“System Administration: It’s a dirty job but someone said I have to do it.” - on a T-shirt sold by the late, great SysAdmin magazine.

My preferred work is in software engineering, but in every place I developed software, I pretty much had to do my own system administration, usually because they couldn’t justify a full-time sysadmin, or the full-time sysadmin was too busy dealing with Windoze boxes.

In the past, I have administered AIX, HP-UX, SCO Xenix and Unix, Solaris, and FreeBSD. These days it is just Linux. My first Linux was Slackware, and then Red Hat v4.2 — yeah, long before Fedora and CentOS. So, yeah, I think I qualify as a “greybeard”, though I keep it shaved.

My preferred distro is CentOS and nearly all of my and my clients’ machines are running that. The lone exception is my antique laptop which is running two flavors of Ubuntu. I was going to put CentOS on it, but CentOS no longer included drivers for my WiFi card, but Ubuntu does. I have nothing substantive against Ubuntu. It has a little bit different philosophy about some things, e.g. root logins, but mostly administers the same as Red Hat and its derivatives, at least from the command line.

The subject matter for posts to this blog includes some of my practices as a sysadmin, as well as opinions and recommendations. This is a pretty minimalist blogging system so has no mechanism for comments built into it, but you can comment by sending me email (link at the bottom of the page). I will post thoughtful comments at the bottom of the related page. Crude comments and ad hominem attacks will go to /dev/null.


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