Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

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Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

How-To: using Python Virtual Environments

Posted by chantra on 3rd September 2013

A nice thing about Python is that there is tons of modules available out there. Not all those modules are readily available for your distro and even if there were, chances are that a newer release with new features is already out there.

You might not always want to install those modules system wide, either because there might not be any need for it, or because they could clash with the same module install via package management.

To answer this problem, python has a virtualenv that will let you create multiple virtual python instances within which you will be able to install whichever modules you might need. All this without requiring root pribileges.

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How-To: tail multiple files with multitail

Posted by chantra on 29th April 2013

Many times you will end up tailing multiple files simultaneously. There is a sweet linux utility called multitail that will let you tail multiple files at the same time within the same shell.

And not only will you be able to tail multiple files! You will also be able to run multiple commands and tail their outputs!

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How-To: find which program consumes your bandwidth with nethogs

Posted by chantra on 29th March 2013

Let's continue the network monitoring serie with yet another use case.... the "What program is using my bandwidth?" problem while not imposible to solve, still remains a pain. What if there were some kind of top for network?

NetHogs is a nifty tool that will do that for you and will help you finding what is hogging your connection.

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How-To: monitor network bandwidth usage with vnstat

Posted by chantra on 11th March 2013

There is many tools out there that help in monitoring network usage, collect statistics and generate graphs so we can view what happened at a given date/time. Anyhow, finding the bandwidth usage over an hour/day/week/month can be really tricky.

vnstat is a suite of daemon and client programs that monitor network bandwidth usage.

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How-To: Bash Parameter Expansion and String Manipulation

Posted by chantra on 19th February 2013

Last time we saw how bash can help us in handling default values out of the box using parameter expansion. This time we will see how basic string operations (nonetheless common and useful) can also be achieved using bash.

There is many ways to do string manipulation with bash, like finding a filename extension using expr, separating the directory part from a filename using dirname and basename.... or even more sophisticated ones based on regex, sed....

Why using a sledgehammer to crack a nut when you could use bash builtin functionalities!

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How-To: Bash Parameter Expansion and Default Values

Posted by chantra on 28th January 2013

Bash is a sh-compatible command language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file.
There is much more to bash than running a sequence of commands, one of the features bundled with bash is parameter expansion.

Any shell user has most likely used shell variables, be it $1 or $myvar, to save values... but there is more to it. This tutorial will cover a subset of shell parameter expansion that can become really handy and save you a lot of time.

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Mastering Top

Posted by chantra on 22nd January 2013

top is most likely one of the most known Linux command and also one of the most used one, however most people do not take full advantage of its capabilities.

In this tutorial, we will see a few usages of top that will make allow you to get more out of it.

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How-To: Tmux a Terminal Multiplexer

Posted by chantra on 7th December 2012

As a sysadmin, most of my time is spent working on remote machines and different task. tmux is a terminal multiplexer, meaning it allows you to run multiple terminals in the same windows.

This tutorial will explain the basics features of tmux that should help you be more productive with your every day task.

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