So you want to learn Linux. You could start by reading a book or watching a video, or you could let us show you how to learn Linux the fun way through hacking.

In this tutorial, we are going to describe how to make use of games hosted over at OverTheWire - OverTheWire is a community offering educational games where you can practice security concepts also known as wargames. Because these games are running in a Linux environment you can learn security and Linux both at the same time.

Disclaimer: We won't post a walkthrough of any of the games because that's against the OverTheWire policy and besides, that would defeat the whole purpose of learning fun by playing the games for yourself.

The front page has been divided into sections as seen on the screenshot below.

  1. Wargames: description regarding Wargames and the suggested order to play.
  2. Online: here you can see which games are currently online.
  3. Released: here you'll find Wargames released to the public by the Heckito Ergo Sum conference.
  4. Currently down: currently unavailable Wargames.
  5. Warzone and information: we are going to describe it later.

Game Difficulty

If you're a new player to the game, OverTheWire recommends starting to play on the difficulty of Bandit. The Bandit campaign consists of 34 levels in total. Each of those levels has its own set of instructions, commands that might be used to solve a level and specified reading material that you might find useful.

The game starts with basic operations like connecting to the game and supplying user credentials.

Once progressed into the next level your objective is to find a password stored in a file located somewhere on the file system. You need this password to unlock the next level.

At some point, you might get stuck as the game becomes harder with each consecutive level. Do not get discouraged. It's a thinking game, and there are several tools in and outside the game that could help you with an answer. If nothing else helps, you could also ask for directions by joining the OverTheWire IRC channel.

You can also join the channel through a web client, no need to install IRC if you don't want to.

Once you're confident about your skills, and you're in for some endgame content then the Warzone awaits.

Please support OverTheWire if by playing their games you learned about Linux and Security topics, and most importantly you've had fun while doing it.

So let's get started by heading over to their website at

Thank you for your time reading our guide on how to Learn Linux the fun way through hacking. Please leave us a comment if you found it useful.