About

I have been a UNIX and Linux system administrator for almost ten years now, and used Linux and UNIX for many years prior to that. I even ran all the UNIX utilities I could in my MSDOS environment, including awk, Perl, and especially vi. I began using UNIX with Eunice (on a VAX) and later became familiar with Microport System V.

I am also certified as a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and as a Sun Certified Solaris Administrator (SCSA), as well as LPIC-1 certified and Linux+ certified.

When I’m not programming, I might be writing, shooting pictures, organizing, or learning something new.

11 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi.
    I own a compaq e500 laptop that i was using
    with windows xp, but the disk controller
    isnot working so i was thinking of using my laptop
    maybe with kubuntu, but i dont know how passit
    ona cd or floppy so i can boot and use a usb
    memory for saving.

    Any idea?
    Javier Flores

  2. The E500 will boot from CDROM. If you plan to run from CDROM, better beef up the memory.

    It’s too bad the disk controller is bad – that cuts down a lot.

  3. 🙂

  4. Ravi Mathew said:

    Hi DAvid,

    Non technical question here – I’ve been a Linux \Solaris Admin for 3 years now

    I just read you’re Tech Target article where you suggest that we should learn to write our own Linux Modules

    Can you be more specific – I love debugging using Strace & Truss & would like to learn more in depth

    Can you suggest on what I should learn to write my own modules & improve my debugging skills

  5. There are several books on kernels and system internals – I’ve seen some on Solaris Internals, MacOS X Internals, Linux Kernel, and UNIX System V.

    For drivers specifically, I’d recommend Linux Drivers from O’Reilly Press.

  6. Ravi Mathew said:

    Hi David,

    As sys admins we’re always dealing with Vendor Proprietary Software on our Servers. If you’re dealing with performance issues on the server – I’m sure you may have faced similar issues

    What methodology to you generally adopt for dealing with this besides doing the obvious like running IOSTAT, VMSTAT,MPSTAT,TOP..etc

    Do you debug system level calls to see if there are issues? – I’m sorry oif my question sounds amaterish. I’m new at this and trying to learn

    • I don’t normally get into the kernel too deeply – especially with environments like HP-UX where the kernel is proprietary and there aren’t the tools to really pick it apart.

      However, OpenSolaris and Linux are different.

      Mainly, once the easy items are ruled out with other more common tools, turning to kernel analysis can give you an idea of how the system is reacting and where the trouble might lie. One big question might be: where is the kernel spending its time? For example, is it all in I/O spinlocks? Is it in memory allocation?

      I often look for a programs system calls using various tools: this analysis shows where the program is getting its configuration files from, or when it decides it must fail, and other details.

  7. Hi! i just discovered your blog and really like it : )

  8. I have really enjoy your blog. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind linking mine.

    http://everdayadmin.blogspot.com/

    • I’d love to – the content is nice, the writing is good – but you’ve only just begun 🙂

      I’ll be watching. Let’s see more about VxVM on HP-UX: I’ve one HP-UX 11i v2 with VxVM on it; the rest use LVM.

  9. Anthony said:

    I just found your blog and am enjoying catching up. Great topics and useful content.