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My sysadmin toolbox

Filed under
Software

Every administrator has a set of software tools that he just can't live without. These are the utilities that you install as soon as you log into a new machine, to help make day-to-day tasks a little easier. Here are my top 10 tools.

Vim

Screen

CDargs

wget

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today's howtos

ACPI, kernels and contracts with firmware

This ends up being a pain in the neck in the x86 world, but it could be much worse. Way back in 2008 I wrote something about why the Linux kernel reports itself to firmware as "Windows" but refuses to identify itself as Linux. The short version is that "Linux" doesn't actually identify the behaviour of the kernel in a meaningful way. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the kernel can deal with buffers being passed when the spec says it should be a package. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS knows how to deal with an HPET. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS can reinitialise graphics hardware. Read more