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 Know Your UNIX System Administrator: A Field Guide

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welan
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PostSubject: Know Your UNIX System Administrator: A Field Guide   Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:11 pm

There are four major species of Unix sysad:

The TECHNICAL THUG.
Usually a systems programmer who has been forced into system administration; writes scripts in a polyglot of the Bourne shell, sed, C, awk, perl, and APL.
The ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST.
Usually a retentive drone (or rarely, a harridan ex-secretary) who has been forced into system administration.
The MANIAC.
Usually an aging cracker who discovered that neither the Mossad nor Cuba are willing to pay a living wage for computer espionage. Fell into system administration; occasionally approaches major competitors with indesp schemes.
The IDIOT.
Usually a cretin, morpohodite, or old COBOL programmer selected to be the system administrator by a committee of cretins, morphodites, and old COBOL programmers.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR:

SITUATION: Low disk space.

TECHNICAL THUG:
Writes a suite of scripts to monitor disk usage, maintain a database of historic disk usage, predict future disk usage via least squares regression analysis, identify users who are more than a standard deviation over the mean, and send mail to the offending parties. Places script in cron. Disk usage does not change, since disk-hogs, by nature, either ignore script-generated mail, or file it away in triplicate.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Puts disk usage policy in motd. Uses disk quotas. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development work. Locks accounts that go over quota.
MANIAC:

# cd /home
# rm -rf `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`;

IDIOT:

# cd /home
# cat `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 | awk '{ printf "%s/*\n", $2}'` |
compress

SITUATION: Excessive CPU usage

TECHNICAL THUG:
Writes a suite of scripts to monitor processes, maintain a database of CPU usage, identify processes more than a standard deviation over the norm, and renice offending processes. Places script in cron. Ends up renicing the production database into oblivion, bringing operations to a grinding halt, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Puts CPU usage policy in motd. Uses CPU quotas. Locks accounts that go over quota. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development work, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.
MANIAC:
# kill -9 `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`
IDIOT:
# compress -f `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 | awk '{print $2}'`

SITUATION: New account creation

TECHNICAL THUG:
Writes perl script that creates home directory, copies in incomprehensible default environment, and places entries in /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, and /etc/group. (By hand, NOT with passmgmt.) Slaps on setuid bit; tells a nearby secretary to handle new accounts. Usually, said secretary is still dithering over the difference between 'enter' and 'return'; and so, no new accounts are ever created.
ADMINISTRATIVE FASCIST:
Puts new account policy in motd. Since people without accounts cannot read the motd, nobody ever fulfills the bureaucratic requirements; and so, no new accounts are ever created.
MANIAC:
"If you're too stupid to break in and create your own account, I don't want you on the system. We've got too many goddamn sh*t-for-brains a**holes on this box anyway."
IDIOT:

# cd /home; mkdir "Bob's home directory"
# echo "Bob Simon:gandalf:0:0::/dev/tty:compress -f" > /etc/passwd

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