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How To Deal With Shortage Of UNIX / Linux Administrators

It happens all the time. Sooner or later, every organization may run out of qualified UNIX system administrator / staff because of various issues. As a single admin you may have to do lots of work because other people in accouting, sales, or programmers may not have all the skills required to run servers. Also, I don't trust new people or people with Windows background. I also don't have a time for UNIX admin training for new person.

In short, to avoid overloading yourself, I recommend sudo. It allows you to delegate authority to give certain users or groups of users the ability to run some commands as root or another user while providing an audit trail of the commands and their arguments via a log file. With sudo you don't have to share root password with anybody. Another option is Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) under UNIX / Linux. Command tasks such can be delegated via sudo program:

  1. Start / stop / restart common services and configurations, e.g. Jboss, Tomcat, Apache, Mysql etc
  2. Shutdown / reboot server
  3. Backup data to tape
  4. Run other individuate tasks and commands as per requirements and so on.

Once you started to trust their skills sets, grant them more privileges or may be promote them as full time UNIX sys admins.

In totally unrelated news : Bill Gates, retired as chairman. Checkout the hits and misses of his leadership of Microsoft.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Ramesh | The Geek Stuff June 27, 2008, 11:21 pm


    Thanks for the nice article about sudo. I use sudo very intensively on all my servers, mainly because we have to deal with several vendors who need access on the Linux to do several activities.

    Sudo gets that done without having to give root password to all vendors who want to do admin work on their application that is running on the Linux Server.

    The Geek Stuff

  • blink4blog June 28, 2008, 3:40 am

    Very good article, appreciate it very much. Good leadership not only coach, but guidance and trust also count

  • Nilesh June 29, 2008, 11:18 am

    Nice article.

    This article implies the policy of “Divide and Rule”


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