SysAdmin

Manage Your Configs with vcsh

If you're anything like me (and don't you want to be?), you probably have more than one Linux or UNIX machine that you use on a regular basis. Perhaps you've got a laptop and a desktop. Or, maybe you've got a few servers on which you have shell accounts.

Fight the Good Fight with SmokePing

My Internet connection is unstable. I do realize ISPs generally claim some downtime is expected, and service is not guaranteed, and countless other excuses are common for intermittent service. I currently pay $120/month for business-class service, however, and I expect to get reliable Internet access on a regular basis.

Raspberry Strudel: My Raspberry Pi in Austria

I remember my first colocated server rather fondly. It was a 1U Supermicro that had been decommissioned from my employer after a few years' service. Although it was too old and slow for my company, the 800MHz CPU, 1GB RAM and 36GB SCSI storage was perfect for my needs back in 2005. A friend was kind enough to allow me to colocate the server at his facility for free.

Raspberry Pi: the Perfect Home Server

Ever since the announcement of the Raspberry Pi, sites all across the Internet have offered lots of interesting and challenging uses for this exciting device. Although all of those ideas are great, the most obvious and perhaps least glamorous use for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) is creating your perfect home server.

More PXE Magic

In this article, I've decided to follow up on a topic I wrote about not in my column directly, but as a feature article called "PXE Magic" in the April 2008 issue.

Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving

The other day in the Linux Journal IRC room (#linuxjournal on Freenode), I was whining to the channel about no-ip.com deleting my account without warning. My home IP address hadn't changed in a couple months, and because there was no update, it appeared abandoned.

Home, My Backup Data Center

New Linux users often ask me "what is the best way to learn about Linux?" My advice always comes down to this: install and use Linux (any distribution will do but something stable works better), and

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.