Automating UNIX and Linux Administration
My book, titled Automating
UNIX and Linux Administration was published in September 2003. The
publisher is Apress and the ISBN is 1590592123.
UNIX and Linux Administration will focus on automating the tedious daily
tasks of system administration. It will provide real-world examples and explore
the existing tools that will help with this task. Although the book will
provide brief overviews of tools and technologies that are covered, the author
will assume the reader knows how to edit a configuration file or mount a file
system. The book will focus on putting 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. It 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 will be Linux-specific, most of it will apply to any UNIX system. The book
will also focus on automating tasks across multiple variants of UNIX.
If you would like to support me (the author) as much as possible, please
purchase the book through the following link:
(click here to buy)
- Chapter 1: Introducing the Basics of Automation
This chapter covers the methodology behind system administration
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
About the Author
Kirk Bauer has been using computers
and programming since 1985. He has been using and administering UNIX systems
since 1994. Although his personal favorite UNIX variant is Linux, he has
administered everything from FreeBSD to Solaris, AIX, and IRIX.
Kirk 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. Kirk was one of the founders and the CTO
of TogetherWeb in 2000, which was purchased in 2003 by Proficient Systems. Kirk is currently a
systems engineer with F5 Networks.
Kirk's latest development is a fully web-based Kickstart management system
that is used to deploy Linux on servers quickly and consistently. Saving time
through automation has always been his passion, as evidenced by his collection
of open-source software -- the most popular being AutoRPM and Logwatch. A few years after graduating from
Georgia Tech in 2001 with a bachelor's of science in Computer Engineering, Kirk
moved to Peoria, AZ where he lives with his fiance Rachel and his two dogs.