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Linux and Unix SysAdmins New Year’s Resolutions (2016)

Linux and Unix SysAdmins New Year’s Resolutions (2016)
Today is the last day of 2015 and it’s that time of year again. Here is my very own 12 resolutions for the New Year.

1. Turn on Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

Setting long and complex passwords for root/admin, backup, devops, or operator accounts is not enough. Naturally, turning on 2FA is useful for cloud-based services. I already have 2FA set for my Linux desktop login including ssh client. I will take the time to change all passwords and if any cloud provider is without 2FA, I’m going to stop using them in 2016. Here is list of websites and whether or not they support 2FA.

2. Let’s Encrypt – Free SSL/TLS certificates

Enough said.

3. Never ever do consultancy for cheap IT manager/business

Without going into specific details about business or its owner, I’ve decided that I will not work with a cheap IT manager who values money over people and work ethics.

4. Fix WHOIS, domain name registries and DNS records

First, I’m going to stop using Godaddy for registering domain names. I also need to fix WHOIS so that I can easily verify my domain ownership and fix broken or deprecated dns entries for A, AAAA, and MX (omg). There is no point running primary and secondary Authoritative DNS servers either. Let the Google, AWS Route 53, Rackspace and co; have them manage it for a small fee. It is better, secure and I will get geo distributed fast Authoritative DNS servers.

5. Learn Go lang, swift and android programming

I’m trying to be a better coder, I need to learn Go language. It is everywhere. I’m starting with “The Go Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Alan A. A. Donovan” book. Of course this will not replace my legacy Perl5 or Python v2.x scripts. I don’t know but something tells me, there will be more demand go lang in 2016+. I wanted to learn both iOS and Android device programming just for fun and profit. At least create some Android or iOS app to get familiar with the SDK.

6. Upgrading my cloud skills

I know OpenStack, AWS, Google cloud but there is a new cloud provider, Microsoft Azure and it is getting lots of adoption. Microsoft continues embracing Linux including RHEL. Many Microsoft shops prefer to use Azure for Linux. This might be a good investment in a long term. The Linux Foundation and Microsoft have teamed up to make a new certification for Linux. If you take Linux Foundation LFCS (Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator) and Microsoft 70-533, Microsoft will issue you their MCSA Linux on Azure certification. See this page for more info on the Linux Foundation courses.

I’m a long time FreeBSD jails and LXC container technologies user. But, it is time to add Docker platform to my skill set in 2016 too.

7. Making peace with systemd

I’ve finally accepted systemd. There’s no point fighting to lose my consultancy business. I already noticed that CentOS/RHEL 7.x, Debian 8.x and upcoming Ubuntu all are systemd based. The political debate is dead for me once my clients started to demand next generation of Linux distro in cloud. There is nothing I can do about it as CentOS/RHEL/Debian all pay my bills.

8. ZFS and FreeBSD

Competition is good For consumers. ZFS is awesome. I’ve already started with FreeNAS based NAS servers and I will continue to do so in 2016. FreeBSD is a great alternative to systemd based Linux system. If my clients are not happy with systemd, I will strongly suggest FreeBSD for server.

9. Brace yourselves ARM is coming

A Raspberry Pi is a good start to run both Linux and FreeBSD server at home as well as at a small business place. I run my own caching dns server, proxy server, download server and more using a Raspberry Pi. You will see 64 bit ARM server chips this year for Unix/FreeBSD and Linux. Learning ARM boot loaders, automation, programming and installation for ARM based system is very high on my priority list.

10. Getting back to gaming (personal goal)

I gave up on gaming on my Linux rig mostly because of very few AAA titles on Linux. For the first time, I’ve a reason to smile. Linux games have positively increased due to Steam for Linux. I’m also exited about Vulkan API and AMD’s GPUOpen initiative. I do not trust Microsoft even for gaming. I think I will build a new Linux gaming rig powered by AMD in 2016.

11. Stop using deprecated tools on Linux

Finally, going to stop using /sbin/ifconfig, and /bin/netstat on Linux. ifconfig is replaced by the ip command and netstat is replaced by the ss command.

12. Just say NO…

I will not purchase or recommend any laptops with the following specs:

  1. MS-Windows 10 only lock down.
  2. RAM or CPU soldered to motherboards (hard to find in ultrabook though).
  3. 4GB or less ram (8GB is minimum or 16 GB is must).
  4. Storage with moving parts (spinning hard disk).
  5. Laptop with horrible screens.
  6. Wireless whitelist in BIOS (it is my device I should able to install any wifi card).

Your turn…

What resolutions are on your list? Let me know in the comments section below. I would also like to thank you all of our supporters, fans, and clients and I wish you Happy New Year 2016. May the New Year bring less support tickets and healthy servers in your data centers.

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{ 31 comments… add one }
  • LPIc.lt - Ruslanas April 20, 2016, 8:59 am

    for 10th please check GOG.com ;) it’s DRM free not like steam…

  • SSDN Technologies February 6, 2016, 9:34 am

    Nice. & Thanks. Very GoodTopic.

  • bjd2385 January 22, 2016, 4:12 am

    I think you’ve made a lot of great points. I have never worked with ARM but I look forward to trying it out as well!

  • Salih Emin January 20, 2016, 1:22 pm

    I need to master lxc and docker while combining them with the awesomeness of Ansible and Vagrant. Also I need to learn more on git apart from basics and stop using Git Cola for Github http://cerebrux.net/2013/02/07/github-git-cola-gui-step-by-step-management-of-your-code/

  • Diego R. Santos January 8, 2016, 10:23 pm


  • meka January 4, 2016, 11:15 am

    For some of us this is just too emotional!

  • Dmitri L. January 2, 2016, 11:13 pm

    “…If you take Linux Foundation LFCS (Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator)”
    HREF URL doesn’t work

  • Blieque January 1, 2016, 11:04 pm

    Not recommending to anyone any laptop with less than 8 GB of memory or hard-disc storage is just stupid. Laptops of that calibre have quite a price tag, and certainly one outside of the brackets most people look for laptops between.

    • LinuxJedi January 2, 2016, 9:25 am

      Lenovo x220 i5 can be bought refurbished for are £200 in the UK with 8GB RAM and a new 128GB SSD. In many bechmarks it isn’t much slower than my 2015 MacBook Pro

      • Kaustubh Ghanekar January 2, 2016, 6:16 pm

        Nah, doesn’t have FHD display, would love to see KDE in FHD.

  • Lazza January 1, 2016, 1:20 pm

    I like the list, however I don’t really understand list point number 3 of resolution 12:

    «4GB or less ram (8GB is minimum or 16 GB is must).»

    I don’t understand this need to always get more and more and more (especially for RAM). I mean, I would understand if you were talking about running Windows Vista or another super-bloated Redmond OS, but do we need to ever increase our hardware requirements? Isn’t there a point we can reach and say “ok, this is enough”?

    • 孟恬 January 1, 2016, 10:21 pm

      Well, data is getting more isn’t it? I’m súlyú a hobby photographer. And editing just didn’t get faster. The megapixeles are rising, 8 bit->16 bit, perhaps soon some 3D..

  • Rael Gugelmin Cunha January 1, 2016, 12:37 pm

    I got a Dell Precision M3800 for the reasons you’ve pointed: an ultrabook with no soldered RAM and you can buy it with Linux (Ubuntu, in this case, but if you want to switch, drivers are available). But I got the full HD version, and upgraded RAM and hard-drive to SSD. There is no content for 4k screens yet.

  • proturktr January 1, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Very nice list. Good luck..

  • bc3au January 1, 2016, 10:28 am

    7: yes, but I still don’t find my life any easier. 11: I thought this was a *nix resolution list. the ip command is a linux command, where as ifconfig will work on almost every variant of unix I’ve ever used. SS: why ? it doens’t show me everything netstat does and it tries to be a smartass with formatting & scrwes it up so that all the lines wrap making an ungodly mess. no thanks.

    When we’re presented with *new* tools, there should be some advantage to using them. In 30 years in the computer industry I’ve seen “it’s good because it’s new” constantly. We frequently take a large step backwards for a few years while the creators try to get the “new” up to the standard of the “old”. Cycle time on “discovering” old tech is about 10-15 years.

    Grumpy old computer guy

  • André Machado January 1, 2016, 8:19 am

    Itens 3 or 4 of resolution 12 can apply itselves on US and Europe, but not all globe. Brazil is a bankrupt country; here, SSDs are too expensive, so, no chance. Same to Lets Encrypt, useless if you’re on a shared host environment.

    • Coitadismo Internacional January 1, 2016, 5:10 pm

      found the reaça!

  • Eric Grimaldi January 1, 2016, 3:44 am

    Thanks for all these, Happy New Year

  • davidx1141 January 1, 2016, 3:40 am

    Learning for certifications: RHCSA, Open Stack, CCNA, and Kali Linux OSCP. Along with continued bash and vim, Ansible, Python and Go. Plus network and cloud security. I have a big HP Workstation laptop running OpenBSD and would like to learn more with FreeNAS and FreeBSD accordingly. Got a half-dozen Raspberry PI gizmos to play with for some nice projects, too. Lotsa free time since the IBM layoffs up here in northern Vermont and looking to hook up with some remote consulting gigs this new year; any advice for an old-timer former VAX/VMS sys admin drone is welcome.

    • Blieque January 1, 2016, 11:08 pm

      Try Zsh if you haven’t; shit’s good.

  • Wayarmy December 31, 2015, 10:16 pm

    Oh. i’d agree with all of them. But on 5th, i will learn about rails, more about Bash, and maybe GO. Thanks so much for your tutorials.
    Abou the BSD, i will try more, but i like red-hat, love it :). And thank so much for IP and SS command. Wish you Happy New Year, too.

  • Ultr@man December 31, 2015, 8:29 pm

    Good stuff on your list, I agree and liked #5, 6, 8 and 9.
    On my list I have #1 start working on projects to put in practice things that I learned from Chef, Vagrant, Docker…

  • Patrick Massey December 31, 2015, 5:37 pm

    My list is a bit different….and I strongly disagree with 7 and 11. Systemd is still a plague to me, and I haven’t encountered any one that wants it, nor do my clients. As for number 11, ifconfig is still the gold standard across operating systems, so why forget it? When I use BSD, Solaris, AIX, or IRIX, ifconfig is the goto.

    My list short list…

    Certifications! I’ve taken the classes for VCP, time to take the test! I also need to take the test for Solaris 11 (from Oracle). And I have a few more services to implement your number 1 on, so that’s on my list too. And the final item is IPv6

  • Mat December 31, 2015, 4:24 pm

    My resolutions:

    1) learn more and more and more about Linux and the BSD’s :-)

    2) only hate for Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook,

    3) donation for FOSS company/organisations,

    4) finding (create ?) a work WITHOUT Windows computers but before build a DEBIAN backup server on my (future) old work

    5) no peace for systemd :p

    6) learn about ipv6

  • Chris Heerschap December 31, 2015, 3:39 pm

    Really good stuff, I’m right there with you except for #10 and the saying no to platter-based storage, unless you know of somewhere I can get a 6TB SSD for less than $250, in which case I’m all in. I’d say I’d swap #10 for learning more about actual electronics, like circuits and such.

  • swalberg December 31, 2015, 2:00 pm

    I’ve been coming to the realization that I need to do 7 and 11, too. Accepting systemd has been a bit easier, especially since I’ve been working more with containers. Still need to wean myself off of ifconfig.

  • Ravi Teja December 31, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Couldn’t agree more :)
    Ideal list. Good post, Thanks for sharing.

    My fav. is 5.

  • Etem Bavarian December 31, 2015, 12:51 pm

    My highest priority for 2016 will be to attend a technical university and earn LPIC1 and CCNA Security certs :)

  • Mahesh Mahajan December 31, 2015, 12:13 pm

    You nailed it! Happy New Year

Security: Are you a robot or human?

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