Finding the OS version and Distribution in Linux

When supporting systems you have inherited or in environments that have many different OS versions and distributions of Linux. There are times when you simply don't know off hand what OS version or distribution the server you are logged into is. Luckily there is a simple way to figure that out. Ubuntu/Debian $ cat /etc/lsb-release DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_RELEASE=13.04 DISTRIB_CODENAME=raring DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 13.04" RedHat/CentOS/Oracle Linux # cat /etc/redhat-release Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga) Catchall If you are looking for a quick way and don't care what the output looks like, you can simply do this as well....

 · 1 min · Benjamin Cane

Reading files in reverse with tac

Today's article is going to cover a command that falls into the “I don't use this often, but when I do it's awesome” category. The tac command is very similar to the cat command in that it is used to concatenate and print files. However there is one very large difference, the tac command does this in reverse, starting with the last line of the file and working its way up to the first line....

 · 2 min · Benjamin Cane

Grepping a file without using cat, and other grep tricks

The grep command is a command that most Linux users learn early on, and many times they learn to use it via pipes (stdin). Because of this some Linux users just assume that grep can only be used with stdin; it's ok, I was one of those too! Before I continue with some grep tricks I want to clarify the basic grep usage. Stop Doing This: $ cat file.log | grep "something" something Do This More:...

 · 3 min · Benjamin Cane

Adding and Modifying Users and Groups in Linux

Adding and Modifying Users and Groups is a core systems administration task. The act of adding a user and group is fairly easy however there are some tricks that help make the long-term management of users easier. Tips for easier management Keep user attributes consistent amongst all systems A common mistake sysadmins make when building a new environment is they will allow uid's, gid's, home directories and other user attributes to be mis-matched from system to system....

 · 5 min · Benjamin Cane

ssh-keygen: Creating SSH Private/Public Keys

Are you tired of trying to memorize tons of passwords on different systems? Or do you simply want to have a faceless user SSH between two systems without being asked for a password? Well you are in luck because today we will be covering SSH keys. SSH Servers have the ability to authenticate users using public/private keys. In the case of pass-phrase less keys this allows users to ssh from one system to another without typing a password....

 · 3 min · Benjamin Cane