Common Mistakes Made by New Linux Administrators
As Linux squeezes itself into all facets of technology, more people are being forced to use it who have little knowledge of the foreign Unix land. Maybe you are trying to learn your way around, or maybe you are the Windows guy who just got promoted to maintaining the Linux system; either way, things are odd, and you just really, really donate want to fubar the system. For those of you who fall into that category, this article is for you. Below are fifteen mistakes often made by new Linux administrators.
1. Failing To Use Check Install
Linux uses package managers, which keep everything installed on your system updated and clean. When two or more apps rely on each other, it is imperative that all of them are kept updated, not just a few. Thus, when you install one program via whatever package manager your distro uses but another from source, the package manager will only update the first, which could cause things to stop working properly.
The solution to this is to use Check install to build a package for your system that will stay updated along with the other software, which will save you headaches in the future.
2. Refusal to Use the Command Line Interface
You just have to learn it. It is that simple. You cannot be a sysadmin in any system while harboring a fear of the command line, but that is doubly true in Linux. While you can manage to do most things with some form of a GUI, it is almost always faster and easier to learn how to do it from the Terminal. Learn some bash already.
3. Having No or Weak Root Password
Someone getting their hands on the root password is like some crony gaining control of Darth Vaders big laser that blew up Alderaan. If you have no root password, then you are either a very ripe sysadmin, or you are an idiot. If you have a weak one, then you are naive. Here is a very big tip: if you dont have a password, set one RIGHT NOW; if it is a simple word, especially a word in the dictionary, change it RIGHT NOW to something at least fourteen characters long with uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols.
4. Pretending Updates Donate Exist
For whatever reason, people donate like updates. That is understandable if you are getting fed them day after day, but really updates keep things working (most of the time). Sometimes it is laziness there may be hundreds of updates if you put it off for awhile, and no one likes to pick through those, so they just put it off longer and longer until something stops working. You must update. If you disable auto-updates, then check them every day. Sift through them each time and only install the ones you need. Do this every time. Your install will thank you.
5. Making Changes Without Backing Up First
If you are going to pick through, for example, the resolution config file to try and get your three monitor system running properly, you really should backup the file first. This goes for all changes in tweaks. In fact, just go ahead and create a backup of every major file right now, just so when you forget later, your fore sight will have saved you from FUBAR hell.
6. Not Learning to Trouble Shoot Their System
Each distro is like a baby they are similar on the surface, but when you spend time with them, there are noticeable differences. For that reason, it is very important that you spend time with your distro and learn its own peculiarities. Want an example? One user who had messed up his Ubuntu resolution was freaking out because his screen was scrambled, and he was trying to fix it from command line. That seems fine, except that if head spent time knowing his system, hed of simply booted into recovery mode and reset his resolution to default. Knowledge is not only power, but it is a time saver, too.
7. Ignoring Logs like the Plague
See, there is these little things inside /var/logs called LOGS that tell you magical things about your system, like errors and security issues. These things give you valuable information that can be used to correct programs and head off unfortunate issues. Doing so will make your life as admin much, much easier. So then, why do you ignore these? Out of fear? Trepidation? Misplaced respect? Open the system logs once in awhile and see what us up, okay?
8. Keeping Everything in One Giant Partition
Of course, this is only valid if you are the one doing the installing. You donate want everything to sit in one partition for many reasons, two of which being performance and convenience. You are probably going to change distros at some point, so to make your life easier, put your home directory in a different partition than the rest. This will make your life easier at some point, trust me.
9. Asking Help From Random People
If Linux has been thrust upon you and you are left trying to pick your way through things that mean nothing to you, then no one will blame you for seeking help when issues arise. With that said, be careful who you seek help from, and be very weary of what you run through the Terminal. There are people who get their kicks from making your life hell. Get the help of a pro when things go bad.