How to Identify Your System Administrator:

How to Identify Your System Administrator:

——– SITUATION: Low Disk Space ——–

Technical Thug: Writes a suite of scripts to monitor disk usage, maintain a
database of historic disk usage, predict future disk usage via least squares
regression analysis, identify users who are more than a standard deviation over
the mean, and send mail to the offending parties. Places script in cron. Disk
usage does not change, since disk-hogs, by nature, either ignore
script-generated mail, or file it away in triplicate.

Administrative Fascist: Puts disk usage policy in motd. Uses disk quotas. Allows
no exceptions, thus crippling development work. Locks accounts that go over


 # cd /home
 # rm -rf `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 |
awk ‘{print $2}’`;


 # cd /home
 # cat `du -s * | sort -rn | head -1 |
awk ‘{ printf "%s/*\n", $2}’` | compress

——– SITUATION: Excessive CPU Usage ——–

Technical Thug: Writes a suite of scripts to monitor processes, maintain a
database of CPU usage, identify processes more than a standard deviation over
the norm, and renice offending processes. Places script in cron. Ends up
renicing the production database into oblivion, bringing operations to a
grinding halt, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.

Administrative Fascist: Puts CPU usage policy in motd. Uses CPU quotas. Locks
accounts that go over quota. Allows no exceptions, thus crippling development
work, much to the delight of the xtrek freaks.


 # kill -9 `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 |
awk ‘{print $2}’`


 # compress -f `ps -augxww | sort -rn +8 -9 | head -1 |
awk ‘{print $2}’`

——– SITUATION: New Account Creation ——–

Technical Thug: Writes perl script that creates home directory, copies in
incomprehensible default environment, and places entries in /etc/passwd,
/etc/shadow, and /etc/group. (By hand, NOT with passmgmt.) Slaps on setuid bit;
tells a nearby secretary to handle new accounts. Usually, said secretary is
still dithering over the difference between ‘enter’ and ‘return’; and so, no new
accounts are ever created.

Administrative Fascist: Puts new account policy in motd. Since people without
accounts cannot read the motd, nobody ever fulfills the bureaucratic
requirements; and so, no new accounts are ever created.

Maniac: "If you’re too stupid to break in and create your own account, I don’t
want you on the system. We’ve got too many goddamn sh*t-for-brains a**holes on
this box anyway."


 # cd /home; mkdir "Bob’s home directory"
 # echo "Bob Simon:gandalf:0:0::/dev/tty:compress -f" \
> /etc/passwd

——– SITUATION: Root Disk Fails ——–

Technical Thug: Repairs drive. Usually is able to repair filesystem from boot
monitor. Failing that, front-panel toggles microkernel in and starts script on
neighboring machine to load binary boot code into broken machine, reformat and
reinstall OS. Lets it run over the weekend while he goes mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist: Begins investigation to determine who broke the drive.
Refuses to fix system until culprit is identified and charged for the equipment.

Maniac, Large System: Rips drive from system, uses sledgehammer to smash same to
flinders. Calls manufacturer, threatens pets. Abuses field engineer while they
put in a new drive and reinstall the OS.

Maniac, Small System: Rips drive from system, uses ball-peen hammer to smash
same to flinders. Calls Requisitions, threatens pets. Abuses bystanders while
putting in new drive and reinstalling OS.

Idiot: Doesn’t notice anything wrong.

——– SITUATION: Poor Network Response ——–

Technical Thug: Writes scripts to monitor network, then rewires entire machine
room, improving response time by 2%. Shrugs shoulders, says, "I’ve done all I
can do," and goes mountain climbing.

Administrative Fascist: Puts network usage policy in motd. Calls up Berkeley and
AT&T, badgers whoever answers for network quotas. Tries to get xtrek freaks

Maniac: Every two hours, pulls ethernet cable from wall and waits for
connections to time out.


 # compress -f /dev/en0

——– SITUATION: User Questions ——–

Technical Thug: Hacks the code of emacs’ doctor-mode to answer new users
questions. Doesn’t bother to tell people how to start the new "guru-mode", or
for that matter, emacs.

Administrative Fascist: Puts user support policy in motd. Maintains queue of
questions. Answers them when he gets a chance, often within two weeks of receipt
of the proper form.

Maniac: Screams at users until they go away. Sometimes barters knowledge for
powerful drink and/or sycophantic adulation.

Idiot: Answers all questions to best of his knowledge until the user realizes
few UNIX systems support punched cards or JCL.

——– SITUATION: Stupid User Questions ——–

Technical Thug: Answers question in hex, binary, postfix, and/or French until
user gives up and goes away.

Administrative Fascist: Locks user’s account until user can present
documentation demonstrating their qualification to use the machine.


 # cat >> ~luser/.cshrc
alias vi ‘rm \!*;unalias vi;grep -v BoZo ~/.cshrc \
> ~/.z; mv -f ~/.z ~/.cshrc’

Idiot: Answers all questions to best of his knowledge. Recruits user to system
administration team.

——– SITUATION: Process Accounting Management ——–

Technical Thug: Ignores packaged accounting software; trusts scripts to sniff
out any problems & compute charges.

Administrative Fascist: Devotes 75% of disk space to accounting records owned by
root and chmod’ed 000.

Maniac: Laughs fool head off at very mention of accounting.


 # lpr /etc/wtmp /usr/adm/paact

——– SITUATION: Religious War, BSD vs. System V ——–

Technical Thug: BSD. Crippled on System V boxes.

Administrative Fascist: System V. Horrified by the people who use BSD. Places
frequent calls to DEA.

Maniac: Prefers BSD, but doesn’t care as long as his processes run quickly.


 # cd c:

——– SITUATION: Religious war, System V vs. AIX ——–

Technical Thug: Weeps.

Administrative Fascist: AIX — doesn’t much care for the OS, but loves the

Maniac: System V, but keeps AIX skills up, knowing full well how much Big
Financial Institutions love IBM…

Idiot: AIX.

——– SITUATION: Balky Printer Daemons ——–

Technical Thug: Rewrites lpd in FORTH.

Administrative Fascist: Puts printer use policy in motd. Calls customer support
every time the printer freezes. Tries to get user who submitted the most recent
job fired.

Maniac: Writes script that kills all the daemons, clears all the print queues,
and maybe restarts the daemons. Runs it once a hour from cron.


 # kill -9 /dev/lp ; /dev/lp &

——– SITUATION: OS Upgrade ——–

Technical Thug: Reads source code of new release, takes only what he likes.

Administrative Fascist: Instigates lawsuit against the vendor for having shipped
a product with bugs in it in the first place.


 # uptime
1:33pm up 19 days, 22:49, 167 users, load average: 6.49, 6.45, 6.31
 # wall
Well, it’s upgrade time. Should take a few hours. And good
luck on that 5:00 deadline, guys! We’re all pulling for you!


 # dd if=/dev/rmt8 of=/vmunix

——– SITUATION: Balky Mail ——–

Technical Thug: Rewrites from scratch. Rewrites sendmail in SNOBOL.
Hacks kernel to implement file locking. Hacks kernel to implement "better"
semaphores. Rewrites sendmail in assembly. Hacks kernel to . . .

Administrative Fascist: Puts mail use policy in motd. Locks accounts that go
over mail use quota. Keeps quota low enough that people go back to interoffice
mail, thus solving problem.


 # kill -9 `ps -augxww | grep sendmail | awk ‘{print $2}’`
 # rm -f /usr/spool/mail/*
 # wall
Mail is down.
Please use interoffice mail until we have it back up.
 # write max
I’ve got my boots and backpack. Ready to leave for Mount Tam?


 # echo "HELP!" |

——– SITUATION: Users want phone list application. ——–

Technical Thug: Writes RDBMS in perl and Smalltalk. Users give up and go back to
post-it notes.

Administrative Fascist: Oracle. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.

Maniac: Tells the users to use flat files and grep, the way God meant man to
keep track of phone numbers. Users give up and go back to post-it notes.


% dd ibs=80 if=/dev/rdisk001s7 | grep "Fred"

Other Guidelines

——– Typical Root .cshrc File ——–

Technical Thug: Longer than eight kilobytes. Sources the output of a perl
script, rewrites itself.

Administrative Fascist: Typical lines include:

umask 777
alias cd ‘cd \!*; \
rm -rf ching *hack mille omega rogue xtrek >& /dev/null &’

Maniac: Typical lines include:

alias rm ‘rm -rf \!*’
alias hose \
kill -9 ‘`ps -augxww | grep \!* | awk \'{print $2}\’`’
alias kill ‘kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!* ; kill -9 \!*’
alias renice \
‘echo Renice\? You must mean kill -9.; kill -9 \!*’

Idiot: Typical lines include:

alias dir ls
alias era rm
alias kitty cat
alias process_table ps
setenv DISPLAY vt100

——– Hobbies, Technical ——–

Technical Thug: Writes entries for Obsfuscated C contest. Optimizes INTERCAL
scripts. Maintains ENIAC emulator. Virtual reality .

Administrative Fascist: Bugs office. Audits card-key logs. Modifies old TVs to
listen in on cellular phone conversations. Listens to police band.

Maniac: Volunteers at Survival Research Labs. Bugs office. Edits card-key logs.
Modifies old TVs to listen in on cellular phone conversations. Jams police band.

Idiot: Ties shoes. Maintains COBOL decimal to roman numeral converter. Rereads
flowcharts from his salad days at Rand.

——– Hobbies, Nontechnical ——–

Technical Thug: Drinks "Smart Drinks." Attends raves. Hangs out at poetry
readings and Whole Earth Review events and tries to pick up Birkenstock MOTAS.

Administrative Fascist: Reads Readers Digest and Mein Kampf. Sometimes turns up
car radio and sings along to John Denver. Golfs. Drinks gin martinis. Hangs out
in yuppie bars and tries to pick up dominatrixes.

Maniac: Reads Utne Reader and Mein Kampf. Faithfully attends Dickies and Ramones
concerts. Punches out people who say "virtual reality." Drinks damn near
anything, but favors Wild Turkey, Black Bush, and grain alcohol. Hangs out in
neighborhood bars and tries to pick up MOTAS by drinking longshoremen under the

Idiot: Reads Time and Newsweek — and believes them. Drinks Jagermeister. Tries
to pick up close blood relations — often succeeds, producting next generation
of idiots.

——– 1992 Presidential Election ——–

Technical Thug: Clinton, but only because he liked Gore’s book.

Administrative Fascist: Bush. Possibly Clinton, but only because he liked

Maniac: Frank Zappa.

Idiot: Perot.

——– 1996 Presidential Election ——–

Technical Thug: Richard Stallman/Larry Wall

Administrative Fascist: Nixon/Buchanan

Maniac: Frank Zappa

Idiot: Quayle

Compound System Administrators

Technical Fascist: Hacks kernel & writes a horde of scripts to prevent folks
from ever using more than their fair share of system resources. Resulting
overhead and load brings system to its knees.

Technical Maniac: Writes scripts that SEEM to be monitoring the system, but are
actually encrypting large lists of passwords. Uses nearby nodes as beta test
sites for worms.

Technical Idiot: Writes superuser-run scripts that sooner or later do an "rm -rf

Fascistic Maniac: At first hint of cracker incursions, whether real or imagined,
shuts down system by triggering water-on-the-brain detectors and Halon system.

Fascistic Idiot:

  # cp /dev/null /etc/passwd

Maniacal Idiot: Napalms the CPU.
— Stephan Zielinski

About Me My Self

Hanya seseorang yang belajar untuk mencari sesuatu yang mungkin akan menjadikannya sesuatu yang akan berguna untuk suatu hari nanti.

20. April 2005 by Me My Self
Categories: Personal | Leave a comment

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