobs in the industry. I work with Windows and Azure in my professional life but have been wanting to learn more about Linux system administration and DevOps practices. The course is ran every month through it’s subreddit, but I am going to be working through the course on my own schedule.

To get ready for the course, I needed my own server. The course offers guides on how to set up a server on the popular cloud hosting providers, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Digital Ocean. Since I already have Azure experience from my professional life, I decided to go with AWS to learn something new.

Before setting up a server, I needed to sign up for an AWS account.

AWS homepage
AWS sign up page
Created email alias with SimpleLogin
Entered captcha
Sent verification code
Received verification code
Entered new password
Entered personal information
Entered payment information
Entered verification phone number
Entered verification code
Selected Basic support
Registered account successfully

Now that I had registered my new AWS account, I could sign in to AWS with the root user of the new account I had just created.

Signed in with root user
Entered captcha
Entered password
Prompted to switch to new Console Home

Since I was not already familiar with AWS, I opted to switch to the new Console Home.

Initial help prompts
AWS Console Home

Once signed in as the root user, I needed to take steps to secure my new AWS accounts such as enable MFA and create a separate IAM user.

Selected ‘Security credentials’ from account drop-down menu
Opened MFA section
Selected virtual MFA device
Scanned QR code and entered MFA codes
Configured MFA successfully
IAM dashboard

With the root user configured for MFA, it was time to create a separate administrator IAM user. It is considered a security best practice to not use your root account for day-to-day use, but instead create separate users for specific roles and functions.

Opened ‘User groups’ under Access management
Named new user group, ‘administrators’
Assigned ‘AdministratorAccess’ policy
Created user group
Opened ‘Users’ under Access management
Entered new user details
Added to ‘administrators’ user group
Skipped adding tags
Reviewed user details
Created new user / recorded access key ID and secret access key
Users page with new user
IAM dashboard

After creating the user group and user, I created an account alias so that the sign-in URL for the IAM user is easier to remember.

Prompt to create account
Created account alias successfully
IAM dashboard

With the new IAM user and account alias created, I signed out of the root user and signed back in as the new IAM user.

Signed in as IAM user
Opted to switch to the new Console Home
Console Home
IAM dashboard
MFA section of user settings
Selected virtual MFA device
Configured MFA successfully
IAM dashboard

Now that I had secured my AWS account set up a separate IAM user from the root user, I was finally ready to create a server! Creating a server is included in the Day 0 course work, but this post is already getting pretty long, so I’ll be covering that in a Part 2 post.

What is your preferred cloud hosting provider? Are there other Linux administration courses you would recommend? Let me know by responding to this post, or you can email me at

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