As requested: Thoughts on Labs


As you requested, I wrote you up a little review of the labs over at TLDR: If I can do it any one can, and I think the labs are awesome.

After logging in, I am reminded of how much I like the Linux Academy interface. It has a pleasing and balanced color scheme. The user dash board shows my progress, any certificates I have, recent courses, course scheduling options, recommendations, learning paths and more. This may sound like a wall-of-information; however, it is not. The layout, buttons, and links are arranged how I would expect them to be and my mind absorbs the information presented without effort. They are also arranged so as to not overwhelm the user.

Moving on and clicking the labs button, I am presented with a concise list of labs. The labs are sort able by topic and also filterable by courses, learning paths, and more. They are color coded, clearly titled, they have a brief summary, and they list how long they are, with most being less than two hours in length. Choosing “Linux” under the topic dropdown, I start to scroll and notice as I reach the bottom of the page, similar to Level 1 Techs, new labs auto populate and extend the page. You could truly do a deep dive and learn a lot here, and these are just the labs.

I notice a lab called “Backup with Rsync.” This is a topic that is immediately relevant to me, for it was just a day ago that I had some questions about rsync. Clicking this lab, I see it has its own summary page with the title, an expanded overview with several options including downloading a lab guide and starting the lab. Clicking the start lab button, it goes through a process of actually spinning up a live server with a nice message of “Starting lab, Please Wait… The lab can take up to five minutes to build.”

After it spins the servers up, it presents me with the information for connecting to the two servers required for this lab. In this case rsync will be sending data between two computers, so two servers are necessary. Opening up two terminals, I connect to the first server in one terminal, leaving the other minimized for now. It took me a minute to realize that the instructions were in the document provided by “Download lab guide” button. I felt silly for not having realized this immediately. The instructions therein were very clear and easy to follow with very specific language. Learning about local machine rsync commands was swift and easy. The order of instruction was a little off in regard to ssh-copy-id needing a different ip address than their guide states. They go on to mention this in the next paragraph, so this is a small complaint. After this they instruct remote pull and push back up with rsync. Closing up, they show you how to make a bash script and then tie it in to a CRON job for automated backups.

This lab was just the right amount of information and provided a solid starting point for learning about remote synchronization. While I normally watch their video content, I look forward to investigating more labs and would recommend others do the same.


Appreciate the write up very well written and I believe I will be signing up for this next week while I am off work.

No problamo. I enjoy this sort of thing.

Used LA for some months. Content was okay-ish or good. Some of the courses did not explain why you do stuff, only how. Not exactly what i expected. E.g. the MySQL Beginners tells you common commands, but not how SQL is constructed as a language. So far i did not have the time to complete one of their 20+h courses. So they might be better.

I never got their HTML video player (beta) working and had to install Chrome. Is there someone that got it working in Firefox?

BTW: You can get 3 test months if you get a MS live account and connect it with the visualstudio benefits program. (You don't need to install any MS program to get it.)

I only use the HTML5 player and I use Firefox.