Stocking a toolbox for Linux panics
Most IT managers put Linux on a server and watch the server run for years and years without crashing. A few are not so lucky. For the latter group, and those who'd rather be safe than sorry, Steve Best lists his favorite Linux troubleshooting and fix-it tools in this interview.
Best is author of Linux Debugging and Performance Tuning, a new book from Prentice Hall PTR. He offers more advice on dealing with Linux crashes in the article, "Fix-it advice for Linux crashes."
You discuss five network debugging tools in the "System Tools" chapter of your book. How did you narrow it down to these five?
Best: The five (ifconfig, arp, tcpdump, ethereal, netstat) that I covered in the book fit into the category where you don't need to change the application and just want to view data on the system.
Can you describe situations in which an admin would use some of these tools?