Setting up a server from scratch is hard. Running and securing servers can really use Linux skills. But you don't have to know all about Linux is get started. Understanding basic commands, how the file storage and permission systems work, read, write, execute ... Every detail helps. The basic skills are relatively transferrable.
Developers also like command line interfaces because they are fast. They are like hot keys and shortcuts. Once you know what you are doing, utilizing these productivity boosts can really make you look and feel like a pro.
You can get started by learning Rails development using Michael Hartl's free book, or use Codecademy's new command line course. You can also trust up a LAMP development environment learn Linux while learning PHP. You can also learn how to use Vagrant virtual box and its SSH login. Every bit helps. You can try setting up your own Linux operated server and run an instance of Ubuntu.