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Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-tolerance-for-stupidity-and-epic-beards dept.

Unix 592

snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia offers a field guide to understanding your resident Unix veteran, laying out the nine traits common to this grizzled, hardcore set. From not using sudo, to wielding regular expressions like weapons, to generally assuming the problem resides with whomever is asking the question, each trait is key to 'spotting these rare, beautiful creatures in the wild,' Venezia writes. 'If some of these traits seem anti-social or difficult to understand from a lay perspective, that's because they are. Where others may see intractable, overly difficult methods, we see enlightenment, borne from years of learning, experience, and overall, logic.'"

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592 comments

The Problem With Veteran Unix Admins (0)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205912)

The problem with veteran Unix admins is they never get first post.

Re:The Problem With Veteran Niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35205996)

The problem with veteran Unix admins is they never get first post.

The problem with niggers is they consume too much welfare, have a ton of bastard kids they could never afford if not for welfare, butcher the English language, promote crime and fill our prisons to the point they are over 40% of prison inmates despite being 13% of the general population, promote a thug gangster lifestyle as their primary ideal in life, and think that Whitey is responsible for their shitty decision-making as though white people had some kind of mind control that forced them to never wear a condom, to never let their kids know who their daddy is, to do drugs, to commit crimes, etc.

Re:The Problem With Veteran Niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206044)

Oh man guys, I've been posting something about niggers everyday on Slashdot! I mean, see my comment above? See how I'm influencing your opinions and thoughts with my intense grasp of logic and writing! I'm never going to get over the fact that I'm probably some weedy little snob and just keep throwing the same thing on the plate!

WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME!?!

Re:The Problem With Veteran Unix Admins (0)

rockiams (12481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206016)

I got a FP on Xmas for a robot article...was pretty jazzed about it too. So take that whippersnapper!

Re:The Problem With Veteran Unix Admins (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206376)

The problem with veteran Unix admins is they never get first post.

That's because the veteran Unix admins are too busy running their Perl script to mod down "first post" posts.

And since you can't moderate and post to the same discussion (well, actually the veteran Unix admins can probably get around that one), well, you know....

vim? really? (5, Insightful)

shitetaco (1954742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205916)

vim? svelt? Puhleez. When not using ed(1), Real Unix vets use Bostic's One True vi, not some fagged-up Vegas showplace of an editor like vim.

Re:vim? really? (4, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205952)

Butterflies [xkcd.com] - and no, emacs is not an option, unless you code the command yourself and store the code in your deepest vault.

Re:vim? really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206270)

best xkcd ever!

Re:vim? really? (4, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206396)

vim? svelt? Puhleez. When not using ed(1), Real Unix vets use Bostic's One True vi, not some fagged-up Vegas showplace of an editor like vim.

That's like saying Real Unix vets still use telnet and rsh to remotely administer machines. Sometimes it's nice to be able to move up and down lines without having to leave edit/write mode. vim is used by Real Unix vets who have kept up with the times, just like ssh. Only washed up has-beens don't learn to eventually use better tools.

RegEx? (5, Funny)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205918)

wielding regular expressions like weapons

Reminds me of:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
- Jamie Zawinski

Re:RegEx? (2)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206126)

wielding regular expressions like weapons

Reminds me of:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems. - Jamie Zawinski

I think the point is that what separates the true Unix gurus from the wannabees are that the gurus have no problems with their regular expressions.

Still, it's sad though. I remember the day when regular expressions were considered basic knowledge, and what distinguished the true Unix gurus was the ability to read and write sendmail configuration files by hand.

Re:RegEx? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206172)

wielding regular expressions like weapons

Reminds me of:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
- Jamie Zawinski

I think the point is that what separates the true Unix gurus from the wannabees are that the gurus have no problems with their regular expressions.

Still, it's sad though. I remember the day when regular expressions were considered basic knowledge, and what distinguished the true Unix gurus was the ability to read and write sendmail configuration files by hand.

Let me add to Zawinski's post - the admin who uses overuses regular expressions and thinks, like the hardcore coders who dream in Perl, that they'll have no trouble figuring out what was the code was supposed to do a year or two or five from now has THREE problems, at least one of which is unsolvable.

Re:RegEx? (1)

abhi_beckert (785219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206384)

I think the point is that what separates the true Unix gurus from the wannabees are that the gurus have no problems with their regular expressions.

Surely such higher beings are just a myth? I've been writing regex patterns almost daily for 10 years, and still can't get my head around most of it.

Re:RegEx? (2)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206128)

Some people, when confronted with a Unix problem, think 'I know, I'll use sed'. Now they have two problems.

From the Unix Hater's Handbook.

Re:RegEx? (2)

jomama717 (779243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206206)

I know you're joking (and it's funny), but I'm inclined to jump to the defense of using regex to solve problems - take this example:

Requirement: Long URLs must have a slash between the domain and the path component. For example, http://example.com?query=parameter [example.com] is invalid, and instead should be formatted as http://example.com/?query=parameter [example.com]

I challenge you to find a non-regex solution as nice as this:

url = url.replaceFirst('(://[^/]*)\\?','$1/?');

Java, in this case - but that's another beauty - you could implement the same pattern in any language that supports regex. I love it...I do love it so.

Re:RegEx? (2)

thehodapp (1931332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206366)

I've also heard regex solutions, while nice and pretty sometimes, can also be very inefficient especially if you are doing something like url parsing.

Hmmm (3, Insightful)

mmj638 (905944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205926)

Lemme just email this to all my friends with the subject line "If you know someone like this pass it on LOL"

Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin #10 (5, Funny)

mgichoga (901761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205930)

Real Unix admins would be reading this post in lynx.

Re:Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin #10 (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206014)

Real Unix admins wouldn't be reading this in lynx - they would be discussing it in alt.comp.slashdot

Re:Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin #10 (4, Insightful)

mmj638 (905944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206042)

I'm actually rather impressed that this site still works in Lynx, what with all its new-fangled ajax hoohaa.

Re:Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin #10 (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206304)

With the audience of this site, it wouldn't surprise me if Lynx is a test case when the design is modified.

Re:Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin #10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206138)

curl http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/02/14/2357242/ | vim -

We don't use sudo? (0, Flamebait)

matt-fu (96262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205936)

This guy lost me with the first thing on the list. Going directly to root is great - if you're a noob in mom's basement. Nobody who has ever run systems in a serious environment mucks around as root as an alternative to something like sudo.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205990)

seriously. I guess real old-school UNIX sysadmins just log in as root, or setuid everything. that's the mark of a grizzled old coot that uses logic!

Re:We don't use sudo? (4, Informative)

visualight (468005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205994)

You're wrong, the article is right.

Re:We don't use sudo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206140)

Seconded. Obligatory car analogy:

Relying on sudo to keep you safe is like relying on your car's bumpers to avoid injury. You'd have been better served just watching the f**king road.

Where the analogy breaks down, is that bumpers are still a good idea even if you're most cautious. There are other morons sharing the same road.

Your shell, however, is yours and yours alone for the lifetime of the process. If you don't trust yourself not to type something stupid, you shouldn't be working as an administrator. Period. Sudo was never intended to function as training wheels. To imply its necessity is to claim you, the junior admin, knows better than the senior admin. When you've done your trench time, you too will trust yourself.

Sudo's proper place is for developer and QA commands that happen with annoying frequency should an admin have to get involved.

Re:We don't use sudo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206320)

Actually a serious environment separates those duties so that those that know how to do damage can't unless they are working in an ISO environment. I could easily see someone who meets the descriptions in TFA being fired if they acted out on those traits in the way described.

Re:We don't use sudo? (2)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205998)

Of course. There's always "sudo -s", but that requires more keystrokes. If you're doing something like editing a bunch of configs in /etc typing sudo at the beginning of every single line gets a bit old. (Besides, if you're paying for all that backup media, you might as well use it every now and again).

Re:We don't use sudo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206160)

Of course. There's always "sudo -s", but that requires more keystrokes.

If you're doing something like editing a bunch of configs in /etc typing sudo at the beginning of every single line gets a bit old. (Besides, if you're paying for all that backup media, you might as well use it every now and again).

you forgot that admins are inherently lazy ..so the correct approach is alias ss="sudo -s "
so then ss gets you sudo -s with 2 keystrokes

Re:We don't use sudo? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206018)

Using sudo exclusively is like bowling with only the inflatable bumpers in the gutters -- it's safer, but also causes you to not think through your actions fully.

That is just stupid. System destroying actions are system destroying actions. Sudo or su or runlevel 1, if you are not thinking out your actions, you have no business executing that action. Both commands can get you into the same trouble.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

novalis112 (1216168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206040)

Agreed. The article seemed to be describing old hackers, hardly the methodical, *sudo using* people with the talent to be actual admins. Granted, there's a lot of overlap, but they are far from the same thing.

Re:We don't use sudo? (3, Insightful)

squallstrifeau (1942392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206210)

Su to root, solve the problem, get out. I don't see what isn't methodical about that?

The article certainly isn't suggesting that one should surf the web or IRC as root...

The popular Linux community is so tied up in what Canonical has deemed "best practice" that it no longer trusts itself with the level of control it brags to Windowsland about having.

Re:We don't use sudo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206048)

If you have to do something more then twice, write a program/script/tool to do it for you.

The tool when you find yourself using sudo for more than 2 consecutive commands is changing to root.

Re:We don't use sudo? (5, Insightful)

rockiams (12481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206052)

Really? When your job is entirely about being root, sudo is just getting in the way. I happen to have run systems in a serious environment, and we never used sudo. I would say if you have something to do that ISN'T root, you sir are teh nub.

Re:We don't use sudo? (2)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206202)

When your job is entirely about being root

I somehow doubt that. Does every process you create need root privilege? Do you ever use grep (or awk or sed) and do you really need to run it with root privileges?
 
With sudo you can selective run commands with root privilege.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1, Redundant)

rockiams (12481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206268)

Yes. If it doesn't need to be run as root, then it is not my job. You need to grep a video directory for every instance of 'justin bieber"? Go ask someone who has nothing better to do and is thrilled to wield the power of grep. I will be busy mocking Winders admins and tossing them quarters.

Re:We don't use sudo? (5, Insightful)

matt-fu (96262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206244)

Really. I consider it a sign of inexperience and an indicator that the admin has never had to clean up after someone else screwed something up as root. That may be the case if you are super meticulous and you've been the only admin everywhere you've been, but no serious environment only has one root level admin and I have yet to meet anyone who was really good and super meticulous all the time.

I'm doing sysadmin, maybe one out of 20 commands I type *have* to be run with root access. If I am doing them all as root then there is a much greater chance of making a mistake and committing that system destroying action or, even worse, doing something subtly bad that nobody knows about until later when it's too late. It also makes me think twice (instead of just once) before executing that command as sudo.

Sudo logs commands that were run, by whom, and when. Even if I didn't care about whether I was root all the time or not, having a log of what was done with that access can be an indispensable tool when doing system troubleshooting. It's also a handy way of telling if someone screwed something up or if j00 wuz pwndz.

To me, running around as root and not using sudo is like using vi to look at a config file you have no intention of editing or similar. It's too easy to slip up and do something wrong once you get "in the groove". Add a page at 4am to that or a situation where you're at the tail end of a 30 hour emergency maint and it's beyond easy to screw things up.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

rockiams (12481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206302)

Ok, you win. I am inexperienced and have never had to clean up after other root users.

but you ARE mucking around as root (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206120)

You just prefix each command with "sudo". It becomes a reflex. You've essentially turned your regular account into a root account. You no longer really have a regular account.

That "#" prompt was invented for a reason: it provides a reminder. While you certainly could be oblivious to such a reminder, that is less a risk than always being one thinko away from doing root actions while feeling all safe and usery.

Better is a separate login window, keyboard, seat, font, color scheme, desktop, etc.

Re:but you ARE mucking around as root (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206364)

sudo is redundant, if you prepend each comment with sudo, you can save many keystrokes with 'sudu su -' once. hardcore *nix admins are lazy, remember

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206162)

The truly enlightened split the difference and "sudo su -". Your actions are logged, you're accountable, and you still get your freedom.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

firstnevyn (97192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206212)

Nope.. only the fact you sudo su -'d was logged. nothing after that was.

Sudo everything provides an actual audit trail to the actions taken by an admin. which is essential in environments where governance and acountability are required.

Re:We don't use sudo? (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206220)

This guy lost me with the first thing on the list. Going directly to root is great - if you're a noob in mom's basement. Nobody who has ever run systems in a serious environment mucks around as root as an alternative to something like sudo.

Contrary to the article's stated rationale, there is a real reason not to use sudo: If you run some malicious code as the wheel user, it can modify the wheel user's environment. Then the sudo command runs in the wheel user's environment with e.g. a malicious $PATH and you go from having a compromised user account to having a compromised system.

Incidentally, this is also why you should never run "su" and always run "/bin/su -".

Re:We don't use sudo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206400)

Contrary to the article's stated rationale, there is a real reason not to use sudo: If you run some malicious code as the wheel user, it can modify the wheel user's environment. Then the sudo command runs in the wheel user's environment with e.g. a malicious $PATH and you go from having a compromised user account to having a compromised system.

Wouldn't the same be true for su and the root account? Run malicious code as the root user, it can modify the root user's environment. Then you have a compromised system.

Re:We don't use sudo? (4, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206260)

Uh, sudo isn't a tool, its a wrapper to audit trail your ass and limit what you can run. The only reason to have it apply to admins is to watch them. Otherwise it just gets in the way. Its not like it adds something to the experience for anyone. It doesn't keep you from making a mistake, it just keeps you from running commands that someone else has decided that you don't need access to. That's like saying that locking away guns prevents you from shooting yourself in the foot. Its does... unless you are in the Army and your job is to tote the thing around on patrol for days at a time. There are simply some times in life where you have to know how not to shoot yourself in the foot.

The only place I ever had it applied to me was when I worked in the financial services industry, and I understood their position. Even then, the sudoers file was so badly conceived that, had we wanted to, it would have been a simple matter to get a root shell. Its difficult to keep out the very people that you need to keep the system running. I'd argue that it is generally not even worth trying it at all unless a very unforgiving regulatory commission is breathing down your neck.

If you don't know how to use root access in a way that doesn't screw up your box, you don't deserve to have a job as an admin, period. Its not like its easy to bumble around on a command line and screw something up. There's really only one really easy thing to do that will potentially demolish a box and that's rm -rf * in the wrong directory and it is a rare sudoers file indeed that prevents a sysadmin from running 'rm'. You could argue a reboot or shutdown on a box with something like a database might be a problem as well, but after that, you actually need to put some effort in screwing up your host with the other commands. Even format/fdisk requires you to think about how you are going to reformat your disk.

I use sudo a lot... to make sure developers can't screw up boxes and do cute little tests in production. But my rule of thumb as an admin is that sudo is something that is inflicted on someone else.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206278)

He makes a pretty good point that going to root forces you to think through your actions. I don't see the same "everything I now do carries a consequence" mentality with frequent users of sudo.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206300)

Agreed. I found out about sudo, and I fell in love with it. When I started using OS X, I think I still enabled root and used su. By a year or two later I'd converted to sudo.

Re:We don't use sudo? (1)

satch89450 (186046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206360)

Of course, any tool, be it "su(1)" or "sudo(8)" can be used, and it can be abused. Everyone I know who ever runs systems in a serious environment uses multiple less-privileged users to segregate subsystems, so that you can only kill one of them at a time. In my own work, I *never* use sudo from the command line. I do use it in scripts, and I mean scripts written in several languages. I use setuid as seldom as I can, with *lots* of armor around the API to prevent trouble. Indeed, "su -ul <subsystem>" is my most common entry into a production, or development, subsystem. Looking at logs is about the only reason I use root anymore, because that's the default user for /var/log/*...not my call.

So... Dilbert got it right (3, Informative)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205972)

Re:So... Dilbert got it right (1)

hax4bux (209237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206076)

Scott Adams was spot on. I loved that cartoon when it was new and I love it now.

#10 (1)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205986)

We will never (ever) admit we are at fault

If an off-by-one error results in the monthly report generation failing if the last day of the month falls on a saturday, then we'll quietly fix the code and tell the user this was a one-off problem most likely caused by incorrect user input but if it ever happens again to let you know

Re:#10 (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206084)

That's what developers do. Unix admins just say "the job ran as scheduled and did whatever the developers programmed it to do".

That one ain't "grizzled", then. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206134)

Long before you become "grizzled", you learn time. You learn calendars. You think in UTC. All the jobs happen on UTC. With the correct leap years plotted out for the next thousand years.

That's because you ran into that problem during your development and you learned it and kept your code.

Re:That one ain't "grizzled", then. (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206348)

Long before you become "grizzled", you learn time. You learn calendars. You think in UTC. All the jobs happen on UTC. With the correct leap years plotted out for the next thousand years.

And then along come leap seconds, thus enhancing your grizzledness.

Crap egotism (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35205988)

Bull fucking shit.

*sigh* Yeah, I'm that guy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206028)

Pretty much spot-on, I'm afraid. A little depressing to be described that accurately by a total stranger.

Re:*sigh* Yeah, I'm that guy. (2)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206174)

A real Unix admin wouldn't be posting as AC.

Re:*sigh* Yeah, I'm that guy. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206342)

A real Unix admin wouldn't be posting as AC.

Unless, of course, he's avoiding work and he's posting AC while reading slashdot in lynx on the fail-over db server.

In which case of course he's both an admin and the BOFH.

Stupid (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206074)

Unless unix veteran is a code word for idiot of course.

Take #9: "Our thinking here is there's no reason why a reboot should ever be necessary other than kernel or hardware changes, and a reboot is simply another temporary approach to fixing the problem.". When a run away program fills the disk or sets off the OOM killer then after fixing the problem itself rebooting is the obviously wise thing to do - who knows what random proceess got put in a bad state by the resource exhaustion best reboot and get everything into a known good state.

And of course have fun when the machine does need to be rebooted for a "kernel of hardware change" and some vital service doesn't restart because no one checked that the damn init script was enabled.

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206198)

Not stupid at all. This guy is into root cause analysis as a process of understanding faults and finding lasting solutions. (See reference to "bandaids".) Covers up your tracks until the next crash. A fully functioning fault-free system working as designed should not require a reboot except for the cases outlined. Unless unix systems aren't as reliable as people like to assume...

Re:Stupid (4, Insightful)

thogard (43403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206228)

Real sysadmins know when things get in odd states and can restart those things without rebooting.

Of course reboot tests are required to make sure the box will come back up correctly but those are to reset things, they are part of system testing.

Re:Stupid (1)

matt-fu (96262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206262)

Just because you *can* leave your system up for five years straight doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206328)

Eh. But then how am I going to get Olivia Wilde to spontaneously form inside it?

Re:Stupid (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206394)

Why would I want to reboot a system I don't need to? To start the self-cleaning cycle?

common traits: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206088)

offensive body odor
poor grooming/hygiene habits
enjoys sex with little boys

Why I use sudo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206102)

Auditing and accountability.

Let's say three people are logged into a system and have root. Quick! Which one typed rm -rf /etc? Oh, you don't know, because you only know root did it (assuming you have access to root's history). You know those three people escalated to root, but if all three happened to be root at the same time, you don't know which actually did it without auditing every action root takes (which is, uh, probably dumb).

If humans have to sudo to do things as root, because sudo actions typically go to a useful syslog facility, you know who did what. Of course, I guess then you're not a MANLY UNIX SYSADMIN that eats raw steak off his servers using his guns as silverware. I'd say if you don't think about something just because it starts with sudo instead of a being in root shell, though, I don't want you anywhere near any of my systems.

Re:Why I use sudo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206224)

That's why generally only the sysadmin would have root. Other users that may need root once in a while (for whatever reason) are given specific sudo permissions. And if you are at a site that has multiple sysadmins who share responsibility for a group of servers, then auditing is simple. You ask the group "who did it". That's probably trait #10, deep integrity. Because a good sysadmin knows that if he is caught trying to hide a mistake, he will probably never regain the company's trust again.

Re:Why I use sudo (1)

firstnevyn (97192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206392)

That works fine until you have 30 sysadmins... because you have 1500 systems in your environment.

Really.. sudo su - is not appropriate in serious environments at scale that need to meet strong AAA and governance requirements.

Guide on how to be a Unix Hipster? (0)

bitfarmer (219431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206150)

While I'm guilty of some of these things myself, this piece reads like a check-it-out-I'm-a-Unix-Guru. Somehow I don't see most vi-using folks looking down on those who prefer Emacs.

Re:Guide on how to be a Unix Hipster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206292)

I can use VI have for years. Show it to someone new to it and their first reaction is always 'what the fuck is this shit this sucks ass to use'. They are right. :wq!

Re:Guide on how to be a Unix Hipster? (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206380)

Somehow I don't see most vi-using folks looking down on those who prefer Emacs.

Google "vi vs emacs holy war" or similar.

Rebooting (5, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206196)

The reason that Unix SAs don't like to reboot is deep seated in the history of Unix running decades ago on hardware for which a reboot cycle meant interrupting potentially dozens of people all sharing the same machine for a sequence that might take 10 to 20 minutes if nothing went wrong. Rebooting was correctly viewed as something to avoid whenever possible.

Windows was not engineered for long uptimes until NT 4.0 and is a johnny-come-lately OS in comparison. Windows didn't run on significant (read: capable of simultaneously supporting more than one user in a non-trivial way) hardware until, what, 1994 or 1995? Meanwhile Unix and its intellectual antecedents had been supporting multi-dozen-user installations for nearly three decades.

When there's only one user, rebooting isn't nearly as big a deal as when there are 20, 30 or more. That dichotomy alone drove the reliability of Unix, and the the lax attitude of Windows.

Personally, even though rebooting my desktop Linux computer with it's fast processor, SSD and RAID disks, takes well under a minute, I still don't like doing it. There's something wrong: It shouldn't need to be done. If I'm rebooting for a non-hardware related issue, it's because I'm being sloppy.

sudo -i (2)

krray (605395) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206200)

You've already ticked me off by wasting my time.
Link to the print version next time: http://www.infoworld.com/print/151276 [infoworld.com]

I prefer my password. It's just a PITA that changes daily. alias s='sudo -i'
Same result as "su -" but with less typing.

Yes, root's password was set / changed. It's insanely long. I like it that way.

PS: this /. interface sucks now :wq

You're not an admin. (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206214)

You're not a real unix admin unless you've written a compiler in awk or emacs in sed.

Veteran Unix Admin? More like wanna-be (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206254)

The only admins I've seen that are allergic to rebooting are basically children who are new to a paying job. Most experienced Unix admins I've known have no problem with rebooting, when they feel it's the most appropriate option. They're pragmatic, above all else.

With you until.... (1)

Tyr_7BE (461429) | more than 3 years ago | (#35206288)

"Where others may see intractable, overly difficult methods, we see enlightenment, borne from years of learning, experience, and overall, logic."

Really? Rather than doing something a simple way, over the years veterans learn that complicated and difficult is better? K.I.S.S! There's even an acronym for it!

This sounds like it was written by a junior admin or programmer who's in awe of what some of the more seasoned vets are doing.

admins or curmudgeon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35206290)

Sounds like tis group has a fair bit in common with your ornery curmudgeon.

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