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Automating UNIX and Linux Administration by Kirk Bauer

Automating UNIX and Linux Administration by Kirk Bauer

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Automating UNIX and Linux Administration

by Kirk Bauer

Product Details:

Language:                      English

ISBN 10:                                             1590592123 / 1-59059-212-3

                      ISBN 13:                     978-1590592120 / 978-1-59059-212-0

Author:                         Kirk Bauer

Publisher:                      Apress

Subject:                         Automating system administration tasks

Place of publication:       USA

Year Published:             2003

Binding:                         Paperback

Pages:                          600

Dimensions:                      23 x 19 x 3.3 cm / 9 x 7.4 x 1.3 inches

Shipping Weight:           0.95 kg / 2.1 pounds

Price:                          150 SEK



Wouldn't you like to automate the tedious daily tasks of system administration? Automating UNIX and Linux Administration will show you how, by exploring existing tools and offering real-world examples. Parts of the book are Linux-specific, but most of it applies to a UNIX system, including multiple variants of UNIX. Author Kirk Bauer briefly overviews tools and technologies-and assumes preliminary knowledge about editing a configuration file or mounting a file system.

The techniques, methods, and tools in this book will help you manage a single system-but will prove especially powerful across multiple systems. No matter if the systems are desktops, servers, or Beowulf clusters-all of them will benefit from this automation. And managing five to five thousand systems will become a simpler task!

Automating UNIX and Linux Administration provides real-world examples and explores the existing tools that will help with this task. Although the book provides brief overviews of tools and technologies that are covered, the author assumes that the reader knows how to edit a configuration file or mount a file system. Learn to put these tools to use in the real world, such as how to use a set of Perl scripts to manage your user accounts across 1000 machines. This book will not show you how to write a basic 'Hello World' program in Perl nor contain a Perl function reference or summary. The techniques, methods and tools covered in this book will help on a single system, but will be much more useful across multiple systems. Whether you are managing 2 or 5,000 systems, whether they are desktops, servers, or a Beowulf cluster, you will benefit from this type of automation. Although some of the book is be Linux-specific, most of it will apply to any UNIX system, including automating tasks across multiple variants of UNIX.

About the Author:

Kirk Bauer has been involved in computer programming since 1985. He has been using and administering UNIX systems since 1994. Although his personal favorite UNIX variant is Linux, he has administered and developed on everything from FreeBSD to Solaris, AIX, and IRIX. He is the author of various open-source system administration programs such as AutoRPM and Logwatch.

Bauer has been involved with software development and system/network administration since his first year at Georgia Tech. He has done work for the Georgia Tech Residential Network, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Bauer was one of the founders and the CTO of TogetherWeb in 2000, which was purchased in 2003 by Proficient Systems. He is currently a software architect with Proficient Systems, and continues to support and develop the collaborative browsing software and Linux-based network appliance created by TogetherWeb, including C++ server software that provides high scalability, high efficiency, and high reliability.

Kirk graduated from Georgia Tech in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in computer engineering. Shortly thereafter, he began work on his first book, Automating UNIX and Linux Administration, which was published by Apress in September 2003. He currently lives in Peoria, Arizona, with his wife, Amber, and their two dogs and four cats.

Pertinent URL:

Table of Contents:


About the Author


About the Technical Reviewers






Ch. 1

Introducing the Basics of Automation


Ch. 2

Using SSH to Securely Automate System Administration


Ch. 3

Creating Login Scripts and Shell Scripts


Ch. 4

Pre-Installation: Network Preparation and Management


Ch. 5

Automating and Customizing Installation


Ch. 6

Automatic System Configuration


Ch. 7

Sharing Data Between Systems


Ch. 8

Packages and Patches


Ch. 9

System Maintenance and Changes


Ch. 10

System Monitoring


Ch. 11

Improving System Security


Ch. 12

Backing Up and Restoring Data


Ch. 13

User Interfaces


App. A

Introduction to Basic Tools


App. B

Customizing and Automating Red Hat Linux Installation


App. C

Building Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) Packages





Chapter Summary

  • Chapter 1: Introducing the Basics of Automation This chapter covers the methodology behind system administration automation.
  • Chapter 2: Using SSH to Securely Automate System Administration Covers the basics of using SSH, security concerns, setting up passwordless SSH, and other topics.
  • Chapter 3: Creating Login Scripts and Shell Scripts Discusses some more advanced features of bash and how you can use them to customize your prompt, create command aliases, enhance tab completion, and otherwise enhance your shell experience. Also provides scripts that allow commands to be run across multiple systems.
  • Chapter 4: Pre-Installation: Network Preparation and Management Discusses the tasks necessary to add a new system to your network and provides a custom, modular shell script to automate these tasks.
  • Chapter 5: Automating and Customizing Installation Discusses the options available to you when you want to automatically perform operating system installations. Also discusses your options for the customization of your operating systems. Provides scripts that allows a new system (even without a custom operating system) to quickly and easily join your automation system.
  • Chapter 6: Automating System Configuration This is where the really good stuff begins. This chapter talks about automatically configuring all of the systems on your network, regardless of the operating systems they run or the tasks they perform. Provides both a custom solution and a comprehensive discussion of GNU cfengine.
  • Chapter 7: Sharing Data Between Systems Discusses many methods you can use to share data among your various systems. Talks about network filesystems (such as NFS), NIS/NIS+, GNU cfengine, rsync, CVS, and the HTTP and FTP protocols.
  • Chapter 8: Packages and Patches Discusses the issues involved with the updating of many systems. Talks about Solaris patches and custom patches. Talks about the RPM and Debian package formats as well as a custom package solution. Talks about automatic package installation with AutoRPM. Introduces the OpenPKG system which provides packages that can be installed on many different operating systems.
  • Chapter 9: System Maintenance and Changes Covers the various maintenance tasks inherent with most modern operating systems. This includes time synchronization, account management, log file rotation, and general system cleanup.
  • Chapter 10: System Monitoring Introduces systems for monitoring your systems. Presents Logwatch and swatch for log monitoring and NetSaint for network monitoring.
  • Chapter 11: Improving System Security Discusses tools that can enhance your system's security with minimal maintenance on your part. Shows how to use and configure Tripwire, create automatic firewall configurations, and use GNU cfengine to increase your system and network security.
  • Chapter 12: Backing up and Restoring Data Presents simple and inexpensive solutions for the automatic backup of your systems' data.
  • Chapter 13: User Interfaces Shows you how to create both console- and web-based user interfaces for your automation system using bash, Perl, and Mason.
  • Appendix A: Introduction to Basic Tools Covers several tools that will be used throughout this book such as bash, Perl, grep, sed, and awk.
  • Appendix B: Customizing and Automating Red Hat Linux Installation Shows you how to automate the installation of Red Hat Linux. Also shows you how to create your own custom Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Linux.
  • Appendix C: Building Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) Packages Comprehensive instructions on building your own RPMs.

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