Archive for 'Linux Utilities'

Getting more out of your Linux servers with moreutils

I accidentally came across the moreutils package a few years back and the day I did my life changed forever. This package contains some killer utilities and fill some nice gaps in the *NIX tool chain. Here is a list of the binaries in this package (descriptions taken from the man page of each utility): […]

Viewing Linux tape drive statistics with tapestat

A while back I wrote a blog entry showing how to get tape drives statistics with systemtap. This script wasn’t very reliable and I would frequently see it crash after collecting just a few samples. Due to the work of some amazing Linux kernel engineers I no longer have to touch systemtap. Recent Linux kernels […]

Sudo insults — what a fun feature!

I think humor plays a big role in life, especially the life of a SysAdmin. This weekend I was cleaning up some sudoers files and came across a reference to the “insult” option in the documentation. Here is what the manual says: “insults If set, sudo will insult users when they enter an incorrect password. […]

Summarizing system call activity on Linux systems

Linux has a guadzillion debugging utilities available. One of my favorite tools for debugging problems is strace, which allows you to observe the system calls a process is making in realtime. Strace also has a “-c” option to summarize system call activity: $ strace -c -p 28009 Process 28009 attached Process 28009 detached % time […]

Breaking the telnet addiction with netcat

After many years of use it’s become almost second nature to type ‘telnet <HOST> <PORT>’ when I need to see if a system has TCP port <PORT> open. Newer systems no longer install telnet by default: $ telnet 80 -bash: telnet: command not found I can’t think of a valid reason to keep telnet […]

Using the automated bug-reporting tool (abrt) to generate core dumps when a Linux process fails

Software fails, and it often occurs at the wrong time. When failures occur I want to understand why, and will usually start putting together the events that lead up to the issue. Some application issues can be root caused by reviewing logs, but catastrophic crashes will often require the admin to sit down with gdb […]

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