You're replying to a comment by Vasudev Ram.

February 03, 2009, 22:36

This was quite an interesting and useful article, Peter - thanks.

Also, it looks like there is more good info in the many comments, which I must read.

Some points by me:

Like some other commenters above, I recommend xargs, lsof and fuser as useful tools. find and xargs together are a powerful combination - find lets you find all files under some directory tree that match some criteria, and xargs lets you execute a command on all those found files.

Of course the command executed can be a shell script, which means that many commands (in the script) can be executed on each of those files.


>I’d like to read an article about more obscure utilities like ‘od’, ‘nm’ or ‘objdump’. Do they have any use in general sys administration

od definitely is useful for both system administrators as well as developers and general users. A common use of it is to display the contents of a file in one of many possible formats like:

- as characters
- as bytes in octal or hexadecimal
- as words in decimal
- etc.

This is useful to:

- see what the file contains, particularly if you don't have a "native" viewer app for it.

- to view the contents of binary files

- also od can be combined with grep and other such tools in useful ways in a pipeline

nm is more of use for developers but can also be useful to system administrators, particularly if they have some developer knowledge/skills (and IMO most good sysadmins do have that).

One common use of it is to display / dump the names of the symbols defined in object files.

- Vasudev

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