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Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two: Tips & Tools for Connecting, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting

Overview

Today's system administrators deal with a vast number of situations, operating systems, software packages, and problems. Those who are in the know have kept their copy of Linux Server Hacks close at hand to ease their burden. And while this helps, it's not enough: any sys admin knows there are many more hacks, cool tips, and ways of solving problems than can fit in a single volume (one that mere mortals can lift, that is).

Which is why we created Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two, ...

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Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two: Tips & Tools for Connecting, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting

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Overview

Today's system administrators deal with a vast number of situations, operating systems, software packages, and problems. Those who are in the know have kept their copy of Linux Server Hacks close at hand to ease their burden. And while this helps, it's not enough: any sys admin knows there are many more hacks, cool tips, and ways of solving problems than can fit in a single volume (one that mere mortals can lift, that is).

Which is why we created Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two, a second collection of incredibly useful tips and tricks for finding and using dozens of open source tools you can apply to solve your sys admin problems. The power and flexibility of Linux and Open Source means that there is an astounding amount of great software out there waiting to be applied to your sys admin problems — if only you knew about it and had enough information to get started. Hence, Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two.

This handy reference offers 100 completely new server management tips and techniques designed to improve your productivity and sharpen your administrative skills. Each hack represents a clever way to accomplish a specific task, saving you countless hours of searching for the right answer. No more sifting through man pages, HOWTO websites, or source code comments — the only resource you need is right here. And you don't have to be a system administrator with hundreds of boxen to get something useful from this book as many of the hacks apply equally well to a single system or a home network.

Compiled by experts, these hacks not only give you the step-by-step instructions necessary to implement the software, but they also provide the context to truly enable you to learn the technology. Topics include:

  • Authentication
  • Remote GUI connectivity
  • Storage management
  • File sharing and synchronizing resources
  • Security/lockdown instruction
  • Log files and monitoring
  • Troubleshooting
  • System rescue, recovery, and repair

Whether they help you recover lost data, collect information from distributed clients, or synchronize administrative environments, the solutions found in Linux Server Hacks, Volume Two will simplify your life as a system administrator.

For anyone running a network of Linux servers--whether it's a large data center or a small home network--this engaging book provides short, targeted lessons to improve their productivity and sharpen their administration skills.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
O'Reilly's original Linux Server Hacks gave sysadmins 100 indispensable timesavers, tips, and solutions. This new Volume 2 offers 100 more: all of them elegant, fun, well tested, and extremely useful.

To begin, there's a full chapter on authentication in heterogeneous environments, a favorite topic of coauthor Bill von Hagen. You'll also find up-to-date collections of tips on remote connectivity, system services, storage management, security, troubleshooting, performance optimization, monitoring, system rescue, and more.

A few of our favorites: recognizing emerging problems in logfiles; booting crippled systems for diagnosis; cutting down on restore requests; using script to train junior admins; integrating Windows printing with CUPS; synchronizing multiple servers' root environments; using journaling to accelerate restarts; using your laptop as a makeshift console. That's just a taste. Your favorites may vary, but rest assured, you'll find plenty of them. Bill Camarda, from the November 2006 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596100827
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Series: Hacks Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,412,546
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill von Hagen is a seasoned Linux/Unix systems administrator and computer collector. He writes articles and product reviews for Linux Planet, Linux Today, Linux Format, and Linux Magazine. He is the author of several technology books including "Hacking the TiVo, Second Edition" (Muska and Lipman), "The Definitive Guide to GCC" (Apress), and co-author of "SUSE Linux 9 Bible" (Wiley). In a past life, he was the drummer for a hardcore punk rock band, The Cynics.

Brian K. Jones is a system administrator in the department of computer science at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents

Credits ix
Preface xiii
Chapter 1 Linux Authentication 1
1 Disable User Accounts Instantly 2
2 Edit Your Password File for Greater Access Control 5
3 Deny All Access in One Second or Less 7
4 Customize Authentication with PAMs 8
5 Authenticate Linux Users with a Windows Domain Controller 16
6 Centralize Logins with LDAP 21
7 Secure Your System with Kerberos 29
8 Authenticate NFS-Lovers with NIS 36
9 Sync LDAP Data with NIS 41
Chapter 2 Remote GUI Connectivity 45
10 Access Systems Remotely with VNC 46
11 Access VNC Servers over the Web 54
12 Secure VNC via SSH 56
13 Autostart VNC Servers on Demand 60
14 Put Your Desktops on a Thin Client Diet 69
15 Run Windows over the Network 78
16 Secure, Lightweight X Connections with FreeNX 82
17 Secure VNC Connections with FreeNX 89
18 Secure Windows Terminal Connections with FreeNX 91
19 Remote Administration with Webmin 93
Chapter 3 System Services 97
20 Quick and Easy DHCP Setup 98
21 Integrate DHCP and DNS with Dynamic DNS Updates 102
22 Synchronize Your Watches! 108
23 Centralize X Window System Font Resources 111
24 Create a CUPS Print Server 119
25 Configure Linux Connections to Remote CUPS Printers 128
26 Integrate Windows Printing with CUPS 130
27 Centralize Macintosh Printing with CUPS 134
28 Define a Secure CUPS Printer 138
Chapter 4 Cool Sysadmin Tools and Tips 143
29 Execute Commands Simultaneously on Multiple Servers 144
30 Collaborate Safely with a Secured Wiki 145
31 Edit Your GRUB Configuration with grubby 149
32 Give Your Tab Key a Workout 150
33 Keep Processes Running After a Shell Exits 153
34 Disconnect Your Console Without Ending Your Session 155
35 Use script to Save Yourself Time and Train Others 157
36 Install Linux Simply by Booting 159
37 Turn Your Laptop into a Makeshift Console 164
38 Usable Documentation for the Inherently Lazy 167
39 Exploit the Power of Vim 170
40 Move Your PHP Web Scripting Skills to the Command Line 173
41 Enable Quick telnet/SSH Connections from the Desktop 176
42 Speed Up Compiles 178
43 Avoid Common Junior Mistakes 181
44 Get Linux Past the Gatekeeper 184
45 Prioritize Your Work 187
Chapter 5 Storage Management and Backups 193
46 Create Flexible Storage with LVM 194
47 Combine LVM and Software RAID 203
48 Create a Copy-on-Write Snapshot of an LVM Volume 210
49 Clone Systems Quickly and Easily 214
50 Make Disk-to-Disk Backups for Large Drives 221
51 Free Up Disk Space Now 228
52 Share Files Using Linux Groups 229
53 Refine Permissions with ACLs 233
54 Make Files Easier to Find with Extended Attributes 240
55 Prevent Disk Hogs with Quotas 246
Chapter 6 Standardizing, Sharing, and Synchronizing Resources 251
56 Centralize Resources Using NFS 251
57 Automount NFS Home Directories with autofs 257
58 Keep Filesystems Handy, but Out of Your Way 260
59 Synchronize root Environments with rsync 263
60 Share Files Across Platforms Using Samba 264
61 Quick and Dirty NAS 269
62 Share Files and Directories over the Web 276
Chapter 7 Security 280
63 Increase Security by Disabling Unnecessary Services 281
64 Allow or Deny Access by IP Address 283
65 Detect Network Intruders with snort 286
66 Tame Tripwire 293
67 Verify Fileystem Integrity with Afick 299
68 Check for Rootkits and Other Attacks 303
Chapter 8 Troubleshooting and Performance 311
69 Find Resource Hogs with Standard Commands 311
70 Reduce Restart Times with Journaling Filesystems 316
71 Grok and Optimize Your System with sysctl 321
72 Get the Big Picture with Multiple Displays 323
73 Maximize Resources with a Minimalist Window Manager 327
74 Profile Your Systems Using /proc 332
75 Kill Processes the Right Way 337
76 Use a Serial Console for Centralized Access to Your Systems 339
77 Clean Up NIS After Users Depart 343
Chapter 9 Logfiles and Monitoring 346
78 Avoid Catastrophic Disk Failure 346
79 Monitor Network Traffic with MRTG 351
80 Keep a Constant Watch on Hosts 354
81 Remotely Monitor and Configure a Variety of Networked Equipment 357
82 Force Standalone Apps to Use syslog 362
83 Monitor Your Logfiles 364
84 Send Log Messages to Your Jabber Client 368
85 Monitor Service Availability with Zabbix 371
86 Fine-Tune the syslog Daemon 375
87 Centralize System Logs Securely 379
88 Keep Tabs on Systems and Services 382
Chapter 10 System Rescue, Recovery, and Repair 388
89 Resolve Common Boot and Startup Problems 389
90 Rescue Me! 396
91 Bypass the Standard Init Sequence for Quick Repairs 398
92 Find Out Why You Can't Unmount a Partition 400
93 Recover Lost Partitions 404
94 Recover Data from Crashed Disks 407
95 Repair and Recover ReiserFS Filesystems 415
96 Piece Together Data from the lost+found 422
97 Recover Deleted Files 430
98 Permanently Delete Files 433
99 Permanently Erase Hard Disks 435
100 Recover Lost Files and Perform Forensic Analysis 438
Index 447
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    VERY VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

    Are you a system administrator? If you are, then this book is for you! Authors Bill Von Hagen and Brian K Jones, have done an outstanding job of writing volume two of a book that focuses on cool hacks they developed or used in their server and system administration careers. Von Hagen and Jones, begin by exploring the authentication options that are available to you in heterogeneous networked computing environments and simplify administering user accounts and passwords. Then, the authors explore ways of connecting to remote systems. Next, the authors explain how to set up central servers that do things like synchronize the time on all the systems in your environment, deliver IP addresses to newly connected hosts, and integrate these services with existing ones. The authors then present a variety of cool sysadmin tips and techniques that they¿ve accumulated over the years, including how to keep processes running without writing a daemon or staying logged in, how to use PXE to netboot Linux, how to share information with fellow sysadmins in a centralized fashion, how to get the most out of classic but incredibly useful terminal-oriented applications, and so on. They continue to explore some cool ways of making it easier for you to manage storage, deploy new systems, do backups of today¿s huge disks, and even reduce the need for some of the restore requests that occasionally clog every sysadmin¿s inbox. Then, the authors provide some tips and tricks for managing distributed storage and making sure the administrative environments on your servers are synchronized. They then discuss a wide range of security tools and techniques that can help you sleep at night and protect your systems at the same time. Next, they provide techniques for optimizing system performance, whether by figuring out who¿s hogging the entire CPU and shooting down that user¿s network sessions or by using cool knobs in the /proc filesystem to tweak system performance or using journaling filesystems to minimize system restart time. Then, they include hacks that enable you to centralize log information in a variety of ways, be warned when problems arise, and get the most out of system status information, whether it¿s log information, internal disk controller status data, or remote hardware status information that you can collect via SNMP. Finally, the authors show you how to boot crippled systems so that you can diagnose problems, repair munged filesystems, and even recover deleted files of data that was stored on disks that have gone belly up. This most excellent book has presented hacks that are techniques that the authors have used at various times. More importantly, they view these techniques as time- and hassle-savers that are usually downright fun and cool.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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