BSD DevCenter
oreilly.comSafari Books Online.Conferences.


Topic: Administration

System and network administration

O'Reilly Network articles about this topic:

Fun with Xorg (BSD DevCenter)
Xorg includes several useful utilities and features that almost no one knows about. You can accelerate your display, nest one X server in another, distribute your session across multiple monitors on different machines, and watch a session on another machine. Dru Lavigne explains.

Virtualization with FreeBSD Jails (BSD DevCenter)
Consolidating several small machines into one powerful one has advantages in administration and resource usage. It also has implications for security and encapsulation. FreeBSD's jails feature allows you to host multiple separate services on a single machine while keeping them securely separate. Dan Langille shows how.

Using Software RAID-1 with FreeBSD (BSD DevCenter)
Disk space is cheap, and putting multiple disks in a computer is relatively cheap. Taking advantage of redundant disks to protect against hardware failure is invaluable. Though some RAID solutions require special hardware, FreeBSD 5.0 and later support software RAID. Dru Lavigne shows how to configure and enable disk mirroring.

Building Detailed Network Reports with Netflow (BSD DevCenter)
You can trace every packet on your network from source to destination, if you really want to. Having all of this information is useless unless you can actually find what you need to know. Netflow not only helps record traffic information but also can help you report on just the types of packets you want. Michael W. Lucas demonstrates.

Using FreeBSD's ACLs (BSD DevCenter)
The standard Unix permissions scheme works fine if you have simple needs, but juggling groups and users can grow unwieldy very quickly. FreeBSD's Access Control Lists give you more control over who can access files and directories. Dru Lavigne explains how to enable, understand, and use them appropriately.

make for Nonprogrammers (SysAdmin DevCenter)
If you're a typical FreeBSD user, you may never have compiled C source code on your own. Yet if you've ever issued a make command, it's compiled code for you. How does it do that? What does it do, anyway? And what else can it do? Dru Lavigne answers all of these questions.

Building Diskless Clients with FreeBSD 5.2 (SysAdmin DevCenter)
The free Unix-alikes make wonderful thin clients. Having explained how to make a FreeBSD diskless server in Part 1, Mikhail Zakharov demonstrates how to configure FreeBSD diskless clients.

Building a BSD Netboot Server (SysAdmin DevCenter)
Diskless FreeBSD workstations work beautifully for many users. With recent changes in FreeBSD 5.x, the old methods of building a netbooting lab have changed. In this, the first of two articles, Mikhail Zakharov explains how to build a FreeBSD server for diskless BSD workstations.

Building a Unix Server (SysAdmin DevCenter)
Building a new server is always a little exciting -- you have the chance to make a fresh start, with good intentions and everything. But if it never ends up that nicely, take some tips from Dru Lavigne, who explains how she sets up Unix servers.

Unix Printing Basics (SysAdmin DevCenter)
For some reason, consumer-level printing has never been easy on any OS, including Unix. Unless you're in the know, it seems like a mess of spoolers, filters, and drivers. Fortunately, new versions of Ghostscript and foomatic make configuring printing easier. Dru Lavigne explains the basics of Unix printer installation and configuration.

Building a Web Cluster with FreeSBIE (SysAdmin DevCenter)
If your high-availability solution involves lots of cheap, identical machines, perhaps booting from a LiveCD is the right choice. For the BSD crowd, FreeSBIE may be the best LiveCD option. Alexander Prohorenko demonstrates how to build a custom FreeSBIE CD while putting together a cluster of web servers.

FreeBSD Networking Basics (SysAdmin DevCenter)
Networking is integral to many functions of a modern FreeBSD system. When it's working, it works wonderfully. When it's not working -- or before you've configured things -- it can frustrate new users. Dru Lavigne explains how to verify, configure, and optimize FreeBSD networking.

Interesting New Ports (SysAdmin DevCenter)
Perusing the Freshports list is a great way to find interesting and useful new FreeBSD ports. Dru Lavigne explores how to prune unused ports, expand your fortunes, improve your English, and harden your system's security.

Staying Current with NetBSD (BSD DevCenter)
Open source never stands still. Even the flexible and mature BSDs are continuing to evolve. In this article, Michael Lucas looks at the NetBSD upgrade process, demonstrating the most common steps to stay abreast of the current source code.

Using NFS for Networked Backups (Linux DevCenter)
As mass storage prices continue to fall, making backups to a centralized server starts to look convenient. Of course, the mechanics of this situation can be tricky. Glenn Graham demonstrates a quick and easy solution using NFS.

Creating Systrace Policies (BSD DevCenter)
The systrace project is spreading from Open and NetBSD to other free Unixes. Having introduced systrace in a previous column, Michael Lucas demonstrates how to write a systrace policy from scratch -- or use an existing one.

Systrace Policies (BSD DevCenter)
NetBSD and OpenBSD have an interesting new system policy manager called systrace. With the proper policies, system administrators can control which system calls can be made and how. Michael Lucas explains how this works and how to understand -- and write -- a good policy file.

VPNs and IPSec Demystified (BSD DevCenter)
How do you allow remote users to access resources on your network securely over an insecure connection? With a VPN. Never fear, Dru Lavigne's latest Cryptosystems column explains the concepts and terminology behind the technology.

Cryptosystems: Configuring SSH (BSD DevCenter)
Cryptosystems are handy, but they're not for everyone right out of the box. In her second article on SSH, Dru Lavigne explores some of the more common configuration options for clients and servers.

Who Has Which Files (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas tackles the problem of unmounting a busy filesystem. Determine who the culprits are who are holding the files open using fstat.

Sudo Aliases and Exclusions (BSD DevCenter)
The hardest part to using sudo is configuring sudoers, its permissions file. Michael Lucas shows how to simplify sudo maintenance and clean up your sudo configuration using aliases.

Eliminating Root with Sudo (BSD DevCenter)
As the system administrator, you're stuck between deciding to hand out the root password or doing everything for your users. A third solution is sudo. This article shows you how to implement sudo, which you may already have, since it is integrated into OpenBSD and Mac OS X and is an add-on package for just about every other Unix-like operating system out there.

Using Groups to Eliminate Root (BSD DevCenter)
Strategic use of groups can eliminate the need to give the root password to people, but still allow them to do their job.

Understanding FreeBSD Disklabels (BSD DevCenter)
A disklabel is a file at the beginning of a disk that indicates where each BSD-style partition begins and how many disk sectors it occupies.

A Batch Job to Add New User IDs (Linux DevCenter)
Arnold Robbins, coauthor of O'Reilly's "Learning the Korn Shell, 2nd Edition," shows a script to automate adding many user IDs at once.

System Panics, Part 2: Recovering and Debugging (BSD DevCenter)
In Michael Lucas' last column, he showed us how to prepare a FreeBSD system in case of a panic. In Part 2, he explains how to get some useful information if you do suffer a system crash.

System Panics, Part 1: Preparing for the Worst (BSD DevCenter)
System panics are an admin's worst nightmare. They are difficult to diagnose and often harder to fix, requiring developer intervention. The more information you have available, the easier it is to recover from a panic. Michael Lucas shows us how to prepare a FreeBSD system in case of a panic.

Find: Part Two (BSD DevCenter)
The find utility can do more that just locate files. Dru Lavigne shows us how to make it delete files, create file archives, and much, much more.

Finding Things in Unix (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne introduces us to the some of the powerful features hidden in the Unix find command.

Understanding NFS (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas introduces us to the world of network filesharing for Unix.

Browsing through the Ports Collection (BSD DevCenter)
FreeBSD Basics columnist Dru Lavigne explores some of her favorite utilities, including nat, pkg_tree, and gutenbook.

Automating Network Administration, Part One (
Any task that is carried out by a system administrator more than once is a candidate for being automated. Luke A. Kanies explains how important automation and planning are to a sysadmin.

Cleaning Up Ports (BSD DevCenter)
Managing third-party applications on your BSD server or desktop can be quite daunting, especially because open-source projects are upgraded frequently. Michael Lucas introduces us to some utilities that can keep this from becoming a nightmare.

Understanding the Automatons, Part Two (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne discusses the rest of the Periodic scripts.

Stable SMB (BSD DevCenter)
SMB has recently improved to the point where it is reliable enough for use in production settings. Michael Lucas tells you how to use SMB to access a Windows share from your FreeBSD workstation.

Understanding the Automatons (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains scripts that are run automatically by your system. Understanding these scripts can be the key to keeping your system tuned and secure.

Creating Filesystem Backups with 'rsync' (Linux DevCenter)
Using RAID-1 for drive mirroring doesn't always accomplish what you need. Brian Wilson shares a script for implementing a slow mirror using Perl and rsync.

Using the vi Editor (BSD DevCenter)
The vi editor is a very powerful, inherent part of Unix. Dru Lavigne teaches us a few useful tricks with it.

Proper Filesystem Layout (Linux DevCenter)
How you partition your filesystem in Unix can be a very important decision, ultimately affecting the performance of your server. Luke A. Kanies gives some practical advice on where and when to separate your filesystems.

Accessing a Cisco Router (BSD DevCenter)
When you first purchase a Cisco router, you'll need to access the router via its console interface from a serial interface on your computer. Dru Lavigne shows you how to do this from FreeBSD.

Introduction to PAM (Linux DevCenter)
Pluggable Authentication Modules provide a solution to the difficulties of user authentication. Jennifer Vesperman introduces PAM and helps you get started.

Dealing with Full Disks (BSD DevCenter)
Are your hard disks getting full? Michael Lucas helps us track down and recover lost disk space.

Peering Squid Caches (Linux DevCenter)
If you are paying for bandwidth by the byte, organizing your Squid servers to work together can save you lots of money. Jennifer Vesperman shows how to configure Squid to work with its peers.

CVS Mirror (BSD DevCenter)
Running a cvsupd server isn't an easy task, but here's some help to make it simpler. In this edition of Big Scary Daemons, Michael Lucas continues his series on CVSup in Big Scary Daemons.

Multi-Platform Remote Control (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne shows us how to use vnc for administrative remote control of FreeBSD and Windows computers.

CVSup Infrastructure (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas explains CVSup and the infrastructure required to distribute the FreeBSD source code globally. He also relays information on the use of CVSup from its creator John Polstra.

Authentication and Squid (Linux DevCenter)
Proxy authentication is easy to get wrong because the access control list rules are the inverse of what you would expect. Jennifer Vesperman explains how to authenticate correctly and provides tips for avoiding common mistakes.

Installing and Configuring Squid (Linux DevCenter)
Need to reduce bandwidth on your network? Jennifer Vesperman explains how to use Squid, including a list of dos and don'ts to make it run faster.

Useful Unix Utilities (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne browses the BSD ports collection and introduces several helpful utilities, including several from the "net" and "sysutils" sections.

Moving to BSD Without Leaving Linux (Linux DevCenter)
BSD provides impressive support for Linux binary applications. Chris Coleman explains how easy it is to start using BSD without giving up Linux.

Controlling User Logins (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas explains how to restrict shell access to a system using as few system resources as possible.

Rotating Log Files (BSD DevCenter)
Log files collect data and grow in size. If you don't tend them, they will fill up all available disk space. Michael Lucas explains how to easily manage log files with newsyslog.

Dynamic Address Assignment (Linux DevCenter)
Are you still assigning static IP addresses on your network? Terry Dawson explains how dynamic IP address assignment works and helps you understand if it is right for your network.

Proper Paranoia: Educating Your Co-Workers (
Michael Lucas runs a new security trainee through the gauntlet of patching live servers. He also shows how to instill a healthy attitude toward network security in those you work with by teaching them to be properly paranoid.

Getting Connected with 6to4 (
IPv6 is great in theory, but it won't do you much good if you can't get connected. Hubert Feyrer explains the basics of getting connected to IPv6 for BSD and Linux.

System Logging (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas explains how syslog can be used to centralize system logs for a variety of servers.

BSD Tricks: CVS (BSD DevCenter)
Most open source projects use CVS to coordinate the efforts of the thousands of volunteer developers. Michael Lucas shows us how to get started using CVS.

Common PHP Installation Problems (PHP DevCenter)
Darrell Brogden details a few of the common mistakes users make when installing PHP.

Scanning Your Network (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne shows us how to use nmap, a port scanning utility, to secure Unix servers and workstations.

Securing a PHP Installation (PHP DevCenter)
Darrell Brogdon shows us a few basic things that should be done to secure a PHP installation.

Capturing TCP Packets (BSD DevCenter)
Want to capture network packets? Dru Lavigne shows how simple the process is and explains how to analyze the captured data.

TCP Protocol Layers Explained (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains how to read IP packet headers.

Understanding Filesystem Inodes (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne finishes up her explanation of hard drives and Unix filesystems by explaining how inodes fit into the picture.

Understanding Unix Filesystems (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains the basics of Unix filesystems.

Dividing Your Data (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne walks through the process of setting up partitions in FreeBSD and helps you divide your data into logical storage units.

Ximian GNOME: Welcome to Your Desktop (Linux DevCenter)
Daniel Solin follows up his GNOME installation article and shows us how to configure the Ximian GNOME desktop.

Creating Network Diagrams (Linux DevCenter)
As the complexity of your network grows, it makes good sense to maintain documentation that describes it. Terry Dawson reviews tools to make this easier.

Monitoring Unix Logins (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne exposes the contents of wtmp, utmp, and lastlog, the files that record who is logged in to your Unix system.

Buffer-Overflow Problems in BIND (Linux DevCenter)
Buffer-overflow bugs are discovered in BIND, gnuserv, tinyProxy, and INN; developers report issues with ntop and LPRng.

Establishing Good Password Policies (BSD DevCenter)
Everyone knows secure passwords are important, but what makes a password secure? Dru Lavigne gives us some tips on creating secure passwords, and shows how to implement a password policy that requires users to create passwords securely.

The PHP Configuration File (PHP DevCenter)
Darrell Brogdon explains how the php.ini file works.

Adding a User to FreeBSD -- Part Two (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne explains what really goes on when a user gets added to the system, including all the copied and modified files.

Fine Control of Ports (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas continues his developer's tour through the ports system and explains how to set the more common variables.

Adding Users to FreeBSD (BSD DevCenter)
Adding users to your Unix system is one of the most important things you can do after the initial setup. Dru Lavigne takes us through the steps of adding a user to a FreeBSD machine.

PalmOS, Half-Life Server, and Ethereal Vulnerabilities (Linux DevCenter)
Problems this week include more symlink problems with catman and dialog, buffer overflows in oops, halflifeserver, and ethereal, key problems with gnupg, problems with PalmOS devices, and a prime example of amazing vulnerabilities in third-party software packages.

BSD Ports Collection Basics (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas takes us on a developers tour through the BSD ports collection. He introduces how the ports collection works and identifies some of its key components.

A Look Through the Ports Collection (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne looks through the ports collection for interesting and obscure applications.

Security Alerts: SAMBA, pine, ircd, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes recent open source and Unix security-related advisories. Problems this week include symlink problems with joe, pico, and samba, a buffer overflow in bftpd, and problems with pine.

Accessing MS-DOS Filesystems (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne shows us how to access MS-DOS filesystems from BSD using the programs mtools and mfm.

Security Alerts: KTH Kerberos, Red Hat PAM, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes open source and Unix exploits. Problems this week include local and remote root exploits in KTH Kerberos, buffer overflows in Red Hat's PAM, a discussion of security problems with web-based applications, and an example of one of these security problems in phpGroupWare.

BSD Tricks: Unprepared Disaster Recovery (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas takes us through every network administrator's nightmare -- a server crash. He documents an actual crash and tells what he did to get things back online.

Security Alerts: Twig, Midnight Commander, and More (Linux DevCenter)
Noel Davis summarizes published open source and Unix exploits. Problems this week include arbitrary code execution in Twig, new symlink attacks, a hidden control code attack on Midnight Commander, and a LANGUAGE attack on glibc.

The System Startup Daemon: init (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne steps us through the boot process on a BSD system and explains the init daemon.

Basic Installation of PHP on a Unix System (PHP DevCenter)
Need a powerful replacement for ASP web scripting? Darrell Brogden walks us through compiling and installing PHP, an open source web scripting language that you can embed into HTML.

An Introduction to Webmin -- Part Two (BSD DevCenter)
Dru Lavigne continues her tutorial on using webmin and takes us step by step through the administration screens.

An Introduction to Webmin (BSD DevCenter)
In the first of a two-part series, Dru Lavigne introduces the Webmin server. Learn how to configure and view information about your FreeBSD computer, all through a web browser.

BSD Tricks: Introductory Revision Control (BSD DevCenter)
Use built-in revision control to track changes made to files and control editing by multiple users.

Getting Cron to Do Our Bidding (BSD DevCenter)
Wouldn't it be great if you could get your Unix system to perform commands automatically and then e-mail you the results? Dru explains how cron works and shows us how to read crontabs.

Long-Term Monitoring with SNMP (BSD DevCenter)
Michael Lucas shows us how to use mrtg to turn long-term SNMP statistics into easy-to-read web pages. It will even chart bar graphs.

BSD Tricks: MFS (BSD DevCenter)
MFS lets you use system memory like a hard drive. Michael Lucas explains how to use it wisely.

Other documents about this topic:

Below are other references available on the web for this topic. Since other sites may change their links, please if you find any that may need to be updated.

NetBSD Documentation
Fairly terse documentation resources aimed at the specialized needs of NetBSD administrators. [Source:]

Sponsored by: