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I have been advised by many senior Unix/Linux Administrators to go through "The Linux Documentation Project" on the site www.tldp.org.

Its undoubtedly a very rich site, but I saw many tutorials (as seen here and here) to be more than 3 to 5 years old. I do know and understand that it is definitely worth to go through them thoroughly at least once, but I just want to know that if for topics which are important for me as a learning linux administrator, should I also search for latest articles on same topic on internet?

Hope I do not offend any one with this question.

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A large amount of TLDP is obsolete. The howtos are usually good, but many of them are seriously out of date and contain advice that is now counterproductive. Check the date of each howto before deciding whether to read and trust it.

Even back in the day, howtos were not to be followed blindly. For example, many howtos start with instructions on compiling some software which, by the time most readers read the document, was bundled in distributions.

I'm not aware of any similar project that's more up-to-date. The current trend is towards community-edited guides, wiki-style. You get the benefit of more diverse experiences, but you lose the trust that you may (but then again, may not) put in a single author, and information is often spread over more pages and less easy to get at offline. Also remember that information in wikis can get obsolete too.

I don't think TLDP is a worthwhile resource for learning Linux administration nowadays. 10 years ago, yes, but not now. I recommend starting with a book, then exploring the wiki for your distribution (most have one), exploring /etc, reading Unix & Linux Stack Exchange, skimming newgroups... Refer to howtos if you find recent ones on a subject that interests you.

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  1. How updated TLDP depends on per article basis.
  2. TLDP is still relevent to major linux documentation.
  3. Though some articles are older than 3 or 5 years not all info contained in them is outdated and the overall TLDP is not outdated.
  4. Yes in case of oudated articles on tldp you must search elsewhere for updated info for that particular topic.
  5. And when by searching elsewhere you find the updated info you are expected to go back to tldp and update the documentation there - to keep the community alive - so that the person coming after you for that same information will get it easily on tldp and wont have to suffer like you.
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With all due respect Sir, the reason other admins referred it to me is cause each article talks completely about the topic. If I refer to other sites, I'll have to search the meaning of many terms through google, consuming lot of time. Also, other sites talk about the topic mostly in a particular situation or context. Also not every tutorial is complete as the ones in LDP. Its just that some times I have been told to read the official docs as they are more upto date. But they are then not easy to parse in one go either. Articles in LDP are. –  Gautam Somani Dec 25 '12 at 17:03
    
Can you elaborate on this by giving the actual specific case wise example? –  Abhijit Navale Dec 25 '12 at 17:06
    
I also agree with u that I must improve the LDP and give back to the community just as I am gaining from it and you too, but I'm just not good enough and will take some time to learn properly so as not to write wrong or teach a concept incompletely or in a bit deviated way. Hence I need proper tutorials which wont make me refer here and there. I trust that articles at LDP are never wrong, and come from very experienced people, who know the millions of smallest details which will take many years to learn, that too only if the proper situation arises. –  Gautam Somani Dec 25 '12 at 17:06
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