Time Zones and Remote Servers

It’s widely regarded that the best practice is to set the time zone of a server to UTC if people are going to be doing sys-admin work from various countries. I’m currently running some RHEL4 servers that are set to Los Angeles time. So I have to convert the time from Melbourne time to UTC […]

The Date Command and Seconds Since 1970-01-01

The man page for the date command says that the %s option will give “seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC“. I had expected that everything that date did would give output in my time zone unless I requested otherwise.. But it seems that in this case the result is in UTC, and the same seems to […]

Resizing the Root Filesystem

Uwe Hermann has described how to resize a root filesystem after booting from a live-cd or recovery disk [1]. He makes some good points about resizing an LVM PV (which I hadn’t even realised was possible).

The following paragraph is outdated, see the update at the end: Incidentally it should be noted that if your […]

Redirecting Output from a Running Process

Someone asked on a mailing list how to redirect output from a running process. They had a program which had been running for a long period of time without having stdout redirected to a file. They wanted to logout (to move the laptop that was used for the ssh session) but not kill the process […]

Load Average

Other Unix systems apparently calculate the load average differently to Linux. According to the Wikipedia page about Load(computing) [1] most Unix systems calculate it based on the average number of processes that are using a CPU or available for scheduling on a CPU while Linux also includes the count of processes that are blocked on […]

Swap Space

There is a wide-spread myth that swap space should be twice the size of RAM. This might have provided some benefit when 16M of RAM was a lot and disks had average access times of 20ms. Now disks can have average access times less than 10ms but RAM has increased to 1G for small machines […]

Out Of Memory Errors and Apache

I’ve been having problems with one of my Xen virtual servers crashing with kernel error messages regarding OOM conditions. One thing I had been meaning to do is to determine how to make a core dump of a Xen domain and then get data such as the process list from it. But tonight I ended […]

Pointers in Bash Shell Scripts

# foo=bar # name=foo # echo ${!name} bar

The above example shows how to make a bash environment variable reference the value of another.

# echo ${!f*} foo fs_abc_opts fs_name

The above example shows how to get a list of all variables beginning with “f” (NB the wildcard can only go at the end).

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