Over the years, I’ve found a few tools so invaluable for managing *nix servers that I end up installing them on every machine under my employ.
They are, in no particular order:
htop is what
top looks like after she puts on her dancing shoes on a Friday night. Basically
htop turns this:
It’s such an improvement over plain ole’
top — with no known downsides — that I have an alias in my shell:
if [[ -x `which htop` ]]; then alias top="htop"; fi
htop from repos:
# Debian $ aptitude install htop # Arch $ pacman -S htop # OS X brew install htop-osx
ack is a text search tool akin to
grep, but with some pretty distinct advantages:
- fast — it only searches what makes sense to search
- defaults to recursive searches
- defaults to colored output
- defaults to show line numbers of matched strings
- takes fewer keystrokes
- uses Perl’s powerful regular expressions
Needless to say, it’s better than grep.
ack from repos:
# Debian $ aptitude install ack-grep $ ln -s /usr/bin/ack-grep /usr/bin/ack # Arch $ pacman -S ack # OS X $ brew install ack
tree is a great way to wrap your head around a directory structure instead of
lsing all over the place.
tree’s output looks like this:
The output can be a bit overwhelming for directories with many files and subdirectories, but it can be easily piped to
less so you can page and navigate it.
tree from repos:
# Debian $ aptitude install tree # Arch $ pacman -S tree # OS X $ brew install tree
quid pro quo
What about you?
Do you have any tools that don’t ship with your server operating system of choice, but you just can’t live without?
If so, I probably can’t live without them either and just don’t know it yet. Please share :)