[San-Diego-pm] Need some general advice (non-perl)

Brian Manning elspicyjack at gmail.com
Sun Sep 2 10:36:28 PDT 2012

On Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:16 PM, Richard Bychowski <wrinkles at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have very limited system administration background, having "managed" shared hosting for a number of my website clients, and having managed my own linux box in my office.  I have recently taken a position as a technical support coordinator for a K-12 private school. The network has around 150-200 networked devices and a SonicWall security appliance.
> So here's the question. I just purchased a Ubuntu server from system76.com. I will be installing Request Tracker, Nagios, enkive, etc. These can be installed from source, from Ubuntu repository, or sometimes from CPAN. What factors should I consider in choosing an install method?

As Brad has already mentioned, using the distro versions of these
packages is probably the path of least pain.  Installing them yourself
is more work, but will give you visibility into the inner workings of
the system, so upgrades could be easier at a later date.  You need to
decide what you would rather have, pain now (installing from source)
or pain later (upgrading the system).  There's also a middle ground of
building your own Perl .deb packages using system tools, there's a
tool called dh-make-perl that will do this for you.  I use this
frequently for building packages of Perl modules that my distro has
not packaged for me.

> What other tools (or books even) do you suggest for tracking and managing a network of this size?

It used to be Running Linux (O'Reilly) would be the general
recommendation.  I would say the basics of system administration could
still be had from that book, augmented with

1) Ubuntu's community support wiki
2) Whatever mailing lists your local Linux User's Group hang out on
3) Knowledge of how to ask your questions on Google, then filtering
the answers to get the information you need.

Tech books go out of date very quickly, so I think it's hard now to
recommend them because of this.



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