Making System Administration Easy for the UNIX Sysadmin

I think it’s about time I start collecting my random thoughts and arranging them into something useful.  I’ve been collecting various scripts, configuration templates, and procedures I’ve written into an internal Wiki for my own benefit, but I’d love to publish it in blog format and get some feedback.  To start off this, I’m planning on starting a series on making system administration easier for the UNIX sysadmin.  My first post will be on automating the installation of a Linux distribution.

I’ve been working on making it easier to deploy additional Linux and Windows workstations with a goal of treating them as disposable machines.  After seeing what my users can do to their machines in about 5 minutes, I’m thinking just replacing it may be better for both of us.  Other topics will include automating Windows installation, deploying software updates, and managing system configuration.  Later on I’d like to post some guides to setting up LDAP, Samba, NFS, and Kerberos.  There are also some less common topics I can go over like setting up OpenAFS, deploying WPA2 Enterprise with FreeRadius, and managing a private Public-Key Infrastructure within an organization without shelling out money or relying on self-signed certificates.  I also have some experience with a few different backup systems and have done two bare-metal restorations plus a number of selective restores when a user decides to experiment a little.

If you have any requests or recommendations on topics I should cover, please leave a comment below.

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