Problem solving strategies for SysAdmins

Solving complex problems is not a straightforward proposition.

I’ve participated in plenty of technical interviews with people who had passed many certification tests and who had fine resumes. I also participated in many interviews in which we were looking for Linux skills, but very few of those applicants had certifications. Very few of the Linux applicants were yet certified.

Few of the Windows certificate owners could reason their way through the scenarios we presented while a very large percentage of the Linux applicants were able to do so.

Managing devices in Linux

There are many interesting features of the Linux directory structure. In this article I cover some fascinating aspects of the /dev directory.

Device files are also known as device special files. Device files are employed to provide the operating system and users an interface to the devices that they represent. All Linux device files are located in the /dev directory, which is an integral part of the root (/) filesystem.

Get started with Midnight Commander, a visual shell and file manager for Linux

Midnight Commander (MC) is a text-based Command Line Interface (CLI) program. It is particularly useful when a GUI is not available but can also be used as a primary file manager in a terminal session even when you are using a GUI. Midnight Commander can be used to interact with local and remote Linux computers using the CLI.

The man page for Midnight Commander calls it a visual shell because it’s capabilities are greater than the file manager we usually use it as. This article will provide you with enough information to get started using Midnight Commander as a file manager as well as its other capabilities.

How to build rpm packages

Over the years I have created a number of Bash scripts, some of which have separate configuration files, that I like to install on most of my new computers and virtual machines. It reached the point that it took a great deal of time to install all of these packages, so I decided to automate that process by creating an rpm package that I could copy to the target hosts and install all of these files in their proper locations.

Save time and effort installing files and scripts across multiple hosts.

Why it’s important for leaders to mentor and support others

After decades in the tech industry with invaluable mentorship, a seasoned professional is now giving back by mentoring new tech aspirants through DigitalBridge. This nonprofit offers adaptive online training for aspiring tech professionals, breaking barriers in traditional education and creating inclusive opportunities in tech. Additionally, participation in open source communities and events like All Things Open enhances this mentor’s ability to guide and inspire learners into digital careers, embodying a cycle of learning and giving back.

Regular Expressions #4: Pulling it all together

This series delves into the practical applications of regular expressions within Linux tools such as grep, sed, and awk, demonstrating how to simplify and optimize command-line tasks. The articles guide readers from basic to more complex uses of regex, emphasizing their usefulness in data stream transformation and text manipulation across various tools and programming languages. Through hands-on examples and resource recommendations, the series aims to enhance the reader’s understanding and proficiency with regex in diverse scenarios.

Ansible #3: Finishing our Ansible playbook to manage workstation and server updates

In part two of this series on writing Ansible playbooks, “Ansible #2 How to create an Ansible Playbook,” we examined the task of installing updates for servers and workstations. This playbook is intended to manage updates differently depending on the role the systems play on the network. Last time we created the play designed to install updates on the Ansible hub. This time we add two more plays; one to install updates on the servers and another to install updates on the regular workstations.

Regular Expressions #1: Introduction

Regular expressions don’t have to invoke anxiety and fear, although they do for many of us. The function of regular expressions is to provide a highly flexible tool for matching strings of characters in a stream of data. When a match is found, the program’s action can be as simple as to pass the line of data in which it’s found on to STDOUT, or as copmplex as replacing that string with another.