Three Great Everyday Tools for System Admins – TechHQ | Hot Mobile Press

Today, while administrators are becoming more involved in operational matters, such as For example, building infrastructures with tools like Ansible, most of a sysadmin’s time is spent on more day-to-day investigating, checking, monitoring, and maintaining systems.

In addition to the daily routines, there are usually one or two outliers to deal with, often out of the blue and almost always late at night. Clever system administrators will write away as much of their day-to-day work as possible, but a broad knowledge base (or very quick access to such a knowledge library, see below) means that most problems can be dealt with on the fly.

Here’s our pick of three small but significant tools that system administrators can use in almost any situation, from freeing up space on partitions that are starting to look cramped to being able to find and quickly find existing solutions to any problem .

Linux command library

System administrators spend much of their day at a terminal interface, and are at least partially familiar with tools that seem obscurely complex to most—like uniq, sed, grep, and awk. Over time, the experience pays off, and muscle memory kicks in after spending a while of extended time in one of those always nearby, if not open, applications. However, there are often occasions when even the seasoned pro will scratch their head and say, “Well, how did I do? thelast time?”

There are always man pages (and on lucky occasions the much more useful info pages too), but for many a few examples displayed at the front are enough to refresh the memory. That’s where cheat and tldr come in: incredibly useful tools that not only remind sysadmins of those pesky shorthand command options, but also present working examples that can either be taken verbatim or used as a basis for commands to meet common needs.

However, as anyone SSHing into a remote system knows, not only is there no guarantee that a popular text editor or tool will be present, but installing software (like tldr) may not be allowed, advisable, or possible.

This is where the Linux Command Library comes into play. It is essentially the Android/iOS version of tldr, or at least based on it; It also includes hundreds of tips, folds, hint sheets, and how-to guides, all in the same interface.

There are Git, Vim and Emacs cheatsheets alongside video and audio tools (convert a video’s sound to mp3 to select a random example), network commands and reminders of the syntax used in popular package managers – alongside many, many other jewels.

Even if you’re strong with the command line foothe Linux Command Library (available from F-Droid and elsewhere) could quickly become the digital version of these miniature O’Reilly how-to guides that continue to grace every sysadmin’s desk.


Much like the Linux Command Library, ddgr can become one of those must-have tools that help sysadmins memorize, discover, or rediscover know-how on the fly. Or rather, it provides a quick way to search the web for something right from a terminal interface. Often this search is useful to find a post or page written by a fellow tech who had the same issue and shared the answer with the community.

Although many system administrators have access to, and may even prefer, modern GUIs, there is still a significant portion of system administration that is best done through the CLI – be it PowerShell, DOS Prompt, or GNU Shell. For those who prefer to work on the command line or have no other choice, being able to quickly retrieve search results from the web without having to boot up another device with a graphical interface is an invaluable help.

ddgr searches DuckDuckGo and presents the SERP in the text. This is especially useful when copying and pasting from an internet resource would be useful, e.g. B. Retrieving a code snippet, a configuration detail, a CLI command or even an entire script. That makes ddgr a winner compared to searching from a phone or another PC, although this assumes it’s okay to install the ddgr binaries on the computer being worked on.

Finally, in order to visit the websites listed in the search engine results, the computer must have a web browser. Therefore installing something like Lynx (or maybe Browsh) is required if the whole workflow is to be kept in a text interface.

The same developer (GitHub page) is behind googler, which does the same thing as ddgr, but leverages the Google search engine and its many dubious tracking capabilities.


Since hard drives have gotten so big, few users seem to be overly concerned with “bloat” today, either in terms of file size or in the form of “super apps” that try to do many things but do none of them well . minuimus, or to give it its full title, is a cure for bloated files, hard drives that are getting full, and generally speeds up the speed at which files can be processed and opened. Smaller files are usually more performant. The project’s website states: “Use it to make your website faster, distribute your game more easily, or just cram more pointless holiday snaps onto your computer.”

The .pl suffix indicates that minuimus is a Perl script, making it fairly cross-platform, although the author states that the code would likely need a lot of rework to work on Windows. By default, the script works with all sorts of file types, although to work with PDFs (a file format that seems completely unconcerned with the amount of disk space it requires), you’ll need to ensure that there are some supporting binaries.

Quite a few file types today are, unbeknownst to most users, compressed archives of many files and hierarchical directory structures. minuimus will expand these files, compress the content and then safely reform the “file”, saving valuable disk space without losing data.

It is a utility that aims not to change any aspect of a file except its size. There is no quality degradation or lossy compression (except where necessary when handling mp3s or some older video formats). The only losers from Minuimus are the hard drive manufacturers, who can sell fewer products to the administrators who know this powerful Perl script.

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