Every dedicated system administrator has a set of tools they depend on to keep things running smoothly. This is especially true in Linux environments, where admins are restricted to a crop of utilities that lack the notoriety of the Powershells and Remote Desktop Managers of the IT world. Here are a few open source tools for Linux administrators that are worth considering.
If you manage a Linux distro in the connected web sphere, the aptly named Webmin is a tool you need to get familiar with. Though originally made for Unix, Webmin simplifies management in Linux, BSD, and several other Unix-like systems. Everything from creating user accounts to managing domains is made easy through a streamlined interface that keeps convenience in mind. Webmin is completely free and a fine alternative to commercial control panels like cPanel and Plesk.
It is not uncommon for a Linux administrator to double as a database administrator as well. Adminer aims to make database management hassle-free and effective in an effort long-time phpMyAdmin administrators will appreciate. In a nutshell, Adminer is easier to use, performs better, and is more secure by comparison. Another huge selling point lies in its seamlessly compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSQL, plus commercial database products like Oracle Database and SQL Server. All phpMyAdmin gives you is support for MySQL.
Linux administrators spend a lot of their time uploading and downloading files to and from a web server. If this is what your day consists of, then you could use a reliable file transfer tool. FileZilla is a great one, a robust, surprisingly lightweight app that supports common file transfer protocols like FTP and SFTP as well as HTTP and IPv6. In addition to to transporting files, FileZilla makes managing files simple with built-in file management capabilities that allow you to organize files in your transfer queue, pause and resume transfers, and edit files on the fly.
System administrators are under more pressure than ever to keep confidential company data safe and sound. The fact that you can never do too much makes BleachBit a valuable tool in all its simplicity. Best described as a CCleaner for Linux, BleachBit is a handy utility that helps you free up precious disk space and sure up privacy by getting rid of sensitive data. This tool goes deep with its ability to thoroughly vacuum your folders, web browsers, registry, and databases without deleting the critical files you need to function.
5. Open Source Puppet
Open Source Puppet made the list because it does a little of everything. For example, you can configure cron jobs to run across all the Linux systems you manage without needing to set them up manually. It also performs checks to ensure that vital system services like Apache are still running, and will even take the initiative to start those that have suddenly stopped. Puppet’s centralized capabilities really come in handy when you need to do something tedious like run commands on multiple systems. Instead of entering that same command multiple times, you simply run it once and have it executed across each system, saving yourself loads of time.
There are obviously dozens of options out in the wilderness, but these five stood out as tools Linux administrators can take for a ride on a regular basis. What’s in your open source toolkit?