27 Mar 2006 titus   » (Journeyer)

More buildbot

In addition to our buildbot automation hacks, we spent a fair amount of time twiddling our buildbot configuration for the PyCon project. I wrote up some of the configuration file stuff last night. If you're interested in a private "force build" status page, locking master & slave resources, driving builds from svn checkin, or using the @reboot crontab extension to start buildbot on boot, you might be interested in reading it.

More dnspython

I sent the little dns_check module on to Bob Halley, the author of dnspython, and he sent me back a couple of patches for the code. Good stuff. All checked-in and documented now.

Sysadmin tools

This slashdot article infuriated me more than the usual half-troll slashdot article. An MP3 player and a terminal program are sysadmin tools? Bah.

Here are a few of my favorites.

  1. screen -- run multiple programs in a single terminal window, flip between the output, detach and re-attach. Life is good. My all-time favorite; I've been using it ever since Mark Galassi introduced me to it back in the late 80s/early 90s.

  2. VNC -- like screen, but for X11 programs. Bonus: VNC to Flash recorder for screencasting, although that's not really a sysadmin application.

  3. bash 'for' loops at the command line. Silly, I know, but combined with 'cut', 'sort', 'uniq', 'tail', and 'head', I can do tons of things in one long complicated line. I don't actually know how to program in bash beyond this -- I use Python for anything more complicated.

  4. 'find'. Its command line options have gotta be nearly Turing complete. Powerful beyond belief.

  5. supervisor. It's hard to explain how happy I was when I found this Python-based system for starting and restarting persistent processes...

  6. twill. Really. Having a command-line tool to script Web site aliveness tests & (now) DNS checks is pretty handy. I'll probably add some ping-is-the-machine-alive code, too.

I'm sure there's more that I'll remember as soon as I post this.

--titus

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