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I grew up as a UNIX admin, then a DBA, then an apps DBA, and now an implementor. I built it myself.
download all software from edlivery.
Set up a server using Oracle Linux, a quad core processor and 16GB of RAM and at least 1TB of storage. This will cost ~$1000
Download virtualbox from oracle and build a virtual test server to play around. Oracle is also providing templates for virtual box.
This is the fastest way to start using Linux if you do not have a spare machine.