Dec 192014

Like every year it’s time once again to read the sysadvent blog, a great source of interesting article.

This one it’s an article of one year ago, but still really useful and interesting

Written by: Michael Stahnke (@stahnma)
Edited by: Adam Compton (@comptona)

Over the years, I have mentored quite a few System Administrators. Levelling up means learning about your tools and what they’re capable of (and not memorizing command line flags). For this year’s article on SysAdvent, I wanted to share a lot about one my favorite tools: yum. When I say yum, I mean a little more than just the yum cli itself, but the ecosystem of tooling around it. I spend a lot of time doing things like package building, package repository management, and all in all hacking around with rpms and yum.

Yum is a tool that you’ve probably used if you been a system administrator for any period of time. It’s also one of those tools that is very easy to use and have it get out of your way. yum does network-based dependency resolution, meaning that if you want to install a package, it will download and install all dependencies of that package as well. These are the basics people often know. Under the hood it uses rpm. In normal operation, you use yum for searching, installation and uninstallation of packages. That’s actually pretty awesome, but mainly the trivial use-case for yum.

Beyond that, however, there is much more to the way yum works and interacts with repository metadata. Sometimes being able to query that data can solve heinous problems easily, rather than coming up with odd workarounds. That information can also help you make good decisions about package management.

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Dec 022014

natronWorking on Linux but searching for some good software for your work ?

Now you have a new and powerful tool available for linux: Natron.

Natron is a free and open source video compositing software, similar in functionality to Adobe After Effects or Nuke by The Foundry.

The project is a free (Mozillla Public License v2) node-based compositor that relies on OpenColorIO for color management, OpenImageIO for file formats support, and Qt for user interface. It also works with 32bit float per channel precision and supports OFX plugins, both free and commercial.

Natron was started last year at Inria, a public science and technology institution that unites several research centres in France. Alexandre Gauthier, the lead developer of Natron, got the required funding from the institution, and last December he additionally won a “Boost Your Code” contest at Inria that offered him 12 months of paid development. In May this year, Alexandre presented the project at Libre Graphics Meeting in Leipzig.

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Oct 122014

Article by Mikko Ohtamaa first posted on his blog

Often you want to automatize something using shell scripting. In a perfect world your script robot works for you without getting tired, without hick-ups, and you can just sit at the front of your desk and sip coffee.


Then we enter the real world: Your network is disconnected. DNS goes downs. Your HTTP hooks and downloads stall. Interprocess communication hangs. Effectively this means that even if your script is running correctly from the point of operating system it won’t finish its work before you finish your cup of coffee.

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Oct 092014

Article by Charles McColm first published on FullCircle, issue 88

Physical media is cumbersome.
If you own a lot of DVDs, Blueray discs, VHS, or, gasp!, Discovision (circa 1978), you know how ugly it looks stored in your living room by your entertainment system. Digital media is hot for its portability between devices. Ripping DVDs is a fairly simple process and there are lots of guides around that show how to install and rip movie DVDs using Handbrake. But what about those multi-movie DVDs or DVDs with multiple episodes of a television show? Handbrake can rip those too and the process is fairly simple.

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Sep 302014

Article by Daniel Miessler first posted on his blog

lsof is the sysadmin/security über-tool. I use it most for getting network connection related information from a system, but that’s just the beginning for this powerful and too-little-known application. The tool is aptly called lsof because it “lists openfiles“. And remember, in UNIX just about everything (including a network socket) is a file.

Interestingly, lsof is also the Linux/Unix command with the most switches. It has so many it has to use both minuses andpluses.

usage: [-?abhlnNoOPRstUvV] [+|-c c] [+|-d s] [+D D] [+|-f[cgG]]
 [-F [f]] [-g [s]] [-i [i]] [+|-L [l]] [+|-M] [-o [o]]
 [-p s] [+|-r [t]] [-S [t]] [-T [t]] [-u s] [+|-w] [-x [fl]] [--] [names]

As you can see, lsof has a truly staggering number of options. You can use it to get information about devices on your system, what a given user is touching at any given point, or even what files or network connectivity a process is using.

For me, lsof replaces both netstat and ps entirely. It has everything I get from those tools and much, much more. So let’s look at some of its primary capabilities:

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