More articles by Joe Brockmeier

Keep Configs Under Control With Etckeeper

Etckeeper makes it easy to keep your /etc directory and its related config files in a revision control system of your choice.

Work Smarter With Virtual Assistants

Assistants are no longer just for execs. With a virtual assistant, you can hand off repetitive tasks and focus on the work that matters. Fancy Hands and Amazon's Mechanical Turk are two examples of affordable assistants, each effective at meeting a different set of needs.

Use s3cmd for Managing Amazon S3 Storage from the CLI

If you're looking to script backups or other operations, a reliable CLI tool that works with S3 is a must. s3cmd fits the bill.

Use httperf for Server Benchmarking

Prototyping Web applications? Trying to test and tune your Web servers? httperf makes it easy to test HTTP server workloads.

There's a New GNU fdisk in Town

The latest GNU fdisk is now in alpha. Not anywhere ready for production, but ready for the adventurous to take out for a spin.

Kernel Developers Share Security Tips

Learn tips for keeping your Linux system safe in this post-kernel.org-breach world.

Give Yourself a Menu in Vim

Completing filenames when using Vim in command mode can be tricky. These tips will make it a simpler task.

User Limits Made Easy

Linux admins looking for an easy way to set hard and soft limits for users will find much to like about the pam_limits module. With pam_limits, you can set parameters on system resources on a per-user (or per-group) basis for all variables--from the maximum number of files a user can have open to the amount of CPU time.

A Look at the Compgen Bash Builtin

Linux and other Unix-type systems contain a wealth of features under the surface. Oftentimes, however, these features are non-obvious and hard to find. Compgen, a GNU Bash builtin that shows all possible completions, is one such feature.

Boost WordPress Performance With W3 Total Cache

Is your hardware inadequate for your site? Throwing more resources at it may not be the best answer. For WordPress sites, W3 Total Cache is an inexpensive way to wring the most out of what you already have.

Kill Processes Quickly With Slay

Most admins know kill and pkill. But those looking for a quick, clean kill use slay.

Check WordPress for Exploits

WordPress is one of the most popular CMSes, which means it is among the more commonly exploited. Use the Exploit Scanner plugin to help lock it down.

Rename and Copy Files Easily in Your Text Editor

Renameutils is aptly named. The easy-to-use collection of utilities makes renaming files as easy as using your favorite text editor.

Try collectlfor System Monitoring

When it comes to collecting system status data, sar is a veritable workhorse. It is not, however, without its limitations. If you're in the market for a utility that also handles NFS, Slab data, and sub-second intervals, consider collectl.

Monitor Progress with Pipe Viewer

For sys admins, running a process can feel like driving cross-country without a road map. Pipe Viewer is one way to answer the question, 'are we there yet?'

Recover and Preserve Data With GNU ddrescue

With GNU ddrescue you need never worry about the impact of optical media degradation on your data.

Whip Up Regular Expressions With Txt2regex

Understanding regular expressions is important for anyone who spends time doing system administration or programming. If that describes you and regexes are not your strong suit, txt2regex is an excellent tool to have handy.

Get to Know Debian Goodies

For admins who work with Debian-based systems, the basics dpkg and APT's tools are old hat. For a richer user experiences, like knowing which packages have release-critical bugs, hog the most disk space and so on, Debian Goodies is a set of utilities that's good to know.

Load Testing and Benchmarking With Siege

Ready to roll out a site, but not sure how it will perform in real-world use? Consider Siege, an open source load-testing and benchmarking utility that will help stress test your setup before exposing it to the world.

5 Tips for Managing RPMs

Fedora or RHEL users working with RPMs will find these 5 little-known features to be of great value.

5 Tips for Managing Debian Packages

Debian's package tools makes it easy to install and manage packages. For more complex tasks, however, tools are not as well-advertised. Here are five options worth checking out.

Detach Processes With Disown and Nohup

Have a long-running job you want to "detach" from the terminal? Don't use tmux or Screen? If you haven't started the job yet, nohup is an easy to use option, and if you must stop a job in the middle, there's disown.

Track Issues With Roundup

No matter what the size is of your IT environment, issue tracking is a critical component of system administration. If you're looking for a simple issue tracking system that can be scaled as your shop grows, check out Roundup, an interesting solution that is easy to both test out and deploy.

DenyHosts: Keep on Knocking but You Can't Come In

DenyHosts makes it easy to ward off unauthorized SSH connection attempts. The utility blocks attempts to connect to your server via SSH after too many failed attempts or from a blacklisted host.

Discover Rootkits With Unhide

When your system is rooted, you can't trust most utilities to show processes from the rootkit. To identify the problem, check out unhide and unhide.rb.

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