IT Admins Group

Short list of must have tools

Over the course of ones carrier as a System or Network Administrator one will encounter a quite a few utilities to “help” in the excution of ones work. A large majority of those tools are either flawed in logic or execution, incomplete or just generally useless. However, every once in a while a tool will surface that fits just perfectly in just about every admins toolbox. Here is a list (in alphabetical order) of some of my favorites. If you have any that should be listed just let me know.

1. autojump: This is a replacement/improvement on the standard “cd” (change directory) command in Linux. It can actually learn how you move on the system and even offers autocompletion. A very handy time saver for all admins.

2. dtrx: The Intelligent archive extraction utility is just awsome. Extracts tar, zip, cpio, deb, rpm, gem, 7z, cab, lzh, rar, gz, bz2, lzma, xz, and many kinds of exe files, including Microsoft Cabinet archives, InstallShield archives, and self-extracting zip files all in one command. It even handles archives without it’s own destination directory instead of dumping everything in your download or home directory. Give it a shot and you will soon have no need to check man pages for the differing formats. drtx Home

3. iotop: This one is pretty much in every distro but this thing is so helpful I figured I would list in just in case you happened to have the misfortune of working with a distro that does not offer it.

4. liquidprompt: Over the years I have refined and honed my shell prompt as well as my .bashrc to include a lot of small extras that just come in handy. Recently I ran across liquidprompt and fell promptly in love with it. Yes, at times it can lag a bit (mostly in repository directories) but otherwise it is a great addition to any toolbox and brings a lot to the table.

5. prettyping: Pretty Ping I ran across tonight and just had to have it. As a matter of fact, I have installed this on every system I admin (gotta love Puppet). Make no mistake, this tool is a keeper as long as you can figure out how to adjust your locales. ;)

6. testdisk: nuff said.


Tomcat 6 with logrotate

Quite a few of my clients purport to being professional Java developers. The problem I have with such a statement is that they always use Tomcat and never know how to set it up. Now, I am not saying that they are not professionals. I am saying that I try and understand the tools with which I make a living and most of the people I have trained are the same way. Anyway, the number one problem I always get asked to fix is log rotation.

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Migrate Redmine from MySQL to MariaDB

I recently switched from MySQL to MariaDB. As a result my Redmine installation decided to rebel and I, of course, didn’t even notice until a user informed me. The error message that Redmine (ruby actually) threw was not at all cryptic:

“Incorrect MySQL client library version! This gem was compiled for 5.1.63 but the client library is 5.2.13-MariaDB.”

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