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Are there any applications for OS X to handle these things in SSH for a Linux server?

  • Store list of configuration files paths (/etc/apache2 etc. to remind where they are all located)
  • Store list of handy commands (nano /etc/php/apache2/php.ini)
  • Store list of server properties (hardware, location etc.)

How do other administrators manage these servers properly?

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For your second task, use Bash aliases: alias phpini='nano /etc/php/apache2/php.ini'. –  slhck Mar 8 '12 at 11:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Store list of configuration files paths

After working with systems for a while, you simply know the paths. You know global settings are most likely to be in /etc/<applicationname>, you know your log files are in /var/log, you know you live in /home/mike.
These paths will get second nature to you. And they better should.

Store list of handy commands

Go over to commandlinefu and create a list of your favorites.
Also, once you know your paths, you might not even need to write down stuff like your example.

You know you like nano for editing, you know you want to edit the PHP settings for Apache, so it's nano /etc/php/apache/php.conf or something like that. But that isn't the right path, is it? So use tab-completion to get the real one:

nano /etc/php/apa<tab>
nano /etc/php/apache2/php<tab>
nano /etc/php/apache2/php.ini

And there we go.

Store list of server properties (hardware, location etc.)

Do it however you like it. Create a Wiki. A plaintext file if you like that better. Just do it.
Also, try to learn how to extract that information from a machine if you need to get it quickly. A quick lspci or ip a or route -n or cat /etc/*-release or uname -a can be all you really need at times.

Monitoring Tools

In my opinion, the go-to monitoring tool is Cacti. It's weird to set up, but there are quite a few tutorials on the web. It can monitor all the metrics you noted in your comments (and many more): CPU Memory Disk

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Thanks alot, I really appreaciate your answer. One more question, what are some default server administration tools, prefer webbased ones, like monitor CPU usage, memory usage, disk usage etc. Thanks alot man! –  mike vercoelen Mar 8 '12 at 15:04
I updated my answer to address your question regarding monitoring :) –  Oliver Salzburg Mar 8 '12 at 15:29

1) store list of configuration files paths:

for diverse machines with changes that are machine-specific: whenever you change a file, ALWAYS store a version and your changes using rcs tools:

ci -l httpd.conf

A find / -type f -name \*,v gives you all changed config files. Works for every platform with rcs.

For more than just 2 hosts with similar changes, like shared config files with host-specific differences like nodename:


this is really worth every minute you spend on it - payoff comes in spades. Needs a solid SOP for every admin to follow, and a bit of education/changed mindset.

2) store list of handy commands:

team wiki. gist on github. Tiddlywiki in a SCM. Whatever works for you. I use text files that live in a CVS repository.

3) store list of server properties

seen everything, from notes on the back of burger wrappers to paid-for inventory database systems. Those two are quite nice, used them both:



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