Simple Systems Administrators Toolbox

Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the value of simplicity in systems administration. The more simple a setup is, the more likely it will be stable and easy to fix and maintain. If a setup is so complicated that it takes serious brainpower just to comprehend, chances are that there is going to be something wrong somewhere. Obviously, systems administrators have been dealing with complexity for a long time, and the basic sysadmin toolbox reflects the lean towards keeping it simple.

My toolbox is very plain Jane, and for a reason. It’s basic because these are the tools that get the job done on every Unix-like platform available. Everything I’ve come to rely on is open source, even on proprietary platforms like AIX. If there’s a part of my toolbox missing, I’ll download the package or source and make sure it’s available. Here’s what’s in my sysadmin’s toolbox:

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