Author Archives: Aleksey Tsalolikhin

What I learned at LISA 2016 conference

USENIX Annual Technical Conference and LISA are the first professional conferences I went to as a fledgeling sysadmin. USENIX will always hold a special place in my heart. I attribute my professional success to regular training at USENIX conferences. I … Continue reading

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Bootstrapping CFEngine agent to a regional (AWS) hub

Hat tip to my DevOps buddy Joaquin Menchaca for this one-liner to find out what AWS region your VM is in: AWS_REGION=$(curl -s http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/placement/availability-zone | sed -e 's/[a-z]$//') I am going to use it to bootstrap my Kubernetes VMs to … Continue reading

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Looking up Postgres table name by id

When working with [TOAST][1] tables, I had the relid (relation or table id) of the parent table, and needed to get its name. Here is how to perform the lookup. For example, if the relid is 19665: SELECT relid, relname … Continue reading

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Safely updating /etc/sudoers non-interactively

I recently added my account to /etc/sudoers on N servers using Ansible in raw mode (running a shell oneliner). We use visudo to edit /etc/sudoers when we are logged into a server, but since I was doing this in “batch” … Continue reading

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Introducing Infrastructure Inventory with CFEngine Enterprise

CFEngine Enterprise makes it absurdly easy to track deployed servers. All you have to do is spin up a hub, install the lightweight agent on each host, and run cf-agent –bootstrap <hub> to setup a trust relationship between hub and … Continue reading

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CFEngine Inventory of Windows Server 2012

I am working on setting up a “reporting portal” CFEngine Enterprise hub to aggregate inventory from several hubs in different parts of a company (managed by different organizations). This one “superhub” would allows executives instant insight into infrastructure integrity. While … Continue reading

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Graphing within psql

I mentioned this on HN years ago but it’s nifty so add it here. You can graph SQL output with gnuplot without leaving the psql (Postgres client) command-line. Because @fusiongyro commented “This is incredible! I only wish it were a … Continue reading

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Binding an SSH launcher to a GNU Screen hotkey

I have a confession to make. I use SSH to access servers. I tell the sysadmins I teach to make changes to their servers using configuration management, but: (a) most clients I work with are just starting to use configuration … Continue reading

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Time Management and Git training at Ohio Linux Fest

I am pleased to announce that Mike Weilgart and I will be delivering professional training for Ohio Linux Fest Institute in October. I will teach “Time Management for System Administrators” and Mike will teach “Git Foundations: Unlocking the Mysteries”. You … Continue reading

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