In the course of my job at Red Hat, I work with Docker containers on Fedora Atomic host every day. The Atomic Host from Project Atomic is a lightweight container OS that can run Linux containers in Docker format. It’s been modified for efficiency, making it optimal to use as a Docker run-time system for cloud environments.
Fortunately I’ve found a great way to manage containers running on the host: Cockpit. Cockpit is a remote manager for GNU/Linux servers with a nice Web UI. It lets me manage servers and containers running on the host. You can read more about Cockpit in this overview article previously published here. However, I also wanted to automate running containers on the host, which I’ve done using Ansible.
Note that we cannot use the dnf command on the Atomic Host. The host is designed not as a general purpose OS, but to be more fit for containers and other purposes. But it’s still very easy to set up applications and services on the Atomic Host. This post shows you how to automate and simplify this process.
Every Linux administrator has to eventually (and manually) edit a configuration file. Whether you are setting up a web server, configuring a service to connect to a database, tweaking a bash script, or troubleshooting a network connection, you cannot avoid a dive deep into the heart of one or more configuration files. To some, the prospect of manually editing configuration files is akin to a nightmare. Wading through what seems like countless lines of options and comments can put you on the fast track for hair and sanity loss.
Which, of course, isn’t true. In fact, most Linux administrators enjoy a good debugging or configuration challenge. Sifting through the minutiae of how a server or software functions is a great way to pass time. But this process doesn’t have to be an exercise in ineffective inefficiency. In fact, tools are available to you that go a very long way to make the editing of config files much, much easier. I’m going to introduce you to a few such tools, to ease some of the burden of your Linux admin duties. I’ll first discuss the command-line tools that are invaluable to the task of making configuration more efficient.