SysAdmin

How to Deploy A Server

When I write my column, I try to stick to specific hacks or tips you can use to make life with Linux a little easier. Usually, I describe with pretty specific detail how to accomplish a particular task including command-line and configuration file examples. This time, however, I take a step off this tried-and-true path of tech tips and instead talk about more-general, high-level concepts, strategies and, frankly, personal opinions about systems administration. more>>

Book Excerpt: DevOps Troubleshooting: Linux Server Best Practices

This excerpt is from the book, 'DevOps Troubleshooting: Linux Server Best Practices' by Kyle Rankin, published by Pearson/Addison-Wesley Professional, ISBN 0321832043, Nov 2012, Copyright 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. more>>

Troubleshooting with Telnet

Poor telnet, it used to be the cool kid on the block. It was the program all sysadmins turned to when they needed to connect to a remote server. Telnet just wasn't that good at keeping a secret—all communication went over plain text—so administrators started switching to SSH for encrypted remote shell sessions. more>>

Android System Administration Utilities

“Change is inevitable in a progressive society. Change is constant” Benjamin Disraeli 1867. Quite a fitting quote if I say so myself. When I started in systems administration back in the mid 90’s everything was done either remoted in from your desktop, a server, or you plugged a terminal into the back of the server. more>>

February 2013 Issue of Linux Journal: System Administration

Digital Duct Tape

I've had enough system administration jobs to know that companies tend to take drastically different approaches to how they handle technology. more>>

Python Scripts as a Replacement for Bash Utility Scripts

For Linux users, the command line is a celebrated part of our entire experience. Unlike other popular operating systems, where the command line is a scary proposition for all but the most experienced veterans, in the Linux community, command-line use is encouraged. more>>

Getting Started with Salt Stack-the Other Configuration Management System Built with Python

I was proudly wearing one of my Salt Stack shirts the other day when my daughter asked me, "What is Salt Stack?" I began by explaining the problem it solved. If you have multiple servers and want to do things to those servers, you would need to log in to each one and do those things one at a time on each one. They could be fairly simple tasks like restarting them or checking how long they have been running. Or, you might want to do more complicated things like installing software and then configuring that software based upon your own specific criteria. You also might want to add users and configure permissions for them. more>>

Rsync, It's GRRRRaphical!

Every year for our Readers' Choice survey, the venerable tool rsync gets votes for favorite backup tool. That never surprises us, because every time I need to copy a group of files and folders, rsync is the tool I use by default. more>>

Introducing Vagrant

Have you ever heard the following? "Welcome to the team! Here's a list of 15 applications to install, the instructions are in the team room, somewhere. more>>

Ubuntu's New DNS: Unknown Host

If you're the type of person who installs Ubuntu's server edition, you're also likely the sort of person who knows how to configure network settings. For most distributions, especially those based on Debian, the process is a bit strange, but familiar. more>>

The Sysadmin's Toolbox: iftop

Who's using up all the bandwidth, and what are they doing? Use iftop to find out. more>>

Stop Waiting For DNS!

I am an impulse domain buyer. I tend to purchase silly names for simple sites that only serve the purpose of an inside joke. The thing about impulse-buying a domain is that DNS propagation generally takes a day or so, and setting up a Web site with a virtual hostname can be delayed while you wait for your Web site address to go "live". more>>

The Sysadmin's Toolbox: sar

As someone who's been working as a system administrator for a number of years, it's easy to take tools for granted that I've used for a long time and assume everyone has heard of them. more>>

Puppet and Nagios: a Roadmap to Advanced Configuration

Puppet has provided baked-in Nagios support for a long time now. When combined with Exported Resources, Puppet is well suited to manage an intelligent Nagios configuration where nodes are automatically inventoried and monitored. more>>

System Administration of the IBM Watson Supercomputer

System administrators at the USENIX LISA 2011 conference (LISA is a great system administration conference, by the way) in Boston in December got to hear Michael Perrone's presentation "What Is Watson?" more>>

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