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Topic: Administration

System and network administration

O'Reilly Network articles about this topic:

Virtualization and the POWER5 Architecture (Linux DevCenter)
Virtualization is a trendy topic in the server room now, especially as commodity computers begin to support features that mainframes have had for decades. Mainframes aren't standing still, however; IBM's POWER5 architecture supports powerful virtualization features on AIX... and Linux. Ken Milberg describes some of the benefits of the recent work on this platform.

Four Tough Lessons of System Recovery (Linux DevCenter)
KIVILCIM Hindistan recently migrated to a new laptop and promptly destroyed his partition table. Flailing around with false laziness taught him the true value of true laziness. Here's a real-life tale of Knoppix rescue and a cautionary tale about troubleshooting.

Managing Disk Space with LVM (Linux DevCenter)
Linux's Logical Volume Manager (LVM) allows you to create virtual disk partitions out of one or more hard drives. This makes it easy to manage growth in filesystems. Combined with RAID, it provides a nearly unbeatable way to keep your files safe and available. Bryce Harrington and Kees Cook show how to configure LVM, how to combine it with RAID, and how to use it on desktop machines too.

Installing Software on Debian (Linux DevCenter)
Debian GNU/Linux is a powerful and popular community-developed Linux distribution--and the basis for several other useful and usable distributions. One of the reasons for its popularity is the ease of installing and maintaining software. Edd Dumbill, Debian developer and GNU/Linux advocate, shows how to use Debian's tools to find and install software packages.

Secure Your Linux Server (Linux DevCenter)
Linux is a powerful and popular operating system kernel. That popularity means you might be running it even if you're not a dedicated Unix administrator or high-powered programmer. That doesn't mean that rock-solid security is out of your reach, though. Aaron Brazell shows how to make Red Hat 9 (and other Linux distributions) much more secure in a few easy steps.

Fine-Tuning Kubuntu (Linux DevCenter)
Ubuntu is a well-maintained, well-organized Linux distribution. Kubuntu adds the popular and powerful KDE desktop environment. As nice as Kubuntu is, the default installation doesn't fit every user. Carla Schroder shows how to get help, get access to more software packages, set up a firewall, and review and get rid of unnecessary services.

Linux Virtualization with Xen (Linux DevCenter)
Virtualization is an old idea--running multiple distinct operating systems atop a powerful box has a lot of advantages. Xen is a new virtualization platform. Despite its youth, its Linux support is very good. Kris Buytaert explains the basics of virtualization and shows how to configure and install Xen and to create new virtual machines.

Using the Root Account on Debian (Linux DevCenter)
Debian GNU/Linux is a powerful and popular community-developed Linux distribution--and the basis for several other useful and usable distributions. With the recent release of Debian Sarge, it's better than ever. Edd Dumbill, Debian developer and GNU/Linux advocate, shows how to use the root account safely and responsibly.

Improving Network Reliability with Keepalived (Linux DevCenter)
No matter how good the software, hardware eventually fails. Redundancy is an important way to keep your important services running smoothly. With the right software, you can even sleep through otherwise catastrophic network failures. Philip Hollenback demonstrates how to make your network robust by using Keepalived on multiple Linux routers.

The Bacula Philosophy (SysAdmin DevCenter)
Bacula is a mature client-server backup solution that runs on several platforms and flexibly meets many needs. It's also a good model for open source development. Nathan Valentine recently interviewed lead developer Kern Sibbald on the design, implementation, and future plans of the product.

HA-OSCAR: Five Steps to a High-Availability Linux Cluster (Linux DevCenter)
Clustering, the current thinking in computing, addresses the availability and scaled performance in cost-effective equipment. There are several open source clustering stacks, but HA-OSCAR is one of the few to address high availability with many built-in characteristics that allow continuous service availability. In this tutorial targeted for system administrators, engineers, researchers, and even students interested in leaning about building HA clusters, Ibrahim Haddad provides a step-by-step guide on how to install and build a highly available Linux cluster with HA-OSCAR.

Feather Linux: The Swiss Army Knife of LiveCDs (Linux DevCenter)
Bootable LiveCDs have made the lives of Linux dabblers easier. They're also good for administrators and people facing system recovery woes. Among LiveCDs, Feather Linux is a lean and powerful tool. KIVILCIM Hindistan demonstrates how it can make backing up and restoring partitions easy.

Unfinished Business: The One Missing Piece (Linux DevCenter)
With all of the work done on Linux in the past few years, there's only one missing piece preventing widespread adoption in the enterprise -- directory services. David HM Spector explores the history and current state of directory services, explaining why it's important to interoperate with Active Directory.

Using NFS for Networked Backups (Linux DevCenter)
As mass storage prices continue to fall, making backups to a centralized server starts to look convenient. Of course, the mechanics of this situation can be tricky. Glenn Graham demonstrates a quick and easy solution using NFS.

Synchronizing Networks with NTP (Linux DevCenter)
Accurate timekeeping is vital to accurate records, and accurate logs are the mainstay of good system administration. Glenn Graham explains NTP (the Network Time Protocol) and how to put it to work on your network.

Samba Pushes the Boundaries Again (Linux DevCenter)
With version 2.2 stable and well-deployed version Samba 3.0 just around the corner, the Samba team has been very busy. In this article, Dustin Puryear explores some of the new and surprising features in recent builds.

Single-User Subversion (Apache DevCenter)
Revision control isn't just for distributed, multi-developer teams. Rafael Garcia-Suarez introduces Subversion and explains how to use it for personal projects.

Gentoo Linux Reloaded (Linux DevCenter)
Over the past year, Gentoo Linux has grown from a niche distribution into something of a phenomenon in the Linux world. In this article, Gentoo Linux chief architect Daniel Robbins explains what Gentoo Linux is all about, describing the good things found in Gentoo Linux 1.4.

A Batch Job to Add New User IDs (Linux DevCenter)
Arnold Robbins, coauthor of O'Reilly's "Learning the Korn Shell, 2nd Edition," shows a script to automate adding many user IDs at once.

Cache-Friendly Web Pages (Linux DevCenter)
Caching saves time and bandwidth. Here are some of the advantages of caching, as well as an example of how to set up cache headers in Apache, focusing on the Expires and Cache-Control headers.

CVS Administration (Linux DevCenter)
Jennifer Vesperman explains how to create and manage a CVS repository.

Automating Network Administration, Part One (
Any task that is carried out by a system administrator more than once is a candidate for being automated. Luke A. Kanies explains how important automation and planning are to a sysadmin.

System Failure and Recovery Practice (Linux DevCenter)
Jeff Dike uses User-Mode Linux (UML) to safely emulate system failures and helps us learn how to recover from them.

Creating Filesystem Backups with 'rsync' (Linux DevCenter)
Using RAID-1 for drive mirroring doesn't always accomplish what you need. Brian Wilson shares a script for implementing a slow mirror using Perl and rsync.

Linux System Failure Post-Mortem (Linux DevCenter)
Diagnosing what went wrong after a system failure can prevent it from happening again. Jennifer Vesperman introduces the tools required for finding out what happened.

Proper Filesystem Layout (Linux DevCenter)
How you partition your filesystem in Unix can be a very important decision, ultimately affecting the performance of your server. Luke A. Kanies gives some practical advice on where and when to separate your filesystems.

Accessing a Cisco Router (BSD DevCenter)
When you first purchase a Cisco router, you'll need to access the router via its console interface from a serial interface on your computer. Dru Lavigne shows you how to do this from FreeBSD.

Introduction to PAM (Linux DevCenter)
Pluggable Authentication Modules provide a solution to the difficulties of user authentication. Jennifer Vesperman introduces PAM and helps you get started.

Dealing with Full Disks (BSD DevCenter)
Are your hard disks getting full? Michael Lucas helps us track down and recover lost disk space.

Peering Squid Caches (Linux DevCenter)
If you are paying for bandwidth by the byte, organizing your Squid servers to work together can save you lots of money. Jennifer Vesperman shows how to configure Squid to work with its peers.

Consolidating Servers Under Linux (Linux DevCenter)
David HM Spector explains how to reduce the number of servers that your company has to support and how to bring more services together on the servers that remain.

Authentication and Squid (Linux DevCenter)
Proxy authentication is easy to get wrong because the access control list rules are the inverse of what you would expect. Jennifer Vesperman explains how to authenticate correctly and provides tips for avoiding common mistakes.

Installing and Configuring Squid (Linux DevCenter)
Need to reduce bandwidth on your network? Jennifer Vesperman explains how to use Squid, including a list of dos and don'ts to make it run faster.

Useful Unix Utilities (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne browses the BSD ports collection and introduces several helpful utilities, including several from the "net" and "sysutils" sections.

Moving to BSD Without Leaving Linux (Linux DevCenter)
BSD provides impressive support for Linux binary applications. Chris Coleman explains how easy it is to start using BSD without giving up Linux.

Tools of the Trade: Part 2 (Linux DevCenter)
In the second part of this ongoing series, Carl Constantine shows you how to use tcpdump and Tripwire to protect your Linux server.

Tools of the Trade: Part 1 (Linux DevCenter)
In this first of a three-part series, Carl Constantine covers tools and techniques that system administrators can use to protect their networks, including discussion of nmap, Ethereal, and how to set up honey pots.

Rotating Log Files (BSD DevCenter)
Log files collect data and grow in size. If you don't tend them, they will fill up all available disk space. Michael Lucas explains how to easily manage log files with newsyslog.

Dynamic Address Assignment (Linux DevCenter)
Are you still assigning static IP addresses on your network? Terry Dawson explains how dynamic IP address assignment works and helps you understand if it is right for your network.

Proper Paranoia: Educating Your Co-Workers (
Michael Lucas runs a new security trainee through the gauntlet of patching live servers. He also shows how to instill a healthy attitude toward network security in those you work with by teaching them to be properly paranoid.

Getting Connected with 6to4 (
IPv6 is great in theory, but it won't do you much good if you can't get connected. Hubert Feyrer explains the basics of getting connected to IPv6 for BSD and Linux.

Bulletproofing Servers: Building a Challenge for Murphy (Linux DevCenter)
"Software operates at the whim of hardware, which makes stable hardware important to our longterm happiness as system administrators," writes Andy Neely. To make sure your server hardware is protected from the forces of Murphy, follow his advice for RAID protection, dual power supplies, and redundant Network Interface Cards (NIC). Andy will be a speaker at the upcoming Open Source Convention in San Diego, CA this coming July.

Testing and Automating PPP (Linux DevCenter)
Bill Unruh shows us how to test a PPP connection, as well as use tools to automate the connection to dial on demand.

System Logging (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas explains how syslog can be used to centralize system logs for a variety of servers.

Troubleshooting ISP Connection Problems (Linux DevCenter)
In this PPP how-to feature, Bill Unruh describes a procedure to help Linux users troubleshoot ISP connection problems.

Initial PPP Setup (Linux DevCenter)
Setting up PPP on Linux can be frustrating at times. Bill Unruh explains the basics of PPP in part one of an in-depth PPP how-to for Linux

The ROCK Linux Philosophy (Linux DevCenter)
Clifford Wolf is creating an admin-friendly distribution of Linux. He explains the differences between ROCK Linux and standard, user-friendly distributions of Linux.

Common PHP Installation Problems (PHP DevCenter)
Darrell Brogden details a few of the common mistakes users make when installing PHP.

Scanning Your Network (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne shows us how to use nmap, a port scanning utility, to secure Unix servers and workstations.

Beyond Firewalls (Linux DevCenter)
Now that you have your firewall up and running, you're all set, right? Well, not exactly. Carl Constantine explains how to plug some of the common security holes beyond the firewall.

Capturing TCP Packets (BSD DevCenter)
Want to capture network packets? Dru Lavigne shows how simple the process is and explains how to analyze the captured data.

TCP Protocol Layers Explained (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains how to read IP packet headers.

Understanding Filesystem Inodes (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne finishes up her explanation of hard drives and Unix filesystems by explaining how inodes fit into the picture.

Understanding Unix Filesystems (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains the basics of Unix filesystems.

Ximian GNOME: Welcome to Your Desktop (Linux DevCenter)
Daniel Solin follows up his GNOME installation article and shows us how to configure the Ximian GNOME desktop.

Creating Network Diagrams (Linux DevCenter)
As the complexity of your network grows, it makes good sense to maintain documentation that describes it. Terry Dawson reviews tools to make this easier.

Monitoring Unix Logins (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne exposes the contents of wtmp, utmp, and lastlog, the files that record who is logged in to your Unix system.

Linux Kernel Problems; SSH Design Flaw (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis shows us a system-call problem and a race condition in Linux; buffer-overflow problems in SSH-1 and XMail; DOS attack vulnerabilities in BIND 9.0.1 and ProFTPD; string format problems in man; design flaws in wireless networking security code; and temporary file problems in FreeBSD's sort.

Buffer-Overflow Problems in BIND (Linux DevCenter)
Buffer-overflow bugs are discovered in BIND, gnuserv, tinyProxy, and INN; developers report issues with ntop and LPRng.

Ramen Worm Attacks Red Hat Linux Machines (Linux DevCenter)
An Internet worm that attacks Red Hat Linux machines has cracked hundreds of machines. Noel Davis describes this and other security problems brought to light this week.

Insecure Temporary File Functions (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis reports on the latest security problems and news, including the Immunix OS security audit, issues with GNU C library, ReiserFS, linuxconf and more.

The PHP Configuration File (PHP DevCenter)
Darrell Brogdon explains how the php.ini file works.

IBM Websphere, Shockwave Flash, and emacs Advisories (Linux DevCenter)
Problems this week include minor problems with sendmail, exposure problems with Lotus Domino, problems in the default setup of Informix Webdriver and IBM Websphere Commerce Suite, a buffer overflow in Shockwave Flash, denial of service attacks against login, privacy problems in emacs, symlink attack in exmh, and a potential exploit against GTK+.

PalmOS, Half-Life Server, and Ethereal Vulnerabilities (Linux DevCenter)
Problems this week include more symlink problems with catman and dialog, buffer overflows in oops, halflifeserver, and ethereal, key problems with gnupg, problems with PalmOS devices, and a prime example of amazing vulnerabilities in third-party software packages.

Security Alerts: SAMBA, pine, ircd, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes recent open source and Unix security-related advisories. Problems this week include symlink problems with joe, pico, and samba, a buffer overflow in bftpd, and problems with pine.

Accessing MS-DOS Filesystems (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne shows us how to access MS-DOS filesystems from BSD using the programs mtools and mfm.

Security Alerts: KTH Kerberos, Red Hat PAM, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes open source and Unix exploits. Problems this week include local and remote root exploits in KTH Kerberos, buffer overflows in Red Hat's PAM, a discussion of security problems with web-based applications, and an example of one of these security problems in phpGroupWare.

Security Alerts: Twig, Midnight Commander, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes published open source and Unix exploits. Problems this week include arbitrary code execution in Twig, new symlink attacks, a hidden control code attack on Midnight Commander, and a LANGUAGE attack on glibc.

Small Office Linux (Linux DevCenter)
People from all walks of life are becoming Linux system administrators for small enterprises. If that's the case for you, here's a valuable guide to get you started on the right foot.

Basic Installation of PHP on a Unix System (PHP DevCenter)
Need a powerful replacement for ASP web scripting? Darrell Brogden walks us through compiling and installing PHP, an open source web scripting language that you can embed into HTML.

Getting Cron to Do Our Bidding (BSD DevCenter)
Wouldn't it be great if you could get your Unix system to perform commands automatically and then e-mail you the results? Dru explains how cron works and shows us how to read crontabs.

NISTNet: Emulating Networks on Your Own LAN (Linux DevCenter)
Use NISTNet to create realistic network traffic on a local LAN. Stress test your applications before they reach the real world.

The Week in Linux News (Linux DevCenter)
Exploring RAID technology, reviews of Red Hat 6.2 preview release, Enlightenment, startx, KDE icons, and shell loop constructs.

The Week in Linux News (Linux DevCenter)
How to build a firewall, tutorials on vi and Bash, Sun's hesitation on Linux, and new releases.

The Week in Linux News (Linux DevCenter)
New tutorials and reports on security, PHP, Apache and Perl.

The Week in Linux News (Linux DevCenter)
Network and security resources, new releases, and developer resources.

Deploying Squid, Part 2 of 2 (Linux DevCenter)
Install your own web proxy.

Preventing Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (Linux DevCenter)
Six ways to avoid becoming an unwilling collaborator.

Linux Tools For Network Analysis (Linux DevCenter)
Spector finds two tools for watching traffic: Ethereal and Netwatch.

Using Standard Input and Output (Linux DevCenter)
A quick review of basic redirection techniques used by every Unix guru.

Checking Differences with diff (Linux DevCenter)
Quickly examine differences between similar files.

Comparing Three Different Versions with diff3 (Linux DevCenter)
Got three similar files to compare? Use diff3!

Context diffs (Linux DevCenter)
Context diffs show the lines around changes in similar files.

ex Scripts Built by diff (Linux DevCenter)
diff can build automatic editing scripts you can use to change multiple files or to store a revision history.

Looking for Closure (Linux DevCenter)
A gawk script that can be used to make sure items that need to occur in pairs actually do so.

Change Many Files by Editing Just One (Linux DevCenter)
Use ed and diff to edit mulitple files.

patch: Generalized Updating of Files that Differ (Linux DevCenter)
There's an easy way to make changes based on diffs, use Larry Wall's patch utility.

Interview: Mendel Rosenblum of VMware (Linux DevCenter)
VMWare's Chief Scientist explains the virtual machine that runs multiple operating systems on your desktop.

Other documents about this topic:

Below are other references available on the web for this topic. Since other sites may change their links, please if you find any that may need to be updated.

Systems programming in Python
Scripts to find your largest and oldest files on a Unix system and a helper script to manage file and path information. Includes good descriptions of how the programs work. [Source: New Mexico Tech]

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