The 6 Best Linux Distros for Network Engineers

If you’re interested in trying out the newest niche and experimental tools in networking and cybersecurity, an installation of Debian will provide you with total access. RHEL comes pre-equipped with the SELinux security module, so you will find it easy to get started with managing access controls and system policies. You’ll also have access to tools like Cacti and Snort through the RPM and YUM package managers.

This article on the top 10 network engineer skills is featured in SDxCentral’s Network Engineer Career Guide. Despite modifications, having access to the native Linux shell affords us some significant wins. Tools and applications that were once reserved for the server world become available. Network switches can be managed more effectively from a policy level with automation and orchestration tools like Puppet and Chef. Having the ability to access the native Linux operating system gives us great flexibility and opens the door to many new possibilities. Attacks are on the rise across the board, and attackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities or backdoors, upping the need for solid and secure networking to act as an early warning system for cybersecurity defenses.

The Educational Requirements in Network Engineering vs. Software Engineering

While software engineering boot camps abound, advancing with a graduate degree is much easier. Some companies even limit hiring for senior-level and executive positions in development and IT to candidates with credentials like the MSNE. According to Northeastern University’s website,, a graduate linux network engineer certificate can boost a person’s earnings by an average of 25%. Cloud engineers need experience working with programming languages, including Java, Python and Ruby. Many companies seek cloud engineers who have experience with OpenStack, Linux, AWS, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure and Docker.

how much should a network engineer know linux

Whether or not you possess a bachelor’s degree, experience is crucial. Entry-level professionals often start as network technicians before becoming network engineers. Volunteering or internship experience may also help show you have the necessary skills.

Common Course Questions

While network technologies are rapidly advancing, the fundamental talents administrators need to succeed remain relatively unchanged. Learn how mastering just a few basic skills can advance your job and career. So as you can see, there are a variety of reasons to learn more about Linux as a whole. But as with any new skill, the hardest part of learning is finding where to start. If you’re new to Linux as a whole, focus on getting comfortable with the command line.

how much should a network engineer know linux

This command combines the functionality of the ping and traceroute commands. Just like a traceroute, the mtr command will show the route from a computer to a specified host. Mtr provides a lot of statistics about each hop, such as response time and percentage. With the mtr command, you will get more information about the route and be able to see problematic devices along the way.


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