User Manager Software

Mr. Williams presents a tool to handle all of your user-administration tasks.
The Scalability

User Manager was built as a basic shell for all your user managing functions. As a system administrator, I realize every system has a unique function, operating system and system administrator's style of managing. User Manager gives you a platform on which to create a customized software package to handle everything you do when managing users. This will give you time to do more interesting tasks without worrying about whether you missed a step in the process.

One other application for this script could be to add in web-hosting support. An ISP that hosts web sites could automate all the steps required to add customers to its systems. To do this, start with the User Manager framework and add in the other steps.

For example, one system I am familiar with is a small web-hosting company that has two main servers. The second server is really only a backup mail spooling system and a secondary DNS. Even though this is a simple example of added functionality in User Manager, the concept can be applied across an infinite number of servers and/or locations.

The User Manager software is on the main system. Once a web customer is added, the script goes out and builds the DNS record, rebuilds the /etc/named.boot file on the fly, passes the configuration to the secondary name server and rebuilds its /etc/named.boot file. After all the configurations are built, it reloads each name server's database.

Once all the DNS is complete, it then takes care of the /etc/ file (this step always caused me problems) and sends a HUP signal to sendmail to get it to recognize the changes. When that is done, it actually adds the user account. It then builds the httpd configuration on the fly as well as the stats package configuration.

The Solution

User Manager is the solution to all your user-administration problems. With the added help of sudo and the report generation program, user management is no longer a worry. Due to the script's scalability and robustness, it can be ported to any system with ease. Even a BSD password database system can have User Manager running on it. Because it is written as a Korn script, it is not limited by any flavor of UNIX. It can be every system administrator's friend and might even cut your work week down dramatically, giving you some time for the things that truly matter in life.

Branden R. Williams is Vice President of I-Net Solutions, Inc. (, where he consults with several other companies doing UNIX system and network administration, security management, and system performance tuning. When he is not in the office, he enjoys sailing, playing his acoustic guitar, and astronomy. He can be reached via email at