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Linux

Automating the Login Script

Post date: April 17, 2005, 10:04 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 3327 Comments
Tutorial quote: In a perfect world, you could spend a few weeks creating a system and the result would be a system that never required manual maintenance or modifications. Whether this ideal will ever be achieved is debatable, but it definitely won't happen in the near future. In the meantime, we still have to do things manually, even if only once in a while. When I must do things manually, I'm not usually happy about it. In fact, it usually means that there has been an emergency, so other people aren't happy about it either. In times like this, it is nice to have a consistent and efficient user interface on every machine. The information and examples presented in this article assume that you are using the bash shell. However, you can modify all of the scripts so that they work in other shells. In some cases, they might even work unmodified (like in the standard Bourne Shell [sh]). Other shells will also work, but they might have different methods for changing the prompt and creating command aliases. The principles in this article should be relatively easy to adapt to the shell of your choice.
Linux

Benchmarking Filesystems

Post date: April 12, 2005, 07:04 Category: Benchmarks Views: 3829 Comments
Tutorial quote: I recently purchased a Western Digital 250GB/8M/7200RPM drive and wondered which journaling file system I should use. I currently use ext2 on my other, smaller hard drives. Upon reboot or unclean shutdown, e2fsck takes a while on drives only 40 and 60 gigabytes. Therefore I knew using a journaling file system would be my best bet. The question is: which is the best? In order to determine this I used common operations that Linux users may perform on a regular basis instead of using benchmark tools such as Bonnie or Iozone. I wanted a "real life" benchmark analysis. A quick analogy: Just because the Ethernet-Over-Power-Lines may advertise 10mbps (1.25MB/s), in real world tests, peak speed is only 5mbps (625KB/s). This is why I chose to run my own tests versus using hard drive benchmarking tools.
Debian

Protect Your Files With TrueCrypt 5.1a On Debian Etch (GNOME)

Post date: May 13, 2008, 10:05 Category: Desktop Views: 4006 Comments
Tutorial quote: This document describes how to set up TrueCrypt 5.1a on Debian Etch (GNOME). Taken from the TrueCrypt page: "TrueCrypt is a software system for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage device). On-the-fly encryption means that data are automatically encrypted or decrypted right before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without using the correct password/keyfile(s) or correct encryption keys. Entire file system is encrypted (e.g., file names, folder names, contents of every file, free space, meta data, etc)."
Debian

ACL(Access Control List) Configuration

Post date: April 4, 2006, 20:04 Category: Installing Views: 3786 Comments
Tutorial quote: Access Control Lists (ACLs) provide a much more flexible way of specifying permissions on a file or other object than the standard Unix user/group/owner system. Windows NT and above, when running on an NTFS partition, use ACLs to specify permissions on files and directories. This document attempts to show how you can enable ACL support on your Linux box and use Samba to provide an SMB file server for use by machines in a Windows 2000 domain.

ACLs are best stored in the actual file system itself. To that end, there are patches available for ext2 and ext3 that enable ACL support using Extended Attributes (EAs). SGI's XFS also has ACL support built in, but XFS is not currently covered in this document.
Unix+clones

Using MySQL to benchmark OS performance

Post date: April 12, 2005, 07:04 Category: Benchmarks Views: 4439 Comments
Tutorial quote: It seems to be an exciting time for *nix operating systems, with a number of them recently releasing new versions that bring the addition of expanded features and claims of improved performance. If you're using GNU/Linux, OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, or Solaris as a database server, you've probably recently considered an upgrade or switch to another OS in that list due to marketing hype and hearsay. This article will show you how to benchmark operating system performance using MySQL on these OSes so you can find out for yourself if you're missing out. While this may not necessarily be indicative of overall system performance or overall database application performance, it will tell you specifically how well MySQL performs on your platform.

The following operating systems were used for the comparison testing:
- FreeBSD 4.11
- FreeBSD 5.3
- NetBSD 2.0
- Linux 2.6
- Linux 2.4
- Solaris 10 x86 (build 69)
- OpenBSD 3.6
Debian

The Perfect Xen 3.0 Setup For Debian

Post date: April 1, 2006, 05:04 Category: System Views: 3496 Comments
Tutorial quote: This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install Xen (version 3.0.1) on a Debian Sarge (3.1) system.

Xen lets you create guest operating systems (*nix operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD), so called "virtual machines" or domUs, under a host operating system (dom0). Using Xen you can separate your applications into different virtual machines that are totally independent from each other (e.g. a virtual machine for a mail server, a virtual machine for a high-traffic web site, another virtual machine that serves your customers' web sites, a virtual machine for DNS, etc.), but still use the same hardware. This saves money, and what is even more important, it's more secure. If the virtual machine of your DNS server gets hacked, it has no effect on your other virtual machines. Plus, you can move virtual machines from one Xen server to the next one.
Debian

Virtualization With Xen On Debian Lenny (AMD64)

Post date: February 8, 2009, 13:02 Category: Installing Views: 4127 Comments
Tutorial quote: This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install Xen on a Debian Lenny (5.0) system (AMD64). Xen lets you create guest operating systems (*nix operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD), so called "virtual machines" or domUs, under a host operating system (dom0). Using Xen you can separate your applications into different virtual machines that are totally independent from each other (e.g. a virtual machine for a mail server, a virtual machine for a high-traffic web site, another virtual machine that serves your customers' web sites, a virtual machine for DNS, etc.), but still use the same hardware. This saves money, and what is even more important, it's more secure. If the virtual machine of your DNS server gets hacked, it has no effect on your other virtual machines. Plus, you can move virtual machines from one Xen server to the next one.
Linux

Creating a safe directory with PAM and Encfs

Post date: June 7, 2006, 20:06 Category: Security Views: 4283 Comments
Tutorial quote: Now, in my network (and others) the credentials provided at login could (and should) be used by those programs. How can you retrieve these credentials, providing enough security?
With a the PAM modules pam_script it's possible to store the password in a file, which will be used by fusemb and mount.cifs to read the password from.

To achieve security, one could make the user logging in owner and deny read/write for anybody else. Remove this file when the user ends his/her session.
This is enough, for runtime. But I was wondering, but what if the system crashes, and the file with the credentials remains on the harddrive? Anybody who is able to mount this harddrive with for example a lifecd, can read this file!

That's why I was looking for a way to encrypt this file.

With encfs this is very possible! At run time it gives an interface to encrypted files and directories, which does only exist at runtime! When the system is not running, there are only encrypted files, useless when you do not know the key to it. And this key is exactly the (encrypted) password! That's why I've chosen for a combination of PAM and Encfs.
Debian

Paravirtualization With Xen 4.0 On Debian Squeeze (AMD64)

Post date: March 31, 2011, 09:03 Category: Installing Views: 3888 Comments
Tutorial quote: This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to install Xen 4.0 on a Debian Squeeze (6.0) system (AMD64) and create paravirtualized guests. Xen lets you create guest operating systems (*nix operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD), so called "virtual machines" or domUs, under a host operating system (dom0). Using Xen you can separate your applications into different virtual machines that are totally independent from each other (e.g. a virtual machine for a mail server, a virtual machine for a high-traffic web site, another virtual machine that serves your customers' web sites, a virtual machine for DNS, etc.), but still use the same hardware. This saves money, and what is even more important, it's more secure. If the virtual machine of your DNS server gets hacked, it has no effect on your other virtual machines. Plus, you can move virtual machines from one Xen server to the next one.
Linux

How Linux boots: Runlevels and init

Post date: April 12, 2005, 23:04 Category: System Views: 3529 Comments
Tutorial quote: Identifying each stage of the boot process is invaluable in fixing boot problems and understanding the system as a whole.
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