A Toolbox for the X User
Under Linux, you can do virtually everything from the command line. For the administrator of a Linux server, this is extremely useful for two reasons:
All administrative tasks from any site in the local network can be done via a simple TELNET session.
A lot of administrative work can be easily automated via shell scripts.
However, for those who use Linux as their desktop OS, many operations would be easier with a GUI than by typing cryptic commands at the shell prompt. Even for the conservative user who is not yet ready to exchange his laboriously customized FVWM for KDE, Linux offers many graphical tools for common tasks.
For information on a specific command, you need to read its man page, which can be done by typing man at the command line. A more comfortable way, however, is to use a man page viewer such as xman or tkman. While xman is an ugly grey mouse from the early days of the X Window System, tkman by Tom Phelps is a truly nice GUI for browsing man pages.
tkman displays man pages in a pleasant way (see Figure 1), knows hypertext links to other related man pages, allows regexp searches within the man page and has a built-in apropos command that offers man pages for a given keyword. If you want to read a man page from a specific section, you must add a dot and the section number in the command entry field; e.g., if you want to get help on the C library function printf (man page section 3) rather than the shell command printf (man page section 1), you must enter man printf.3.
Moreover, you may print out the displayed man page, but printing is a bit tricky to get working. Printing is started from the menu “Occasionals”->“Kill Trees”->“lp”, which invokes the man page text processor groff with the options -Tps for PostScript output and -l to send output directly to the printer. The latter option will not work unless the print command is specified in groff's configuration file /usr/share/groff/font/devps/DESC. Hence, you will need to consult groff's man page if printing from within tkman does not work.
Another source of information is hypertext info pages, which consist of nodes with an internal hierarchical structure. While man pages are more appropriate for the documentation of simple shell commands, info pages are more appropriate for programs or libraries that need extensive documentation—theoretically. In reality, some crazy programmers decided to move the documentation of elementary shell commands like ls or rm from man pages to info pages; hence, everyone needs an info reader.
On the command line, you can read info pages with the info command, which fires up Emacs in its info mode. Alternatively, you can use tkinfo by Kennard White and Axel Boldt as a graphical info page viewer. When started without any command-line argument, tkinfo displays the “dir” info node under which the GNU utilities reside. If you do not like tkinfo's display font, you can add a tkinfo*Text.font resource in your .xresources or .xdefaults file. Although tkinfo has a better-organized display and is more intuitive to use than Emacs' info mode, it also has a serious drawback. Most nodes entered in the “File”->“Goto Node” menu are not found. For example, tkinfo cannot find the node “ls”, even when invoked via tkinfo ls on the command line. To reach the node “ls”, you must navigate through the info hierarchy, a time-consuming maneuver.
Fortunately, most commands are documented completely in their man page as well; hence, there is often no need to bother with info pages.
qps by Matthias Engdegard is a graphical incarnation of ps, top and kill and is based on the Qt toolkit. qps is an attractive and powerful tool. You can use it as an advanced version of top by selecting “All Processes” from the “View” menu, specifying the “Update Period” in the “Options” menu and clicking on “CPU” in the header line of the process list to make qps sort the list by the used CPU time. This will reveal which processes are eating the processor time on your system (see Figure 2). Or you can use qps as a combination of ps and kill by selecting a process from the process list and sending a signal from the “Signal” menu.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide