Administering systems

Summary of system administration tasks

A system administrator has numerous tasks to perform. They can be divided into groups according to how often they are carried out. The following list of tasks ranges from those that must be performed more often than once a day to those that need be performed less often than once a month. The administrator may have to do some of the tasks in the following list more or less often, depending upon the size and complexity of the system.

Task list

As needed tasks For more information:
[] Create/modify user accounts. ``Adding, copying and modifying user accounts''
[] Record all system modifications and events in log. ``Keeping a system log''
[] Be on call to restart the system after panics, crashes, power failures. ``Understanding the boot process'' and ``Recovering from a system panic''
[] Maintain security of hardware, software, data file access. ``Security procedures''

Daily tasks For more information:
[] Perform scheduled backups (if configured). ``Backup and Restore''
[] Check usage levels. ``Real-time performance monitor (rtpm)''
[] Check for runaway processes. ``Detecting runaway processes''
[] Check disk space. ``Maintaining free space in filesystems''
[] Check mail functionality, connections. ``The Mail Manager''
[] Check printer status with lpstat -t. lpstat(1)
[] Check auditing output, if activated. ``Displaying information from the audit log''
[] Check UUCP communications links, if active. ``BNU troubleshooting''
[] Check for unattended login sessions. who(1)

Weekly tasks For more information:
[] Check printer spooler status report. Check lp(1) account mailbox for messages
[] Check log files such as /etc/wtmp and those in /usr/adm and /usr/spool and clear, trim, or truncate. ``Checking and clearing system log files''
[] Use sar(1M) to generate a report of activity. ``System activity reporting''
[] Generate detailed report of user disk utilization. ``Displaying filesystem and directory usage statistics'' -- see description of quot(1M)
[] Remove temporary files including lost+found files and *.out files. ``Finding temporary files''

Monthly tasks For more information:
[] If you are not doing scheduled backups, perform an unscheduled backup. ``Backup and Restore''
[] Re-tune system and re-allocate resources, if necessary. ``System tuning''
[] Perform tape drive maintenance: clean heads and retension drive.
[] Change dial-in passwords, if necessary. ``Setting passwords for dial-in lines''
[] Change root password, if necessary. ``Setting or changing a user password''

Occasional tasks For more information:
[] Upgrade system and application software, as needed. Getting Started Guide of the new version
[] Re-distribute space in filesystems. ``Adding disk space and restructuring filesystems'' or ``Maintaining free space in filesystems''
[] Find SUID or SGID files, check owner, size. Locate huge (over 64 Mbyte) files and verify their purpose. ``Locating files''
[] Find ``orphan'' files (files belonging to deleted users). ``Changing ownership of files with an obsolete UID/GID''

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UnixWare 7 Release 7.1.4 - 22 April 2004