The top 10 Linux tips of 2009

Whether you're considering an update to SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 or setting up cloud computing with Eucalyptus, there's something for everyone in our top 10 Linux tips of 2009.

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From searching for vulnerabilities in your Linux systems to considering an upgrade to SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, the most popular tips of this year covered the full spectrum of Linux topics. Along the way, these tips helped lessen the tediousness of operating system installs and provided little known Linux commands to ease the lives of system administrators everywhere. In descending order from number 10 to number one, these are the top Linux tips of 2009.

Using BackTrack to check for Linux vulnerabilities
There are holes in your Linux systems you won't find on your own, and that's why there is BackTrack. With niche services not always used during a traditional security assessment, BackTrack provides an extensive set of tools for finding and exploiting flaws in your Linux environment.

A step-by-step approach to understanding the Ubuntu Linux System, versions 8.10 and 8.04
Mark Sobell, author and president of consulting firm Sobell Associates Inc., answered a few questions on using sudo in place of su, bridging the gap between Linux, Windows and Unix and other topics discussed in his book A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux.

Is SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 worth the upgrade?
SUSE Enterprise Linux 11 offers a rewritten Cluster Resource Manager (CRM) and improvements in the Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS) 2 stack. But the question remains: Is it worth it to upgrade?

Setting up cloud computing with Eucalyptus
As cloud computing rises in popularity, so, too, does its correlation with open source systems. Eucalyptus, in particular, is cloud computing software available for installation on CentOS, OpenSUSE, Debian and Ubuntu.

Using OpenSSH for secure network tunnels on Linux
The enhanced security provided by remote access protocol Secure Shell (SSH) is implemented on Linux through OpenSSH, and its tunneling features go beyond mere encryption to allow traffic to be directed to the appropriate server.

How to install and get started with OpenQRM
OpenQRM has been called "data center glue," as the tool's free and open source automation and monitoring manages your operating system, applications and general configuration with ease.

Configuring YUM on Linux
Yellow Dog Updater Modified, or YUM, is a package manager for Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) systems, and, used properly, it can update groups of machines without updating each specific RPM.

How to install CentOS 5.2 via a Preboot Execution Environment
Operating system (OS) installs are tedious, but they don't have to be. Through the use of numerous protocols, such as Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) allows for the remote installation of an OS like CentOS 5.2.

Five Linux commands you have (probably) never heard of
You've heard of ls, cd and ps, but what about logsave, diff3 and and pstree? Just because a Linux command is obscure doesn't mean it's not useful. Find out more about each command and its flags and options.

Linux regular expression tutorial
Our number one tip of 2009 provides helpful hints on regular expressions. Linux system administrators have commands like grep, awk and sed to search out files for specific text strings, but the results can end up being broader than expected. Understanding how to use regular expression in conjunction with these utilities can lead to great specificity and efficiency in your Linux environment.

For more advice and best practices, check out our Enterprise Linux tips page.

This was first published in December 2009

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